Last post on Jan 25, 2011 at 9:18 PM
You are in the Maintenance & Repair
What is this discussion about?
Car Safety, Exterior, Auto Body, Paint, Car Warranties, Coupe, Convertible, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan, Wagon, SUV, Van
#1 of 67 Rust Never Sleeps--Questions About Rust Problems
by Karen@Edmunds HOST
Nov 26, 2003 (6:55 am)
This topic is for posting questions about Ferrous
Oxide, aka Rust, a menace to cars old and new.
#2 of 67 Rust on frame rails of Alfa Spider
Nov 24, 2003 (1:19 pm)
my 74 spider has serious rust on the front frame rails. Can they be replaced? Has anyone done it? How much - in NJ?
Nov 26, 2003 (7:35 am)
Not sure what you mean by "serious" rusty, but if you have actual perforations (holes) in the frame rails, I suspect the car is not worth fixing unless the rust is isolated to perhaps one or two small spots.
Best thing to do would be to lift the car at a body shop and do a very careful evaluation of how bad and how extensive the rust actually is. Anything structural that has been attacked would be a serious problem for a car that doesn't have a very high retail value at this time.
You might be better off selling what you have and shopping for a cleaner Alfa. The 70s models can be had at a very reasonable price right now.
#4 of 67 Repair won't last (at least according to ...
Dec 19, 2003 (11:42 am)
... my body shop. Long story short, my wife's '97 Gr Caravan was backed into just over the driver's side back wheel well about 3 years ago. Appeared minor, a neighbor kid owned up to it, paid for the repair (< $400) which has looked fine since fixed until recently. Now water apparently has gotten behind the wheel well and has rusted the inner wheel well area (only noticed because I saw some paint chips falling off). The van has 73K miles and a few very minor scratches and dents (besides this rusted area) so seeing this rust wanted to get it fixed so it didn't get worse ... problem is the body shop (same shop as before) won't guarantee this kind of repair because this area (the outer skin and inner well) is normally welded from the factory and they can't replicate this process to assure it won't rust again! I was going to check another shop but I've used this shop in the past on a few misshaps (hail damage, etc.); they always stand by their work and they've always made me a happy customer ... is it time to unload the van before it gets any worse?
Dec 19, 2003 (12:03 pm)
WEll let's see, you are putting on about 12K miles a year on this van, so if you got it repaired, even without a guarantee, and it lasted 3 more years that would put you at about 110K in a 9 year old car which wouldn't be worth very much anyway. So, I guess if the repair isn't too expensive, have them do the best they can with "arresting" the rust. There are coatings and sealers which should be able to keep the water out, even if you have to goop it up a bit every now and then from the inside.
#6 of 67 Re: Repair that won't last
Dec 19, 2003 (12:27 pm)
I've heard of rust preventative coating (actually owned an old MGB a number of years ago, in the damp UK they used a product called Waxoyl as an undercoating). My question was more on have you heard of this related to rust repair ... the repair would be $500 but my thinking is that if we had a bad winter (here in the Midwest) with a lot of cold, snowy weather with lots & lots of salt on the roads that come spring the rust would show its ugly face again and basically I'd be throwing good money after bad. I figure the van is worth between $4500 & $5500 on a trade now and your right in that in another 3 years it wouldn't be worth much ... ideally I would like the repair to last that long but no guarantee bothers me. We don't want to be one of those "rust buckets" we see on the road but I'm not foolish enough to think this will ever be a "classic" worth totally restoring (like that old MGB)!
Dec 19, 2003 (3:17 pm)
Unfortunately American body shops aren't very good at dealing with rust. In the UK they know how to handle it, but in the USA they are afraid of it.
Best way to fix it it cut it out. It's the only "sure thing" (famous last words).
Has this rust perforated the metal? Can you stick your fingers in the holes? How bad is it?
#8 of 67 Re: Repair
Dec 21, 2003 (7:09 am)
The rust damage appears to be limited to the outer underside "lip" (about 4 to 6 inches) of the wheel well and there are definitely rust holes through it. The inner fender doesn't show any rust damage (still has that factory undercoating). What's odd is that it appears just the outer "skin" (the painted side) has rotted away from the inner fender. The body shop estimate calls for about a day & half of body work and paint work in which I would think they will cut away as you say the rusted portion rather than just bondo over it.
Dec 21, 2003 (9:12 am)
Oh, covering over it is a waste of time. IF they cut it out and then treated the metal it would probably work on the part that they treated. The problem is whether or not there are other parts inside there which one cannot see or treat.
#10 of 67 Re: Repair that won't last
Dec 22, 2003 (5:58 am)
Quote: "Oh, covering over it is a waste of time. IF they cut it out and then treated the metal it would probably work on the part that they treated. The problem is whether or not there are other parts inside there which one cannot see or treat."
Yes, I agree; I've seen bondo jobs that barely last a season before you see bubbles, etc. and even worse damage coming through. It's not a pretty sight! I'll be watching this area more closely and keep the road salt off it for now. Wife is undecided on fix and keep versus getting something new ... Chicago Auto Show is in early Feb so we'll do a wait and see for now ... thanks!