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Old 14-11-2017   #1
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Working under the car: your tips

Trying to get around all the obstacles here to finally get this done to the Panda.

I'd like to get the underneath completely coated in thick black Waxoyl. I've had a tin sitting for a year but every time I go to do it it either can't get the spray gun to work right or come across plastic parts underneath that surely due to their placement there's going to be untreated spots under them etc etc.


1. Working under the car.
We have one huge jack and some Axle stands. Is it any good to prop the car fully up, and even on four axle stands? or is this dangerous? Seems the only way to get good enough room under it to pay close attention.


2. Cleaning it.
How on earth am I going to clean the muck / oil / grit off the undercarriage? There must be fluids out there made for this, ones that work. And what sort of brushes / cloths / tools should I buy to do the job right and with minimal hassle.

3. Painting it on.
If I could magically get it clean enough, with enough clearance to work under it safely then can I just dab a paint brush into the Waxoyl and coat it on like there's no tomorrow? Is there anything to note here or to unbolt to make sure this is a good job. I was going to paint it up to the side sills of the car. Even it's it's noticeable from the side.

4. The Spray Applicator.
I let the tin sit in a bucket of boiling water but it still wouldn't go. Is it possible to spray Waxoyl on as a fine spray or am I doing it wrong? Seems handier to spray onto advanced shapes / small areas where a brush wouldn't fit.


My Panda is in remarkably good shape for it's age. It's still worth doing this I think. But every time I go near it I'm a lot more unprepared than I think and it's wasted time. Especially things like the spring cups etc.. such awkward shapes and positioning.

But some of you have assumably done this... what's your secret?
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Old 14-11-2017   #2
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

Personally a summer job, not to say it canít be done in the winter but itís so much easier, and the wax oil will spray and creep better in the warm, the cars easier to dry too. If the axle stands are fit for purpose and correct loading then they will be fine, as they get taller they get proportionally bigger/stronger, but you could do with it being at least 75cm off the floor, hire shops are good method. This is what Iíve done, Iím sure there are many methods, identify a window of opportunity when the car is not needed for a few days, get it as high as possible with out its wheels and arch liners and any other undertrays etc. Jet wash it, using appropriate eye protection as the whole duration under the car will result in everything in you face. Get it immaculate always ask is that as clean as it could be, if not clean it more, you know if itís clean. Let it dry, bronze wire brush any loose/surface rust etc, personally at this stage repair anything if it needs it, from welding to clips, cables, pipes etc. If something has gone rusty enough to consider the use of kurust, genolite, POR 15 etc if it is solid metal I clean it back as far as possible with out using anything more aggressive than a wire wheel then I spray the wax oil over that, I have had long term success like this and years ago if I used rust treatments it always created a barrier that then went flakey a few years later. I spray the bottom, and brush the arches, I use a long lance
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Old 14-11-2017   #3
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

For cavity sections and I have had vehicles that have been 25 years old when they received the treatment and they have never changed for years afterwards. I have also used tetroseal in a similar way with great success, I use masterguard in the cavities, it comes with a great lance. Every vehicle I have done like this I have ensured no welding will be require as once laced with a few mm of wax then itís a safe bet that it will catch lite very quickly when welding, fire watch definitely required. Also anything loose like original under seal etc needs to come off too, in essence no water traps anywhere, itís very messy too, so itís worth a couple of rolls of polythene, I have a couple of rolls 1.2m wise and 87m long, itís cheap and saves your drive etc.
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Old 14-11-2017   #4
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

For very deep rusted parts where the metal has expanded don't bother trying to wire brush it off its just a waste of time,hit the part with a hammer until it falls off then you can wire brush and treat.
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Old 14-11-2017   #5
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

Four axle stands are much better than two and a jack. Hydraulic jacks can drop, gently, or suddenly, so never work under a car on a jack only.

My advice, never work under any car unless someone else is nearby, if not with you, then someone who will check on you frequently.

To clean the underside, might work to jack up one side, so the car is tilted. Then pressure wash. Traffic film remover sprayed on first may well help. With the tilt, it should drain ok. Might then need to repeat with the opposite side raised.
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Old 15-11-2017   #6
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

I would also get friendly with a local 4x4 group as I am positive they will have a outdoor high lift ramp somewhere that you could use for beer tokens. Also great advice on everything you have asked about above. Remember that most of the things that you want to do are hateful to do in the winter.
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Old 15-11-2017   #7
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

Quote Originally Posted by Michael Dranfield View Post
For very deep rusted parts where the metal has expanded don't bother trying to wire brush it off its just a waste of time,hit the part with a hammer until it falls off then you can wire brush and treat.
Better still, cut all the rust away and work on clean metal only.
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Old 15-11-2017   #8
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
Four axle stands are much better than two and a jack. Hydraulic jacks can drop, gently, or suddenly, so never work under a car on a jack only.

