Non structural permanent rust repair can be done without welding. In fact, I have seen welding cause more problems than it will solve, especially if the back sides of the welds can not be properly treated and coated. Follow along as I take you through the products and procedures I will use to repair the rust on my 6.9. I have been working on rusty old cars since I bought my first Model A Ford when I was 13 years old. I have tried every product imaginable. Very few live up to their claims to make it go away and not come back. Even welding in new metal is not a guarantee that the rust will not come back. You should see some of the dozens of examples where I have seen the weld seams rust from the inside out because they were not properly coated and protected from moisture on the blind side! And NOTHING rusts faster than an oxidized weld seem. I have come to believe that unless you are restoring a valuable collector car, one should stay away from sheet metal weld replacement. If it is not structural, you can repair it without welding. If it is structural, consider buying another car. In my humble opinion there is not a 107, 114, 115, 116, 123, or 126 chassis out there that is worth the cost and expense of major sheet metal replacement. There are just too many rust free examples available. Even if you have to find something in a different state. Just dump the rust bucket!
Problem & Solution
Common among these chassis:
Can you trust an auto body shop to do the job right? Beware - there are very few - and I mean very few body shops that know how to repair rust properly. Even the best known and highly respected shops can beautifully weld in new metal and fill the seam to perfection with auto body filler. If the repair is in a high moisture environment, It may be years later and maybe two owners later, but the rust will rear its ugly head again. It will show up first as small bubbles in the paint. Over time the bubbles will grow to big lumps (illustrated right 2nd picture below below). When you scrap away the paint and dig out the body filler you will be shocked at what you find. As I discovered on my 6.9, the body shop that repaired the right rear fender used fiberglass cloth with polyester resin to fill the hole - then covered it over with regular auto body filler. I am sure it looked real pretty when it came out of the paint booth. But all this repair did was trap more moisture into the repaired area from water getting into the trunk side wells (very common due to leaks in rear window seal). And when I dug it all out and cleaned it up, look at the repair I have to deal with now.
Before I purchased my 6.9 I did a very careful inspection of the rust and felt it was quite minimal considering it was a European model. I found no structural rust anywhere on the car during that initial inspection. If I had, I would not have bought it. A more thorough inspection on my lift at home confirmed that I made the right decision. Remember if you see a little rust here and there just be ready to find more when you dig into it. You will see this illustrated in the following pages on my own car (but from experience I was expecting it). Winter is almost over here in the Northwest so I decided it was time to get on with tackling this menace. I call it a menace because if you don't take care if it - I guarantee it will just keep coming at you.
Phase 1: Complete inspection of all rust areas
Phase 2: Opening up and de-scaling and cleaning all rust areas.
Phase 3: Applying the Miracle Paint Patches to seal holes and rebuild original shape
Keep in mind that all this non structural sheet metal repair is being done without welding. Welding in these areas can often create more problems that it solves. Don't believe this?? You should see some of the cars I have looked at 5 years after patch panel repair by welding... And this car is a perfect example. If the weld lines are not treated with a product as good as Miracle Paint, the new and very rapid rust out will come right through the body filler!. Add to that the fact that if you start welding in these areas be prepared to remove a good part of the interior of the car!
To learn more about the amazing qualities of Miracle Paint be sure to read my manual on rust repair. This manual will cover in detail how to get the results you see above. You will not believe the difference! By spraying Miracle Paint on the back side of all these repairs they will last longer than the rest of the car...
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