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Discussion Starter #1
So I purchased an 09 Sahara Unlimited in late January. I've been enjoying driving and working on it. However, It is relatively clear the underside has been neglected. By the way, this is a New England JKU, so we know about rust. I checked it out before buying it and noted that while there was some rust, the frame was solid and the entire underside had been coated (probably by the used car dealer who wanted to make it look as good as possible). I took it wheeling a month ago and had a blast. It's amazing what a stock JKU can do! I even had the joy of pulling a modded Rubicon off the rocks, but that is a story for another day. Anyway, on my way home from wheeling my muffler basically fell off. It was still hanging on by the hangers, but the joint between the intermediate pipe and muffler was rusted straight through. This gave me the opportunity to spend the next week under my JKU. This is what I found:

While most of the underside is solid, the gas tank skid plate was toast. The rot on the plate was covered over by the undercoating. Wheeling shook all the rust loose and it was obvious I was not taking it wheeling again without replacing my gas tank skid. This explains why I spend a week under the Jeep to "replace the muffler". I bought a used skid, refurbished it, dropped the old skid, and mounted up the new refurbished one along with adding a RE skid to cover it. Fun project. I also relocated the evap canister while I was under there. However, living under the jeep for those three projects opened my eyes to what it really looks like.

Everything under the jeep is solid (now that the gas tank skid is replaced) and there appears to be very little rot. However, most of the suspension is rusted. Not just a little surface rust, but a solid amount of surface rust. Again, no real rot. But everywhere the undercoating is flaking off shows an untreated rusty piece of steal (sway bars, links, control arms, coils, everything). It is my next plan to install a Rancho 2" lift with shocks and install a set of 33s. This is a daily driver and I don't want to be jacked up. I just want a little more clearance and to replace the old worn out suspension.

My question to you all is what to do about the rest of the underside components? As I see it, I have three options:
  1. Replace it all. Start now replacing all the suspension parts. Since money doesn't grow on trees, take it part by part and spend the next few years slowly replacing all the underside components as money allows. If I go this route, are their components you would replace first? As I said, nothing is rotted. Nothing appears unsafe. It might just be nice to a have a jeep that looks good underneath, will not break on the trails, and will last longer.
  2. Refurbish the parts. I enjoy a good project. Maybe I take each of the components out in turn, sand it down, treat the rust, repaint it and reinstall it. My concern with this is something like bushings. If these are 11 year old stock parts, are the joint bushings bad? Is there a way to refurbish the joints?
  3. Close my eyes and enjoy the ride. Everything is solid. It's an old Jeep. And there is no sense worrying about something that aint broke. Drive it. Wheel it. And replace any pieces that go as they go. Save the money spent on pretty parts to fix broken parts as they break.
As I said this is a daily driver. I do hope to wheel with my local club, so it will see some trails (monthly at least), and these guys (and gals) are no joke. Serious rigs. But they also provide runs that don't require 37's and lockers. That's where I fit in.

Major mods I've added so far: steel front bumper and winch, removed steps in favor of rock rails, relocated evap canister, added gas tank skid plate. Will soon add lift and tires (as stated above).

Thanks for any thoughts...
 

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its on old jeep. dont sweat the rust. clean and repaint what you want and if it doesnt keep the jeep from running dont sweat it! enjoy your jeep!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, that's the logical choice. Sometimes I get a bit carried away. I think this "Stay at Home" order is getting to me. Too much time on my hands and for my brain.
 

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Do you think the undercoating was meant to be deceptive? That definitely throws some flags for me.

I don't mean to be all negative though, as a fellow Northeasterner I relate. If you plan on keeping it for many years, I would suggest repair and replace. If those components look rusty, imagine what the rubber and joints look like... They are probably due for a replacement anyways.

If you're not certain whether you can live with it long term, don't invest any money.
 

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I work for a dealer in Canada and we ship a lot of trucks, cars and Jeeps to the US. So many that sometimes I think that there can’t be any used vehicles left in Canada for us. Your question on undercoating whether it’s misleading. All vehicles we send are sprayed to cover the rust. The buyer in the us doesn’t want to see
 

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Wrong button ! He doesn’t want rust going south to Texas etc where they don’t know what rust is and wants to try and stop any from getting worse up here where salt is used. So misleading maybe a bit as it helps sell but also to some degree slows down the rust.
 

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Yeah, I think deceptive is a bit of a strong word in my case. The dealer certainly could have been trying to be deceptive, but I think it is also just good business as Starwars says. It is a relatively cheap way to make the underside look better and offer some (minor) protection. Ideally, the dealer would have scraped and prepared the rust before coating it, but in my mind, that's asking a lot from a used car dealer.

For now my plan is to replace my springs and shocks, as I stated, and them see how things go upgrading/replacing other components and money, time, and repairs permit.
 

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New Englander here also. Pick up a needler!!!! best tool ever from harbor freigt, and rust conversion stuff (HF also sells) and go to town I prefer the clear rust converter that only turns rust black, not other painted surfaces... piece by piece as you go. Upgrade what needs be when needs be. Replace what needs be now if anything. In a year or so Your underneath will look good and be solid (if solid now).

Fluidfilm/woolwax sprayer! Amazon.com: woolwax Lanolin Vehicle undercoating kit (4) Quarts w/PRO Gun & (2) Extension Wands: Automotive

Needle Scaler!! Best tool ever for rust removal (short of sandblaster.) Compact Air Needle Scaler
-It acts like a little portable sandblaster with no sandy mess
 

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New Englander here also. Pick up a needler!!!! best tool ever from harbor freigt, and rust conversion stuff (HF also sells) and go to town I prefer the clear rust converter that only turns rust black, not other painted surfaces... piece by piece as you go. Upgrade what needs be when needs be. Replace what needs be now if anything. In a year or so Your underneath will look good and be solid (if solid now).

Fluidfilm/woolwax sprayer! Amazon.com: woolwax Lanolin Vehicle undercoating kit (4) Quarts w/PRO Gun & (2) Extension Wands: Automotive

Needle Scaler!! Best tool ever for rust removal (short of sandblaster.) Compact Air Needle Scaler
-It acts like a little portable sandblaster with no sandy mess

[/QUOT
Yeah, I think deceptive is a bit of a strong word in my case. The dealer certainly could have been trying to be deceptive, but I think it is also just good business as Starwars says. It is a relatively cheap way to make the underside look better and offer some (minor) protection. Ideally, the dealer would have scraped and prepared the rust before coating it, but in my mind, that's asking a lot from a used car dealer.

For now my plan is to replace my springs and shocks, as I stated, and them see how things go upgrading/replacing other components and money, time, and repairs permit.
if the bottom is muddy or if it’s got the black stuff from a previous spray we will power wash it so a new coating will adhere better. Most of the time we use a clear spray that almost is like vasoline. It soaks in and creeps, doesn’t dry out and even gets rid of annoying squeaks once in a while.
 
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