4xGuard Matrix Front Brush Guard starting to rust. - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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4xGuard Matrix Front Brush Guard starting to rust.

I noticed the other day that the silver cross-member on my Matrix brush guard is starting to rust pretty bad. There is rust starting to build up all along the lines of the part including around all the 4xGuard letters! I'd hate to see this thing starting to rust up so soon, it hasn't even been a year yet.

Any suggestions on what to do to prevent this thing from rusting some more? Will I have to take it to get it repainted? I wouldn't mind getting it painted in black. Does 4xGuard provide any sort of guarantee against rust? Maybe I'll send them an email and ask for suggestions or maybe someone can reply on their behalf on my post.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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I think I just answered my own question once again. Too bad it happened so soon though.

FYI. The following is from their site:

Again, rust is inevitable with what we do. We would be lying if we said anything else. And the factors that can speed or slow it are largely out of our control: atmospheric humidity, salt on the roads (here in Colorado it's mag-chloride), acidic rainfall due to nearby factories, improper care and maintenance ... to say nothing of trail damage. And of course our products — unlike, for instance, roof racks or the like — are frequently mounted down in the grit and grime, the salt and the slime. Simple road travel alone is constantly kicking up tiny particulates that scatter across the guards and negatively impact the finish.

When it comes down to it, then, we know it's ultimately futile to try to stop a fundamental force of nature. But that's not going to stop us from trying to do it. And with this multi-stage finishing process in place, we are confident that we are doing the best that we can to open up the largest "rust-free" window possible.

Stopping the Spread (Maintenance) As we said above, no matter how a person finishes a product, rust WILL happen to any steel parts whether we like it or not. Nature always wins. You will face rust on your accessories at some point, whether they are multi-staged 4xGuard parts or not.

So what should you do when it shows up?

First off, don't let it get worse. Try to stop the spread early. It means a bit of elbow grease, but you knew you were going to get dirty when you bought a Jeep. So roll up your sleeves and get to work sooner rather than later.

The basic idea, as you'll see, is to get the rust off, seal the area with rust-inhibitive primer, and then paint it to match the surrounding surface (always test paint color on an inconspicuous or hidden area first). When it comes to paint, many Jeepers have reported great success with ACE Rust Stop and Rustoleum High Performance Enamel. We've had some success with Krylon. There are also "paint over rust" products availabe — like Hammerite — though reports are mixed about their long-term viability. (We'd love to hear your preference.)

If you don't have your own rust-control method — combating rust is such a time-honored tradition among Jeepers that a lot of us tend to have our own quasi-Voodoo potions and rituals to take to the fight — then you can try the method our family has used for generations:

Kick the tire. Doesn't help the rust, but it lets loose some anger. Plus, the pain in your toes will take your mind off the knuckles that you'll scrape in just a few minutes.
Dismount the part. Regardless who made it and how it was finished, if you see rust you need to get it off the vehicle for a thorough investigation. A little rust on one side might mean a lot of it on the other side you can't see. So get it off and be thorough.

Get ice for your banged knuckles.

With the part dismounted, you now can see what you're in for and act accordingly:
If it's just a small spot or two of rust, congratulations. You caught it early and the fix isn't bad. Use steel wool to rub out the rust spots and to roughen up a small encircling area on all sides of the rust. Then grab some good outdoor, rust-inhibiting primer and hit the effected area right away, using something as a mask (we like a hole cut in cardboard) to prevent overspray on the rest of the part. After the primer is dry, hit it with matching paint.

If there are bigger patches of rust, you might want to buy a chemical rust-remover to help you out. Alternative household concoctions can include vinegar solutions, baking soda paste, Coke-and-Aluminum foil, and even homemade electrolysis baths. Reports inevitably vary, and you should be aware that many acidic processes in particular can damage paint. As with small spots, get rust-inhibiting primer on the part as soon as it's clean and dry. Exposed steel begins to rust immediately.

