L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Mitsubishi Delica L400 production commenced in 1994 -- After much anticipation, the L400 arrived on Canadian Soil in 2009!
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L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by dr_airtime »

Update - if you watch the videos on Fluid Film undercoating online you'll see that a lot of people are using these fluid film guns with a rubber hose on the end so you can get INSIDE THE FRAME and spray at tricky angles. I spend like 2 hours researching and then figured out that fluid film makes guns and sells kits that are the most reasonably priced.

I ended up buying Kit #2 with 2 gallons of fluid film, the pro gun, a flexible nozzle extension and the $12 pressure regulator. You only need 70-90 psi to spray and apparently an SUV can take about a gallon (same size as Delica) so I got two gallons to be sure. Shelf life on Fluid Film is unlimited. Talked to the FF guys and they highlly reccomended the pressure regulator.

Trick was the Canadian distributor was out of guns. This is the contact for future reference.


I ended up ordering from the US to my Sumas, WA mailbox across the border from fluid film since they don't ship to Canada. You order from here and I got Kit #2 with the pro gun upgrade.


Going to be around CAD 230 all-in, but I'll get a couple undercoats in over, say, 5 years with this. Will be a couple weeks before I'm cross border to pick gun up.

Since it's tough to get this all set-up I'm happy to lend/rent/beer my gun to another local Greater Vancouver L400 owner who also wants to try this out. PM me if you ever want to use it and the message should hit my gmail. I won't be done with my undercoat at this pace until the end of march/start of April.
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L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by dr_airtime »

I'm all set to do the Fluid Film undercoat on May 4/5 weekend with the Fluid Film gun & kit from the U.S.

Turns out there is some sort of pain already on some of the axles and frame parts, but whatever, I'll just give it the old college try and coat the bottom of my van with tons of fluid film.

I'll take a bunch of pics and perhaps start a new thread when I do it so others can see my experience.
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L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by jessef »

I've done fluid film and it's messy but the result is a year of rust free happiness !

I also went through stripping down, grinding rust/corrosion and welding to get an L400 back from the dead so to speak. I lost lots of money and time and would never repeat that again nor wish it upon anyone.

This is what I had to go through : viewtopic.php?f=64&t=10125&p=87799

Hopefully yours is in much better shape !
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L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by dr_airtime »

Finally, finally got around to the 20 year Fluid Film undercoat project yesterday.

Reason my Van was so rust free is that prior owner had foresite to paint the usually high-rust areas (rear axle, drive shaft) years ago so lucky for me Fluid Film was applied overtop this. This is why my Van is so rust free. got lucky.

This was a "garage' project I accomplished with the following tools. My delica took a full can of fluid film and I still have another full can (4 pints) in the kit I bought if anyone in Vancouver area wants to buy/borrow my kit. At least Poochike (might have that wrong) may also follow. Just PM me:

- Fluid Film kit with gun, rubber 2 foot extensor hose. Ordered from the US (link above in thread), picked up in the US. They don't ship to Canada.
- Set of Ramps
- Jack & jackstands
- Compressor and Hose rented from A&B Tool Rentals & Granville & 70th. This wasn't a water free "painting" compressor and had a bit of water inside but it doesn't really matter when your're blasting fluid film out.
- Small bottle of truck bed liner & paintbrush to paint the wheelweslls
- Drop sheets.

The fliud film gun needs 60-90 psi so I got a huge 125 psi compressor that I could set to 75 psi. The Air compressor was like 200 lbs so just left in the van for the job!

There is no way I'll do this again because of the work involved, but Vancouver is not that bad for rust so I'll probably just let the Jasper go now.

The fluid film gone with the nozzle is awesome and let''s you reach everywhere without having to move around when you're on the ground. You should not attempt this without the fluid film gun with the nozzle!

The fluid film adheres aweseome and doesn't spray around everythwere so not that dirty at all. I wore a painting mask for fumes but only wore glasses overtop about 50% of the time. No goggles needed.

Whole project took a day in between picking up compressor, setting up, painting, etc.

You basically just go nuts with fliud filme and coat every metal part and try not to get too much rubber. I coated the transmission and outside sleeve of the driveshaft, every metal joint event if there is rubber in there (CV's, etc)

Steps where as follows:

1) Individually jack up, jackstand**, and remove each wheel and a) paint high-wear wheelwells and "legs" that support axle with truck bed liner then b) fluid film every spot that was easy to reach while sitting down at wheel well. The truck bed liner is key here.

**Do not get under the car even when on jackstands if you don't want to make the Darwin List**

2) Drink first beer after this. It takes a while for all four wheels!

3) Then, Fluid FIlm the front of the underside by driving up on the ramps to give you a bit of moving room underneath.

4) Drink next beer

5) Drop the spare tire out

6) Back the car up the ramps to fuild film the back half. Save this for last as it is the easiest, most rewarding as you coat all the high rust areas, and easiest to access without having to move around as you get tired! Put the Van in 4WD to back it up! (rear wheel drive).

7) drink another beer

8) Paint the spare tire basket which is likely really rusty with truck bed liner as one of last steps.

9) I painted the front "bars" that support the bull/deer killer bars in front with most of the remaining truck bed liner.

10) Then, with the remaining truck bed liner left, I managed to coat all the "out of site" areas of the largest side step. These are the areas that collect rust so sealed em' up and left the main chrome bar intact which is still looking nice on mine. Tried a couple bolts to take off rubber part, but just like my L300 bolts where screaming "we're rusted in, gonna snap" so I didn't touch the rubber. I did this on my L300 and it worked great.

