The Detroit Post
Thursday, 21 October, 2021

How To Rust Repair Panels

Maria Johnson
• Thursday, 19 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Provided you have the right equipment, a reasonable level of mechanical aptitude and a car that is not totally rusted out, the procedure is quite straightforward. Using these pre-shaped panels is infinitely preferable to trying to repair rusted sheet metal from sheet-stock, so, even if the job requires the ser­vices of a professional body shop, Moss repair panels cut costs and make for a much better job.

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As a guide to how easy the job is for an amateur restorer, we asked our Mosses manager, Peter Confides, to detail his experiences with installing rear fen­der repair panels on an MGB. This includes: An electric high-speed grinder with cutting disc attachment; a hammer and sharp cold chisel; gas welding equipment; your Moss Motors rustrepairpanels ; a piece of chalk or welder’s marking crayon; jack and stands.

Remember, if you’re working inside a garage with welding equip­ment, remove cans of gasoline, and make sure your home-heater pilot light is alight (or else turned off completely). Cutting with a disc grinder is much better than using your welding torch, because the heat will warp the fender.

When everything is trimmed and tidied so that the new panel fits to your satisfaction, clamp it in place with vise grips or C-clamps. You then carefully weld it in place, making sure you do not concentrate in one spot long enough to warp the panel.

Article by Mark Trot ta If a hood or trunk lid on an old car needs repair, they can be unbolted and replaced fairly easily. If you're just getting started with automotive body repair, a wire-feed (MIG) unit is a good choice.

They're easy to learn on, cheapest to buy, and most people can produce quality, good-looking welds with minimal practice. Provided you are a decent welder, you can save money and repair rust on body panels yourself.

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Cutting out the metal to be repaired can be done in several ways, but before you start grabbing tools, stop and think about the best plan of action. The most common air tool for bodywork is a die grinder, which serves two purposes.

Take a scraper or putty knife and scrape off any loose rust on the body panel to be worked on. Use an air sander to quickly bring the rusted area down to bare metal.

You can use tin-snips, or a coarse file to remove the rusted metal, but an air-powered die grinder with a cut-off wheel is fastest. Slice along the taped line with the cut-off wheel, letting the air tool do the work.

After carefully cutting out the rusted metal from the panel, the next step is to make a patch template. Start larger than you need, then gradually trim until a perfect fit is achieved.

On older (pre-seventies) American cars and trucks, the width of the original sheet metal is most likely 18 or 20 gauge. Carefully cut out the metal template, checking and re-checking it against the car for an exact fit.

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You can use a black marker to mark the cut, remembering to add about an 1/8th” or so to the line for trimming. You may decide to remove the entire section to make the patch and welding more accessible.

Cutting the panel bigger than the damaged area may give you a cleaner and easier butt weld. With the panel shaped, test fit it to the car body several times, then clamp it down.

In some ways, we live in possibly the best time to own and restore a classic muscle car. Not since the time when these cars were daily drivers has there been such an availability of body panels and parts.

Most of the cars that you find for sale have already been “restored” years ago at a time when sheet metal availability wasn't so good. Muscle Car Restorations in Chippewa Falls, WI sees this all the time.

A customer brings in a car that looks nice on the surface, but underneath that decent-looking paint is some awful restoration work. Once the body has been dipped, all sorts of rust damage shows up that was simply muddled over or very crudely patched the last time.

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What MCR is going to show us is how to pick through this repair one step at a time and turn what looks like an impossible mess into something most of us could manage. See all 13 photosphere out the rust damage found under the previous “restoration” of this 1969 Mustang.

The upper cowl piece is available new so MCR will section in the end of that part but the remainder will need to be made from scratch. The tape is trimmed to these marks, which are then used to guide the cuts needed to remove the damaged area.

This prevents heat warping even though this type of area is usually not as prone to that issue as would the long seam on a quarter panel. See all 13 footsore the welds are ground flush, the repair will be completely seamless.

See all 13 photostat patches still need a bit of touching up before they are ready for primer, and of course, the end of the cowl still needs to be spliced in, but we doubt this whole process took longer than the last shop spent filling it with mud and sanding it into shape. Thanks to modern chemistry and manufacturing, we now have two-part epoxy panel adhesives that are strong and flexible enough to bond metals together more or less permanently.

Having tried everything from trusty old Bond to welding in steel, this was my first time using panel adhesives (unless all those tubes of Testers model cement count). Mike BumbeckMy target here was non-structural steel-to-steel repair, the expected end result being somewhere in between exquisite hand-hammered Italian coachwork and the standard New England Tiger Hair skimmed over expanding foam hack and pack.

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Following some quick work with a Sharpie and cutoff wheel, a perforated steel and Bond sandwiches littered my workspace floor. Mike BumbeckNext up I used a pneumatic flanking tool that clamped its offset jaws onto the steel and gnawed around the hole so the steel patch had a recessed contact patch to sit flush in the adhesive for minimum body filler work.

As there are no ready-made patch panels or skins for the mighty Montero, I fabled up some one-off templates with a Sharpie, poster board, and protractor for angle measurements. Mike Brubeck then used the templates to trace out the patch panels on some sheet metal.

(I used a piece of PVC pipe, a vice-mount miniature metal break, and body hammer kit.) Mike BumbeckMike BumbeckWe used every clamp I had access to, from Vise-Grips to hose forceps with some masking tape on the contact points.

My prevailing theory was that masking tape would be easier to grind off the metal than a clamp. After some grinding with a 24-grit resin sanding wheel on a four-inch grinder, the patch was ready for a skim coat of body filler, primer, and finish paint.

Karma | Rust Holes on Metal POTENTIAL DAMAGE IMPLICATIONS When rust is this bad, Karma products will not work to repair ; the panel must be replaced so a roofing professional must be contacted. We may earn a commission on purchases made after clicking links on this page.

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An old van is fine, but please, let’s not have it’s rusty, brown roots showing. So, much like a good home hair dye job, we give our van a quick age masking at-home treatment.

With this small investment of time and money, our van goes from a rusty eyesore, back to being virtually invisible in its blandness. First, I’ll start this off by saying that the end product of this DIY isn’t showroom pretty.

It is a serviceable clean-up and paint job to coax a few more months/years out of a vehicle that is in otherwise good shape except for a rusty spot or two. But our goal isn’t to beat rust, it is simply to hold it off and drive our (paid for) vehicle for a little longer.

Rubbing compound works miracles at cleaning up rust stains and cloudy over-spray from amateur hour spray painting (i.e. the type of painting I do). Plan enough time for multiple layers with at least an hour or two curing between each.

You’ll find that rubbing compound should get most of any rust stains and mess off that other cleaners miss. You may choose to tape off some areas (I did last year) but I’ve found that any build-up near the tape line tends to show up worse than the misty over-spray that untapped areas get.

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Depending on the paint you buy and temperature, this may be one hour or many. Many thin coats are better than 1 thick one (Yes, Dad, I heard and remembered what you said).

Wife able to make eye contact with fellow employees in the parking lot? Others will want to go back with some rubbing compound after the paint has cured for a few days and give it a good buffing.

No amount of cleaning and painting can hide a physical hole. It is possible your vehicle has smaller rust spots and these clean up much nicer.

Check out this comparison of the driver side sliding door. The small bit of surface rust and staining virtually disappear with a good cleaning and paint job.

Our next step may be to visit a wrecker and see about getting a matching driver’s side door (as that is the worst spot).

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