Very rusty rear axle.

  mrwoowoo 20:00 10 Mar 2011

I have seen a nice Ford transit van that i'm thinking of buying.
The only fault i can find (if you can call it that) is that it has a very rusty rear axle on the middle casing where the oil goes.
I know they can get rusty as they are underneath and exposed to the elements, but this ones very rusty.
Is this a concern or would it cause no problems as i assume the axle is thick heavy metal and therefore the rust would only affect the casing surface.

  WhiteTruckMan 20:23 10 Mar 2011

you are referring to the differential housing. Rusty ones are better than oily ones, as it usually indicates no oil leaks. But the housing is a substantial piece of metal, and if it was corroded enough to be compromised then the rest of the vehicle will be crumbling to dust by now.

But if it still bothers you, take a small screwdriver with you and try poking a hole in it.


  peter99co 20:48 10 Mar 2011

Probably been left in the long grass for a while.

  Quickbeam 20:53 10 Mar 2011

There's nothing unnatural about surface rust on an unpainted component.

  peter99co 20:56 10 Mar 2011

When you get it home you can paint it all silver like the firemen do with all their kit.

  SparkyJack 21:02 10 Mar 2011

Nothing more than lack of use and parked in a soggy location.
You should see that state some 'New' cars are in when moved from storage and before they wind up into the retail showroom.

  OTT_B 21:09 10 Mar 2011

If there's heavy corrosion on the rear diff then there's probably rust elsewhere. But you are right, the diff casing is quite thick and any corrosion is unlikely to have gone past the surface.

  STREETWORK 21:29 10 Mar 2011

I suppose that if the remaining vehicle non-painted componets are corrosion free it could be that the axle is a replacement from a donor vehcile, just a thought...

  Strawballs 22:54 10 Mar 2011

Rust to good metal is something like 15-1 so for 1mm of metal to be gone the rust will have to be 15mm thick

  mrwoowoo 00:49 11 Mar 2011

Some great answers here, as usual.
Thank you everyone. I will tick as resolved.

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