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Raildust in Paint of 01 Dodge Dually Pickup

james117james117 Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Dodge
Do any members have information regarding the long term effect of rail dust on the surface of a new truck?
Shortly after a purchase of a 01 Dodge Dally Pickup I noticed tiny rust spots all over vehicle even on the glass and plexiglass. To make this long saga short, Chrysler has buffed and clayed vehicle and much rail dust is still on vehicle. To compound this the roof and pillars of the truck are now badly scratched by their quality work and after reneging on a replacement truck Chrysler has blown me off.
I would appreciate any advice about treating the surface or is a repaint without stripping to bare metal a solution. Oh yea this is my last Dodge product!


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    joebob6joebob6 Member Posts: 239
    Take pictures, keep fighting with them, contact service rep, take dealer to small claims court. Don't give up without a fight.

    In the chrysler faq is information on how to try to work things out and/or fight Chrysler. There are six parts. Do a search on Google.com or if you have newsgroups access go to rec.autos.makers.chrysler for the faq parts 1 - 6.
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    vguardvguard Member Posts: 78
    I also am having a "rail dust" problem with my new Ford Econoline E-150 Van (white).

    In fact, I just left the body shop where I left my van for the Ford Rep to inspect. I will get back to you on the end result.

    I will tell you this however, "claying" or "buffing" your car will only treat the symptom, not the problem. These are Fords words not mine. If you actually "buff" deep enough to eliminate the problem, you have more than likely removed more clearcoat than your supposed to and have now compromised the paint film itself.

    Follow this link for Fords solution and warning's regarding other methods of treating the issue:


    Ford uses a chemical wash process to treat and is hesitant to use buffing or claying because it does not remove all the metal.

    What will be interesting is to see what the Ford Rep says. I can't help but think I will be fighting for a new paint job before this is over.

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    joebob6joebob6 Member Posts: 239
    Despite what they may say, I have had very good results using clay. Maybe abrasive clay cuts the particles rather than removing them.

    I have used non-abrasive clay more than 6 months ago and the filings have not re-appeared.
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    vguardvguard Member Posts: 78
    The Ford Rep looked at the Van today and basically said the same thing....Clay and Buffing.

    However, it just so happens the body shop for the Ford dealership I purchased my van from is the most highly rated private bodyshop in town (the Ford dealership does not have one themselves, they closed it down to make room for oil change services, etc), and they also called me to say he had his "paint rep" out to look at my van and the paint guy said the chemical wash was really mandatory and would help solve a huge portion of the problem.

    He also said he had seen much worse than mine (thank god). That fact alone tells you the long term effect of this problem (untreated) can be devastating. Interesting that the Ford Rep never mentioned the chemical wash. Makes you wonder how they are dealing with (or not) the issue on new arrivals. Remember that my Van had sat on the lot almost 7 months, which is why the problem was so evident (that and the fact my van is white).

    I will ask the body shop guy about the "non-abrasive" clay. My problem is most pronounced on the roof, hood and window sills (horizontal surfaces), although I do have evidence of rail dust on the sides as well, just not as bad.

    The problem I have with buffing, particularly on those "ledges" by the windows, where the clearcoat will be at it's thinnest (the actual leading edge will have the thinnest layer), is having too much clearcoat removed in the buffing process.

    I would be very interested in just who would be doing the buffing and how much experience they have working a buffer. As I read it, heat is "clearcoats" worst enemy and it does not take much from a buffer to really raise the temp.

    Anyway, the chemical wash process starts in the morning and we will see how that works. I will update my "story" as events unfold.
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    vguardvguard Member Posts: 78
    Well, they used the Ford chemical wash procedure and the body shop rep told me it turned the tiny orange/rust colored spots to a darker brown.

    They performed the procedure twice, on the advise of the paint company rep that was on hand to demonstrate the correct procedure (who was not associated with Ford by the way, but was familiar with the need and correct application of chemicals for rail dust exposure).

    Now that the rail dust has been "neutralized", the body shop will attempt to clay and buff the areas that show evidence of exposure and according to the paint rep, the problem should then be solved.

