205 Rust in the seam- how far do I go?
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Thread: 205 Rust in the seam- how far do I go?

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! flock's Avatar
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    Default 205 Rust in the seam- how far do I go?

    It's always disheartening finding problems with a car even after careful inspection, especially when the previous owner obviously knew about them..but that's life with 'project' cars.

    In my 205 I removed the carpet to clean ready for my new Si seats and dashboard swap, only to find this:

    205 Rust in the seam- how far do I go?-1456836153171.jpg



    It has rusted like this on both drivers and passenger sides where the floorpan, firewall and wheel arch meet. There is then minor surface rust between them along the seam.

    The metal is so thin in these corners if I poke my finger hard enough it goes through.

    I could cut them out and weld plates in place but I fear it would overstiffen the area and would affect the flexibility these joints are meant to provide, given the g-forces these cars are subject to.

    It has most likely been involved in a frontend crash in its history since the bumper brackets were bent, but apart from that the rest of the car is straight.

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    It is not mobile at the moment so I cannot take it to a body shop for advice but can anybody here tell me the best course of action?

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    Fellow Frogger! EvilElmo's Avatar
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    All you can do is cut it out and replace it. But you need to check the rest of the car very carefully.
    I hate to say it, but chances are there's more hiding away somewhere.

    *I once had an XT ford ute that was so rusty it had the sills remade with chicken wire, bread bags, (maybe bread as well?) and bog.
    So, you know, it could be worse!
    Last edited by EvilElmo; 2nd March 2016 at 12:35 AM.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I think you should go with a fine tooth comb over the entire car and take it from there. The body sealant is quite thick on the other side of those panels in the front wheel arch and can hide some grim horror stories. Front end ding is not good news.
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    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Worth doing the body check as even worse if at road worthy they discover other structural rust issues.
    Time and money is just wasted. Firewall area is important structure of vehicle strength

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    1000+ Posts Isis's Avatar
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    Perhaps the heater leaked and the car has been sitting for ages with the water trapped there by the carpet.
    S3 205 GTI x 4 and getting lower
    1998 S1 Lotus Elise
    2013 Fiesta ST
    2014 Audi SQ5

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    Clear that somebody knew about it before it was sold to you - floorpan looks as if it has been brazed to bodge it up

    In some jurisidictions this is no longer accepted and is a RWC fail, so if this applies in Qld you are stuck with rewelding etc anyway in this and possibly other places

    Hope that you don't discover too many other nasty surprises

    Andrew

    Quote Originally Posted by flock View Post
    It's always disheartening finding problems with a car even after careful inspection, especially when the previous owner obviously knew about them..but that's life with 'project' cars.

    In my 205 I removed the carpet to clean ready for my new Si seats and dashboard swap, only to find this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1456836153171.jpg 
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ID:	81183



    It has rusted like this on both drivers and passenger sides where the floorpan, firewall and wheel arch meet. There is then minor surface rust between them along the seam.

    The metal is so thin in these corners if I poke my finger hard enough it goes through.

    I could cut them out and weld plates in place but I fear it would overstiffen the area and would affect the flexibility these joints are meant to provide, given the g-forces these cars are subject to.

    It has most likely been involved in a frontend crash in its history since the bumper brackets were bent, but apart from that the rest of the car is straight.

    It is not mobile at the moment so I cannot take it to a body shop for advice but can anybody here tell me the best course of action?

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Isis's Avatar
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    Personally I would try to find another body to work with if possible. Experts here will tell you if an Si will work with GTI bits.
    S3 205 GTI x 4 and getting lower
    1998 S1 Lotus Elise
    2013 Fiesta ST
    2014 Audi SQ5

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Those things we're looking at are seams. If rust sets in, it can be a pain to fix right. Your welding skills are going to go up very quickly.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    Fellow Frogger! flock's Avatar
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    I gave Stateroads a call and they said they don't do reports on the extent of rust damage, and told me to ask a panel beater although of those I've asked they won't send someone to have a look. Nevertheless, I have gone over it thoroughly, and it appears to be the only major issue.

