Automotive Restoration for beginners
By Phil Storr

Quick and dirty rust repairs:

We have all seen cars that have been bogged up to sell, Grind off the rust, bang the panel in and bog it up with plastic filler. A quick coat of spray putty, primer and then paint and we have a repair that will last perhaps six months.

Vehicles that are just too common to become classics or a cheap car for the younger members of the family to learn to drive do not warrant all the expense of a full restoration. It is possible to do a cheap job that will last quite a few years. Areas like the bottoms of guards and doors can be fixed with a material called Fiber Fill. Grind off and chop off the rusty metal from outside and then use a powerful rust converter to make sure all traces of remaining rust inside and out are killed stone dead. Use a product like POR15 Metal Ready and clean the area with POR15 Marine Clean first to remove all traces of oils and greases.

When you are satisfied it is clean and free from rust bend in the edges of the metal so the repair material will feather out to the sound panel areas. Mix up a quantity of Fiber Fill and fill in the hole using disposable gloves and your fingers to mold it into shape. When it sets, file and sand off the excess material and them use some plastic filler and later spray putty to fill in any dips and hollows.

Now the most important part of this fix was to remove all the existing rust, the second most important part is to protect the back of the repair so water will not reach the bare metal and start the process once again. Liberally paint the inside of the repaired area with a body tar material or POR15 Rust Preventive Paint. If this process is done carefully it will last for quite a long time.

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Written by Phil. Storr, last updated 8th September 2000