Truck racks represent the perfect solution to hauling cumbersome burdens or large loads. From lumber to luggage, whether work or pleasure, truck racks are a versatile, useful investment. What does one do however, when a good deal arises only to discover a rusted or worn rack? Luckily, there are quick, simple methods to repair such a used truck rack and get it looking like new!
- The first step in the repair process is to move the rack to a safe, clean area to work on it. If outside, a tarp or canopy is recommended as a covering to shield your project from the elements, especially during the final paint job.
- With everything in place to begin work, the next job is to thoroughly inspect your rack. If there appear to be any welds that have cracked, these will be spot welded back together. Similarly, brazing should be able to fill any holes you spot in the steel during your inspection. Keep an eye out for any signs of major rust throughout, as such sections will likely be structurally unsound, and need cut out and replaced with a matching diameter of steel piping.
- With the inspection complete, one can prepare to work on the truck rack. Be sure to don the appropriate safety gear, such as safety glasses and a filter mask for the duck. Now, using a grinding wheel, electric grinder, or drill, remove the rust found during the inspection. A tip to be thorough in the holes is to wrap sandpaper around a drill bit, and slowly run it in the hole.
- With the major portions of rust removed, now go over the entire surface with 80 grit sandpaper. A finishing sander can also be used to detail the rack and ensure a uniform smoothness. Be sure to remove as much rust and loose paint as possible.
- With the steel all sanded, the next step is to clean the surface for painting. Using a pair of latex gloves, douse a rag with a bit of acetone and proceed to wipe down the entire rack. Be sure to change rags if it collects a lot of sanding waste, and add acetone as needed to clean the surface well. Any bits left from the sanding process will adversely affect the quality of the paint job.
- Now is the time to spot weld any cracking welds and craze any holes. After allowing to cool, grind these down so they are smooth, sand them, and touch up with the grinder. Be sure to again wipe the rack down with acetone to remove debris.
- The final step is to repaint the rack. This not only makes the rack look good, but helps prevent future rust. First, apply two coats of an epoxy based-primer. Be sure to allow adequate drying time between coats. Now finish by applying two coats of your choice color epoxy paint or all-weather paint. Again, be sure to allow time between the applications for the paint to fully dry.You’re done! Attach the rack and enjoy the benefits of your efforts!