My advice, never work under any car unless someone else is nearby, if not with you, then someone who will check on you frequently.

To clean the underside, might work to jack up one side, so the car is tilted. Then pressure wash. Traffic film remover sprayed on first may well help. With the tilt, it should drain ok. Might then need to repeat with the opposite side raised.
If like me and you have to work on your own keep your mobile phone next to you just in case anything does happen.Also in addition to using jack,axial stands stick anything you have under the car,I have a Tipo standing on axial stands with the rear beam removed a jack at the rear and an old windows tower computer underneath,never rely on just one thing.
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Old 16-11-2017   #9
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

If you've removed wheels, lie them under the car. Stops you tripping on them, and will support the car well if it slips off the jack or stands.
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Old 06-01-2018   #10
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

Done this on a couple of cars I loved deeply (Hillman Husky, the Imp based version and Daf 33 Combi van) - Oh yes, I know I have strange preferences!

First off, if you're giving this a go in winter then let me express my most sincere condolences! I only tried it in summer and even then it was a miserable task which I abandoned half way through. I found a local chassis cleaning company who specialised in Taxis (they have to be very clean for their MOT) This type of company will also have a HOT wash machine and access to aggressive cleaning products as well as staff who are familiar with the task - makes a much better job than I ever could. Just make sure they do a good, water only, rinse down to purge the chemicals. Cost me £20.00 for one and £30.00 for the other. I wouldn't even consider doing it myself now. Another winter problem is how to get the thing dry. In summer it will largely dry itself and you can always use a hair dryer or heat gun on seams if you think they need it.

As to applying the product. In those days I had a small compressor and underseal gun. The compressor only allowed a couple of minutes spray time between about 4 to 5 minutes recharging but it got the job done. Product sat in a pail of boiling water to softer before use. The potential to create the most unbelievable mess is very great and extraordinarily difficult to clean up if you do, so, as mentioned above, very large sheets of plastic or cheap tarps need to be deployed. I prefer to jack up on one side (so NS wheels on the ground. OS jacked up a long way - achieving maybe a 45 degree tilt) spray everything accessible, then reverse it and spray from the other side. You don't need to roll in the overspray (but you can if you really want the full experience! Boy does waxoil sting!) And you can get at everything. Again, as mentioned by others, lots of supplementary support is mandatory! I've got some nice long axle stands which get jammed under front and rear suspension arms on the elevated side. Don't spray it on exhaust parts, burns nicely! Or on brake discs/pads etc - for obvious reasons!

When you've finished you can feel very smug as you drive through puddles with careless abandon and revel in the relevant silence which all this "gloop" affords. Don't forget though that it's going to "leak" blobs wherever you park it for the next few days!

For me though, although I use rust preventing products in certain situations, I have, for some years now, tended not to go the 100% coating route due to how difficult it makes subsequent repairs. You have to get things awfully clean before MIG welding and it tends to melt and run down even then.

This thing about "belt and braces" supplementary support was brought home to me very forcibly just the other day in the countdown to Christmas. My youngest boy rang late in the afternoon to say he'd been warned for a blown headlamp bulb on his wife's '08 plate Jazz. He'd dropped her and daughter at the shopping centre and called at Halfords (who are ussualy very helpful in my experience) to have the bulb replaced. They sold him the bulb but couldn't fit it due to it being dark and difficulty to do. He had a quick look and beat a hasty path to my door!

Ok, agreed, not the easiest as you have to fold down the wheel arch liner to get access to the back of the lamp unit but Honda use some very nice reusable plastic rivets and it's not that hard! Despite a small elevation with my trolley jack I still couldn't quite get my arthritic hand to it so had to remove the wheel. Now, with car sitting on trolley jack pad, I removed the old bulb by feel (dark, remember?) Couldn't see where the new bulb needed to go, sent afore mentioned son into garage to get my battery COB light, he came trotting back and promptly fell over the jack handle!! Now normally I am obsessive about safety (for a while I taught basic mechanical skills many years ago) so why was I working on a car supported on jack alone? Well, it was only going to take a minute wasn't it! - IDIOT! - Anyway, when I switched the light on I could see that the jack pad had shifted and was only just taking the weight but worse was that my left leg was just far enough under the wheel arch - I was sitting on the ground by the OSF wheel arch - that it would have been crushed if the jack had just moved about an inch more! I wouldn't dream of doing a brake job or oil change on the jack alone, so that's a big wake up call!

Happy new year all. Hope all your motoring events are happy ones!
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Old 06-01-2018   #11
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

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Old 24-02-2018   #12
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

Happy new year all. Hope all your motoring events are happy ones!
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Old 24-02-2018   #13
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Re: Working under the car: your tips

....Chinese New Year...
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