Technical Article

Rust Prevention & Treatment Solutions

(as appeared in the May, 2005 TSR)

By John Wright

Many of us have MGs that are considered to be drivers. Cars that are not spotless and pristine, but good cars for the road and fun driving. It is to the owners of these T-type cars that this article is directed. You may also find this information to be useful for that old Volvo (like we have) that you continue to nurse along or even the lawnmower.

You can find almost anything on the Internet. When I run across something of interest, I file it away for future use. So, often, like in this article, I am not the originator of this info, merely the messenger. Please use appropriate safety precautions as you would with any chemicals or petroleum based fluids.

Waxoyl: This is a British product, which is quite good for its intended purpose. This is to apply a water resistant and rust curbing brew to the chassis and inner wing areas. It is probably the best thing out there for use in British cars, especially those with hidden areas such as later MGs. I cannot say that there is any drawback other than it’s cost. Since it is imported it gets to be fairly expensive. It comes in aerosol spray cans or a larger can like a big coffee can which you immerse in hot water for a while to liquefy it. With this size of the product you use a pump device to spray the liquefied waxy substance into the hidden areas and under wings etc. Rather heavy but works good and lasts a long time.

Home made rust treatment: This is something pulled off the Spridget list. It is called a recipe for an “old fashioned” rust treatment/undercoating.

  • 2.5 qts. Turpentine
  • 12 oz. Beeswax/candle wax
  • 1 qt. Light machine oil

Using a cheese shredder cut the wax into the turps. This takes a long time to dissolve so you might want to do this way ahead of when you plan on using it. Thin the solution with the light machine oil to a brushable, sprayable consistency. Try using a small hand spray bottle in places where you can get a good angle. If spraying you should consider doing this outside as the fumes might be irritating.

Home made rust treatment 2: This one I got from a friend on the MGA Twin Cam Egroup. This is a really cheap one to make and is supposed to be as effective as any.

  • 1 gal WD40 or similar
  • 1 wax toilet ring

Chop up and dissolve the toilet ring in the WD40 (some folks use kerosene). Apply as you would either of the above.

Here is what I use: I purchased a gal of WD40. I had an aerosol can of Waxoyl leftover from another car project I was working on. I put the WD40 in the small spray bottle and then I give it a healthy squirt of a couple of seconds of Waxoyl into the WD40 spray bottle. Shake it up and I then have what I consider to be a great cleaning up and protecting solvent that leaves a very thin coating of wax behind. One of my MGs is a 5400-mile original car. I have used this solution to clean the engine, oil pan, valve cover, chassis, suspension, underbody, splash panels, etc. I use it by spraying on first, then rubbing down with a rag. This removes oily dirt and most of the oil solution leaving the thin coating of protection. Back in the old days, like in the 30s or 40s, users of British motorcycles considered the bike to be well protected when wiped down with an oily rag. This was part of the cleanup procedure and offered a certain amount of protection and could be done anywhere because if you were riding one of these bikes, an oil rag was not something hard to come by. Now I am not suggesting that you treat your MG to this low level of treatment, but just pointing out where the practice came from and that using a solution as outlined above may well help to preserve your “T” until that next restoration.