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Old 10-31-2014, 09:24 PM   #1
bonneville
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Post 2003 Vue Rust Issue

I acquired my Vue a few years ago and I had always thought the holes above the cradle mounts on the inside of the fender wells was going to be a problem area. Sure enough they are and a lot sooner than I expected. The problem was so blatantly obvious I couldn't understand why any auto manufacture would do this.
I tapped on them with a welding hammer and the passenger side is still solid, the driver side I put a hole right through it. So I used a cutting wheel and a grinder and removed all the oxidized steel.
I thought I would post pictures so everyone can see just how prone these area's are to rot. They collect mud and deicing agents and they have no drain holes.
I am going to weld a patch on the driver side and then I am going to plug the hole on the passenger side. Then I'm going to drill a 3/8 hole on the bottom on the inner half of the lower pinch weld to allow water and debris to drain out. No more mud or water from the tires will be getting in there again.

I discovered the problem while I was cleaning rust and hitting area's with Rust Converter. My plan is to spray or brush Boiled Linseed Oil on the entire underside to prevent further rust. GM does NOT do a good job at rust prevention. And now that municipalities are replacing Sodium Chloride with Magnesium and Calcium Chloride, things are going to get a lot worse...

I don't know if these holes carried over to later models but if you have these holes in your chassis and they are currently solid, I suggest you drill a hole in the bottom on the inside and flush them out with water. After they dry spray rust converter in them and then BLO a week later. After that plug the factory hole inside the fender well with fiberglass.

Update: After a second look I think the holes are there to insert the nuts for the cradle bolts. It still makes no sense for them to leave them open or for there to be no drain holes.
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File Type: jpg 2003-112k-2.jpg (102.2 KB, 86 views)

Last edited by bonneville; 10-31-2014 at 09:36 PM..

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Old 10-31-2014, 10:06 PM   #2
newbievueowner
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2006 VUE Red Line
Default Re: 2003 Vue Rust Issue

You mean something like this....

A couple years back I noticed a lot of mud/crud build up in there and decided to drill a 3/8" hole to allow the junk to flush out. Sounds like what you have in mind.
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Saturn Vue: The 250 HP tupperware

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Old 10-31-2014, 10:43 PM   #3
bonneville
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Default Re: 2003 Vue Rust Issue

Yup but I am going to put the hole on the other side of the pinch weld away from the wheel. Seems to me it would have been smart if GM had recalled them and had a plug installed and a hole drilled there. But GM isn't smart...
I recommend you spray some thick undercoat type oil in there and plug that nut hole off as there's nothing stopping the rust. It's all sheet metal.

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Old 12-23-2014, 10:13 AM   #4
MY FYN 79
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2006 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 2003 Vue Rust Issue

I just ran across something similar on 2 Vues I have here.

I'll update once I finish the other projects and am ready to clean this up good and tackle it. In the mean time, any one else have pictures or stories about this problem or how they approached it?

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Old 12-04-2016, 06:00 PM   #5
Arkadiusz
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Default Re: 2003 Vue Rust Issue

I power washed mine out . let them dry , drilled a hole on bottom, sprayed rust converter, then black epoxy paint, then clear coat, then i sealed the hole with sticky aluminum heat foil tape. 3 layers thick. I also covered the drain holes for now with the tape, So far so good, everything is holding and looks covered up. painted things all black. Will check after winter to see if all is dry.

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