    The other concerning rust I found was:
    both headlight seat panels - im just going to replace the entire front panel as they come with the headlight panels
    above the rear window - ive already removed all the rust and bogged and primed it
    surface rust in the floor pan - ive gone berserk on the wire brush, rust converted the pitting and primed and painted it

    The bottom line is its only a Series 1 with series 2/3 components and therefore is no longer original so it will most likely end up being a spares car when I can afford a nice Series 2+. Therefore the fix only needs to be safe and ensure the structural integrity, as no one is going to see it.

    Finding another shell can just open up another can of worms unless you inspect absolutely everything. The rest of the car appears to be in good order, the back end is fine and the sills are perfect.

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Being what it is, if you find a NICE S2, it's highly unlikely the wreck will have anything to contribute.

    Those seams are not that structural, the rust above the rear window is more worrying the because there is a seam somewhere there that likes to crack open if you flog the car. Rust there might be the tip of another iceberg.

    Either way, to make these cars a bit more rigid, I suggest a first step would be a strut top bar. If you don't know why, check the scuttle panel plastic trim and see if the corner screws are still there. That's what happens when the chassis flexes in enthusiastic cornering (and back at the seam above the rear windows - or is it above the b-pillar? -somewhere around there).


    Another spot to check for rust is in the sills, but you need to remove the end plugs - one in the wheel arch hidden under a load of paint, body deadener or whatever and so on. The other is at the end of the sill, under the car, on the inside vertical panel, just around/above the jacking point. Stick your hand there and feel around with your fingers. When you found these, take both out and crank up your pressure washer. See what comes out.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! flock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    Being what it is, if you find a NICE S2, it's highly unlikely the wreck will have anything to contribute.

    Those seams are not that structural, the rust above the rear window is more worrying the because there is a seam somewhere there that likes to crack open if you flog the car. Rust there might be the tip of another iceberg.

    Either way, to make these cars a bit more rigid, I suggest a first step would be a strut top bar. If you don't know why, check the scuttle panel plastic trim and see if the corner screws are still there. That's what happens when the chassis flexes in enthusiastic cornering (and back at the seam above the rear windows - or is it above the b-pillar? -somewhere around there).


    Another spot to check for rust is in the sills, but you need to remove the end plugs - one in the wheel arch hidden under a load of paint, body deadener or whatever and so on. The other is at the end of the sill, under the car, on the inside vertical panel, just around/above the jacking point. Stick your hand there and feel around with your fingers. When you found these, take both out and crank up your pressure washer. See what comes out.
    Just got the missus to take a picture for me, I think I know what you mean about the seam above the window. Its fine on the other side but it looks like it's possibly deeper.

    205 Rust in the seam- how far do I go?-1456971366631.jpg

    I took out the scuttle panel to change the dash and it was screwed in fine. It was a bit cracked but I think that's more age than anything.

    Ill have another look at the sills when I get home on the weekend, thanks for the heads up.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts lion5's Avatar
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    Try follow it through from the front end (go down from brake booster), you might have to move the fuel filter out of the way. It could have been from an excessive brake fluid leak building up, eating up the paint.

    Though that job does look like something weird happened, where is the factory paint job?
    Pour le peuple colonisé, la valeur la plus essentielle, parce que la plus concrète, c'est d'abord la terre: la terre qui doit assurer le pain et, bien sûr, la dignité.

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Nah, it's from condensation under the dash, on the floor itself and with the possibility of some past heater core leaks thrown in for good measure. All that stuff accumulates under the carpet and rot starts where the paint was rubbed off by the carpet moving a bit under your heels during pedal action.

    Not to say bake fluid leaks can't contribute.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts djvu205's Avatar
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    Rear side window seals leak badly on alot of 205s make sure they are very clean. Even to the extent of taking the glass off, removing seal and giving it a bath in hot soapy water followed by a few days in the sun to dry out. 205 carpet is bad news in that its got a waterproof backing on it so water can run in under the sides of carpet and not get out. I havent seen many 205s with rust up til about 12 months ago but i think its becoming more common. Quite a few cars rust above rear window on the seam as a good part of the rear quarters are only bonded on with glue. I hacked one up not long back and parts of the quarter separated easily. As mentioned tin foil and french spit.

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