DIY - Autobody work and welding


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Old 03-23-06, 06:59 PM
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DIY - Autobody work and welding

Hi there!

Im gonna try to give as much detail as possible so I can get the adequate help.
I own a 93 honda civic which is rusting very bad in the rear wheel wells. I live in Canada and it is very harsh weather here with the salt and snow on cars in general.

Anyway, my car is fairly old and I purchased it for $2500 in 2001. The engine still runs perfectly and I dont want to get stuck with car payments since Im a student. With that being said, I dont want to bring my car to an autobody shop since it is too costly considering the car's age.

I have attempted to do bondo work before on the car, but the rust came back very quickly...and yes, i did a fast job and regretting now. So now I would like to do a proper job by cutting and welding new sheet metal.

I have tried to do some research and figured out that I needed a MIG welder for welding thin pieces of metal. I went to home depot today to see if they rent out welders and to my surprise they dont!

So now im a little bumbed out. Is this common? I always thought you can rent out welders for a weekend. Im gonna try to call a few more rental places.

Anyway, I was looking around and saw this welder for $100 (reg. $179) - its not a MIG, but an ARC welder. Can this be used for my application? Or it is way too difficult for a novice? I knows it offly cheap for a welder, but I dont plan on doing any major welding as a hobby. I took a shop class in high school and it included a section on welding - that's the only experience I have.

here's the link on this welder:
http://www.canadiantire.ca/assortmen...romSearch=true

My friends think im crazy for attempting this project and told me its a lot harder than it looks...which i understand fully. But i figured, any bad welding jobs just leads to more work with bondo and sanding. And anything is better than rust all around my car. what u guys think? Am I over my head tackling this?

sorry if u guys keep getting the same questions reworded over and over again.

thanx

steve
 
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Old 03-23-06, 07:43 PM
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Steve,

I can't say wheter or not you are over your head because we don't know how serious you are about learning to weld.
It can be a very rewarding hobby unto itself but if you are looking for a cost effective way of preserving your car this may not be the way to do it.
An arc welder is not a good way to weld sheet metal. This type of welder gets thin metal hot enough to badly distort.
The most widely used welder for autbody use is a mig welder with shielding gas.
This type of welder along with the gas and all the other supplies would make saving your vehicle a very costly exersize.

Your bad experience with auto body filler could be because you did not know how to properly apply it.
Not as long lasting as a properly prepared and executed weld, fibreglass could be used to patch your rust spots and would likely last a fair amount of time.

If you can post some pics of the damage we might be able to offer more advice.
(You would need to put them on a host like Photobucket and link to them.)
 
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Old 03-23-06, 07:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums steve

I don't own a mig and don't know how well they work with sheetmetal so I'll leave that part to others. I do own 2 arc welders and you really can't weld sheetmetal with them. You might be able to tack it in a few spots but a steady bead will burn through the metal and the heat is apt to distort it.

I know there isn't a lot of brazing done today but that is how patch panels used to be put in. You can rent gas bottles at most rental places, maybe a mig too.

Although not the best way to repair rust you can either use fiberglass and bondo or pop rivet metal in place and finish off with bondo. The main thing is to either sand or cut out all rust.

I would suggest going whatever route you are comfortable with. It isn't like you are going to make the car look much worse and although a first class job takes a lot of experience, a decent job can be done by most. IMO the most important thing is your car runs well and is PAID FOR
 
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Old 03-23-06, 07:55 PM
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Hi Greg,

thanx for the quick reply. I figured the answer to the ARC welding would be no. Im just really bumbed me out that I couldnt rent one.

But yah, that's a good idea, I'll post up some pics over the weekend. U guys seem very knowledgable, hopefully u guys can help me out as to what my best best options are.

and yes, Im serious about fixing up my car, but only if its worth it at a reasonable price (as compared to the car).

thanx again.
 
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Old 03-23-06, 08:35 PM
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Steve,

Considering that there is a learning curve with welding, renting could be quite costly.
For someone only committing weekends and evenings, it would cost a lot to rent for the length of time it would take to get the hang of it.

Untill you get some pics you could do a search on the topic of fibreglass or autobody technique.
 
