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So I have a clean car and it seems like rust is the primary killer of these cars so I'm nervous about this winter and the salt . Is there a definitive how to / where to rust proofing thread for our cougars?

I am familiar with spraying ATF in the panels and I like the Eastwood AntiRust product. Anyone feel like they are ahead of the power curve on this? Favorite products or methods?

Anyone know where the problems are and willing to share where their cars rotted out?

Seems like doors, wheel arches and rockers. Any thing else? Any advice on how to get into these areas without drilling holes etc?

Thanks,

Will
 

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Rear subframe assembly.
 
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When I replaced my rear subframe the area it made contact w/the body was the worse the car had anywhere. So definitely remove that and hit it w/a wire wheel because it may only look like surface rust. My brake lines had pin holes from rust under there too.

After I had that repaired I wire wheeled the area and used some POR15 (seam sealer and spray can) to coat the underside.
 

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The rocker panels are THE major problem. Every other typical rust spot is easy to deal with but the rocker panels are very difficult to reconstruct.
Inside the drivers side rocker panel, below the rear speaker, Ford installed a sponge-like material (Sound dampening I assume) which seems to accelerate the rust on that side which is why I believe the D side typically rusts before the P side, although both sides are susceptible.
Pull the interior paneling around the rear seats to access the inside of the rocker panels and inspect inside there and preserve as well as possible.
The exterior obviously can be treated as well, but I believe they typically rust from the inside out so be careful with exterior products masking problems.
The rear wheel arches and near the rear bumper seams appear to get some spots on them too but those are fairly easy to identify and deal with when they come up. I probably wouldn't go to the trouble of taking the inner wheel well liners out and the rear bumper cover off just to inspect for that, but if you have some other reason to take them off, you could look at those spots.
The front fenders down at the bottom near the rocker panel can get gross too because theres a horizontal ledge that catches and holds a bunch a crap, and again Ford put that spongy stuff in there which doesnt help. It wouldnt hurt to pull the front wheel liners, remove the spongy stuff, and inspect and treat the inside of that section if needed...or just get fiberglass fenders.
 

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Happy to help!

It's definitely one of the rustiest cougars that've ever frequented the site. Even my hood prop is rusty, which Andy was saying a while back he'd never seen on any other car.
 
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