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Discussion Starter #1
hi guys

still looking for my dream spider and a few ads mention the subframe has been renewed ? is it a common issue on the brera/spider and if so is there a mod to stop it happening ??.

ive had items powder coated for bikes before but not sure if thats the way to go on something like that,maybe galvanised or something else is the way to go ?.



thanks guys all experiences/opinions appreciated ..

dave.
 

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Subframe rot is a very common issue on the Brera/Spider/159s. Over time the subframe starts rusting and beings to rot away. The only solution is to either pick it up early and get the subframe treated for any rust which requires having the subframe taken off the body for this. Or have the subframe replaced with a new one (which are getting increasingly rare to find) or a refurbished one. Recently my subframe started developing serious rust issues so I had it replaced with a refurbished one that was well treated for any rust and powder coated. It's a day's job but well worth it as compromised subframe integrity (i.e any rust holes in your subframe) is a MOT failure for the car.

Before you buy a car, it is highly recommended to get it up on a lift, take the undertray off and thoroughly check the subframe for any rust then you can either account for the cost of treating/replacing the subframe when buying the car or get a car with a subframe in a better condition. Many people like to take the undertray off the bottom of the car as the undertray has all this sound insulation foam which only ends up holding onto any moisture and rusting the subframe. Though because I like the undertray, I ripped off the foam bits off my undertray and just kept the plastic undertray. The definitive way to prevent the subframe from slowly rotting away is to take it off the car and properly treated for any rust before applying a fresh layer of poweder coat/underseal protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
brilliant reply thanks very much, i suppose every car has something to watch out for what ever make model..

cheers

dave.
 

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Certainly not all cars have suffered with sub frame rot. Mine's one of them.
I asked my mechanic (20 years he's worked on my cars) to pay special attention to this and he told me it's in good shape.

Perhaps looking at where they've previously lived (Scotland, Cumbria, North East etc) should be a factor in prospective purchases. Avoid places that have salt on the roads for most of the winter!
 

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Are there any places where they do not use salt to de-ice roads? Over here they throw such a ridiculous amount of salt the minute any snow or ice is forecasted, usually a handful of flakes, that I wonder about the environmental consequences just as it has for cars (a lot of modern cars do severely suffer from excessive salt and poorly designed protection by OE).
 

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Back on topic:
Powder coating seems to be a risk, as I’ve been told by people having experienced themselves, due to the fact it will corrode underneath. Apparently it isn’t suited for parts that have a bit of flex?

Salt wouldn’t be that bad if it would remain below zero all the time, as I believe that the corroding process actually accellerates by temperatures swinging from below to above and back. Perhaps there’s an expert who can tell us.
 

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...and even when it's not icy the salt dust remains on the road and on the dry days still builds up under the car (look at the dusty surfaces at the bottom half of the engine)..and if you still have that stupid bit of plastic under there it never gets washed off when driving in the rain.

....and as far as " (a lot of modern cars do severely suffer from excessive salt and poorly designed protection by OE)."
...simply not true. Cars have never been as well protected against corrosion as they are now....Most have 10 rear plus perforation warranties....You just don't see seriously rusted cars with holes all over like you did when I was young..70s and 80s. Most are fully galvanised so don't need to depend on thick underseal to stop the rust like they used to...so people think they are not as well protected when the opposite is true. In fact poorly adhered underseal was a major cause of rust on old cars...the water getting trapped between the bitumen and the metal. Even our old cars (and let's be honest they are old ..the oldest being about 14 and the newest about 8 or 9 years old) only rust on bolt on chassis parts (subframes etc) not on the body shell like they used to. Most modern cars I see with rust are the result of poor quality crash repairs.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
cheers guys

so i suppose the only answer is to keep it clean and maybe use acf50 (aircraft grade anti corrosion stuff) which ive used on all my bikes for years with great results.

prob ok in theory but i guess getting to the sub frame once in place to clean and then apply/re apply aint so easy?.
 

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Metal quality could also be an issue. It could well be variable across subframe batches with the worst ones rusting the most.

I very nearly bought a 159 myself, but the subframe rust issue was one thing which put me off.

It seems that the design was was one of the parts inherited from GM, as UK Vauxhall's from the same period also seem to suffer subframe rot.
 
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