Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Dennis, Sounds like what you're seeing is the effect of rust on the tubes. As you know these parts received minimal coating (paint) coverage from the factory and it didn't take long for the weather and elements to take it off. Then they would rust like crazy. If you look under your '96 SS you'll find the axle has no paint on it what so ever. at least our '94 came that way. I took it out when the car was less than a month old and painted it. Mainly cause I'm wierd that way.
Back to your problem, aside from replacing the tubes which isnt practical or cheap and finding housings these days is also a problem unless your really concerned with it's appearance I'd go with it as is. When I did the kid's car I had some surface pitting so I cleaned it down to bare metal, primered, painted it with black acrylic enamel and cleared over that for added protection.
Hope this helps.