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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good day STNation,

I just swapped over to a winter wheel setup on my 2014 FiST (TireRack 16" steelies, 195/50 Pirelli Control Series 3) and I was surprised to see how rusted the front axle threads and hub have gotten inside the past 10 months (just got the car in January). This is my first brand new vehicle (came from a 1992 Civic EG :D), and first time doing a summer/winter setup rather than all seasons, so with that combination, I'm a bit concerned about the rust and protecting my car while she's "young".

In addition, the rear axles seem to already be coated/sealed/stainless, but the front aren't - is this normal?

I've done a fair amount of Googling to see what folks recommend for protecting the axle (example - Winter steelies leave axle nuts exposed - now what? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum). In the end, it looks like mostly opinion...so I come here seeking your opinions :).

What have you guys done, if you have a steelie setup with open hubs? It looks like there are a few options:

  1. Just leave it be, and pray that whatever rust forms doesn't get any worse, and will be taken off if you use an impact wrench to get the nut off
  2. Apply some sort of grease (if so - what kind?) and re-apply as needed. That said, since mine are already so rusted, should I continue this even once summer comes back around?
  3. MacGyver some center cabs (electrical knock out caps, etc) to protect the axle threads
Anyways, your thoughts and comments are welcome, thank you for looking :)

-BaTz

Here is the front (rusty as all hell)
20141116_153733.jpg

And the rear (axle isn't rusty, face of hub is)
20141116_153722.jpg
 

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Cant see the attachments but the axels are sourced from poland at least thats what the sticker said on mine while I was under there a while back doing a LSD upgrade.. Surface rust is not a big worry it is part of the game now a days...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the heads up about the attachments, they worked when I previewed the post but evidently went amiss when I actually posted it. Fixed now.

Interesting note about them being sourced from Poland, but does that have any significance? Quality, integrity, etc?

As for rust being a part of the game - I've heard that some surface rust is "planned" as it can serve as a protective layer (given the right alloy to begin with) unless that was a tongue-in-cheek "part of the game to make you buy a new one" :-D
 

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The rust in the pictures is very minimal. Manufactuers have never made any effort to prevent surface rust on cast iron brake rotors. It will get worse but it will never be an issue.
 

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It is called cosmetic corrosion. Most metal components unless coated have surfaces that are designed to corrode on the outside without causing and structural integrity or damage. The corrosion is purely cosmetic and nothing to worry about.

Automakers and suppliers could "e-coat" everything but that's extremely expensive.
 
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