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Old 07-15-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
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Application of Fluid Film

There has been many discussions on how to make the Tacoma frame more rust proof/rust resistance...and many opinions/arguments on what is best. This thread is NOT about that. I'm writing this simply to explain how I applied Fluid Film to the frame from the one gallon can.

If you know of other places the 2nd Gen Tacoma tends to rust, please add your experience to this thread: 2nd Gen potential rust


The first thing you should do is thoroughly wash the underside of your truck. I use a long reach, water wand type sprayer*. Use high pressure, try to blast out any places that sand and dirt accumulate, and let it dry at least overnight. If you already have light rust spots on your frame or floorboards that you want to deal with, now is the time to do it. I used a wire brush to knock off the loose paint and surface rust. Then I wiped that area with a denim rag (you want something tough that won't fall apart) that was wet with Prep All* to remove contaminants so I had a good surface for the new paint. I then gave these areas a shot of Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator* in flat black on the frame, silver on the floor boards. This is also a good time to protect fully boxed in section of your frame; it's not easy but if you are going to do it, do it now before you apply the Fluid Film. I used Eastwood's Internal Frame Coating*. Before any painting you want to put down a drop cloth to keep drips of paint off the driveway. After allowing the paint to completely dry you can finally start on the Fluid Film application.

Of course the easiest way to apply Fluid Film would be to buy a bunch of the aerosol cans and go to town. But since it was significantly cheaper in the gallon can, that's what I bought. I got mine from a local lawn mower supply/feed store but there are plenty of sources online including http://www.kellsportproducts.com/ . Bob Smith from Kellsport Products is offering TW members a really nice discount:
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Originally Posted by bob1008 View Post
As a small "thank you" for your interest in Fluid Film, we will offer all TacomaWorld members a 15% discount on all Fluid Film Products. Simply enter coupon code "tacoma" at checkout, and your discount will be applied.
To apply, you can spray it or spread it with a brush. I felt that spreading it with a brush would take too long and would not get into as many nooks and crannies as a spray could get. Fluid Film is thick and clingy, similar to Vaseline, which makes it great for rustproofing, but difficult to spray:



I have read that you can apply it with spray guns made for household paint (like those electric Wagner sprayers) or undercoating guns*. I had neither of those so I tried a different method: warming it up. Surprisingly, Fluid Film thins nicely when warm and doesn't require much heat to spray from a handheld spray bottle. Hot water was my source of heat for warming the Fluid Film; I took a large Pyrex bowl from the kitchen, filled it with water and placed it in the microwave until it boiled. Gotta be careful pulling this out and taking it outside...use heat proof gloves or pads. You could dunk the entire gallon can of Fluid Film into the hot water, but since you don't need that much, a smaller amount is easier. I used an disposable container to scoop some Fluid Film into a rusty old pot and then dipped that pot into the hot water. In other words I made a double boiler. I don't have pictures of the entire process (give me a break, my hands were full), but I do have:




I believe you could use an electric hot plate, electric stove, heat gun, potpourri heater...whatever you got. If you try something different feel free to post what did or didn't work. I wish I could tell you exactly how warm to get the Fluid Film, but I just don't know. I got it warm enough to flow like tomato soup, but not so warm as to melt the bottle or it's pump. I suggest you try it as soon as it's warm enough to pour through a funnel into your spray bottle; if that isn't thin enough to spray then dunk the bottle into the hot water to get the Fluid Film warmer. Speaking of my spray bottle, I used a "horse sprayer" purchased at the same shop I bought the Fluid Film from:



A disposable old Windex spray bottle may work, but I suspect it won't take as much heat as this reusable version will. As the Fluid Film changes temperature it will spray differently from your sprayer. Once I got the temperature/spray pattern the way I wanted it, I parked the truck in the grass to keep overspray off the driveway, and just started spraying the frame and body. You will have to occasionally stop to reheat your spray bottle. Again, how much heat your bottle can take without melting may vary. I stayed away from the exhaust (that will stink), the plastic bed & fuel tank (a waste of Fluid Film), the drivetrain (didn't want to attract dirt to those parts), and the brakes. I suggest you open the hood as there are parts of the frame only accessible from the engine compartment. Spray behind the fenders and in the wheel wells. I plan on putting some along the bottom edge of the inside of the doors and tailgate next time the panels are off.