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Old 03-23-06, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr
Welcome to the forums steve

I don't own a mig and don't know how well they work with sheetmetal so I'll leave that part to others. I do own 2 arc welders and you really can't weld sheetmetal with them. You might be able to tack it in a few spots but a steady bead will burn through the metal and the heat is apt to distort it.

I know there isn't a lot of brazing done today but that is how patch panels used to be put in. You can rent gas bottles at most rental places, maybe a mig too.

Although not the best way to repair rust you can either use fiberglass and bondo or pop rivet metal in place and finish off with bondo. The main thing is to either sand or cut out all rust.

I would suggest going whatever route you are comfortable with. It isn't like you are going to make the car look much worse and although a first class job takes a lot of experience, a decent job can be done by most. IMO the most important thing is your car runs well and is PAID FOR

Thanks for ur help.

I dont know much about brazing or riveting or other alternatives to welding; but I will do my research.

I will hopefully be able to post pictures on this weekend and ask ppl's opinions on what is the best approach, if infact welding is too costly or too difficult at my level.

And no, im not looking for first class or show car quality. Just getting tired of being laughed at by my buddies with new cars. But more importantly, its an eye sore! Also I love doing things with my own hands...get a lot of pride from it; as im sure u guys know from ur own experiences.

Thanx for helping.

cheers

steve
 
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Old 03-26-06, 08:07 PM
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Hi guys

here's a link to the pics of my rusted car: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/thinhb...bum?.dir=/c3b2

As you can see, there are heavy rust just above the rear wheel well. Also when I bought the car, the previous owner ran it into a pole and its dented there too and starting to rust. So its a lot of work if I want to fix this thing up.

Can I possibly use fiberglass mats to fill in the hole and use bondo to cover it. I figure the fiberglass mat can be the support for the bondo to hold up. Does anyone do this? Just something to look decent for a few years? Is this possible or is my problem way too serious to be fixed in this manner?

Appreciate all the help I can get.

thanx guys

please let me know if the pics are not accessible.

Steven
 
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Old 03-26-06, 08:42 PM
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I would first clean up the rust with a wire wheel and a grinder.
Stuff the hole with chopped fibreglass filler. One company calls this product Kitty Hair but there are many brands.
Grind or sand the surface smooth and then apply two layers of fibreglass matting extending it past the rust by a couple of inches.
Sand this and taper the edges smooth.
You can then use bondo to the feather the edge.

This is a simplified explanation but the idea is to use a waterproof repair.
Bondo absorbs water and if you use it to fill the hole it will begin rusting right away.
The idea behind covering with fibreglass is that the metal behind will continue to rust but if you do it right you might not see any rust at the surface for a couple of years.

Looking at your car I see some wrinkling of the metal in front of the rust.
This type of repair takes a fair amount of skill to straighten out.
This is quite an ambitious project. Make sure you do a pile of reading before you start.
Half done would be worse that what it looks like now.
 
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Old 03-26-06, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GregH
I would first clean up the rust with a wire wheel and a grinder.
Stuff the hole with chopped fibreglass filler. One company calls this product Kitty Hair but there are many brands.
Grind or sand the surface smooth and then apply two layers of fibreglass matting extending it past the rust by a couple of inches.
Sand this and taper the edges smooth.
You can then use bondo to the feather the edge.

This is a simplified explanation but the idea is to use a waterproof repair.
Bondo absorbs water and if you use it to fill the hole it will begin rusting right away.
The idea behind covering with fibreglass is that the metal behind will continue to rust but if you do it right you might not see any rust at the surface for a couple of years.

Looking at your car I see some wrinkling of the metal in front of the rust.
This type of repair takes a fair amount of skill to straighten out.
This is quite an ambitious project. Make sure you do a pile of reading before you start.
Half done would be worse that what it looks like now.

First off, thanx for your reply. I know its an ambitious project, but Im glad u didnt tell me to just wait and get a new car.

Anyway, If I went to the hardware store and asked for "choped fiberglass filler" would they know what this is? Cuz I dont know what this is. Or should I ask for "kitty hair"? Is this like a bondo type material in fiberglass?

Also, if I cleaned the rust and sand it down to bare metal, would the rust still spread? Probably, cuz I cant reach the inner rust right?

