How To Repair Rust In Your Classic Car Body
I thought that I’d delve in to an article about fixing rust in the body of your classic car, this is a huge problem if your buying or own a classic cars that came from a place near the sea, or a place where they use salt on the roads to melt the snow, rust in most cases will start underneath the car and work it’s way up destroying anything in it’s path along the way, nothing will stop rust or slow it down in it’s effort to destroy your classic car’s body.
There are a few ways to fix rust problems in your car, but first you must find them, you can start by looking for bubbles in the painted surface of the car, and do not take it lightly when you find it, don’t look at it and think that just because it seems to be only on the surface that it is, rust will hide in cracks, underneath seem sealer, under that carpet, or any place else that it can, believe be the rust knows that you don’t want it in your car, so look at it like a doctor would look a cancer.
To check how bad the rust is, take a body hammer with a pick on one end, and use that end to lightly tap the rusted spot that you have found, if the metal seems like it’s soft and moves easily, then you needs to fix this area now, in some cases you’ll knock a hole in the area that your tapping on wit the hammer, don’t worry about this, it won’t be there for long if you fix the rust hole the right way.
What you’ll need to do the job, is a, air compressor, a die grinder with a cutting blade on it, do yourself a favor and make sure that you have more then one cussing blade for that grinder, you’ll need sheet metal, the same gage as your car, if you don’t know what gage it is, you’ll also need a 5″ air grinder loaded with a 40 grit disc to finish the welds with, then you’ll need to buy a metal gage checking tool, and last but not least you’ll need a MIG welder with plenty of gas and wire, there are other ways to fix a rust spot without a welder, but in my opinion they are not as reliable.
Now that you have your tools all together and your courage up to the right level where you can begin the job, you’ll want to determine how big the rusted area is by tapping it with the pick end of that body hammer until you run in to areas on all sides of the rust that don’t seem soft, or like they don’t have any strength to them, once you have discovered how big the rusted area is you need to get a sharpie and draw a line around the rusted area, about 2″ in to the good metal all the way around the rusted area, so you know that the rust will be gone when you cut it out, rust is not easy to weld to, so make 100% sure that it’s all the way gone.
Now that you have your line to cut to all drawn out with the sharpie, you can plug the die grinder in to the air source, now a word of advise here, don’t try to cut it all at one time, put a light cut along the line that you drew with the sharpie, just repeat the process of running the die grinder along that line until the rusted area falls out of the car, now that the rusted metal is out of your car, pick up the rusted piece of metal and lay it on top of your new sheet metal, take that sharpie that you used to draw the first line to cut to, and using the rusted piece of metal draw a line to it with the sharpie, using the same process that you did on the rusted spot in your car, cut the piece of good metal out with the die grinder.