MG-Rover.org Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
2003 MG ZR 160
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As per the title really. I ventured out to a local scrappy today to pick up many sundry parts for my 2003 ZR, stripped off another 2003 ZR. This car was in poor condition with rust on the wheelarches but not very extensive looking. However, it got me thinking - everyone I have spoken to says that the 25/ZR is not too bad for rust, and from a cursory inspection the floor/suspension mounting points all seemed solid. However I undid the rear clips to the side skirt and pulled it away from the car a couple of inches, enough to get my hand inside, and I was able to push my finger straight through the outer sill like papier mache. There was another (low mileage) 25 without side skirts in the scrappy too so I had a look at that and the sill was just fine, albeit the metal in the outer sill is very, very thin.

Is it the case that most cars wearing side skirts will now be rotten behind them on the outer sill? Has anyone been brave enough to look?!?
 

·
Registered
2003 MG ZR 160
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I saw replacements sills were available. However I will not be disturbing the side skirts on my car for the time being. In the UK the MOT tester is not allowed to remove parts for our roadworthiness test so best to leave as it is. My car is nowhere near as rusty as the one in the scrappy, but it is obvious that it would not take much trapped moisture (or much time) to eat through the paper thin outer sills. The obvious counterpoint to this is that they can hardly be adding much strength to the inner sill which is constructed of much heavier material.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,711 Posts
If your outer sills are corroded changes are the inner panel is as well since they rot from the inside out
 

·
Registered
2003 MG ZR 160
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi John, my inner sills are fine, I can easily see them from underneath and poke them with my screwdriver. They are made of relatively thick steel and are solid. The outer sill (on the other side of the seam) is completely covered by the side skirts and is made of much thinner material. On my car the outer sills are solid adjacent to the jacking points but obviously without removing the skirts it is impossible to tell what the rest of them are like. However on the car in the scrappy they were completely gone behind the skirts, even thought the inner sills were solid.
 

·
Registered
2006 MG ZR +120 (HQM) 2004 MG ZR 105 (IAB)
Joined
·
9,093 Posts
The fitment of the side skirts has little or no bearing on the rusting of the sills - they do rust from within. The skirts do however cover up the initial signs that a problem is developing and so you don't know until it has become a major issue.

Whilst I have seen a number of pictures on forums of R3 with gaping holes in the sills, I have as yet not come across one with holes in the sills in a breakers, so I do not believe it is universal problem.

As Roverlike has already mentioned, there is a chap in the Midlands who has manufactures some replacement sill panels, including a replacement for the lower front part of the inner wheelarch/sill end panel (which is often where the rust starts and then spreads into and along the sill). He has the outer sill panels available in various lengths, so you only need to buy as long a piece as is necessary for your repair rather than have to buy a complete sill. His eBay user name is peasantslife and a link to his listings is here: Items for sale by peasantslife | eBay.

On both my own ZRs, I have done a lot of de-rusting and painting/protecting underneath - the back of the outer sill flange, and in the tops of the suspension turrets being two places where rust is particularly prone to develop, and whilst in the wheelarches removed the plastic grommets from the inspection holes in the sill end panels at both ends and sprayed a good quantity of waxoyl into the sills, which will hopefully help prevent/slow any rust development. The Mk2 was only 6 years old when I did this, and there was little or no surface rust visible through the inspection holes. The Mk1 was 12 years old when I carried out the same operation, and there was visible surface rust apparent within the end of the sill, but not particularly extensive or deep, so I hope the waxoyl treatment will have caught this soon enough.

So, to answer your question, no not all ZR sills are rotten. Not even most at present, but obviously as time goes on it is likely to become more of an issue (as indeed, rotten sills become a problem on most old and classic cars at some point, not just Rovers ;)). Serious rust on 25s and ZRs is mainly confined to those which have been neglected and/or mistreated and those that have been well cared for and kept up to scratch are in the main pretty rust free.
 

·
Registered
ROVER 25 and a ROVER CABRIOLET
Joined
·
35,746 Posts
At the end of the day these cars have been about since 1995, 1999 for the 25/ZR, unlike some cars the 200/25/ZR are quite good when it comes to rust but they newer they are the less rust prevention they got thanks to 'Project Drive' and the cost cutting, personally the only areas I regularly see rust is the front wing arches but as its a bolt on panel its not too bad of an issue to fix, then just at the base of the rear arches, mine does have some sill rot but only because it had a bad respray.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top