Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Perth and Kinross
Subframe corrosion - thanks to forum members
A big thanks to all those who pointed out the potential subframe corrosion issues.
I took the undertray off my 2007 159 sportwagon and gave it a good look over. Big sinking feeling in the stomach - initial impressions weren't good. Large areas of the underside of the subframe were rusty, particularly where the undertray had rubbed away the paint. Where the paint was still there, a lot of it was easily brushed off to reveal a fine coating of rust. Looks like pre-paint prep wasn't good when the car was built.
This is my first Alfa since owning a succession of four Alfasuds years ago. Now, those things rusted - doesn't stop me still hankering after another though! What I find amazing is that Alfa made such a fine job of rustproofing the rest of the car and neglected the area subjected to the most harsh conditions. Only Alfa!
So, car up on axle stands, bumper off and inner wing guards off. A good blast with a wire brush on the drill cleaned the rust up nicely and showed that none of the rust had gone very deep save for a bit of surface pitting. I initially planned to remove the subframe but the first large bolt I tried to remove felt like the captive nut was going to start turning, so I resorted to treating the subframe in place.
I bought a starter kit of POR15 rust treatment paint after reading a few good reviews. In the kit came the paint, degreasing fluid and metal prep fluid. There was only 118ml of the paint but the stuff goes a long way, enough for two coats for the areas of the subframe I could access. On reflection, It may have been easier to have chosen an alternative rust treatment because there is a lot of faffing about with the POR15 system - degreasing followed by washing off and drying, then metal prep application followed by washing off and drying, and finally the two coats of paint. Paint went on really well though. First impressions are good and it seems to be a really tough finish, but the real measure of success will be whether it still looks good in a year's time.
Next up I plan to do the rear subframe and trailing arms, but these are in much better condition.
I've attached some photos of the finished subframe. Wish I'd taken a few of the subframe before I painted it.
Think I got it just in time. Wouldn't like to think what another winter would have done to that subframe if I hadn't read the warnings about subframe corrosion posted on ths forum.