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Old 07-16-2018, 10:12 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: New Mexico
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Year: 2001
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Engine: CAT 3126
Ran into a bit of an issue with my sheet metal.

Hello everyone!

I joined this forum awhile back when I purchased our school bus and haven't updated our progress on here since. It's been going good and we haven't ran into much issues. Until recently.

We bought some 20 Gauge sheet metal from a local metal shop and had it cut to size before we went and picked it up. We took it home and immediately began installing them onto our bus. We removed all the original bus windows and completely covered every window space. We then cut out holes to fit in our used RV windows that we got from an old RV.

Then we were ready to paint... and this is where the issue begins. We decided to paint the whole bus a flat white, then in the future we were planning on adding some color to it. For the roof we bought a 5 gallon bucket of Henry Solar-Flex White Elastomeric Roof Coating. We put 3 coats on the roof using a roller until I felt it was a nice thick coverage. Then I had an idea that maybe wasn't the best. I thought that since we still have over half of the 5 gallon of Henry left, lets just cover the whole bus with it! Then it'll be really cool in there right?

So maybe some of you have realized from my description and the pictures.. THE SHEET METAL HAS NOT BEEN PRIMED!!! And better yet, the Henry Roof Coating is water based!

So yeah, here we are with the issue. I got surface rust spots coming out from underneath the paint pretty much everywhere on the sheet metal.

I panicked a bit, and tried to stop the rust by covering it with Rustoleum Protective Enamel, but the rust is bleeding through that as well.

Here is what I am thinking my options are:

1. I completely start over again. Remove the sheet metal. Sand off all of the paint. Sand off all the surface rust. Use some sort of rust inhibitor, neutralizer, or encapsulator on the rust spots. PROPERLY PRIME SHEET METAL. Re-install sheets.

2. Spot Check. Keep sheet metal on bus, sand off areas with surface rust, use inhibitor, neutralizer, or encapsulator as best I can. Sand the whole thing down and cover the whole thing with a nice oil based paint and primer.(I will not be able to reach underneath the screws or the rain guard)

Some questions:

Will the surface rust continue to grow and eventually become a major issue?

Is there any other way for me to stop this surface rust from growing without having to completely strip the paint?

Does anyone think I will have an issue with using screws instead of rivets? I used the screws that were holding the ceiling up on the inside of the bus.

Does the parts of the sheet metal that are not rusting need to be primed?

Do I need to prime the sheets from the inside of the bus even though they will be covered with insulation?

Am I overthinking this? The surface rust seems to not be spreading as much anymore even though it has been raining.

Thank you all for any help and advice.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:27 PM   #2
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You wonít like this, but you need to catch that while it is still surface rust. You spent all the time and money on skinning the body I would hate to see you continue on without stripping that paint off and using a rusty metal primer... spend a day on it now to mitigate years of troubles. My 2 cents.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:28 PM   #3
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What he said!!!
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:06 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I've done a bit more research and realized that is definitely the way to go. Do you think I need to remove all of the screws and apply the rusty metal primer underneath them and then re-screw -OR- do you think as long as i remove all the paint off the screws, apply a generous amount of rust inhibitor, then put on the rusty metal primer over top that would be good enough? The only thing im worried about now is if the rust underneath the screws and enough of an issue to where i need to remove them to get the primer underneath.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:10 PM   #5
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I think take out the screws my man. But thatís what I would do if it were me. Leave the panel in place and just leave enough screws to support it and then swap out the last screws after you sanded.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:14 PM   #6
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A simple spray down with "Prep and Etch" or equivalent rust converter/preventer will stop the exposed rust now. Follow the directions and the metal can be painted after. If you don't treat it now, yes it will continue, hidden below your nice work.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:47 AM   #7
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I would strip it down, spray the whole bus generously with etch and prep or Ospho (with a 1 gallon pump sprayer) and put new screws in there. I'm on the obsessive side, so I would be dipping each screw in etch and prep before screwing them in. Then I wouldn't use the Henry's on the walls...It's water based and with 3 coats, it probably didn't thoroughly dry between each coat and water built up and allowed rust to form.
You've gone this far so why not go the extra mile now for peace of mind. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:51 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Thanks for the advice. I've been convinced to put some more work into it now to avoid headaches later. I did some research on the Prep & Etch product and I think it should work perfectly. The product page says to dilute it by 1 part product and 3 parts water. I don't really know what I'm talking about here but isn't it water that started the rust in the first place? And if I cover all of the metal with this product, do i not have to prime?
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:17 AM   #9
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Just a note..."etching" primer only effects bare metal. Has no effect on other paints.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:36 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Yeah my plan is to remove all screws except top rows, sand it all down to bare metal, then use my spray gun to apply etch & prep to entire surface. My only question is if it is a good idea to dilute with water (like it says on product online page) and if I need to prime afterwards or just paint?
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