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Thread: My Wheel Arch Rust Repair Saga - DIY - Lotsa BIG pics!

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    My Wheel Arch Rust Repair Saga - DIY - Lotsa BIG pics!

    Well fellas.. I just cant stand to look at it anymore.

    Last nite I got a moment of courage and decided to put her under the knife.

    So I'll be taking pics as I go along of my attempt to restore some glory back to my six. Granted, this is only a temporary fix... the repair I do will eventually fail in a 3-5 years as the rust will come back.. when we say "Cancer", that literally is what rust is like.. if you dont cut ALL the rust out, it just eventually spreads back out again.
    The repair I am doing in the way I'm doing it wont get to the back side of the metal and I'm not able to grind back far enough to get into all the "veins" of the cancer/rust.
    I'm fortunate in the fact that my car is white.. which I think is probably one of the easiest colors to "match" up to for touch up repairs. Eventually the entire car needs a respray and if I keep it long enough, she'll get it.. but for now, I'm just going to try and blend in the best I can to keep her along...
    She's eventually doomed to complete rear quarter panel replacement. But I think what I'm doing will satisfy me to the extent of getting a few more years of enjoyment/eye candy before it gets to those extremes.

    I've done bodywork/rust repair before. I by no means consider myself a pro at it, but it really isnt all that difficult to do, if you can stomach the carnage during the process.
    If I had better skills and tools to fab in metal, I would. But for this go around, I'm doing what was done to her last time.. BONDO! Yea.. she's been thru this before, as you will see in the pics. One of the PO's put a lot of money in her on repairs and a quick respray.. I'd estimate 7-10 years prior to my current repair by the looks of it. I think that PO really loved this car and did all they could to keep her maintained... but it fell out of his/her hands and wound up in the mis-care of a couple owners prior to my ownership.
    According to the limited Car-Fax report I got on her, she originated and spent many years in Utah.. I imagine she was exposed to driving in snow/salty roads while residing there prior to relocating to Missouri and then ending up in Kansas. Both states also get their share of snow and salty roads.


    Anyway.. on to the pics!



    Here's a couple pics of the day I bought her back on Oct. 2nd, 2007... the rust isn't so obvious at this distance at that time.



    A close up of the worst rust area and what I'm starting to work on first..






    Now, jump ahead almost two years and this is the current state...


    Pic of the car itself..




    side view of the accelerating eyesore/cancer.



    close up of the current state of decay...




    1-3 o'clock areas of the arch..






    Just not looking so hot anymore, is it?.. you can see why I just really cant stand it anymore..

    The passenger side also has a bit of rust too.. but its not nearly as bad as this side.. for now I'm concentrating on just the driver's side.


    I'll be back to post more when I get more pics as I go.. also to break up the posts a bit.. since this thing will automerge any additional posts I do if I try to break them up too quickly..

    Wish me luck!

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    I will be watching this. My driver's side arch is rotted and the passenger one is on it's way.
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    If you guys go to flickr.com/photos/bertsphotos, you can see pictures of the wheel arch repair along with other extensive rust repair done on my car. As seeker said, cutting it out is the only way to insure the rust not coming back

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    Well, I got to digging into her.. it was a bit worse than I had anticipated.



    Here are my choices for tools of destruction.. basically a screwdriver to scrape and knock out old bondo and a die grinder with both a mini grinder head and that black scrubby wheel. The scrubby wheel is really good at ripping paint/bondo off.





    So I started with the front of the arch. This is just scraping it with a screwdriver.




    and after I went at it with the diegrinder tools




















    Now you can see just how much was hiding under the prev. bondo repair.. pretty scary, huh?

    Like I said before, this is only going to be a temporary "treatment".. I'm going to do my best to re-bondo it and try to blend in the touch up paint.. but I got a feeling I'll have to respray most the quarter panel before I'm done.


    I'm sure there are some seasoned bodyworkers looking at this and shaking their heads.. thinking.. "that poor bastid! thats about futile to be bondo'ing"..

    Well, all I can say is I doubt it'll ever be a top notch show car.. I can try this for now and see if it'll hold for awhile..



    Today I'm going see how far I can get with the bondo/shaping... looks like I'll be using up most, if not all of a quart of the stuff.. thats ALOT of bondo!

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    Damn, that is worse than it looked! If you are going to try to patch it up with bondo I'd recommend at least removing as much of the rotted metal behind those holes as you can and then sealing everything with POR-15. At the very least it will slow the spread of new rust and maybe help the bondo have something to hang on to.
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    yea.. I cleaned it up the best I could.. the prev. repair attempt has strips of metal spot welded in at the 1-3 o'clock areas.

    dont have POR-15.. just doing the best I can with what I have for now..
    the bondo is gooped pretty good on that inner lip for backfill.


    right now I'm working on build/backfill. Here's what I got so far today.
    Gotta work quick with that crud.. cures up within 1 minute of having it mixed.. so ya gotta be QUICK in applying it











    I just now realized I filled a hole up for the upper trim fastener.. dangit. Guess I'll be drilling that hole back out and better dig some of the crud out while it's still soft so the nut will be able to snug down on the threads...

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    As far as I am concerned, POR15 is no better than Rustoleum, which is an alkyd(oil) based enamel, and 1/3 the price of POR15. There is nothing that will stop rust once it starts. Encapsulating it may slow it down for a year or two, but you are just putting off the inevitable.

