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burninator

Weird fender welds/rust.

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Posted (edited)

I had some cracking paint on my fender and I was kinda hoping I could fill the crack and spray something over it so I could just drive the car for a while. But on inspection the crack had gotten worse, and seemed to be lifting and loosening up, so I decided to just knock the loose stuff off and see what it looked like underneath. What I found seemed odd to me. The body filler was pretty thick there, maybe 3/16ths of an inch near the bottom of the uncovered area, and it had these vertical welds you can see in the picture. In addition it had the bumps all over, maybe a dent puller was used there and left the marks, it's really uneven. I'm guessing it had some major damage in that area that was previously repaired. I guess I'm just in over my head and need to take it to a body shop. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little depressed to find this. How bad is it? There was a little on the roof too, by the rear hatch, I'm assuming there is more rust in there too.

 

Roof:

20200525_121649.jpg

 

Fender:

20200525_121743.jpg

20200525_121736.jpg

Edited by burninator
Added clarity on pics.

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I ran into something similar on my Z, I was pretty bummed about it too but I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. In my opinion if your looking at taking it to a body shop thats going to add up quick especially because you dont know how far the previous repairs go.

 

I would pull off the filler and paint myself and see if there is anything you can do to fix it yourself before taking it in. Even if you decide to take it in it will be cheaper if you remove the existing filler yourself.

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It looks like the fenders lips have been replaced because of rust, very common area to need work.  Basically your going to have to strip all the paint and mud off that area to see what you really have, be prepared for the worst because the work that is showing doesn't look like it was done by a craftsman.  The replacement panel can be purchased hear by the company that makes them, https://tabcoparts.com/16751.html

The roof is the real concern I think, if those hair line rust marks disappear with a few strokes of some 220 grit sand paper then that's great but rust that is just breaking through from the inside of the roof can look like that too.  That is a tough area to repair because of the 4-5" lip inside the cab where the headliner tucks into it

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Posted (edited)

The roof piece doesn't look too worrying to me. Looks like someone put lots of bondo over the whole car, and that piece started lifting as a result of the surface rust you see there. You'll need to treat the surface rust, but it doesn't look serious at all - at least from what we can see. I would remove the bondo and make certain there's no unseen issues.

 

As for your fender, I would continue to remove the bondo there, and see what exactly is going on there. The welds make me think it's someone's attempt at making a straight piece of sheet into a curved piece by cutting pie cuts and welding them up. It also appears to be the inner part of the fender, not the outer part, which appears to have been cut off, and left as is. I'm thinking the fender lips were either rusted, or cut off for fender flares which were later removed. I think the easiest way of fixing this, assuming I'm right, is to purchase an inner wheel well, and partial outer quarter, and weld those in. You should also check out the other side since, whether it's as a result or rust or old fender flares, both sides probably have work done to them. I'd start by looking at the inner wheel well, no sense removing paint if you don't need to. 

Edited by rturbo 930

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4 hours ago, Exposed said:

I ran into something similar on my Z, I was pretty bummed about it too but I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. In my opinion if your looking at taking it to a body shop thats going to add up quick especially because you dont know how far the previous repairs go.

 

I would pull off the filler and paint myself and see if there is anything you can do to fix it yourself before taking it in. Even if you decide to take it in it will be cheaper if you remove the existing filler yourself.

Good point about saving money by doing the removal myself. I can probly handle that.

 

2 hours ago, grannyknot said:

It looks like the fenders lips have been replaced because of rust, very common area to need work.  Basically your going to have to strip all the paint and mud off that area to see what you really have, be prepared for the worst because the work that is showing doesn't look like it was done by a craftsman.  The replacement panel can be purchased hear by the company that makes them, https://tabcoparts.com/16751.html

The roof is the real concern I think, if those hair line rust marks disappear with a few strokes of some 220 grit sand paper then that's great but rust that is just breaking through from the inside of the roof can look like that too.  That is a tough area to repair because of the 4-5" lip inside the cab where the headliner tucks into it

Thanks for the link, that's not even too expensive. I will take a closer look at the roof. I definitely think your correct that this doesn't seem like the work of a craftsman, but I'm not an expert enough.

 

2 hours ago, rturbo 930 said:

The roof piece doesn't look too worrying to me. Looks like someone put lots of bondo over the whole car, and that piece started lifting as a result of the surface rust you see there. You'll need to treat the surface rust, but it doesn't look serious at all - at least from what we can see. I would remove the bondo and make certain there's no unseen issues.

