Oxidation, rust, etc...

Epiphany

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The 2020 GT500 was delayed so much it pushed dealer deliveries into the winter months. I had planned on driving the car home (~1,000 miles) if the roads were clear and pretty much salt free. I got lucky there, able to drive a car like this in January which normally isn't possible where I come from. What drove me nuts was the "Hold" though where it sat outside for a month. On my mind was corrosion/oxidation in areas that wouldn't be simple to address. And this isn't something that should be on your mind on an 80k+ car that you haven't even taken delivery of yet.

I grew up working on the underside of rusty cars and always hated it. Shit in your eyes (safety glasses or not), rotted exhaust systems, and bolts that snap way too easy as they've been eaten up by rust. I really like the idea of starting off with something clean. So the second I saw the engine on my car I cringed at the oxidation I saw already at work on various aluminum engine and accessory castings. Bare steel items underneath already showed signs of rust as well. Well, thanks to the pinched hose issue at the rear of the engine that needs to be addressed, I'm starting to clean up Mother Nature's work.

This is what I saw pretty much everywhere in the engine compartment on any bare aluminum...

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It's also why I have waited to do the oil separator that came with the car so I could clean things up first. My apologies to anyone that thinks this is being too anal. Sorry but I like my gear clean. Easier to service and to identify an issue such as a leak, etc. If you let it go too long things get nasty, fast. I spent last winter building an engine for a Fox body I'm doing and I had hoped my GT500 engine would be near as clean. Lol, that was sure wishful thinking. Nothing like this...


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So while I had the strut tower brace off for the pinched hose I started removing other topside components to be able to access said oxidized aluminum.


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So I removed the two fasteners holding the coolant reservoir to the fan shroud, set it aside and tested a couple of different cleaning/polishing compounds on the thermostat housing.


Yes...

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I used these two. They worked equally as good.

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The viscous fluid filled, aluminum bodied harmonic dampers on these cars are works of art. No way I'm having mine look like shit in short order and here it is with the onset of cancer.


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Five minutes later...


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I then removed the entire intake tract to access the alternator case, driver side valve cover, etc.

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Gonna pick at this as I can, eventually pulling the undertray at the front and rear as well. I suppose an anti-corrosion coating on these bare parts would have been too much to ask for. :)
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Strokerswild

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Wow, and I thought maybe those valve covers were painted. Guess not.

I would have been freaking out too. Did they park your car near an ocean beach for a couple of weeks???
 
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Epiphany

Epiphany

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Sat outside at the railyard in Missouri on Hold for a month in December. I wouldn't leave it overnight and outside for a day even without snow in the warmer months.

I've seen some on FB complaining about oxidation as well and it sounds like there are other 500's that have it far worse.
 

Cobra Jet

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Just an FYI:

For protecting anything under the hood - once it’s clean, you can also spray WD40 on the bare metal parts, including aluminum. Start the engine and let it sit at idle for about 10-15 mins to dry up any residual WD40. No it won’t catch on fire and no nothing will burn...

The engine and any such bare components will never get oxidation again.

I’ve been doing this for YEARS (25+) on all my vehicles and have never had an issue doing this nor have I ever had to fight with aluminum oxidation - even for a car that sits outside or one that sits in a non-climate controlled environment.

So just to prove it in an example, this image is from my 1994 Cobra. The car was driven in all 4 Seasons up here in NJ, 24/7/365 - yes in snow and ice with salted roads and rain etc.. At every car wash interval I did the above with WD40. There is ZERO oxidation or aged discoloration on anything metal in the engine bay.

If I didn’t reveal it, you wouldn’t know that’s the original engine with over 144k on it and it’s NEVER been out of the vehicle. As seen in the attached photo, you could literally eat off of it, it’s as clean as the interior and body.

All of the bare metal is just as it was when the car was new. I don’t like shiny things and the WD40 keeps away any oxidation and any of that surface “powder” usually found on metal surfaces.


(BTW - nice Fox 5.0 build! Reminds me of a few I’ve done in the past, including doing a 5.0 GT40 upgrade in my prior 1994 Bronco).

Cheers! :sun:
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Epiphany

Epiphany

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I spent quite a bit of time cleaning today and learned that I needed to use a scotchbright pad along with cleaner to remove some badly oxidized areas. I couldn't get it as clean as I wanted to either in some spots. I did try the WD40 mentioned above so we'll see how that plays out.

