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GML posted recently in another thread that the Metris used fully galvanized panels, and that this should discourage an owner from drilling holes in the interior (for mounting paneling, etc) because without proper sealing, it would be a point of entry for rust. This caught my eye, as I had planned to do my own paneling, using luan plywood, held by stainless screws and trim washers.



I did a little reading on this subject this morning, and find that auto companies use a combination of steel sheet galvanized on one or both sides to form body panels, as well "dipping" a completed body piece. Also that galvanizing a metal surface contributed to poor paint adhesion, and that in the case of door panels, the galvanizing might be done on the interior side of the sheet metal only.



Does anyone know how the galvanizing is done on the Metris as part of the construction and assembly of the vehicle? In particular, is the ribbing on the interior of the cargo/passenger area zinc-coated in some way?
 

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It's a work van and you're going to drill it at some point, right? I installed 1/4 20 Riv-nuts at most attachment points for added strength and ease of removal for repair and maintenance. All holes received a pre-coat of auto white touchup paint before and nuts/screws were installed. What more can you do?
You may want to put down furring strips across the structural members plus spacers to put everything on plane first. That can be dome with minimal attachment points so you can then drill, screw or nail to your hearts content to add your paneling. To avoid unsightly hardware I attached my panels with maximum strength 3M Velcro; the stuff is strong.
 

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Paint the metal or use a non drying sealer when installing rivets. If you eliminate oxygen you wont have rust. Plastic panel nuts can be used to avoid galvanic corrosion from dissimilar metals.
 

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There is definitely something odd about the (steel + protections) that MB uses in these vans.

They are surprisingly susceptible to rust compared to what you would expect from a vehicle that is made from galvanized components.

Is that supposed to be a hot dipped galvanized coating (molten zinc) or a paint type primer coating?
 

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On the Mercedes Upfitter portal, there is a document in the BEG section that discusses measures to take to prevent corrosion after modifying elements of the chassis. It also has a lot of information on where you can drill/cut and where not to. I would post the link, but I'm not allowed apparently.
 

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Mine has been through a raging Michigan salty winter (one of the worst winters in years) and there's not a speck of corrosion on it anywhere. I do send it through the car wash 1-2 times a week when its real bad.
 

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On the Mercedes Upfitter portal, there is a document in the BEG section that discusses measures to take to prevent corrosion after modifying elements of the chassis. It also has a lot of information on where you can drill/cut and where not to. I would post the link, but I'm not allowed apparently.
Look around pp. 58-60
 

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I thought these bolts were galvanized. Should have been dipped when the entire van when in the pool?
Yeesh....even my GLK doesn't have any corrosion like that and its been through 4 northern winters/70k+ miles.

What climate is that van in/where? Do you wash it regularly? Looks dirty in the picture. :grin:

I've looked my whole van over and so far so good after a brutal winter, TONS of salt this year.
 

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I just bought this 2016 van in Nov of last year. I'm pretty sure it spent it's life in Florida. It had 9k miles on it and looked practically brand new. My climate is northern Illinois although it made a trip to southern California in Jan. I don't recall rust on those bolts when I first bought it and have been somewhat alarmed by it's appearance. The van is not very dirty although it did encounter salty roads this winter. That said, I've tried to keep it clean, running it through the car wash as soon as possible after a salt exposure. The white/black specs on the door "arm" appears to be some kind of paint. I think it came from the factory that way.

Now that I look at the picture again I have to admit that it does allow one to speculate that the rest of the van could be filthy. Close-up shots sometimes over emphasize fuzzy stuff but there is clearly some dust around the cracks in that area. I just didn't expect to see that kind of surface rust on galvanized screws this soon. It makes me wonder how the bolts are doing in places that I can't see...
 
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