Should I be using special bondo to make it waterproof? Like fiberglass bondo? I've heard of something called "tiger-hair". Any more suggestion on how I can make this waterproof?

Also, I have been reading whatever I can get a hand on autobody work for about a year now. The wringling on the metal where the car was hit, I know i have to use a dolly and a hammer to shape it into place; among other things...

When it comes to painting, has a rattle can ever delivered a respectable job? Or do I have to rent a compressor and buy a paint gun? I have access to a compressor, but its only 1/2 hp. I know a paint guy requires a little more power for decent results.

Unfortunately, I cannot tackle this project until my exams are over, end of april. I know I need a good week so I can do this right. So in the mean time i will do as much research as I can.

Thanks again GregH.

steven
 
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Old 03-27-06, 05:06 AM
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Steven,

Tiger Hair is likely chopped fibreglass filler. Makes sense that the mfr would try to out do the Kitty Hair name.
This a Bondo type material in fibreglass.
When asking for supplies it is sometimes hard to get past the trade names. Bondo is one company's name for plastic auto body filler.

A hardware store would not be a good place to buy these supplies.
Many auto body supply stores will sell to hobbiests but barring that a major auto parts store would likely have what you need.
Etching primer, sealing primer sandable primer are all products you should be able to buy in a rattle can. Ask for these specific products in a rattle can and if they have them you are shopping at the right place.
The top coat can also be had in a can and will seal the repair from the top but would be difficult to blend in with the rest of the paint.

I have done a few complete driveway paint jobs but have learned the hard way that this is the best part of the project to farm out.
'Aint no fun to have a GIANT moth do a death crawl on a freshly painted hood.
 
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Old 03-27-06, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by snguy82
When it comes to painting, has a rattle can ever delivered a respectable job? Or do I have to rent a compressor and buy a paint gun? I have access to a compressor, but its only 1/2 hp. I know a paint guy requires a little more power for decent results.


While a spray can is not the best way to paint there are those who have gotten good results with it. I knew a guy in fla who built a hot rod [fiberglass body] and painted it with rattle cans. It looked suprisingly good but I think he said he used 28 cans

A 1/2 hp comp will power some of the cheaper spray guns for a short while but I would be leary of using auto paint with a cheaper gun. Not that I would recomend not doing a good job but white cars are often easier to get looking good. They tend not to show defects in the body work as bad as darker colors. The more rust you can remove the longer the repair should last.

BTW your car doesn't look all that bad. I would be proud if my oldest son would get a car like yours, he tends to go from one junker to another, don't know why he's not like his brother.
 
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Old 03-27-06, 03:08 PM
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Thanx Greg and Mark for ur help thus far.

Could be a stupid question:
do I need all of the 3 primers mentioned: etching, sealing, and sandable? Or is that just so I know the store Im in has what i need?
I would think that I need: a sealable primer that is sandable right?

Also, the rusted-out hole and the rusting along the fenders that are bubbling up has no backing (open up to wheel well) - how will the fiberglass filler stay in there if there's no backing inside the hole?

Also to confirm:
1. use (choped?) fiberglass filler to fill in hole - anything like dynatron, tigerhair or kitty hair. Long strand for better rigidity.
2. After shaping and sanding - Use bondo to smooth out the fiberglass filler. Are there specific bondo that does this? Like a short strand fiberglass bondo? Polyester? Or just regular automotive bondo?

What other steps can I take to repell moisture? Or is the sealent primer good enuff.

3. wet sand, primer, wet sand again, top coat paint, wet sand, and clear coat

Im sure I missed a few steps, but just to confirm these are the main steps?

Thank you for your patience and helping hand.

Also, thanx mark for the comment on my car. If I didnt feel it was worth it, I wouldnt be wasting my time fixing up this car. Im graduating university this year and gonna look for a job soon, but i dont want more loans. Anyway, the car has a 5speed and its pretty fun to drive. The engine is still awesome...knock on wood. lol

Im also seriously considering painting the needed parts with a rattle can; since it is a white car and perhaps easier to blend in and look decent...hopefully. But not 28 cans tho. lol

But im gonna do more research to see how much each process will cost. I will have to paint the rear side panels on both side and front and back bumbers needs a new paint job too cuz i have cracks on them. I wonder if it will look funny to have a few parts with new paint and the other with old paint.

anyway, thanx again.

steve
 
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Old 03-27-06, 08:14 PM
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Each type of primer has its own purpose. Ideally you would use all 3 but you can get by with a general purpose primer.

