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inovermyhead2 01-13-2012 07:20 PM

Chassis saver
I know this topic has been beat to death but I wanted to share my experience in the past couple of days with Chassis Saver. I am in the middle of a frame off restoration on my 1983 CJ7 and I have replaced the entire cowl, both wheel wells, floors, supports, and misc areas of the body panels. I would typically use epoxy primer first and then build from there to the final finish but I had a thought. "What if I used CHASSIS SAVER first to cover the entire tub, inside, outside, underneath, etc, etc". The thought process was, if I seal the entire tub from moisture and air, It will NEVER rust again, EVER. So I called the manufacturer and spoke to them three times over three weeks for reassurance that this can be done with no campatibility issues with the proceeding top coats and on top of my now rust free body. Those top coats over the chassis saver being, epoxy primer, then my body filler, followed by a 2K high build primer surfacer, epoxy sealer, and then base coat/clear coat. Seems reasonable right?

The Dilemma:

I removed ALL the rust from the tub. Chassis saver is designed to adhere to rust. The nature of my phone calls to chassis saver was to confirm that I could get it to adhere to bare, clean metal. According to the instructions, it will adhere to sandblasted clean metal. I, as Im sure many of you are in the same boat, do not have the rescources to sandblast at my home, or the extra funds to outsource (I got a quote of $750). The manufacturer then stated to me that if I use 60grit sandpaper on a d/a sander to create a "profile" in the metal, it will adhere to bare clean metal as if it were sandblasted.

The end result:

The preceeding paragrahs were just a longwinded way of saying DON'T DO IT!!!!!! The concept works in theory but not in reality. I am a skeptic by nature so I only did the driver side of the tub to test first. I followed the application instructions to the letter as well as the verbal instructions from the manufacturer. 60 grit d/a sand, thoroughly solvent clean with a quality pre paint prep, reduce up to 10% with S8 reducer, use the smallest hvlp paint tip I had available (1.2) and spray two THIN coats aprox 3 hrs apart. I let my final coat dry for two days (by the way, I live in Florida, so temperature was not an issue) and then went to sand it with 320 grit to prep for the epoxy primer. All the chassis saver flaked off as I was sanding. I'm just glad I found out now instead of 6 months from now when my paint job blows down the road behind me.

I hope this answers some questions, assuming some of you out there had the same "brilliant" idea that I had. One day we may have a product for this purpose but we are not there yet. Epoxy is the way to go for now. I am by no means saying that Chassis saver is a bad product, but it has to be used for its intended purpose which is painting OVER rust. By the way, it does adhere very well to old paint which, i guess is to be expected being that it is a urethane based product. I am a little pissed that the manufacturer assured me that the method he reccommended would work. He would have cost me a ton of time and money had I not been a little aprehensive and not done a test area first.

I appologize for the lengthy post, but I just thought it would be informative and hopefully save someone from making a BIG mistake.

BTW, I would have to assume a simillar result from POR15 since they are almost an identical product chemically.

shum8 01-13-2012 09:50 PM

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Sorry you had to find out the hard way, but thanks for sharing - you probably saved several folks a bunch of time and money......... This is valuable info.

Skerr 01-13-2012 11:14 PM

Pretty significant first post! Welcome to the Forum, and thanks for sharing. I take it this is NOT your first rebuild/resto??

BTW- I come from your neck of the woods! :wave:

Renegade82 01-14-2012 12:32 AM

Coiz just did this very similar thing but used POR and had no problems.

inovermyhead2 01-14-2012 07:42 AM

Thanks for the warm welcome Skerr. No, this is not my first restoration but it is my first jeep restoration. I have had a love affair with jeeps as long as I can remember and owned many, but this is the first time I decided to "tear into one". Until now, my past restorations have been muscle cars. I do it as a hobby and I love it. I'm very excited that I finally decided to do this jeep project. This one will be a keeper. And although this was my first post and I am new to the forum, I have been watching from behind the scenes for a while now and find the information and knowledge from you guys invaluble and thank you for everything you have shared. I just wanted to return the favor and will continue to do so.

jopotzner 01-15-2012 01:43 PM

If I remember correctly, POR-15 recommend the use of a prep solution on clean metal - and that leaves a metal coating that it can adhere to.

dirt_dobber 01-15-2012 02:08 PM

welcome to the board and I love your username.

inovermyhead2 01-16-2012 10:52 AM

Thanks. The user name pretty much sums up all my restoration projects. I start out with a plan to just do xyz, then that evolves into, if i do that, then I should just do this. It's a viscous cycle that I think we can all relate to. Just can't leave well enough alone.

Renegade82 01-16-2012 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by jopotzner (Post 12861533)
If I remember correctly, POR-15 recommend the use of a prep solution on clean metal - and that leaves a metal coating that it can adhere to.

That's correct. It's called Metal Ready and it's used after a cleaning with Marine Clean. It's a metal etching liquid that leaves an almost galvanized look to it but the paint adheres mechanically to it, as it also will do with rust. This was a new bare metal frame.

Jim1611 01-16-2012 12:46 PM

I was going to do the very same thing you did and even went as far to contact Chassis Saver and pretty much got the same message you did. They convinced me it was the best way to go. I also checked into POR15 and as you can imagine they were sure they're stuff was best. I next did a search for a place to buy the Chassis Saver which led me to a website that belonged to a guy that did allot of frame off rebuilds. I called to ask a few more questions and he said he always uses epoxy primer as a way to slow down rust.

I've used the POR and had decent results so far, but only in small areas. I think we're all looking for that secret recipe that will stop rust. We will keep lokking too. Sorry for your mishap but glad you caught it when you did.

Jeepnaut 03-22-2013 12:48 PM

Bump for the Chassis Saver feedback. I was thinking about buying some.

ggrassmid 06-14-2015 07:55 AM

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I am in the process of doing my WK bottom with Chassis Saver. I used POR15's cleaner and metal prep first as there are areas under my Jeep that still have the factory coating applied with no rust. I put my forst coat on I thought pretty heavy (3hrs to brush the bottom laying on garage floor). I got two coats on the first day and don't see any old coating showing through, the places I can reach anyways. Now its sat over night and Im getting ready to apply my 3rd and hopefully 4th coat today and get everything back together.

2001WJv8 06-14-2015 08:34 AM

interesting idea - i've been wondering if there's a product you can pump into, or spray (how?) inside the frame rails to sort of seal everything in there? not sure POR15 would flow or spray correctly - and again I'm not even sure how i'd spray it. I was thinking of pouring something in because most of the problem is along the bottoms of the rails where water and mud settle and sit for long periods (or forever). I've hosed mine out to clear out as much of the dirt as I can, but wouldn't mind sealing it up good now

Guy Smilie 06-14-2015 08:42 AM

Eastwood makes a product called "Internal Frame Coating" comes with a long tube with a nozzle to get inside the frame. They also now offer it in black. I used it on my frame and was happy with it.

Dborns 06-14-2015 08:43 AM

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I've used Eastwood Internal Frame Coating on the last few frames. Great stuff! You'll need to plug some of the holes in your frame so it doesn't get on any of the por you've already put down. It'll spray everywhere and even if you see it and wipe it off quickly it dried fast and won't come off. Three cans did my frame but I bought a fourth can to really go over the rear frame and I used it in the windshield frame also.
Check eBay or Amazon for it.

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