 

As for your fender, I would continue to remove the bondo there, and see what exactly is going on there. The welds make me think it's someone's attempt at making a straight piece of sheet into a curved piece by cutting pie cuts and welding them up. It also appears to be the inner part of the fender, not the outer part, which appears to have been cut off, and left as is. I'm thinking the fender lips were either rusted, or cut off for fender flares which were later removed. I think the easiest way of fixing this, assuming I'm right, is to purchase an inner wheel well, and partial outer quarter, and weld those in. You should also check out the other side since, whether it's as a result or rust or old fender flares, both sides probably have work done to them. I'd start by looking at the inner wheel well, no sense removing paint if you don't need to. 

I think you're right, that the whole car, or at least a lot of it, has a layer of filler on it, whether it needed it or not. The roof doesn't look bad from the inside, the headliner fell down, so I can't see the whole thing, but there is no obvious damage. And now that you point out out, is does look like the outer fender was cut away, but I could not tell anything from looking at it from under the wheel well.

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So, I'm going to have to work on this bit by bit, and I can't really afford to get the car worked on by a body guy or painted any time soon. As I said earlier, I'm in a predicament with this. I felt like I couldn't drive the car with the cracking paint, and that was probably true, I didn't want rust developing under the paint/filler to eat the car. So I jumped into it and started chipping away. But now that I'm digging into it my concern is that the bare metal needs protection. It'll be garaged 100% of the time, but it could be a while (months... years?) before it gets finished. How long do I have before I need to be concerned about the bare metal? And is there something I can put on it to keep it protected that will be easy to remove for real body work? Somebody who does paint once told me that spray can primer can absorb moisture and doesn't do great for keeping metal from rusting underneath. 

 

Thanks, I'm super bummed I'm not gonna be able to drive my Z for a while, and I just found out my daily driver Subaru is gonna need a new engine which would cost more than the car is worth. So, yay! I'm having a moment.

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There's no reason you can't just drive it around as is. That said, you're in Montana which is dry to start with, and the car is garaged, so it's not getting rained on, etc. I'm assuming your garage is dry. I doubt it'll rust to any significant degree even if left bare. Get some basic black spray paint from Home Depot and put a coat on. Should be fine. 

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1 hour ago, rturbo 930 said:

There's no reason you can't just drive it around as is. That said, you're in Montana which is dry to start with, and the car is garaged, so it's not getting rained on, etc. I'm assuming your garage is dry. I doubt it'll rust to any significant degree even if left bare. Get some basic black spray paint from Home Depot and put a coat on. Should be fine. 

 

Thanks, yeah, the garage is dry, and I'd keep it out of the rain, for sure it would be nice to drive it, so thanks for the info! 

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Just wanted to follow up with a bit of a progress update. I started stripping paint and bondo, used a head gun and a scrapper to get started, I guess I'll move on to a wire wheel at some point.

 

The roof didn't look to bad, here is a wider view of the cracked area previously uncovered. I still can't figure out why it had any bondo at all there...

20200607_161958.jpg.06945d8cfdca2eeaa9c8783f865f0dad.jpg

 

The other side looks slightly worse, notably the seam, and then some rust on the inside the weatherstripping was covering...

20200607_161927.jpg.4fe0ea9853a4423eb97ac64e1e880f55.jpg

 

An example of some paint bubbling up with a bit of rust underneath at the rear of the hatch area that needs addressed...

20200607_161939.jpg.a5633faec4d70c0a3390093c945e9f1f.jpg

 

Spare tire well had a lot of rust, but still seems structurally sound...

20200607_161944.jpg.18b7bf076b5781b7cd991b8380e31427.jpg

 

The fender that was the worst of my fears, not much more to say there that hasn't already been said...

20200607_162005.jpg.8a9e5afbdab45641088b96bbce57b0ce.jpg

 

And the front part of the fender and rocker panel, this is the new area I'm most scared about. Looks like untreated rust just got covered in bondo and ignored...

20200607_162012.jpg.c1a7cda1ca0a695fbf1784b7536532dc.jpg

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Is a wirebrush on an angle grinder too aggressive for this work? I had started using a roloc bristle disk on my air grinder in the spare tire well. But I don't even remember where I got it from and those things are pretty expensive for a consumable.  

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