#1 yes but if there is nothing to hold the kitty hair you can skip this step and go directly to fiberglass.
#2 use regular bondo [most any brand] for the finsh coat of bondo. Kitty hair is good for build up and is generally thought to be stronger than regular bondo. After the fiberglass has dried and you can get to it, fill the back side of the hole with kitty hair [any fiberglass bondo] If possible seal the back side of the repair with paint - brushed on rustoleum will be fine.
#3 first get the repair good. this will take several coats of bondo and sanding, once it is smooth and needs no more filling you can prime. I usually dry sand the first coat of primer and use spot putty if necesarry, prime again and then wet sand. When you are convinced you got it right proceed to paint. I've never used clear coat so maybe Greg can answer on that but if applying acrylic enamel you spray multiple coats until covered.

If you are driving the vehichle during the repair process you will want to prime raw metal when you are finished for the day.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
Each type of primer has its own purpose. Ideally you would use all 3 but you can get by with a general purpose primer.

#1 yes but if there is nothing to hold the kitty hair you can skip this step and go directly to fiberglass.
#2 use regular bondo [most any brand] for the finsh coat of bondo. Kitty hair is good for build up and is generally thought to be stronger than regular bondo. After the fiberglass has dried and you can get to it, fill the back side of the hole with kitty hair [any fiberglass bondo] If possible seal the back side of the repair with paint - brushed on rustoleum will be fine.
#3 first get the repair good. this will take several coats of bondo and sanding, once it is smooth and needs no more filling you can prime. I usually dry sand the first coat of primer and use spot putty if necesarry, prime again and then wet sand. When you are convinced you got it right proceed to paint. I've never used clear coat so maybe Greg can answer on that but if applying acrylic enamel you spray multiple coats until covered.

If you are driving the vehichle during the repair process you will want to prime raw metal when you are finished for the day.

Hi Mark and Greg,

please bare with me here. Im still a litte confused re: the initial stages of filling in the open ended holes.

as you have suggested: #1 yes but if there is nothing to hold the kitty hair you can skip this step and go directly to fiberglass.

the fiberglass ur refering to here is a "bondo filler" like material? Which is different from the long-hair filler stuff? Im just still a little confused on how this will hold in the rusted out holes; since there is no backing?

I also forgot to mentioned about the "fiberglass mats" in the steps. I figure this would be quite important to help the rigidity of the bondo. Greg also mentioned that I should be applying 2 layers of "fiberglass mats."

to confirm again:
Sand clean to bear metal - fill holes with "choped fiberglass"? - then apply fiberglass mats. To apply the 2 layer of mats, do I wait for one layer to dry with the filler and then apply the next one, or can I apply both at the same time?

then use any bondo as a finishing shape - sand - sealent primer - sand again - bondo if needed - prime - wet sand - then finishing paint.

Im glad you mentioned about filling and painting the back side of the holes. I think this would be good to help it last a little longer.

Also just to confirm, I can get away with using 1 kind of primer? If so any specific kind I should be looking for that is especially good for repelling moisture?

THank you guys. I hope I didnt forget anything...i tend to do that.

Steven
 
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Old 03-28-06, 05:09 AM
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I'm off to work so this response will be brief.

Good advice by Mark.
First, I would ask at auto suppliers about the different primers to attempt to find one that has autobody dedicated rattle cans.
You do not want to use rust paint or hardware store auto supplies unless they sell a line of autobody specialty supplies.
If you can get a brand name of a line of finishes, the mfr will have info on the net.

One thing you should keep in mind is that Bondo or any other brand of plastic filler will absorb water.
You want to use either chopped fibreglass or fibreglass matts for the repair structure.
Only use plastic filler to smooth the final layer of glass.
Keep in mind that what ever you do the rust will return. If you extend the fibreglass repair beyond the edge of the hole the repair could last for years.

