A spot of rust ... opinions on how to approach this?
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Thread: A spot of rust ... opinions on how to approach this?

  1. #1
    IWS
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    Default A spot of rust ... opinions on how to approach this?

    Seeking advice, opinion on behalf of my son who has a 1993 Subaru.

    It has this rust - in the rear door pillar:

    A spot of rust ...  opinions on how to approach this?-20180121_105303_resized.jpg


    How best to approach this?

    Ian.

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    Icon5 Do it once, do it properly. alternative to bodging and selling off.

    Ian

    Sadly that needed to be treated some time back when it started. Now I would suggest that all the trim needs to be stripped off, and the full extent of the rusting revealed, then the surface flakes removed with a wire brush cup wheel and the once down to reasonable metal, treated with a deoxidizing agent. Many of these have been mentioned on other threads, then the surface prepared for painting. See what is available to fill any pitting as the rust has to be killed or it will manifest itself again in a short time.

    There are some good paint combinations with primers and undercoat that may give a long term solution. If the rusting is very bad I would cut out and replace the rusted metal to do it properly if he was going to keep the car, but then that is part of the process of weighing things up, in an extreme turn-a-round stop gap fix like car yards use, it would be kill the rust, fill the pits quick paint cover up and sell the car, which may have happened when your son bought it!

    But you won't really know until all is revealed and you see what is under the trim and plastic.

    These days with TIG welders and careful work, it is not beyond the determined D.I.Y. approach to end up with a good lasting job.

    Hopefully when all is revealed and brushed back the quick and easy fix will do the job.

    Regards
    Ken
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    Ouch. I'd be very worried about what can't be seen elsewhere....
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    More than "spot" , Ian. Quite a deep seated area. Removing the plastic cover will probably reveal more.

    I'd scape off the "bubbles" and treat with, phosphoric acid then with fish oil. Try not to open up holes, which will be difficult. Then paint with an anti rust primer. But all of this is like "weeing" on the bushfire. And it will come back. Rust is car cancer.

    It's a cut out and weld in a fabricated new section to repair properly. Probably not something the car's value justifies. A competent repair at a wild guess would be around $1k. A bog up and temporarily hide, a couple of hundred.

    How long is car likely to be owned?

    I may just be wise to leave well alone. However an on the road roadworthy check may see the car defected.

    In a situation like this it is always a problem to balance the notion of a "proper repair" versus the value of the car and the real world benefit, if any, of repairing.

    I suspect I am simply repeating what you already know or are thinking.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    That whole area is going to be gone. It'll need to be cut out and then any rust in the structure behind it repaired. Not a small job at all. Very complex with all those body lines meeting there.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    If you follow that path, a donor section cut from a "wreck" at Jolly's or pick a part may be best.

    Sadly most old vehicles have a propensity to rust in the same spot. So finding rust free donors can be problem.

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    Fellow Frogger! Roland's Avatar
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    I totally agree with what Shane has posted.

    There is no strength of metal in what remains there.

    Cut it out and weld new metal in.

    Cheers
    Roland
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I would ascertain if the rust is deep enough that the structure is affected and if there is any rust inside the boxed section. Sometimes rust comes from inside out and if that is the case, what you see is the tip of the iceberg.

    If you're lucky and the rust is only on the outside and didn't punch any holes through, I would clean up thoroughly with wire brushes and paint over with POR15 rust treatment or any other similar products and leave it alone. That'll kill the rusting process but it ain't gonna be pretty. Budget about 50 to 100 bucks.

    I am saying this because if you cut and weld you will introduce rust where it ain't already, and that will create a bigger problem long term. We have had repairs done professionally to address similar problems and no repair lasted more than a couple of years and when it came back it needed a bigger section cut and replaced and so on.
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    IWS
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    Thanks all for observations and opinions. That is what I was after.

    Oh, and I had tongue-in-cheek referring to a "spot of rust". Like the British officer, with a mob of Zulu warriors bearing down saying "looks like we have a spot of bother here chaps ..."

    I know it is not good. It is a question of trying to know how bad a problem it is, and what would be a sensible solution in the circumstances. The car cost a few thousand dollar and, to reply to Rob's question, is a short term mode of transport.

    My inclination is to follow the path of minimal disturbance (not risking spreading rust further/creating longer term problems) and to try to contain the rusting problem as best as is possible. I reckon I'll work with my son to take the approach that Rob & shlitzlaugen suggest - wire brushing and rust treatments. Not elegant - but it is an old car, not a thing of any beauty.

