...than it is to rust, isn't that the way the song goes?
The Earthf**ker is showing its age. I noticed over the weekend that one of the tiny rust spots I saw over the summer is getting larger, about the size of a quarter now. This is not good. I'm supremely disappointed that my 2007 Dodge Ram is sprouting rot holes not even eight years into ownership. I expected that from the execrable cars of the 1980s. Not so much from a vehicle made well into the 2000s.
With that said, though, there's a few things that can be done. I can bring it to a body shop, have it ground down, refinished and repainted. Probably set me back a couple grand or so; I haven't priced a body shop in a while. Both rear fenders are showing spots, so both sides; the front fenders appear okay, but obviously will be on the horizon. If I were planning on keeping the truck another 6-8 years this is a not-terrible plan - even $2K is only a few months' car payments.
Another thought is fender flares. A quick look finds these, which are on Amazon for close to $500:
A peek at the instructions and it looks like a job that I could tackle myself easy enough; of course I'd want to treat the metal underneath before putting the flares on. How to accomplish that ranges from a full sand and bondo to literally just spraying clear coat and calling it done. The Earthf**ker is 8 years old and has close to 100K on the clock. I can't see keeping it more than half again as long; while the motor might hold up longer, Dodge is infamous for poor transmissions.
And, honestly, if it's starting to rot through in 8 years, I'm wondering what other corners were cut.
Right now it's running good, and I really do enjoy not having a car payment. I know that, left untreated, the small rust spots will blossom into full-blown rot holes and worse, so it's something that should be addressed in the early stages. This is a weird place for me to be; usually I've owned cars that were more rust than metal to begin with; I'm not used to having owned one vehicle so long that the body started to deteriorate. Letting the rust go is a short-term strategy; I think if I were planning on getting rid of the truck within a year I might just continue ignoring the problem.
Nothing's going to happen soon; I'd rather wait until spring and get another winter out of the way first. I might swing into a local body shop and see if they can give a quick estimate first - I'd prefer to stop the rust and get a full assessment of what kind of spread I'm looking at, too. If it's worse underneath than at the exterior, then I may just leave it be and start shopping for the replacement.
But damn, I'd like to hold onto the Earthf**ker a bit longer...
That is all.