I have a collection of rattle can auto primers from my last project. I'll look to see what brands they are after work.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 10:12 AM
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What I meant was to take the fiberglass mat and resin to cover the gap caused by the rust. First clean off all the rust that you can - the more rust that is removed the longer the repair will last. As Greg mentioned 2 layers of fiberglass mat and resin is stronger than a single layer. If you can fill the void behind the fiberglass with kitty hair it will make the repair stronger and eliminate a pocket that would fill up with mud and moisture - again this will prolong the life of the repair.

A 2nd layer of fiberglass mat can be applied while the first is still wet but it is much easier to wait for it to dry before applying the 2nd piece. Cut your mat prior to mixing up the resin as the resin only has a short pot life once mixed [don't mix a lot more than you need!] Although the correct way to d o it is to saturate the mat and then apply it to the body it is also the messiest What I prefer to do is to use a 1" chip brush and coat the repair area and then place the mat over the hole and paint another coat of resin on the part of the mat that is on the metal. Once this is dry, mix up more resin and paint the entire patch with it and then place the 2nd piece of mat on the repair and brush a coat of resin over the whole thing. A chip brush is just a cheap natural bristle brush - throw away when done or wash with laquer thinner. Don't use a nylon brush as the resin may disolve the bristles.

Bondo can be applied once the fiberglass [mat & resin] has dried. Me and Greg disagree some on what primers you can use. Although the correct automotive primer is best, most any primer will work. 1 BIG exception - if you use a laquer based paint it must have a laquer primer.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 11:26 AM
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Stop!!!!!!!!!

From my own experience, stop and step away (for a moment) from the repair job.

Hondas, both accords and civics are famous for rusting through in the exact area as yours. What you don't see is that the rust/rot has started way inside where the quarter panel and the body come together. What you're seeing is only 10% of the damage. Anything you do, with either metal or fiberglass, will be for nothing if you don't fix the inside areas also. On my wife's '90 accord, I started the same project you're looking into and within 5 minutes of removing the rear bumper cover, completely abandoned the repair job.

I'm not saying that it can't be fixed, only that if you want success, you have to get inside and remove ALL the rust.

That said, you'll discover that much of the rusted and rotted metal is inaccessible without cutting the bulk of the quarter panel off. I don't think you're prepared to do this.

My advice is to get a gallon of phosphoric acid, (Ospho is one brand), put it in a spray bottle and squirt it liberally into and on the rotted areas. Really soak it well so the excess drips out. By the way, have a catch pan ready and protect your skin and eyes. A respirator will help too. The phosphoric acid converts the iron oxide (rust) to iron phosphate which is inert and will not continue to rust. Where you can, wire brush the loose rust off and apply the acid again. I'd recommend doing it 4 or 5 times. A few days of dry weather after your last application, I'd empty a few cans of good quality primer up into each side, again really soak it with 3 or 4 coats. If you can, use a squirt tube from a can of WD-40 to aim the primer into the nooks and crannies. Once the inside is done, you can put more effort into making the outside look better by whatever means you want.

One the '90 accord, the damage was so severe, I did what I could to stop the rusting on the inside, sanded, primed and spraycan painted the outside (white to match) and drove it otherwise unrepaired for 2 more years. I eventually sold the car at 212,000 miles for $750.

BTW, you can make automotive sheet metal repairs with a MIG welder, it just takes patience and practice.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 06:50 PM
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Thanx Greg and Mark for the clarification.

Imagineer, ur words are discouraging, but i know they're the truth. Thank you for ur help. Honda's are very nutorious for rusting, especially here in Canada.

And dont worry, I havent started yet. I wouldnt tackle this project without doing research first. Still trying to learn and get everyone's opinion.

So lemme get this straight, after u sprayed the inside of the accord, you did not proceed to completing the autobody project to the outside? Also, for the 2 years after the inner repair was done, did the rust reappear/bubbling?

Sounds like my car is in similar situation as your accord. My car now has 290,000Km and if I can slow down the rusting process for another 2-3 years I will be more than happy. I know any repairs made now will not completely stop the rust, but more or less slow down the process. I just want to look "decent" for another 2-3 years. At which point, I can either invest into a new car, or another possibility is to go crazy with a motor swap and professional body work (but more likely the 1st choice).