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I used a small brush with cleaner on it to get in all the nooks on the alternator which was kind of tough to get at.


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I took a couple of shots of the intake "box" the filter resides in. As much as Ford talks about how big the ducting into it is I think it is still fairly small. My fist almost blocks it off.

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I figured now would be the time to bolt on the Ford oil separator what with the STB removed and out of the way. I had ordered one when they were announced but not listed as part of the Handling Package so I have two. I'll keep the other one in case I ever need any of the hardware.


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I was able to cheat and do things out of order but easier than the FR directions had you doing. Better to try to remove/replace the PCV with the coil cover removed.


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The one caveat I don't like with this separator is you give up access to the plugs. Removing the metal bracket would be an added PIA step.


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The included Ford instructions are complete ass. Barely visible photographs, missing steps, and errors. If your dealer's "guy" hasn't done one yet it'll take him a bit to learn on your car and hopefully he does it right. The nut to tighten the bottom leg of the above bracket is a bit of a bitch to access.

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Now I can button this all back up when I have the chance.
 

Caballus

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Awesome attention to detail...the reason so many of us swear by our Caliperfexion caliper studs.
 
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Epiphany

Epiphany

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Something I forgot to mention that I wanted to talk about, the magnesium strut tower brace, or STB.

I didn't weigh it but it felt heavier than I thought it would. It is a substantial and well engineered piece of hardware.

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What really caught my eye that I hadn't noticed prior to removing it were the aluminum shims attached to the underside. There ends up being aluminum at every point of contact between the sheetmetal body, either at the strut tower(s) or firewall connection points. In essence, the magnesium doesn't make contact with the underlying steel structure.

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I immediately wondered if there is the potential for a galvanic reaction and that looks to be the case. The magnesium alloy is technically known as AE44-2 and it contains magnesium, aluminum, cerium and lanthanum. Automotive uses include structural with fairly elevated temperatures. It is a favorable material for casting.

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But in learning more about the alloy and its use here I was struck by a couple of things. AE44-2 is supposed to have good "creep resistance." Creep is the "natural tendency of a material to gradually move or permanently deform as a result of mechanical stress." Interesting, as when I removed all the fasteners from one side of the STB and bumped/tapped the STB it seemed to release itself with a slight pop. It was under some tension and wanted to relax itself. So the use of this material should prove to be a good choice in both the short and long term.

Back to the aluminum shims. Apparently, there was concern for a galvanic reaction at what would have been a magnesium to steel joint. And believe it or not, the "likelihood of galvanic corrosion is higher for structures that are exposed to repeated cycles of wetting and drying such as in splash zones" such as at the areas of the strut tops or firewall. The use of aluminum shims makes sense as If it is necessary to join two dissimilar metals," the transition of that metal should be a metal closer in the galvanic series." It'll be interesting to see if the shims are in any way sacrificial (think anode/cathode) as time passes so I'm glad I got a good look at the joint in near new condition.

From the US Patent Ford received on the STB...
"Galvanic corrosion may occur if magnesium is directly connected to steel. An isolator must be employed to prevent corrosion at magnesium-steel interfaces. Isolator plates may be installed between the steel strut towers and the magnesium strut-tower attachments. The isolator plates may be thin metal stampings formed of a material that does not react with magnesium or steel such as aluminum. The isolator plates may defines fastener holes that align with the holes defined in the attachments. While not shown, another isolator plate may be disposed between the cowl and the flange if the cowl is steel."
 

Jmeo

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Great information. I saw the aluminum shims as well, and my thought it was for dissimilar metals, guess that was a good guess.
 

Wilson & Co

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Good read to pass some time...

And maybe 1 good thing about getting a new ford in summer vs winter

Im trying to stay positive
 
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Epiphany

Epiphany

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Had a minute so I reassembled everything, all cleaned up.

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And for reference, the torque figures for the nuts and bolts that fasten the STB to the body...


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Hack

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It's funny they would use bare metal to prevent galvanic corrosion. I suppose it's cheaper than painting or anodizing the aluminum. But the aluminum would hold up a lot better with a coating on it. And paint or anodize - either is non-conductive and so either would completely prevent galvanic corrosion until they are worn through or chipped off.
 
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