I’d noticed that the chassis had started to show signs of surface rust, with some of the paint flaking off. Seemed like a good idea to take off all the plastic trim around the wheelarches, inner wings, and bumpers to check the condition of the rest of the body too.

The plan was then to clean, and coat the chassis and all the hidden areas with underseal.

Nice easy job to remove it all, just a few fiddly clips and screws.


The wheelarch surrounds are prised off their retaining clips, some requiring an unnerving amount of force.


There was plenty of dried mud stuck to the wheelarch lip, hidden behind all the plastic panels. Gave this a good blasting out with a pressure washer.


Grille and bumper removal was also very straight forward.


I was quite surprised to find a lot of rot on the radiator support panel. I gave it a bit of a poke to see how bad it really was, turns out – very.


The offside is similar, although not quite so crumbly.


I decided to carry on with the rest of the truck, whilst I thought about the best way to tackle the radiator panel. I covered it with plastic bags to try and keep the rain out whilst I wire brushed, and rust treated the chassis and a couple of small bits in the wheelarches.


The rest of the chassis and arches then got a good coat of Tetrosyl.


Its like tar, and goes on pretty thick, although should protect the underside for quite a while. Hopefully.


After pricing up new panels for the front from Nissan – £250 for the radiator support, or £370 for the full panel with uprights and light holders – and looking at the amount of work involved in replacing it with drilling out all the spotwelds, removing the condensor, radiator etc, I decided to effect a temporary repair and patch the existing panel for now. When I have more time, I plan to replace the full panel, most likely next year or maybe the following depending on how well it holds up.

I started by making some plates out of sheet steel, and bending/hammering them into shape. I had just enough room without disconnecting the cooling system or A/C, by removing the upper radiator supports and tipping it back, then unfastening the condensor, and I could shimmy this back an inch or so.


I treated behind the new plates with a rust-curer, avoiding the edges where the welds would be. Hopefully this will prolong the metals life as much as possible.

Next I welded the plates in place. Excuse the shoddyness, I’m still very new to this.


One plate on the offside.


The whole lot then got a good coating of the rust-curer, including inside the panel as much as possible.


I followed this over with a thick covering of Tetrosyl.


All over everywhere.


And to finish off, I sprayed some Waxoly into the panel as well. Hopefully this should see me though the next couple of years, or until I get round to replacing the whole panel.