I think this first coat needs to be the heaviest to make sure there is plenty of that Fluid Film "creep" which makes it so good at protecting places you can't reach or even see. And even with this heavy first coat, I used only about 1/3 of the gallon can. The yearly re-applications will probably require less Fluid Film since there will still be a lot left on the frame from the previous application.


*********** The asterisks (further explanation of things mentioned above) **************

* The long reach, multi pattern sprayer/water wand was purchased at Lowes for around $10 but are available at lots of hardware/outdoor shops. I recommend everyone living in a rust prone area buy one. It makes it very easy to do a really good job of washing the underside of ALL your vehicles. And keeps you from doing a lot of bending over in the process.

* Prep All is available from many sources. Check your local Home Depot, Lowes, auto parts store, etc...even if they don't have this particular brand, they will have something that is designed to remove all wax, silicone, grease, etc. before painting.

*Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator is one of many choices you have for paint. Por15 is another popular choice. You could use the brush on or aerosol; I used aerosol.

*Eastwood's Internal Frame Coating is one of many choices you have to coat the inside of the fully boxed (front) section of the Tacoma frame. I have no previous experience with this product but it comes with a 2 foot long tube that has a 360 degree nozzle at the end. With all the small holes in this part of the frame, I was able to thoroughly coat the entire length of the boxed frame and one can was more than enough for the Tacoma. I was pleased with the results, but only time will tell if it works well.

*Undercoating guns can be purchased from various places such as Eastwood or Kellsport Products. If you go this route consider using it to coat the inside of the boxed section of the frame with Fluid Film. There is more advice from people who have experience spraying Fluid Film from undercoating guns and regular paint guns, read through the second page to get their advice. If you try it, please post your results.

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Old 07-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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I did the original application in November of 2011. As of June of 2012 there is still a film of protection everywhere I originally sprayed it. The only places where the Fluid Film has noticeably worn is the section of the frame that hangs the lowest, directly in the air/rain that flows under the truck. The inside of the frame and the floor boards look almost as good as the day I applied it, albeit dirtier as the Fluid Film does get dirt stuck in it.

A few pictures of the frame right after Fluid Film application in November of 2011, right before winter:

. . .

And a few in May of 2012, after winter:

. .


July 15, 2012:

. .

April 15, 2013:

.
.
.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:10 AM   #4
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Nicely done! We've still got samples of Fluid Film for members who haven't tried it and live in the US. Just PM me for a free trial!
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:23 AM   #5
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Good write up man. I hope to do this before winter this year. We don't usually get a lot of snow around here but when we do they are very generous with the salt/sand on the roads.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano50 View Post
Nicely done! We've still got samples of Fluid Film for members who haven't tried it and live in the US. Just PM me for a free trial!
Is the product available for purchase in Canada ?
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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Is the product available for purchase in Canada ?
Yes. Canadian Tire, TSC, John Deere, Princess Auto, Aucklands Grainger all carry it!
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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Yes. Canadian Tire, TSC, John Deere, Princess Auto, Aucklands Grainger all carry it!
Thank you
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:49 PM   #9
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I've used a product I get through work to undercoat all of my vehicles. Although chemically different from Fluid Film, it behaves in almost exactly the same way so my experience is somewhat pertinent.

For flat surfaces that are easy to get to, a 2" paint roller works great. However the Tacoma frame is anything but easy to get to, so I've done several other things. I've never heated my product so can't comment about that.

1) Airless sprayer. Graco is a common manufacturer. You drop the intake right into your bucket of product (My product comes in 5 gal buckets, Thin Film may be the same) and turn your pressure to about 1,500 PSI. Use a .017-.019 tip with a narrow fan width, such as a Graco LTX217 tip. Then just spray away.

2) HVLP paint gun (pot fed, not gravity feed). Use a high pot pressure (About 40 PSI and medium gun pressure and a large tip (Such as a #5 tip from Capspray) that would normally be designed for epoxies. Use an oval fan pattern.

3) Undercoating spray guns (which run off 100 PSI compressor air lines) work OK but they don't atomize well and leave a bad splatter effect. Good for getting into boxed frame areas with extended wands though.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbadwrench View Post
... my experience is somewhat pertinent.

For flat surfaces that are easy to get to, a 2" paint roller works great. However the Tacoma frame is anything but easy to get to, so I've done several other things. I've never heated my product so can't comment about that.

1) Airless sprayer. Graco is a common manufacturer. You drop the intake right into your bucket of product (My product comes in 5 gal buckets, Thin Film may be the same) and turn your pressure to about 1,500 PSI. Use a .017-.019 tip with a narrow fan width, such as a Graco LTX217 tip. Then just spray away.

