Maxine the 318 - Rust Treatment July 22 2013, 1 Comment

Maxine's battery had issues holding charge, and the culprit was a battery that had started to leak battery acid. 

After removing the battery and the battery tray, it didn't look good. There had obviously been a long history of leaky batteries.

This could not stand. To battle this rust, I employed POR15. I bought the starter kit that is about the perfect size for a small project this size.

The first step was to remove the rust. A drill with a steel wire wheel on the end of it made quick work of the rust. I wore a respirator, since rust powder was going everywhere. I used a vacuum to remove all the loose rust after I was done.

The next step was to degrease the area. The kit included a bottle of Marine Clean for this purpose. I wiped Marine Clean all over the surfaces and then wiped up the excess with a dry paper towel.

Applying Prep and Ready was the next step. This prepared the metal for the POR15 to bite into. The directions said to keep brushing it on so that all metal surfaces are wet for at least 30 minutes. I did this for an hour, reapplying about every 5 minutes or so.

After an hour, the battery compartment took on a grey, hazy color where the exposed metal was. 

We were now ready for POR15. I brushed on two coats, waiting several hours between coats. POR15 is fairly thin, so it brushes on easily and flows into all the cracks and the crevices.  

I could have just left this as it was, but I thought it would look better in red. Yes, I realized that this area is going to be unseen after it is covered up by the battery tray, but if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Rustoleum makes a color called Sunrise Red that is very close to BMW's Brillantrot, which makes things very convenient. Three thin coats did the trick.

With the paint dry, it was time to put everything back together.

I re-installed the somewhat used battery mat, which serves as the first line of defense against battery acid by absorbing and neutralizing the acid. The battery I used was a Odyssey PC680, which is much lighter than the unit it replaces and still has enough cranking power to start the car. I'll have to make a proper battery tie down, but the stiffness of the battery cables and the lightness of the battery makes it almost unnecessary for street driving, but obviously track driving would require one. The battery tie down will have to be a custom job, but that is for another post.

POR15 is pretty easy to use, and the starter kit makes it easy, since they give you everything that you need. The battery compartment looks much better, and is now protected from future rust. As a bonus, we ditched a few pounds from the car by switching to a lightweight battery.

If you love BMW E30's check out our E30 shirt in our online store.