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jere
jere HalfDork
1/22/14 1:07 p.m.

Looking at getting a Saturn wagon in a few months, but not one from the rust belt. How far south do i have to look to find cars that aren't infected with the rust cancer? I have bought a car from NC before but it was a fairly unnerving ride home. (The car would randomly loose power...) So I want to know where that magical border of the land of non rusting cars is and shorten the trip. Anyone?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
1/22/14 1:13 p.m.

I dunno exactly where it is, but it's north of central Virginia. I never heard of cars rusting since the 1970's until I started corresponding with you folks. Well, at least not until all the paint goes away and the surface rust starts. I wouldn't expect to find any significant rusting on anything younger than 20 years. Naturally, that excludes cars with collision damage or horrendously negligent owners.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
1/22/14 1:19 p.m.

No such thing!

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/build-thread-for-the-72-gmc-finally-thanks-john/59103/page1/

From Virginia

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
1/22/14 1:23 p.m.

In reply to tuna55:

Dude! That thing is old. And cab corners don't count. I've got little holes through my '85 C-30 cab corners. Door and/or window seals leak a little and the water runs down and stays there. And trucks generally see a lot less time in a garage or under a carport than cars.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
1/22/14 1:27 p.m.
1988RedT2 wrote: In reply to tuna55: Dude! That thing is old. And cab corners don't count. I've got little holes through my '85 C-30 cab corners. Door and/or window seals leak a little and the water runs down and stays there. And trucks generally see a lot less time in a garage or under a carport than cars.

OK, How about the top of the front bed panel?

captdownshift
captdownshift Reader
1/22/14 1:27 p.m.

depending on altitute and proximity to the coast and salt air as well

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
1/22/14 2:34 p.m.

I'd say there's no border, per se, just a gradiant. I'm in southern Ohio, and down here, cars don't seem to rust anywhere near as fast as whats in Cleveland, but 100 miles south in Lexington, I see rust-free or low-rust cars that would normally be rotting hulks in Cincy. And then there's Atlanta...

Plus, as mentioned above, proximity to the ocean can be an issue. A Florida car that lived in Orlando is probably going to be really nice, but if it was in Daytona or Cocoa Beach, its a crapshoot. Could be fine if it was a few miles from the coast, but some of the stuff that lives a few hundred feet from the beach is scary.

EDIT: IIRC, some places are using some "new" formula for keeping the roads from icing up that seems to be way more corrosive than regular road salt. I want to say its mostly confined to PA and farther north and east, but I really don't know.

FranktheTank
FranktheTank HalfDork
1/22/14 2:43 p.m.

Ky has held some of the most rust free vehicles I've ever owned, granted %80 of my vehicles have come from here. I bought a truck from PA that was a low rust vehicle, I about died when i crawled under it the first time... the rust made my head reel and i sold it.

My brother is a state worker and he said its all according to what they use on their roads and relation to the ocean. We agreed Ky wasn't that bad or TN, Alabama areas (typically) Indiana has produced some nightmare lessons in rust for me a time or two.

Basically after talking he said to go to Kansas. lol

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
1/22/14 2:49 p.m.

Saturns have pretty good rust protection on them, and the body obviously doesn't rust. The only part I'd worry about is the rear door jambs, which will be susceptible north of central VA, due to a weatherstripping/trim issue. This is usually just 1st gen cars.

The sub-frames can rust in Michigan and similar states with high sodium content, but its still pretty robust and takes a long time for it to happen. Then again, we're talking about 20 year old cars, so it's probably not uncommon at this point. Subframes are easily swapped from a junkyard donor, so its not the end of the world if there is rust.

I can't imagine finding rust on one here in NC.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UberDork
1/22/14 3:10 p.m.

I think SC and NC below the Blue Ridge Mts is as far north as I want to go. But, I seen plenty of rusty cars that were never out of this area or seldom in snow (some I've even owned).

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler Dork
1/22/14 3:17 p.m.

So, say a guy from Michigan wants to fly-and-drive somewhere to buy a rust-free example of a reasonably common car. Proximity to a major airport is an obvious plus, as is a large metro area with enough population to ensure a decent variety to choose from. Is Atlanta the obvious answer? Any other large southern cities worth a look like DFW or one of the big towns in Florida? Keeping in mind that those would entail a longer drive than Atlanta, which is less than 12 hours from SE Michigan.

John Brown
John Brown MegaDork
1/22/14 3:22 p.m.

Atlanta is always the answer.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UberDork
1/22/14 3:22 p.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: Is Atlanta the obvious answer?

Well hell yes!

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UberDork
1/22/14 3:28 p.m.

I've see some really good stuff in Montana. Cold but very dry. City cars often are worse due to extra road salt vs. one out in the country regardless of area. South of the Ohio river is a good place to start.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks PowerDork
1/22/14 3:36 p.m.
FranktheTank wrote: Basically after talking he said to go to Kansas. lol

Kansas is known for its salt mines...just sayin'

Missouri has rusty cars. This, I know.