Is phosphoric acid the same as that rust converter stuff often sold in a spray can? Here's a link of a project done with rust converter:
http://http://www.ef-honda.com/main/...ic.php?t=15170

Also, did you still remove all the rust and bubbling of the panels? Or did you just prayed everything with this phosphoric acid and then painted it?

But yes, my research will continue until the end of April when Im done my exams and will be free to tackle this project. So plans are now changed...start from the inside and then go to the outside??

Thanks guys.

steve
 
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Old 03-28-06, 08:04 PM
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The rotted areas under the bumper cover were so severe, I had to fudge a couple of mounting points to get the bumper cover to stay on the car. If I attempted to fix the holes that were visible, it would have cost more in sheet metal and welding consumables than the car was worth to me. Not to mention the hours of hammering and twisting sheet metal into shape because repair patch panels are not available. I didn't repair the holes in the quarter panels, but I sanded the bubbled paint back to where unrusted paint was. This made the holes in the body a bit bigger. I applied rust converter several times, making sure to wire brush off any loose rust between applications. Taking time to clean the areas between coats, I painted the areas with several coats each of Rustoleum Primer (white) and Duplicolor Gloss White that matched the Honda White.

Sure in the middle of each "repair" was a 6" long gaping hole (that whistled at 80mph or above), but the end result looked better. A small amount of rust bubbled up about 6 months later, but I quickly repeated the same steps and when I sold the car, the white paint still looked decent.

I should add that I took 2 weeks of squirting the Ospho into the opening in the quarter panel, letting it drip out and dry and then soaking the interior with primer. I put at least 3 cans of primer inside each quarter panel, mostly using the WD-40 squirt tube and nozzle to direct it to where It was needed. I didn't worry about being neat.

The phosphoric acid I refer to was light green liquid I bought in a gallon plastic jug, brand name "OSPHO". I got it at Lowes in the paint department. It smells a bit like rotten eggs or sulfur. If you use it, be sure to catch the drips before it hits the concrete unless you don't mind a stained floor. It stings on skin contact too.

I had no doubt the car would continue to rust away in other areas, but fixing the quarter panels to the degree that I did got my boss off my back about driving such a lousy car.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by imagineer
The rotted areas under the bumper cover were so severe, I had to fudge a couple of mounting points to get the bumper cover to stay on the car. If I attempted to fix the holes that were visible, it would have cost more in sheet metal and welding consumables than the car was worth to me. Not to mention the hours of hammering and twisting sheet metal into shape because repair patch panels are not available. I didn't repair the holes in the quarter panels, but I sanded the bubbled paint back to where unrusted paint was. This made the holes in the body a bit bigger. I applied rust converter several times, making sure to wire brush off any loose rust between applications. Taking time to clean the areas between coats, I painted the areas with several coats each of Rustoleum Primer (white) and Duplicolor Gloss White that matched the Honda White.

Sure in the middle of each "repair" was a 6" long gaping hole (that whistled at 80mph or above), but the end result looked better. A small amount of rust bubbled up about 6 months later, but I quickly repeated the same steps and when I sold the car, the white paint still looked decent.

I should add that I took 2 weeks of squirting the Ospho into the opening in the quarter panel, letting it drip out and dry and then soaking the interior with primer. I put at least 3 cans of primer inside each quarter panel, mostly using the WD-40 squirt tube and nozzle to direct it to where It was needed. I didn't worry about being neat.

The phosphoric acid I refer to was light green liquid I bought in a gallon plastic jug, brand name "OSPHO". I got it at Lowes in the paint department. It smells a bit like rotten eggs or sulfur. If you use it, be sure to catch the drips before it hits the concrete unless you don't mind a stained floor. It stings on skin contact too.

I had no doubt the car would continue to rust away in other areas, but fixing the quarter panels to the degree that I did got my boss off my back about driving such a lousy car.
Hey thanx for replying,

I will look into these products when I start my project. We dont have lowes here, but im thinking home depot should have the OSPHO? And since its in a hardware store, its not a product specifically made for automotive use?

Also, if i ask for rustoleum primer, automotive/paint stores should know what it is right?

