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Firewall Rust

Rusty09

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Thankyou Fu,

Your information is has been very helpful. Looks like I have exactly the same problem (see attached photo)
I understand the cars are old but this is surely a design fault. The plate looks very thin and the coating is
very poor compared to the underside of the car. How long did the repair take you ? Looks huge like you said
 

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Fu Manchu

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Slug powered VZ, a VE Calais & your mum.
That’s the exact view I first saw.

I still have the car off the road 4mths later however have been doing many other things at the same time and only have about an hour a week at best.

If I had a how to for removing the instrument assembly I could have had all the interior out in a few hours.

Cleaning the HVAC two days. Disassemble, clean, condition, reassemble with new seals.

Reassembling was much quicker.

Painting the new pedal plate.
And cleaning up all the nuts with captive washers that hold it (no longer available new) is a couple of hours all up over two days. I painted mine with black zinc galv paint.

Get a genuine evaporator and heater core. I tried two aftermarket ones that didn’t fit and then all the delays around that.

New heater hoses (genuine)

Insulation panels

I also had to replace the ac liquid line from the hvac to the condenser at the front of the car. Found that out after removing the bumper.

Various interior clips

New seals from Clark blubber and an ac shop.

Foam sound insulation with foil backing from Clark rubber

Oh. Had to fix rust on the brake booster also. Wire brush and some black zinc galv, then satin black and some clear gloss. Looks way better than factory.

The clips for the wiper shroud.

Lots of zip lock bags of various sizes for bagging screws etc as you remove them and write on the bag what they are for.

Had plastic crates for the bigger interior parts.

Mobile AC guy to degas the AC

New AC seals for the Thermal expansion valve. (Genuine) after getting after market that didn’t fit either.

Rubber grease to treat the floor seal drain for the HVAC.

Oh rust converter etc for the firewall for cleaning off surface rust.
Paint for respraying the area.
Plastic for masking off the area.
Masking tape

New corrugated tube for some of the engine bay wiring harness with fresh tape around it.

I would have also removed the front seats in hindsight, only for the reason of making things a bit easier.

I have done lots of other jobs on this at the same time though.
 
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Happydaze

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My friend has the same issue in a 2007 HSV, car was a one owner immaculate condition with 69000k’s, sold secondhand from the same dealer it was originally purchased from, car now has 90000k’s, rust in the pedal plate was discovered by accident. Holden dismissed it as “caused by external influences” and “not a manufacture fault”. Quoted repair cost $1860 labour $170 for pedal plate and bracket. Pretty obvious it is a manufacturing fault.
Must be a heap of VE’s out there with the same issue.
 

wetwork65

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That’s the exact view I first saw.

I still have the car off the road 4mths later however have been doing many other things at the same time and only have about an hour a week at best.

If I had a how to for removing the instrument assembly I could have had all the interior out in a few hours.

Cleaning the HVAC two days. Disassemble, clean, condition, reassemble with new seals.

Reassembling was much quicker.

Painting the new pedal plate.
And cleaning up all the nuts with captive washers that hold it (no longer available new) is a couple of hours all up over two days. I painted mine with black zinc galv paint.

Get a genuine evaporator and heater core. I tried two aftermarket ones that didn’t fit and then all the delays around that.

New heater hoses (genuine)

Insulation panels

I also had to replace the ac liquid line from the hvac to the condenser at the front of the car. Found that out after removing the bumper.

Various interior clips

New seals from Clark blubber and an ac shop.

Foam sound insulation with foil backing from Clark rubber

Oh. Had to fix rust on the brake booster also. Wire brush and some black zinc galv, then satin black and some clear gloss. Looks way better than factory.

The clips for the wiper shroud.

Lots of zip lock bags of various sizes for bagging screws etc as you remove them and write on the bag what they are for.

Had plastic crates for the bigger interior parts.

Mobile AC guy to degas the AC

New AC seals for the Thermal expansion valve. (Genuine) after getting after market that didn’t fit either.

Rubber grease to treat the floor seal drain for the HVAC.

Oh rust converter etc for the firewall for cleaning off surface rust.
Paint for respraying the area.
Plastic for masking off the area.
Masking tape

New corrugated tube for some of the engine bay wiring harness with fresh tape around it.

I would have also removed the front seats in hindsight, only for the reason of making things a bit easier.

I have done lots of other jobs on this at the same time though.
This is a fantastic set of information Fu.
Looks like a classic "poultice" on this plate, maybe Holden thought engine heat would keep it dry. But putting heat in a plate like this, by welding, should always have been avoided. This was a goal for me when I designed engineering structures.
The amount of effort you have gone to is huge. Almost makes me pleased I don't have a VE or I would be continuously looking out for rust at this area.
Would be like owning a ZB.
 

gossie

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Well well what a disturbing post this is.
I got my decent torch out, pulled that part back exposing the metal, and all there is on my VE is black painted metal with absolutely NO sign of rust.
Am I lucky perhaps? The car has been garaged most of it's life except when being away, but has of course been out in the rain at times over the years.
 

wetwork65

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The assembly of the HVAC and the brake booster etc can be seen at 6:50 in this:

Oh-so-easy to insert the dashboard through the windscreen cavity with the right equipment, at 9:24.
Compared to taking it out again part by part in the driveway to do the job Fu has done.
Commentary at 12:42 made me smile - "the right coloured doors meet the right coloured body". Maybe it is not as obvious to an assembly worker as it might seem.
And to add to my comment above, a leaking heater hose would have kept the wadding nicely wet.
 

Rusty09

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Ticking time bomb for all Ve Owners and most likely VF's as well.

I did contact Holden about this problem and i can beleive how poorly i was treated.
I called customer "care" and spoke to a person who said because the car is 10 years old "its case closed" his words.
I then asked to speak to a manager or supervisor.The guy put me on hold then came back and said the supervisor was not willing to talk to me
because he was to busy.
At the time I was just enquiring if it was a known manufacturing fault and asked for a drawing of the firewall because at that point
i didnt even know what i was up against.
He said he cant provide those details because they are confidential.
 

Rusty09

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Gossie,

The rust starts from the outside so you wont know you have the problem until you have a hole. see Fu Manchu's photo
 

Fu Manchu

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Slug powered VZ, a VE Calais & your mum.
The issue won’t be on VF’s

While doing this job, I spent a heap of time trying to find out about the details of removing it. The factory manual does not provide much detail when it comes to this task. It’s quite vague which is unusual for a detailed factory manual.

The VF had an aluminum firewall from what I have been able to make out and that panel is high density plastic.


I agree that the scale of this issue could be be huge!
It directly affects the 5 star safety of the car and was there from point of manufacture. That area also had a revised safety improvement under the steering column or somewhere like that to improve the safety rating.

When I was getting parts from wreckers, I saw these plates in several showing signs of more than surface rust. I browsed eBay as well and you can see them with rust there as well. They are often sold for manual conversions.

An aftermarket cad designed highdensity 3D printed replacement would solve the issue.

The whole body of the car is electroplated but this pedal plate is not. The plate holds brakes and accelerator and clutch FFS.
 
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