2) HVLP paint gun (pot fed, not gravity feed). Use a high pot pressure (About 40 PSI and medium gun pressure and a large tip (Such as a #5 tip from Capspray) that would normally be designed for epoxies. Use an oval fan pattern.

3) Undercoating spray guns (which run off 100 PSI compressor air lines) work OK but they don't atomize well and leave a bad splatter effect. Good for getting into boxed frame areas with extended wands though.
Thanks for sharing your experience; the more the better. I'd especially like someone to try #3 with Fluid Film since undercoating guns are cheap. #1 and #2 are not so cheap unless you already have one for other projects.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:08 AM   #11
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Just applied Fluid Film to an old rusty shot gun---AMAZING--rust WIPED right off.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:12 AM   #12
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great write up thanks
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:12 AM   #13
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Eventually when I do mine I was thinking of trying this route:
http://www.theruststore.com/Undercoa...m-P216C67.aspx
It looks a hell of a lot less complicated and time consuming. I prob wont have time to do mine till fall though but will definitely get it done before winter.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:18 AM   #14
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Great write up

I've got this on my list of things to do. I'm thinking about buying this kit and going to town this fall:
http://www.kellsportproducts.com/fluidfilmkits.html
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #15
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Fluid film is awesome for many uses.

I buy the spray cans when on sale at TSC for $9.99(reg $14.99)

I use it for everything with the exception of a sexual lubricant!!!...girlfriend won't let me try that!!
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I'm thinking about buying this kit and going to town this fall:
http://www.kellsportproducts.com/fluidfilmkits.html
That's a good deal. I like that extension wand w/360 degree nozzle for the aerosol can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontarioyota View Post
Fluid film is awesome for many uses. I use it for everything with the exception of a sexual lubricant!!!...girlfriend won't let me try that!!
Ummmm, that's just wrong in so many ways. You do know that Fluid Film is based on lanolin, which comes from sheep. You really want to be smelling sheep when with your girlfriend????
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by BBYE V8 View Post
Ummmm, that's just wrong in so many ways. You do know that Fluid Film is based on lanolin, which comes from sheep. You really want to be smelling sheep when with your girlfriend????
But at it'll keep things from getting rusty down there
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBYE V8 View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience; the more the better. I'd especially like someone to try #3 with Fluid Film since undercoating guns are cheap. #1 and #2 are not so cheap unless you already have one for other projects.

Edit: I just searched Harbor Freight and found that they have HVLP spray guns for $15. Although I have no idea if they would work well. Any thoughts about those?
Hi,

I took a quick look around Harbor Freight, and I'm not sure which spray guns you are specifically looking at, but at $15 they are likely gravity feed guns, which won't work with thick products like Fluid Film. You need a pressurized feed pot.

However, I just did a quick search on Amazon and found the undercoating gun I own and have used many times, for $64. It's a very high quality unit. However like I said before, with fluids like Fluid Film, it does tend to splatter badly instead of leaving an even spray film like a paint gun would.

http://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Aut...sim_sbs_auto_4
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Great write up

I've got this on my list of things to do. I'm thinking about buying this kit and going to town this fall:
http://www.kellsportproducts.com/fluidfilmkits.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbadwrench View Post
Hi,

I took a quick look around Harbor Freight, and I'm not sure which spray guns you are specifically looking at, but at $15 they are likely gravity feed guns, which won't work with thick products like Fluid Film. You need a pressurized feed pot.

However, I just did a quick search on Amazon and found the undercoating gun I own and have used many times, for $64. It's a very high quality unit. However like I said before, with fluids like Fluid Film, it does tend to splatter badly instead of leaving an even spray film like a paint gun would.

http://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Aut...sim_sbs_auto_4
Look at the kit in the link I posted above. It's $79, free shipping and comes with a gallone of fluid film, a pressure pot style gun, a can of fluid film for touch ups and a touch up brush.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #20
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Pugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Name: Mike
Joined: Jun 2010, #39131
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Posts: 27,308
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I used the Fluid Film on my chrome rear bumper and it came out great! I followed Dan50's advice and applied it like wax. The only thing is, don't apply it as liberally as wax, it doesn't wipe off as cleanly as a wax does. Use just a little bit and it'll polish up to a nice mirror shine

I've got pics in my build thread.
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