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    I honestly think JB weld is a better choice for rust. It isn't going to crack or peel. Once on it isn't going anywhere. I have used it on my E36 and now my E30 and it is great. However, with holes that big it would get quite expensive. I hope it works out for you.

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    Best bet for filling those holes is a product called Kitty Hair. It is plastic filler with fiber glass shredded into it. it has more strength than "Bondo"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert Poliakoff View Post
    Best bet for filling those holes is a product called Kitty Hair. It is plastic filler with fiber glass shredded into it. it has more strength than "Bondo"
    lol.. considering the amount of cottonwood in the air today I'm fighting with.. I think fiber is going to be built in..


    but the truth is, if you dont have the fiber get a good bond to the crud your trying to bond to in the first place.. its all gonna come loose no matter what.. yea, the bondo itself as a whole may stay together better, but when it releases from the metal.. its game over

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    Wort part about the fillers (Bondo) is that they will wick and hold mosture unless they are sealed on all sides. Filling a hole is not good unless the back side is also sealed so moisture will not come thru and cause the repair to start lifting again. If you can seal the rear from moisture and oxygen, you stand a better chance of it lasting.

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    getting a little bit further.. it does take quite a bit of time/patience when it comes to the sanding/shaping.

    It's not going to come out as perfect as I'd like. I'm just going for presentable as I can.













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    Seeker, you are a madman! Keep going! Separately, another place these cars can start to rust that many are not aware of is from water building up under the tail lights as the gasket shrinks over time. Have to do my M6. It's just a tad, noticed when doing the taillight refresh.

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    Madman? nah.. just trying to keep her looking alright for now.

    10-4 on the tails.. just happen to notice last nite on the corner that it wasnt looking too healthy under there.. and thats the outer part.

    I doubt my 'ol girl will ever achieve creampuff status like some of the cars I've seen.. I just try to keep it decent and driveable to enjoy once in awhile.

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    Forgive me for saying this but you're spending a lot of time and effort for something that won't last more than a few months. With the same effort you could be patching in clean metal and doing the job correctly. Bondo is for final finishing and should only be applied on a good surface.

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    I'm pretty confident it'll last more than a few months.

    This really isnt meant as a full on/permanent repair.. if I still have the car years from now, I'm sure I would eventually strip it down and go with the metal route.

    Right now its just me trying to keep the car decent looking with what I got so I can hop in it and take it for a spin now and then.. its not a DD.. this is a hobby car.

    I only paid 1475 for it and dont have a whole lot more in it beyond that..

    Its a beautiful car.. I love it to death. But its just not going to get total restoration attention anytime soon. I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I can with minimal expenditures.
    It's a hell of a runner! At 270K miles on it, it still snaps to revs and scoots down the highway like a rocket.. I get some odd looks at times.. like that dickhead who is tailing my ass in a group.. and when I get the clear.. he's left WAY behind me and is all frustrated to catch up.. lol.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroshark View Post
    Damn, that is worse than it looked! If you are going to try to patch it up with bondo I'd recommend at least removing as much of the rotted metal behind those holes as you can and then sealing everything with POR-15. At the very least it will slow the spread of new rust and maybe help the bondo have something to hang on to.
    Does anyone use Ospho to address some of the rust prep conditions. What about filling the holes with metal/brass brazing and grinding smooth?

    So there no such thing as rust killers/preventers out there. Good to know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RokuMado View Post
    So there no such thing as rust killers/preventers out there. Good to know.

    again.. rust is very much like cancer.

    there are rust INHIBITORS/treatments... but nothing out there that I know of can tunnel its way into the veins of the metal to seek and destroy the rust further in the metal.

    What we see on the surface is just that.. surface..

    imagine little tiny capillaries/veins spread out inside the metal.. the outer part looks OK.. but INSIDE the metal its hidden.

    that is why cancer is so difficult to cure.. it tends to integrate itself into the tissues.. to get rid of it completely means cutting out that area of tissue entirely and you can only cut out so much 'til you take what the victim still needs to live.

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    Looks good. It will last years. Plastic filler is the greatest thing since sliced bread.


    Too bad it got as bad as it did. Any metal is in a huge hurry to get back to its momma.
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    Well I put finishing this off for a very long time, but I got some nice weather and time to finish this up.

    Like I said.. it's not pristine perfect, but it looks a billion times better than the nasty rust it had going on.

    The nonsense of taping off the arch was a waste of time.. I ended up painting it from the bottom up to that crease in the body right above the arch.. made a good stopping point.



    Anyway, here's pics of it completed...











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    I'm impressed Seeker! Congratulations on a great job.

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    Now is see why new fenders run $900.00!

    Good work!

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    Hey, looks great! I will ONLY take on rust/painting jobs on white cars. Much better chances of it looking OEM in the end. So what kind of paint did you use? method? HVLP or Aerosol?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euro735i View Post
    Hey, looks great! I will ONLY take on rust/painting jobs on white cars. Much better chances of it looking OEM in the end. So what kind of paint did you use? method? HVLP or Aerosol?

    Thanks!

    I used a Dupont ChromaBase base/tint that was custom mixed by analyzing the paint from the gas door..
    The clear used was Nason.
    I used the same stuff to paint the front spoiler I got from a grey car.

    I used a $15 detail touch up gun from Harbor Freight

    http://www.harborfreight.com/adjusta...gun-92126.html
    Last edited by Seeker; 05-07-2010 at 05:31 PM.

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