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What do you all do about rust?


Apples555
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Dear Antique Car Owners,

 

You have a great community, I've been lurking for a long time out of interest.

 

It appears that you all particularly have excellent experience with maintaining these very old cars for the long term.

 

I do not have an antique car. But I was wondering what you would do with this rust damage, if it were an antique car? Cut out and weld, treat, or something else?

 

Thank you, and let me know if this isn't an appropriate question for this forum.

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The only permanent way to repair rust like that is to cut it out and weld in new metal. There are a lot of half-fast methods of repair, most intended to last just long enough to get the car off the used car lot. And rest assured that once you start to cut out the damaged metal, you'll find that the rust is more extensive than it appears.

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I agree with Joe that rust must be eliminated completely to be effective. Depending on the part and the degree of corrosion, sand or soda blasting, chemical dipping or replacement may be necessary. I myself, am not keen on the rust stabilizers, but if it's gone, chances are that it won't come back to haunt you later!

 

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This will not be a popular opinion, but I sometimes look at moderate rust like that on a functional, presentable, usable car as management rather than abatement. Everyone is terrified of rust and treats it like it's radioactive, but on a car that's otherwise presentable and not structurally compromised, spot-repairs can be effective. The important thing to remember is that with the way hobby cars are used, the rust probably won't get any worse. You're not using it in inclement weather and certainly not in salt and slush. If the rust is in a low-visibility spot like in the photo above and you don't have a restoration or repaint in your future, treating, sealing, and painting the area can make things better. Not 100% better, but maybe 60% better. It's not the "right" way to do it, but it can buy you time to enjoy the car without a major investment.

 

This isn't to say that I recommend doing half-hearted and incorrect work, but not all rust is fatal and not every rust spot needs to be expensively excised. There's certainly a right way and a wrong way to do things and cutting out the affected areas is always the right way. But given that it will probably not get any worse, managing rust on a car that doesn't need a full repaint or restoration can extend its useful life without the major expense of repaint or restoration. As I said, manage it rather than freaking out over it and getting out the torch.

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21 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

This will not be a popular opinion, but I sometimes look at moderate rust like that on a functional, presentable, usable car as management rather than abatement. Everyone is terrified of rust and treats it like it's radioactive, but on a car that's otherwise presentable and not structurally compromised, spot-repairs can be effective. The important thing to remember is that with the way hobby cars are used, the rust probably won't get any worse.

Some area are next to impossible to keep 'rust free', especially on cars that are driven sparingly.  Frictional wear surfaces, including disc brake rotors, and leaf springs will always have bare, unprotected steel exposed upon use.

 

Craig 

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1 hour ago, 8E45E said:

Some area are next to impossible to keep 'rust free', especially on cars that are driven sparingly.  Frictional wear surfaces, including disc brake rotors, and leaf springs will always have bare, unprotected steel exposed upon use.

 

Craig 

 

That's not what this thread is about. The OP is asking about body rust on what appears to be a rocker panel at the wheel opening. It's clear from the photo that there are holes already. It will only get worse.

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3 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 

That's not what this thread is about. The OP is asking about body rust on what appears to be a rocker panel at the wheel opening. It's clear from the photo that there are holes already. It will only get worse.

The title makes it a personal question.

 

In response, I have nothing to add to your reply, where your first sentence makes it clear for a body panel or component.  I have cut out and replaced ALL rusted through areas on my projects and welded in new metal, and sandblasted clean any surface rust to SSPC-SP10 standard prior to refinishing.   My reply is to Matt's comment about having to live with SOME rust if your car is not a museum piece.

 

Craig

 

 

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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Rust never sleeps. Oh that should be Rust Never Sleeps (a Neil Young/ Crazy Horse album). 

 

But, in some cases I have managed it with  Miracle Paint, POR-15, etc. I know Tiger Hair and love it (got some in the 94 Caprice wagon). Not talking 100% show cars here, but drivers. On other cars (even the Chevette) I have  cut out the damage and welded in patches. Just depends. ALL structural rust gets cut out and replaced.

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  • 1 month later...

In antique assessment of valuation we call it “patina”, and in a world where “originality” is a obsession, there is nothing more original on a old car than rust. I think it depends a whole lot on the age, use, and daily maintenance of the car, and to do extensive body repairs to a old (not unique/antique/collectible car, which will have other, and probably excessive mechanical failures is not too wise. Remember, the rust you can see is probably only a tiny part of the rust you actually have, and removal of rusty metal demands enough sound metal be left to support welding, screwing, or even pop riveting a new panel in to replace the rotten part. Sadly, in not too old Chevys, and, “No”, I didn’t say Vega, the rust is so extensive that the frame has been compromised, and replacing a rusted fender panel is like putting lipstick on a pig........Sorry, I borrowed that from another AACA member who used it as a response to one of my posts.

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Rust = Iron oxide. I learned this on a boil exam that I got wrong. In order to have rust you need oxygen, iron and some water. If you can prevent the bare metal from getting oxygen, rust will not occur. I purchased two gravel deflectors ( these are the metal flaps behind the rear tires that protect the rear fenders). Under normal use back in the day these parts took a lot of abuse. The ones that I purchased were not perfect (surface rust), so I soaked them in Evapo Rust for a day, dried them out, primed and painted them. I used a textured underbody coating paint, as this part will take some hits from road gravel and will keep an eye on them and repaint as needed. 

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