Also, why did it take 2 weeks to coat the inner areas? Is it because the OSPHO needs time to dry before next coat can be applied?

I wish I had access to a welder, first of all to learn how to weld and secondly to do this project correctly. But I think using the fiberglass mats and fillers should do the job for a while; and a lot easier, since i have very minimal experience welding.

You got ur boss off ur back, I want to get my buddies off my back with their new TSX's and honda's. I know ppl look at me differently when I drive a rusted car vs. my dad's 05' camry; like im a messy person or something. Maybe that's just my perception.

Rust is such an eye-soar!!

thanx again.

steve
 
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Old 03-29-06, 06:58 AM
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If you can't find Ospho, ask for Phosphoric Acid or Rust Converter. Also, you can get online to Duluth Trading Co. They offer a gallon jug of rust converter.

I took two weeks because I only had about a half hour per day to fiddle with it. Yes, you have to let the Ospho dry completely between applications.

You don't have to use Rustoleum primer. Any good quality automotive primer will work.

I concidered fixing the holes with fiberglass to make the car look better, but seeing as it leaked everything, I never washed it, had bad CV joints, broken front springs, the A/C didn't work and the interior smelled like old coffee, I couldn't justify the time or mess. I only drove it to and from work.

My boss, a self made gazzillionaire, felt he paid me a healthy enough salary that I didn't need to drive such a heap (he's right). My plea for more $$ to buy a new ride to measure up to his $50k Denahli was unsuccessful.
 
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Old 03-29-06, 04:43 PM
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autorepair

you can find fiberglass with the waterproof qualities of "kitty hair"...and the sandability of filler..its called marglass. Grind the affected area and make sure the marglass is pushed in deep to provide enough thickness....sand the area flat and smooth by hand or a da, jitterbug, etc. Buy a two part polyester primer ...this just means prime plus hardener, it is really good stuff and will protect from rust(from the outside), assuming you did a reasonable job of grinding. Painting is another story.

Do not forget to undercoat the inside of the panel...this will stop water from penetrating the inside..which is always where the problem starts. This should last you a couple of years.
 
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Old 03-29-06, 08:11 PM
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Hey guys,

I had to run to the hardware store today to grap some stuff. I'll probably have to go to a real paint/automotive store for what I need, but i figure I start to look around in there for supplies.

The rust converter they had there, the biggest container was like a 1 kg can. However, it says to use a spray gun of some sort, that sprays at 80-100psi. Is this necessary? Can I just apply it with a paint brush?
The rest of the rust converter there were all in spray cans (400 mL). But strangely, I did not see any phosphoric acid or perhaps the rust converter has phosphoric acid in it.

I then looked at Bondo. Regular bondo and glass-bondo (long-strand) were avail. Do I need equal amounts of both kind of bondos? I imaged the glass-bondo will be used more, since the bondo will be just to smooth out the layers. The sizes range from a 2 lbs.($10) can to a 5 lbs can ($30). If I buy 2 containers of the 5 lbs, I will be left with a lot of bondo at the end. BTW, what does polyester bondo do?

Hey Bodyguy, is Marglass a type of fiberglass filler or like a fiberglass-mat?

thanx everyone!

steve
 
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Old 03-29-06, 09:09 PM
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Check some other stores, I usually get bondo in quarts and have seen it in pints. 1 gal of bondo is a lot of filler and I have to have some serious body work to do to consider buying that much.

I think the marglass is similiar to kitty hair, different brands have different names but most are similiar. You will need the regular bondo for the final coat of filler.

Fiberglass mat comes in 2 different grades [?] that I know of. One is real thick, while the other is thin [a little like cheese cloth] The thin is easier to work with for what you want to do. A second application like described earlier should be strong enough coupled with body filler.

Undercoater would be a good substitute for paint on the back side. The main thing is to fill any pockets that could hold water/mud and then seal it.
 
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Old 03-30-06, 12:41 PM
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Thanx Mark,

I've been reading around about this marglass, and apparently its used alot. Suppose to be very strong. So i'll look for it.

I also have a crack on my rear bumper. Can I use the fiberglass mat and glass-bondo to fix this? I saw a fiberglass repair kit too, but I was wondering if the fiberglass bondo can be used on the bumpers?

thanx guys.
 