It seems you need to go farther west to get good ones. The arid climes. When we go to Colorado, I notice cars in Denver are rusty...but up in the mountain towns, not so much. I'm fairly certain (as noted above) it's due to the use of salt on the roads.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/22/14 3:38 p.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: So, say a guy from Michigan wants to fly-and-drive somewhere to buy a rust-free example of a reasonably common car. Proximity to a major airport is an obvious plus, as is a large metro area with enough population to ensure a decent variety to choose from. Is Atlanta the obvious answer? Any other large southern cities worth a look like DFW or one of the big towns in Florida? Keeping in mind that those would entail a longer drive than Atlanta, which is less than 12 hours from SE Michigan.

Southern California. Any of it.

Bonus points for getting sweetheart deals on cars simply because they will no longer pass smog.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy PowerDork
1/22/14 3:40 p.m.

Weirdly enough, north/south doesn't seem to have that much to do with it. It snows all the time in Oregon and Washington yet cars survive there unlike anywhere else in the north, both due to the mild climate and the decision not to use salt on the roads in the winter.

curtis73
curtis73 UltraDork
1/22/14 3:47 p.m.

As long as you're on the Piedmont and not inland in the mountains, Virginia seems to do well. Some of the worst I've seen is in the Smoky Mountains. Its almost as if the southern "OMG, it might snow, break out the salt" combines with the actual need for salt and they tend to overdo it. Eastern coast is hit or miss. There is a lot of salt in the air from the ocean (more than the west coast due to ocean temps) and it can make problems. One of the rustiest cars I ever saw came from Daytona Beach.

I like Atlanta, Austin/Dallas, and L.A. They seem to offer the greatest selection/price/rust.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
1/22/14 3:59 p.m.

As touched, it matters more on salt exposure. Another factor is moisture exposure. If you get the magic combination of persistant moisture and heavy salting in winter, RUN.

I will add this. Stay FAR FAR away from Western Maryland cars. West Virginia is also AVOID. Mountains in the east that see snow mean salt exposure and the mountains can mean pockets of sustained moisture. I have a friend who lives in an area where rust kills cars within 3 years if they are driven in snow. (he tends to buy junk like k-cars though)

Downstate Maryland isnt too bad, but it depends on where they drive to. Southern Ohio, not horrible, not great... our cars there had minor rusting (91 Aerostar had minor rocker-ish rust bubbles noticed in 2004)

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
1/22/14 4:04 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: No such thing! http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/build-thread-for-the-72-gmc-finally-thanks-john/59103/page1/ From Virginia

My parents had a '75 Chevy Custom Deluxe 10 that they drove off of the dealer lot new. By '77 is was rusting like crazy. I would never go by "rust belt" when it comes to that generation of GM trucks

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
1/22/14 4:27 p.m.

IMO, anything south of I64, as a rough guide.

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
1/22/14 4:49 p.m.

One's opinion of what is considered rusty is colored by one's one experience.

Ergo, the border is always just a little bit south of where you are.

My opinion - cars don't rust south of Columbus or north of Toledo. You know the "learn me Loyale" thread where everyone says rust rust rust? I went to Sno*Drift one year and there was an immaculate yet lifted DL hanging around the rally. Go far enough north and it gets so cold that salt doesn't work so they don't bother.

I bought a fairly clean old VW from Detroit, which dissolved while I watched once removed from the protective cold of Michigan. (It's funny. It has hood pins because the front of the hood rusted away, and the rear windows are covered with salt on the INSIDE from all of the salt spray from the non-fenders. We shan't speak of what is happening to the interior wiring harness due to the salt.) I bought a very clean old Mazda out of Wisconsin, which is slowly but surely dissolving despite my precautions of never driving it when the roads are salted. Except for that ONE TIME because rallycross.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
1/22/14 4:50 p.m.

I've also been told to be careful with cars from the desert, its dry so they won't rot, but its also dusty and dust hold moisture. So don't forget to rise and oil cavities.

evildky
evildky Dork
1/22/14 5:14 p.m.
FranktheTank wrote: Ky has held some of the most rust free vehicles I've ever owned, granted %80 of my vehicles have come from here. I bought a truck from PA that was a low rust vehicle, I about died when i crawled under it the first time... the rust made my head reel and i sold it. My brother is a state worker and he said its all according to what they use on their roads and relation to the ocean. We agreed Ky wasn't that bad or TN, Alabama areas (typically) Indiana has produced some nightmare lessons in rust for me a time or two. Basically after talking he said to go to Kansas. lol

I'm gonna have to disagree. I live in KY and we use lots of salt and everything rusts here.

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
1/22/14 5:21 p.m.

In reply to evildky:

That's because you live in/around Loser, errrrr, Louisville.

Unless it is because of absolute owner neglect, the vehicles over here in Pike Co don't rust. Same way for 90% of what runs around Lexington.

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