If you find that large stretches of powdercoat are flaking off, you probably need to kick the tire again. You shouldn't have let the rust go so long. Can't change that now, of course, but kicking the tire might help the lesson sink in. Next, unless you have the patience and stamina to get it all off yourself, you'll likely want to limp over to a local sandblaster if you don't have sandblasting tools yourself. They'll blast the rust off the product, along with the remaining powdercoat and essentially "reset" the part. What you do now to finish it is up to you: powdercoating, rhinolining, simple priming and painting, electroplating … whatever you want.

Finally, if it was a 4xGuard part, please let us know what you did and how it worked for you.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 01:26 PM
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More paint. lol
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 04:56 PM
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Are they painted or powdercoated? Eitherway, their finishing process seems to leave a lot to be desired - somehow, pinholes in the process left an avenue for that good old Chicago salt to do it's dastardly deed.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyCommander View Post

Any suggestions on what to do to prevent this thing from rusting some more?
Thanks!
Contact 4Xguard before you do anything. Give them a chance to look into it.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 07:46 PM
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Did you scratch it or anything first. I know Chicago winters are rough, but I would imagine that the finish must of been damaged in some fashion for it to rust. Like Don said contact them as well there pretty good at helping. Oh and pics would help


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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 08:06 PM
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It all begins with a tiny chip.
Could be from a stone thrown by another vehicle or, as we Chicagoland folks have seen, chips caused by the rock salt thrown from the salt spreaders.
Once the finish is compromised in any way, the corrosion starts to run under the paint and when it becomes visible it is hard to stop it.
As you read in the brochure, Oscar, they know it's going to happen......mom nature always gets her stuff back.

If it is in a corner, use a small rat tail file to clean it back to clean steel and then a bit of rust-oleum or similar rust preventative, sprayed on a artists brush can be used for small touch up duty.
Once it is dry, clean the assembly and wax it.
The wax will fill and seal any other chips that haven't started to rust yet......that is the only preventative service I can suggest.

Chicago uses a salt sprayed with chloride.....really evil stuff....thats why the bridges corrode so badly in the city.

Good luck,
Rob
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 08:48 PM
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I'm genuinely sorry to hear about this, LuvMC. Please send 4xGuard any pics you can. It can help us as we try to find ways to make our products rust-free for longer periods of time.

If that part is a year old, in fact, I can tell you that we've actually changed our processing in the meantime: a few months ago we started coating parts with an initial Zinc-infused primer before powdercoating, in order to add another rust-inhibiting layer.

As Rob (and others) here are noting, though, there is simply no way to prevent rust forever on a steel part. If you're in a bad area, or using the part under rough conditions (which many of us happily are), the window of rust-free contentedness can be brutally short. And one tiny nick in a finish will explode things badly with shocking speed. I lived not too far away from you in Kalamazoo, Michigan for several years -- a short, sad period in which I sadly drove an Isuzu instead of a Jeep -- and I was constantly tending to rust on accessories, body, components. It was like paddling a canoe up a waterfall.

Like Rob said, "mom nature always gets her stuff back."
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 08:49 PM
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I wasn't going to say anything, but since this is a topic, I must complain as well...

My 4XG stuff is corroding way too fast as well. I could tell their finish was inadequate for winter use when the parts arrived. If carbon steel is not epoxy primed first, it will rust.

My Matrix was cleaned by me and topcoated with several coats of "Gravel Guard". Guess what? It is rusting anyway. The Front Guard was simply protected with Zaino, but that was rusting after just TWO WEEKS of salt exposure back in December. I wish I had gravel guarded it too .

Following my discovery, I washed and I sprayed the parts with LPS-3 Rust Inhibitor. I figure come spring I'll have to choose a course of action.

I can tell you this --- if properly finished, carbon steel will not rust for a long time. Unfortunately, the process used for 4XG is not worthy of any salt spray rating. I am so sad
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 10:21 PM
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sand blast it and have it rhino lined or line-x. i have been looking at buying a 4x guard and doing this before installation or even see if i could buy it raw steel to save me a process. not sure yet kinda wished it wrapped the front end more instead of just the middle..
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