As of April 2019, all vehicle deliveries will include a galvanized chassis (or frame). The benefits of galvanizing the chassis are well documented on the Internet, but let us give you a quick run down…
The chassis of a 40 series Land Cruiser is made of steel and is prone to rust. For our projects, we source donor frames in decent condition – but even so, after years of hard work and exposure to the elements, these frames inevitably start to corrode. Rust is cancerous and it must be stopped – molten zinc to the rescue!
Watch the full process in the video, and read on for a full explanation of the process.
First, we re-align every chassis back to factory specs on our jig. While that’s not the core subject of this post, this part of our process should not be overlooked. 9 out of 10 frames that we work on need to be corrected back to spec. And without this part of the process, your completed vehicle would end up – at a minimum – vibrating at highway speeds.
With the chassis properly aligned, we sandblast down to bare metal. The result is a blank canvas which we repair, modify, and reinforce as needed depending on the particulars of the project. For example, most projects nowadays involve introducing modern coil spring suspension mounts and re-enforcing certain areas to preserve the integrity of the chassis under load.
But up until this point, the rust is still lurking within, particularly in those difficult to reach areas. And that’s where a hot dip galvanization process kicks into gear.
Before the process can take place, the chassis goes through a thorough chemical clean which removes all rust, oil and mill scale from the surface. When the cleaning solution has been rinsed off, the coating process begins.
The chassis is dipped into a bath of molten zinc heated to around 450°C (860°F) which causes a series of zinc-iron alloy layers to be formed by metallurgical reaction between the iron and zinc. After that, the chassis is left to cool in a quench tank.
Because it is formed by dipping the chassis into molten zinc, all parts of the surface of the steel are coated – inside, outside, awkward corners and narrow gaps which would be impossible to protect in any other way. The coating actually tends to build up at vital corners and edges – rather than thinning out as is often the case with brushed, sprayed and other dipped coatings.
With the galvanization process complete, the chassis is powder coated, painted, and ready for assembly!
Oh, and one more thing: Galvanizing is probably the most environmentally friendly process available to prevent corrosion.