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2007 Element EX AWD AT (two!)
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Discussion Starter #1
Got pictures from a 2007 (132,000 miles, VA vehicle) for sale (long day's drive away or I'd go look in person); salesman said it is clean underneath except the rear bumper beam (photos attached, the rear cross member looks really clean). Anyone else seen this much rust on the rear bumper without problems elsewhere? Seems to be some body rust above the beam as well.

IMG_1549~2.jpg IMG_1548.jpg
 

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Hmmm, I may be wrong, but in that 2nd picture showing the undercarriage all the bolts appear to be painted black, and match the chassis. I peered under my Element yesterday in that same area and I seem to remember all the bolts appearing silver or light grayish. Makes me wonder if someone painted some of the undercarriage for some reason, innocent or not. Maybe someone more intimate with the underside of these vehicles can chime in with another opinion.
 

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Definetly some type of cover up going on
 

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2007 Element EX AWD AT (two!)
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Discussion Starter #4
Maxey, you may be right. I pulled up a picture of my 2007 and the bolt heads don't appear to have been black (although it has 191,000 miles now). Even if this one has been painted, it doesn't appear to have been painted over heavy rust.

I looked at one locally about a month ago that looked like is had been undercoated over rust; the bottom of the front doors was rusting on that one too.
 

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Yeah, I wondered about that too...if it has been painted over, the metal there looks smooth and non-rusty, so who knows? In any case, I prefer to buy what I call 'No Stories' cars if it all possible, where you're not wondering what the heck happened here, there or everywhere you look. Good luck whatever route you end up taking.
 

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As for the inside bumper beams, they're all like that or worse, unless you live somewhere unsalted or you're just very sheltered. On both of the Element's I have had, every fall or so, I get underneath and put some rust converter on the bumper rust, and then some gloss black Rustoleum on that when it dries. I wonder what the rear face of the beam looks like that you can't see. I also wonder how structurally protective that is from a rear impact when it's crumbly and compromised.
I also get underneath and do the same to any of the surface rust I see. In your photo, the control arms and suspension components are superb looking. I also annually or so touch those up, so my bolts and the rest of the steel as a result, appear the same color. I'm not trying to hide anything, my motives are purely protective and preventative.
 

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Fleetw00d, I live in VA. If it is close to Newport News, I can take a look for you. I have a 2004, completely stock with 75,000 on it but have no plans to sell.
 

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2007 Element EX AWD AT (two!)
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Discussion Starter #8
Fleetw00d, I live in VA. If it is close to Newport News, I can take a look for you. I have a 2004, completely stock with 75,000 on it but have no plans to sell.
For this one, I would likely try to find a good used beam, or spring for a new one from Honda, and replace it.

Thanks for offer. The Carfax shows it spent most of its time in VA; it is now in NC. I'm lookin' for a 2007+. A couple more showed up closer to home. My plan for whatever I find is to start looking for a rear suspension setup in a salvage yard, then have all the parts stripped and powder coated, then reassemble it all with new bushings so it is ready to go if/when I need it. Probably do the same thing for a set of front lower controls arms. I already have a set of front knuckles coated with new bearings and ball joints to install.
 

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I have a 2007 EX and the beam is also very rusty while the rest of the undercarriage is in much better shape. They must have had a bad coating and/or material.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Passed on this one. Going to pick up a 2007 Atomic Blue EX AWD AT tomorrow, 87,000 miles.
 

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For this one, I would likely try to find a good used beam, or spring for a new one from Honda, and replace it.

Thanks for offer. The Carfax shows it spent most of its time in VA; it is now in NC. I'm lookin' for a 2007+. A couple more showed up closer to home. My plan for whatever I find is to start looking for a rear suspension setup in a salvage yard, then have all the parts stripped and powder coated, then reassemble it all with new bushings so it is ready to go if/when I need it. Probably do the same thing for a set of front lower controls arms. I already have a set of front knuckles coated with new bearings and ball joints to install.
I've looked at several Elements since I got my used 2008. I live in the rust belt/salt belt of the midwest, and thought that we had rust problems here, but the Elements that had the most rust were all originally owned by people in the eastern coastal states. In comparison to those, mine looks like new. I wonder how much of that is from hurricanes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A follow up. This is what the beam out of the 2007 I bought looked like when I removed it. Still solid, but rusty. I installed a new one from Honda after spraying with Rustoleum undercoating. Having this one stripped and powder coated to install in my other 2007.
204209
 
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