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2006 Ford Focus SE ZXW
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone,

Last week I picked up a cheap 2006 Focus SE ZXW essentially on trade for a car I had to scrap. It's in decent shape for it's age, unfortunately the shop sprayed the bottom of the doors and rocker panels with some sort of oil for rust proofing, I'm currently trying to remove it now since it looks ugly and it's just hiding the rust problems without actually solving it. I've only gotten one of the doors cleaned up enough, the rocker panel seems like it's going to be a lot more work to clean off, plus the areas that have already rusted due to paint chipping are going to get worse, so ideally I'd like to remove this crap, sand down the rough areas and do some painting, as it would look less awful than having black tar along the bottom of the car.

Aside from that I'm getting a second key for it tomorrow, and I'll see if I can get a quick inspection done on it. I noticed a bump when the wheel turns right so something with the steering and possibly suspension might need to be looked at. The heater controls only pump air to the floor, the knob is stuck when trying to change to the top vents so I'll need to look into that. I also have a P0446 CEL, so something funky with the evaporation system, and the airbag light is on. I guess when you look at it this car needs quite a bit of work, but it seems manageable. Hoping to make it look presentable later this season!

306899

306900
 

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2006 ZXW SE, starting its new life as a sleeper
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41 Posts
Welcome. I have the same year ZXW in silver, in Owen Sound, Ontario.
I'm currently working on roughly the same areas - inside lower door seam and rockers. You may have good luck with a wire wheel on a drill for getting rid of that black junk and the rust. Failing that, paint stripper would do it. I know that undercoating stuff and it's going to clog sand paper.
My step after stripping is rust converter (tremclad rust reformer) to stop it from getting going again and then filler, filler primer, paint and top coat. I considered 3m Rocker Cover Coating, but decided against it. I think it can look OK, but you have to do a decent job masking, not like that mess.
Watch out for the ends of the rockers to be rotten from the inside out due to salt getting between the fender liner and the lip at the end of the rocker - I put a jack stand through mine last week, not realizing it was so bad. Bondo to the rescue!

Re: that bump, check your front tire wear. If it's biased towards the inside edges, you may have a bad wheel bearing - I had that last summer.

In any case, good luck!
 

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2006 Ford Focus SE ZXW
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Welcome. I have the same year ZXW in silver, in Owen Sound, Ontario.
I'm currently working on roughly the same areas - inside lower door seam and rockers. You may have good luck with a wire wheel on a drill for getting rid of that black junk and the rust. Failing that, paint stripper would do it. I know that undercoating stuff and it's going to clog sand paper.
My step after stripping is rust converter (tremclad rust reformer) to stop it from getting going again and then filler, filler primer, paint and top coat. I considered 3m Rocker Cover Coating, but decided against it. I think it can look OK, but you have to do a decent job masking, not like that mess.
Watch out for the ends of the rockers to be rotten from the inside out due to salt getting between the fender liner and the lip at the end of the rocker - I put a jack stand through mine last week, not realizing it was so bad. Bondo to the rescue!

Re: that bump, check your front tire wear. If it's biased towards the inside edges, you may have a bad wheel bearing - I had that last summer.

In any case, good luck!

That's really helpful, thanks! I'm going to take a good look at the tires, they seem to be wearing evenly but I haven't given them more than a few seconds of my time. I managed to get most of the gunk off the passenger side, especially from the doors, however the rocker panel on that side is rough, some of the paint came off with my cleaning, the driver side was next to impossible but it seems that the paint on that side is all gone. Now that I've uncovered the actual rust problems I'm planning to sand them down since they're just on the surface, prime and paint and get it looking decent.

I did get the air vents to blow out of the top yesterday, that's a little win for me. Trying to figure out why the airbag light is on though, I'll have to get that diagnosed somewhere.
 
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