    Thanks again for the comments.

    Ian.

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Just avoid other treatments and go for the POR15 one. It will kill all the rust it comes in contact with. I have tried all other options (rust converters based on phosphoric acid, Fertan - which is ferric chloride, etc.) but they don't last. POR15 or similar are not the cheapest option but if the rust is not structural the treated area will outlast the rest of the car. Buy the smallest tin you find though. Once opened it will react with air moisture and won't be good for another use. The smallest I found was more than enough to do an entire engine bay, just to give you some idea. You can also attend all other problem areas on this occasion to maximise your benefit. You need to buy the marine clean, rust converter/primer and the paint. If you want you can get the top coat as well (they have white), but you need to put that on in the correct time window otherwise it won't stick. The upshot is both layers are brush on as thin as you can so it doesn't run (which will not be very thin anyway so one coat is enough) and they level beautifully. Don't dilute.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Buy an "disposable" (my best effort is to have four replaced under the 12 month warranty) Ozito angle grinder at Bunnings and buy a wire brush for it. It won't break the bank and will speed up the job.

    This is guaranteed to clear off the rust scale in double quick time (and find the holes).

    Some brown zinc chromate primer from the paint shop as a primer, and a tin of Dulux "metal guard epoxy" tinted to close approximation of the car color is the cheap and cheerful refinishing approach. You won't risk any reaction with the car paint either.

    Wear strong work gloves and eye protection when using the angle grinder, or risk being impaled by shedding brush wire.
    Even the best quality brushes seem to suffer from alopecia.

    The Rust Guard paint is best applied, with the tin in a hot water bath and applied with a nice soft bristle quality brush. But I use the 25mm el cheapo sample pot brushes, buy a few at a time and chuck them out after each use.

    Work in a easy to sweep area - there will be fine dust everywhere and put drop sheets over the car seats and dash.

    Remove the plastic moulds to see how bad the corrosion really is (you may decide to move the car on )and get some decent access.
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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Ha. Forgot to say. Use disposable surgical gloves with POR15 or wear it until your skin rejuvenates.

    Rob's idea is not bad, but I would advise you can use a small strong wire brush to the same effect. You also need to get in tight corners, which is where a small brush is handy. POR15 relies on some rust being still present because it needs the moisture to cure. It adheres to bare metal too, but takes longer to cure in the absence of moisture. Sandblasted surfaces are ideal. If you have a small compressor, you can gently blast locally to get most of the rust out and paint directly after you blow off the dust and apply the cleaning/converting treatment.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 24th January 2018 at 05:09 PM.
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    IWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post

    Remove the plastic moulds to see how bad the corrosion really is (you may decide to move the car on )and get some decent access.
    I think this is the key to it. If it already very bad and risking structural integrity of the car (?) we may have to call this another expensive lesson and move it on. If though the car can give a few years feasible & safe service then that is all that is required.

    The young fella get back from Canada this weekend (minus 20c in Montreal to 39c here - a shock to his system coming up!). I'll talk this problem through with him and we can have some father/son experiences with safety gear and anti-rust chemicals as his welcome-home present

    Ian.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    The obvious and sensible approach to the problem.

    Whilst some will sit back and pronounce the car structurally unsound from a single image.

    I'd suggest at this stage there not enough info to decide. And a detailed investigation is warranted.

    But, I would be start wondering how the vehicle passed a roadworthy not too long ago?

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    IWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    The obvious and sensible approach to the problem.

    Whilst some will sit back and pronounce the car structurally unsound from a single image.

    I'd suggest at this stage there not enough info to decide. And a detailed investigation is warranted.

    But, I would be start wondering how the vehicle passed a roadworthy not too long ago?
    Agreed. More investigation needed - rather than simply deciding that the car is death-trap based one one photo (as some her seem to have done ...)

    I too had wondered how the car got through RWC within the past year with that rust (or some version of it visible). Could mean that the verdict of the RWC tester was that it was/is not a serious structural problem? Back to more investigation ...

    Ian.
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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    VSI for RWC tests

    https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/~/me..._web.pdf?la=en

    If the vehicle is over 25 years old an engineers report is required.

    For other vehicles "structural rust" is decided at the discretion of the RWC tester.

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