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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm in need of some advice on a bunch of rust I found on various parts of the engine in my 2006 Elise with VF2 supercharger.

I've had it for less than a year and I'm fairly certain it's had some neglect in its prior years (I'm the 4th owner).

I opened up the clam to tighten some fittings on the BOE oil cooler I installed (to the best of my limited ability) when I noticed a lot of rust in some likely very bad spots. I'm really not sure how I missed them before but the closer I looked the more I found.

I'm definitely not the most mechanically inclined (though I've definitely been doing a lot of learning since I got the Elise, some by choice, some by necessity) but engine stuff is where I pretty much draw a blank.

Here's a picture that should show all the spots I noticed:

https://imgur.com/E0fWKYN

Anyone have any advice on next steps, what needs replacing, should I find a nice corner to cry in, etc?

Thankfully it's my weekender so downtime won't kill me outside of not being able to drive it.

Thanks in advance!
 

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My car is much worse but is still running fine.

I have 9 years and 230,000 km on my 2009 Elise.

Here is a photo of the serpentine belt area. Many other areas in the engine bay have rusty spots.

You can leave it in my opinion.
 

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The OPs pic looks like it is time to get a heated garage.

This is what happens when your car goes through wintertime heat cycles, the cold engine parts condense the water out of the warmer air.

Doesn't look like this from driving in the rain because the engine is hot
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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I opened up the clam to tighten some fittings on the BOE oil cooler I installed (to the best of my limited ability) when I noticed a lot of rust in some likely very bad spots. I'm really not sure how I missed them before but the closer I looked the more I found.
OK, first things first:
DON'T PANIC.

Your engine bay looks better than a lot of them do. I see you're inland in Texas (you should edit your profile, btw) and so you probably don't have a lot of experience with what an engine bay looks like when there's more than 50% humidity in a garage for months at a time.

Toyota, like most OEMs, leaves a lot of stuff unpainted on its engines. Most of the rust and corrosion I see in your photo looks like it's is a product of the car sitting in a damp environment. It's not very bad at all, and is entirely cosmetic. I do think I'd pull that stiffener turnbuckle on the supercharger mount off and paint that because it's easy to get at and looks kind of ugly as is. You might pull up the carfax on the car if you haven't already to see where it has been.

You do have a sign of an oil leak up top. That's actually a much bigger concern than the cosmetic rust (#1 engine mount, turnbuckle, crank pulley bolt) and corrosion (primarily on the alternator casing) that I see. Make sure crankcase blow by is properly managed (superchargers aggravate this issue), and that you don't have any leaking gaskets or o-rings in the top end.

My '05 Elise spent its first 10 years in Indiana and Illinois and also has this sort of cosmetic corrosion. It's not a big deal as long a there's no important metal missing and the threads (and heads) on the bolts and studs are in good shape, as yours appear to be.
 

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Looks like surface rust. I had a minor oil leak similar to yours so, I had the hose removed and blocked off the crankcase breather holes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to everyone for the replies! Glad to hear the rust is mostly cosmetic and isn't likely to cause issues.

With regards to the potential oil leak up top, what would be my best course of action? My first guess would be to clean it up and see if it continues to build up, and then go from there. If it does come back would my best bet be to talk to a mechanic or is this something I could diagnose/repair myself? I am reading up on it right now and trying to learn more about it (crankcase, blowby, pcv, etc.), but I am admittedly still hesitant about trying to do anything directly engine related. But, as always, I appreciate any feedback you are willing to provide!

Oh, and the Elise is 100% garage kept (sorry, Golf R :p !).
 

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Lol this is humorous to me as someone from the north east.

Brand new cars will look like this just sitting in the lot before they're even sold. This is beyond a non issue
 

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Btw instead of painting it you could also use a rust converter. You brush it onto the rust and it creates a chemical reaction with turns the rust into a very hard black coating which will Stop any future rust.
Its super effective for things like this but its ugly.

Would take all of 5 mins to apply though
 

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The Naval Jelly/Phosphoric Acid treatment is a fine solution. I typically use that when the metal is severly rusted where you're getting pitting.

In this case, I would just sand and paint this with rattle-can paint. I have used Rustoleum Hard Hat paints on cars for years and not had to repaint. The paint will chip fairly easily, so I don't use it on parts that are likely to get banged by a jack or tool.
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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In this case, I would just sand and paint this with rattle-can paint. I have used Rustoleum Hard Hat paints on cars for years and not had to repaint. The paint will chip fairly easily, so I don't use it on parts that are likely to get banged by a jack or tool.
Rattle can rustoleum is my go-to engine paint of choice for things like Corvair cooling tin if I don't powder coat. It's even reasonably durable against gasoline and oil once it heat cures.

As Roundabout says, it'll do fine on your small slightly rusty parts with just a light scuff to get the loose rust off after a washing to get the oil off from your crankcase venting issue.
 

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Rattle can rustoleum is my go-to engine paint of choice for things like Corvair cooling tin if I don't powder coat. It's even reasonably durable against gasoline and oil once it heat cures.

As Roundabout says, it'll do fine on your small slightly rusty parts with just a light scuff to get the loose rust off after a washing to get the oil off from your crankcase venting issue.
Flat black and aluminum colors are my favorites because they dry in about 5 minutes.
 
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