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Rust – How to fix rust on a car without welding (Wheel arches)

Rust – The article is a summary of the EXCELLENT Chris Fix video where he fixes rust on a car’s wheel arch. Video is included below.

Quick Summary

Clean away rust (StrikeEngine recommendation, use a rust treatment to treat any left overs)

Hammer in area so there is not a bulge after you have added filler

Add filler

Sand to body using finer and finer sandpaper. Start with 40, then 80, then 160 grit

Spray area with filling primer

Sand primer with 600 grit sandpaper

3 coats of paint, 3 coats of clear coat & leave to cure for a few days

Sand painted area with gradually finer sandpapers, start with 1500, then 2000, then 3000, then 5000 grit. Clean and polish.

Full breakdown with video time stamps.

Step 1- Sand away old rust with 80 grit sand paper. Leave bare metal around the edge of the rust patch

Step 2 – Fixing the holes in the rusty panel. Hammer in damaged area before adding fibreglass impregnated body filler. Hammering the panel in slightly allows you to ad the filler to the panel without the filler bulging above the level of the panel – Time stamp 3:50

Step 3 – Fix rust behind the car’s panel. Sand away rust, spray with rust treatment. Spray over with rubberised underseal – Time stamp 5:43

Step 4 – Fix rust holes by using stainless steel mesh behind the panel. Clean with alcohol, apply fibreglass impregnated body filler. Sand filler with 40 grit sandpaper. Add filler to smooth out finish. 80 grit sandpaper and then 180 grit sandpaper. Add glazing putty to fill in pinholes and small dips. Sand with 320 grit. Clean area with leaf blower or similar to clean area of dust. Mask off area and bend paper to get smooth spray line. Spray with filling primer. 3 layers  – Time stamp 7:20

Step 5 – Sand primer with 600 grit sand paper. Clean with alcohol. Mask area. Spray with paint, lots of light coats. When it dries spray again with slightly heavier coat. When it dries, spray again. When it dries spray with clear coat which is warm for even coverage. Similar to paint, spray around 3 coats with last coat being quite thick while avoiding running. Time stamp 15:40

Step 6 – Finishing up. Leave clear coat to cure for a couple of days. Clean area with alcohol. Mask of areas which you dont want to sand. Start with 1500 grit and WET sand area, then 2000 grit and then 3000 grit to 5000 grit. Use sponge to back sandpaper so it sands evenly.  Clean area with soap and water after every change in grit. When panel dry use polish or scratch remover to polish panel. Time stamp 18:20

How to fix rust on a car – Summary

Fixing the rust on a car is not difficult but it takes patience and a lot of sanding. The biggest problem with repairs like this, especially if it is your first time, is to want to rush through and try and cut corners, for example not sanding the rust as much as you should, this could lead to the rust coming back or not sanding the filler as much as you should, which leaves with paint with small grooves from the sandpaper. Being methodical and doing the best job you can will save you time in the long run and leave you with a finish you can be proud of.

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This page was last modified Jun 2, 2018 @ 5:16 pm

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