I ran out of the smallest bottle of truck bed liner I had before I could do the smallest step.

That's it! we'll see how she looks after next winter.

Pictures posted in reverse number file-name order unfortunately despite my attempts otherwise! Note the pre-existing black paint on the high rust areas in my Van. This was a long job so didn't take as many pictures as planned!
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L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by poochike »

Nice work!
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Re: L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by Blacksheeep »

Hello Delica Community,

Kind of resurrecting this topic a bit.

I've got a 1994 L400 with only about 65,000 km on it. I got it quite minty in 2017/18 with about 25,000 km on the clock with no rust (that I could see) or any other issues (except that I suspect my injection seal to be failing). It had a light rubberized undercoat applied upon arrival to try to protect it, although they didn't take the spare tire off during that process, leaving the rear bumper area vulnerable and some rust has started to form there.

Shortly after I got the van, I unloaded about 6 cans of Fluid Film into every body and frame access/drain hole I could find as well as any exposed metal, having been told in no uncertain terms that Rust Never Sleeps.

It did spend 1.5 winters outside in Terrace, but when back in the Okanagan it mostly lives in the garage or at least under a roof. I wash the underside often (more than the top) with the kind of feverish paranoia that Delica owners seem to inherit. It eats healthy, gets good exercise, has consistent fluid changes and takes regular baths. As far as being in a relationship with an inanimate object, it's going pretty well. Or so I thought.

I wanted to get big-time proactive with the rust prevention this year and maybe even remove the rubber undercoating (I feel like it can also hide rust beneath it) and get downright freaky with the Fluid Film and/or POR 15. Although some say if POR 15 is applied in a dynamic/high-stress area, cracks can form a let water get in underneath. Oh the joys of 2000 different expert opinions on the internet, but that's what I'm here for.

Long story long, I want to be able to see what’s going on if possible, especially after noticing the bolts in the battery tray turning colour.

Suspecting it has run down the vertical panels, I removed the wheels and fender lining to reveal that it had, in fact, collected under the tray and even eaten a nickel-sized hole in the metal. Classic.

The L/H frame rail is worse than the R/H side. Some surface rust also forming on the seam to the lookers left of the battery if under what looks to be hard to get to but not impossible hoses and lines.

A few curse words plus a podcast about co-dependency in relationships (ironically) later, I had the bull-bar and bumper assembly off. I was somewhat shocked and amazed that the front frame rails are just hollow and open to contamination...and sadly have some flaky rust happening inside of them as well. It looks like it is mostly just the paint flaking off so far. I'm trying to not panic and eat bannock, but knowing that this is the cancer of our vehicles I can't say that I'm super chill about it either.

I plan on having this rig for a long time, and certainly don't want to say that "the front fell off" due it being in the environment.

I’ve borrowed a borescope from a friend and plan on investigating further aft on the rails behind the engine and see what’s up. I’ll update on that when completed.

Now, I’m certainly not a mechanic. I’m a Basic Bro when it comes to my van (oil/air/fuel filters), checking/removing glow plugs etc. Although, what I lack in knowledge I can make for in enthusiasm, and have a few things going for me:

Time (and the associated elbow grease), ambition to learn about my van/learn new skills in general - reading this forum is very valuable - a heated garage, some tools, and capable friends with Landcruisers that are far away.

I’d like to be able to fix it myself, consequently learn something and maybe save a few bucks too that I can use later for other improvements.

However, I also realize that some jobs are better left to the professionals. There are people that hire me and my expertise because of the background/experience, and I’m willing to do the same here if needed.
While a shop may not necessarily “love” my van as much as I do, they may also do a better job because that’s what they’re good at.

Ideally, it would be great to find someone nearby that did this kind of work and is now retired, loves Delicas and wants to pass on their knowledge, has a lift and is totally cool with just having someone else's vehicle on it during COVID and prefers to get paid in beer, crepes or eggs benny.

Chances are pretty slim, but…gotta dream.

So my question is:

1) Tackle it myself even if it’s a crappy job to do, and hope for the best.
2) Take it to a shop, pay a bunch of money and hope for the best.

I’ll see if I can attach some photos for context, but not having a lot of luck so far. Without them, it's hard to tell how good/bad it is, but I'll keep trying.

I'm also incubating an Espar D5 with altitude kit that I've had for a while and threatened to install for years. Other future mods I’d like to entertain is a properly installed 2” lift and slightly bigger tires that are less likely to be swallowed by potholes, plus some other mods to the shocks/springs to handle a camper set-up a bit better, but those are further down the road. Espar is top of the list for this winter for going touring.

*IF* I end up doing this work myself and have the van down for a month or so, are there other things I should tackle while it’s all apart and up on blocks? Espar makes sense to me with easy access to the rad and engine etc.

The intercooler and battery are out right now too in order to remove the battery tray (bolts currently soaking in "Deep Creep"…what a name, holy scheisse!). Should I go the extra mile right now and take the injection pump off and replace the seal, or just live with it for now?

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post. I know there's a lot of ins 'n outs, a lot of what-have-you's.

Looking forward to some input either here or via PM.

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Re: L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by Blacksheeep »

Hopefully these photos come through.
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Posts: 8
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Re: L400 Frame Rust Removal / Converting / Preventing

Post by Blacksheeep »

1) L/H underside of battery compartment. Rusted horn visible. Top view: photo #6.
2) R/H Frame rail.
3) L/H Frame rail, lower deck.
4) L/H Frame rail, upper deck and roof of it.
5) L/H side behind bumper.
6) The hole in front of the battery tray.
7) Seam going back towards firewall.
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