The following images should give you an idea of the condition and lack of corrosion on an FTO as it would arrive in the UK from Japan. You can see that metal brake pipes and fuel lines are almost completely free of corrosion, as are other suspension components and mounting bolts. There are various theories why 10 or 15 year old Japanese cars can be almost like new underneath, whereas after ten winters the equivalent UK car would resemble a scrap yard underneath. We feel that it is a combination of the differing climates between Japan and the UK, but mainly the fact that the Japanese do not use any road salt during their winters.
The downside is that Japanese domestic market vehicles have very little under body protection and this is clearly evident from the images here. This is why it is essential to have the underside of any import properly treated if it is to withstand the rigours of UK winters. All of our fresh imports are treated with a mixture of underseal and corrosion inhibitors - either Waxoyl or Tetraseal. This is obviously applied to the underside, but we also treat the inside of both front wings, as many suspension components as is practical, the internals of both sills and the approriate chassis box sections.
The images below are of the underside of an FTO after just 2 UK winters with no under body protection. This corrosion is by no means at MOT failure level, but it is clear that left untreated major repairs will be required not that far down the line.
The main areas susceptible to corrosion are rear chassis rails, rear section of outer sills and both front inner wheel arches.
Below is a picture showing an example of an FTO with freshly applied anti-corrosion treatment. From over 12 years experience of FTO preparation we know that this type of treatment, with an annual check and top up if required, is exceptionally effective in delaying the onset of underbody corrosion.
If you would like further information or advice on undersealing and/or chassis repairs, please call Malcolm on 0191 586 7724