|4XGUARD Product Finish|
|Introduction||At 4xGuard we work hard to design and build a product for our customers that's not only useful but also good looking. Rust, therefore, is one of our greatest enemies, because the truth is that nothing shy of making our parts out of Titanium — which would be awesome but a bit unaffordable — will stop rust. As a business, though, we want to push the "rust-free" window out as far as we can. As a customer, you want the same thing. We all want to buy time.
To that end, 4xGuard from its inception has been in constant contact with leading metal-finish industry professionals, seeking out the best ways to finish our products while keeping costs, performance, and repairability within reason. As it stands, 4xGuard is paying more for its finish than the vast majority of off-road accessory manufacturers, because we are trying to do what all those metal-finish professionals say is best rather than what our company accountants might say is best.
|Multi-stage Finishing Process||As of September 1, 2010, that means that products moving through our assembly line are subject to a new multi-stage finishing process that is far above the industry norm:
|Rust Issues||Again, rust is inevitable with what we do. We would be lying if we said anything else. And the factors that can speed or slow it are largely out of our control: atmospheric humidity, salt on the roads (here in Colorado it's mag-chloride), acidic rainfall due to nearby factories, improper care and maintenance ... to say nothing of trail damage. And of course our products — unlike, for instance, roof racks or the like — are frequently mounted down in the grit and grime, the salt and the slime. Simple road travel alone is constantly kicking up tiny particulates that scatter across the guards and negatively impact the finish.
When it comes down to it, then, we know it's ultimately futile to try to stop a fundamental force of nature. But that's not going to stop us from trying to do it. And with this multi-stage finishing process in place, we are confident that we are doing the best that we can to open up the largest "rust-free" window possible.
|Stopping the Spread (Maintenance)||
As we said above, no matter how a person finishes a product, rust WILL happen to any steel parts whether we like it or not. Nature always wins. You will face rust on your accessories at some point, whether they are multi-staged 4xGuard parts or not.
The basic idea, as you'll see, is to get the rust off, seal the area with rust-inhibitive primer, and then paint it to match the surrounding surface (always test paint color on an inconspicuous or hidden area first). When it comes to paint, many Jeepers have reported great success with ACE Rust Stop and Rustoleum High Performance Enamel. We've had some success with Krylon. There are also "paint over rust" products availabe — like Hammerite — though reports are mixed about their long-term viability. (We'd love to hear your preference.)
Finally, if it was a 4xGuard part, please let us know what you did and how it worked for you. Send us pictures, too, both before your treatment and after. That kind of information is essential to the improvement of both our products and our ability to help other customers with similar problems. As Jeepers we are all, in the end, in this together.