    Guess I will find out Friday when I have time to go pick up my van......I will post the end results at that time.
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    namfflownamfflow Member Posts: 202
    I don't want to sound stupid but this is the first time I have heard of raildust. What exactly are we talking about here?
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    win12win12 Member Posts: 2
    I have experienced the same orange specks on my 94 Explorer and more recently my 01 F150.Both time the Ford techs repeated the party line and gave me the rail dust story. Funny that they couldn't explain why the rust spots seems to be coming from the wheel wells ie brakes. Nor could they explain why neither the hood or the roof had any signs of the problem. You would think that industrial fallout would settle on the horizontal surfaces and not the sides. No orange spots are every on the paint surfaces in front of the front axle either. I feel the problem is metallic brake residue coming of the pads and shoes and sticking to the paint and eventually rusting. Raybestos is advertising a non-metallic lining containing porcelain. Could this be the answer, I have contacted Raybestos, explained the problem but as yet have received no response. Any ideas or comments???
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    vguardvguard Member Posts: 78
    Most of the evidence I have is on the roof, hood and even the narrow horizonal window sills. I have very little on the sides. I don't think in my case anyway it would be brake dust, since I purchased the van less than two weeks ago and it only had 26 miles on it.

    One of the fellows on hand at the body shop when they used the chemical wash procedure, actually teaches a class on rail dust removal, over at the local tech school. He came by at the request of the body shop rep to assist them in learning the correct chemical wash technique. He is the one who said he had seen much worse than my van.

    I never asked about the damage brake dust can do over time, but you can bet I will. I guess it really pays to wash weekly and wax at least 3 times a year.
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    james117james117 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the replies.

    Namflow, Raildust is the term for industrial fallout of tiny metal fibers that bond to a vehicles exterior. In this case from plant fallout or rail car transport and metal fibers get thrown on vehicle causing a mess to exterior.

    V Guard, do you know if the chemical wash is successful after clay and buffing or will it compromise the paint further?

    Joe Bob, I will continue the fight. It's amazing how these people will not back their own product. It's almost like they're the only game in town.
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    vguardvguard Member Posts: 78
    I will ask the body shop guy Friday when I pick up my Van, but I suspect it is never too late for the Chemical wash.

    As for the "buffing damage" you have already received, I'm not sure what can fix that but more buffing.

    However, I would not let the same people touch your truck and I would be taking pictures first before I had any of the damage repaired. Someone should be responsible for the poor work, besides you that is.

    I will post Friday as soon as I get my van back and let you know how mine turned out.
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    vguardvguard Member Posts: 78
    Well, my van came back today and I have to say, it is a 100% improvement over what it was.

    The brown specs are gone and the finish is now smooth as glass. I have been inspecting my paint from every angle (it is white, so it is hard to see many imperfections anyway), and I have to say, it looks and feels better than any new car finish I have ever had.

    I have already started the process of hand waxing and let me say, once I have wax on the paint, it gets even smoother.

    "James117", I asked the body shop rep your question about using the chemical treatment now and he said it is never too late. He also said the paint rep told him that it did no good to buff without first using the chemical. Without the chemical to neutralize the iron particles, buffing will just move them around. In fact, since many times the buffing just takes the "head" off the iron particle, just buffing could actually just make things worse by "replanting" the iron particle in a second location.

    It seems the "key" to the whole solution is in the chemical wash and the fact the chemicals neutralize the iron particle, preventing it from rusting anymore.

    Equally important however is knowing just who is going to be buffing your vehicle and making sure they are qualified.

    "James117", I really think you have a case against the people who did such a bad job dealing with your truck.

    If it was me, I would be taking it to independent body shops and having experts document the damage to the paint from the poor buffing job and existence of Rail Dust.

    You can't depend on those dealer service reps. They are trained to act stupid when it comes to well known issues such as Rail Dust.

    I hope my experience has been of some assistance to you in dealing with yours.
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    poisondartfrogpoisondartfrog Member Posts: 102
    Had raildust on my '93 Pontiac Grand Prix when it was delivered new... after a clay and a buff the raildust was better, but it never has been completely eliminated. Now I understand why the foriegn manufacturers use the white peel-off plastic sheeting on their vehicles when transported from the factory. Why don't the domestics get a clue?

    I had my revenge on GM last year... I was at the dealer for service, and a 2000 Grand Prix GTP was being delivered, and I overheard the irate new female car owner complaining about the specks in the paint. I casually walked over and glanced at the finish, and said,"Looks like raildust to me," which got her attention. As the salesman denied it, I brought her over to my '93 and showed her my finish. Although she was still quite upset, she at least had an explanation for the flawed paint. With only one day of ownership, I wonder if she ended up returning it...

    And fallout doesn't just find white paint. I have observed raildust on dark colors too, but you have to be looking for it.
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