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  Old cars under water, Worth Saving?

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Author Topic:   Old cars under water, Worth Saving?
Dave Witthoeft
Gearhead

Posts: 2426
From: IL.
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 09-04-2005 05:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Witthoeft   Click Here to Email Dave Witthoeft     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all the flood pictures on tv this week, I was thinking. How many clasic cars are unfortunatly under water. I understand life is more important than cars, So I supose this is more of a technical question. If a car sits under water for a couple of days, is it worth saving? or is it too late because of the salt water and chemicals and stuff? Would corvets fair better because they're fiberglass? or not realy? I'm sure it would take more than just hosing them off and getting an interior kit, But would it be worth it?

After we help our friends down south get their lives back in order. Maybe we can help them get thier cars back too.

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 7124
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-04-2005 06:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Every car that is under salt water is in reality, a goner. Every nook and cranny, every area where metal is overlapped, every wire connection, spings inside of seats, inside of frame rails. When I scabbed in new hinge pillars on my 66 cv, taking out the old pieces showed bare metal. If they haven't rusted by now, they soon will. There will be a lot of "swimmers" out there, as cars from flooded areas get moved around to different parts of the country, get exported, etc. Some good for parts. Corvettes have frames, same prob. A 64 Vette coupe that I bought and sold, in 75, at 11 years of age, had a rotting cage over the doors that was swelling from rust. Imagine trying to stop a condition like that after a saltwater soaking. In humid climates, that salt will keep on doing it's thing long after it was dried out, rinsed, etc. Possibly a dipping, after it was stripped, etc. Major bucks and still no assurance that it will be cured. Buyers beware. Sadly, a freshly restored car will be hard to detect if the "restorer" knows how to deal with an underwater car. Mentioned earlier about brand new cars. Be wary of any super "deals" on say an '05 Mustang.

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sigtauenus
Gearhead

Posts: 2927
From: Va Beach
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 09-04-2005 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigtauenus   Click Here to Email sigtauenus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, Pete I never even considered some of those points. I guess its pretty important that the insurance companies and anybody else processing these vehicles get the VIN information into Carfax to protect the rest of the country. The way this is going, some of these cars could be popping up for years.

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68F100
Gearhead

Posts: 2603
From: Burlington, Iowa
Registered: Oct 99

posted 09-04-2005 11:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 68F100   Click Here to Email 68F100     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When we had the flood of 93 here, there were a lot of cars that were under water along the Mississippi. Some of them still pop up every now and then. I don't know how many got shuffled to other parts of the country, but the ones I saw here had rot that you wouldn't believe. And in places that cars don't usually rust, even here in the rust belt.

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 44921
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 09-04-2005 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, stay away from those 'Program cars' for the next 5 years or so I'd think.

I think Pete is right on. Theoretically if someone were to take a drowned car and immediately disassembled it and neutralize it everywhere you might have a chance, but I wouldn't count on it. Even really high dollar cars may not be worth that kind of expense.

In this area around 1978 or 1979 we had a storm where a lot of cars were flooded and at the Buick dealership I was working the cars were pulled in and I remember the rule was any car that showed evidence of water above the 'belt area' were totalled by the insurance companies without argument. Virtually every car we looked at went to salvage, and I mean brand new LeSabres, Rivieras, and Cadillacs, some with less than 1000 miles. The insurance companies didn't want anything to do them, I was told they felt they'd get supplimental claims forever with those.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'05 Mercury Sable LS 3.0L DOHC 24V Duratech V6

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74merc
Gearhead

Posts: 1266
From: Demopolis AL
Registered: Jun 99

posted 09-05-2005 11:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 74merc   Click Here to Email 74merc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
belt area?
accessory belts?

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trashline
Gearhead

Posts: 1808
From: Levittown, Pa
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 09-06-2005 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trashline   Click Here to Email trashline     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 74merc:
belt area?
accessory belts?


most cars have like some kind of plastic rim all the way around a car. like a shopping cart bumper or something. Ithink

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88 thunderbird TC 2.3L
Gillis at 15 psi, walbro 255 lph fuel pump, Kirban at 39 psi, 3.73 8.8" rear, rebuilt head, brand new IHI

66 mustang 200ci 3 speed
Holley weber two barrel, msd 6A, 3.5 gears, 3.03 v8 three speed trans.

68 Fairlane 289 w/ auto
rusting away motor is going in the mustang

79 f150 300 3 onda tree
awaiting a new transmission

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 44921
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 09-06-2005 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 74merc:
belt area?
accessory belts?

The seat belt anchor area, mostly if the floors were flooded the cars were toast.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'05 Mercury Sable LS 3.0L DOHC 24V Duratech V6

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TomP
Gearhead

Posts: 6000
From: Delta BC Canada
Registered: Dec 99

posted 09-07-2005 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP   Click Here to Email TomP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wouldn't think they are an automatic goner. If it's salt water the salt needs to be rinsed out, best bet would be to dunk the thing in a fast moving river for a while . Any salt left behind would be bad news. In fresh water you'd need to dry everything and change all the fluids but if it's above the engine air intake you'd want to pull it all apart. It's also critical do so right away. Sitting for months won't help anything.

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