  #26  
Old 03-30-06, 01:31 PM
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I have never had to repair one of these new plastic bumpers. Hopefully someone who has will reply. Since they tend to be somewhat flexabile I would be leary of using anything too stiff.

Better not get that car looking too good, you might not want to part with it once the $s start coming in
 
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Old 03-30-06, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr
I have never had to repair one of these new plastic bumpers. Hopefully someone who has will reply. Since they tend to be somewhat flexabile I would be leary of using anything too stiff.

Better not get that car looking too good, you might not want to part with it once the $s start coming in

haha.

its true. I have a love affair with my car; just dont tell my gf that.

I have so much school work to do, but my mind has been on my car lately...Cant seem to concentrate on school work. I cant wait to start this project so hopefully I can have a decent looking car for once!

Its too bad I live in Canada and not somewhere like California, I'd probably keep the car forever. Its great on gas and fun to drive!! And thousands of aftermarket products I can put on it.

cheers!
steven
 
  #28  
Old 04-11-06, 03:35 AM
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Shaving side moldings

Hi again,
Im not sure if this thread is now dead or not whether you guys are still checking it.

I was just wondering if you guys know if I can use "bondo-hair" (kitty-hair) to shave my side modlings. I know the proper way to do this is by welding metal and using bondo.

Can this process be done by just filling in bondo-hair? Or will it crack?

The reason I want to do this is because my side moldings are in pretty bad shape and it would cost quite bit to replace them. I think shaving it will be cheaper if I can just use bondo and it looks really clean.

thanx for all the help.
 
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Old 04-11-06, 06:36 AM
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Old threads rarely die [sometimes they get lost ]

I'm not sure I understand what you want to do. If you are just wanting to remove the mouldings and fill the clip holes, bondo will work IF it has something to adhere to. If it is only attached to the edges of the hole it is apt to fall out later when under stress.. Short of brazing or welding I would recess the area slightly, remove paint and use a small fiberglass [matt] patch, then bondo smooth.
 
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Old 04-11-06, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
Old threads rarely die [sometimes they get lost ]

I'm not sure I understand what you want to do. If you are just wanting to remove the mouldings and fill the clip holes, bondo will work IF it has something to adhere to. If it is only attached to the edges of the hole it is apt to fall out later when under stress.. Short of brazing or welding I would recess the area slightly, remove paint and use a small fiberglass [matt] patch, then bondo smooth.
Hi Mark,
Im glad to know you still check this thread.

Just to clarify what I want to do is actually to cover up the slit which the molding sits in. The slit is probably about 1/2". So I wanted to shave it flat with the rest of panels.

My only concern is bondo/fiberglass cracking. I actually woudlnt even bother, but the car was in an accident by the previous owner, and there's wrinkling of metal in the molding slits, which I think may be hard to shape back into place.

And I've just recently ran across this thread, very interesting. Its paint jobs on a budget - $50 paint job. Im actually considering this route. Let me know what u you guys think about this. Almost seems perfect for my situation.

http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/...0&fpart=1&vc=1

Thanx again
 
  #31  
Old 04-11-06, 10:41 AM
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I have seen cars that were rolled and it wasn't pretty [maybe from a distance] IMO it would take a lot of sanding to get rid of the orange peel from the roller.

I have a 51 ford f-1 that I bought in the mid 70's. It was very rusty [but solid] and being short on money I sanded it down and brushed a coat of grey primer on it. It looked decent but there was no shine to highlight any defects. I later sprayed it using rustoleum paint, even though I had sanded the primer well, a few brush marks showed through the sprayed paint. The biggest problem with that paint job was the intense sun of the deep south bleached all the color out of it in a few years. This may not be as big a problem in the north and of course white is even less affected.

I recently painted my jeep with hawthorne paint purchaced off the internet $35 gal, $15 shipping. That didn't include thinner or hardner [which I had] Not top notch paint but I'm satisfied with the results [for the price]

You will need to decide for yourself whether or not you would be satisfied with the results of a rolled, wet sanded and buffed paint job. I have seen decent paint jobs that were done wrong but still came out nice so anything is possible. I would think that the worst case senario would be you would have to completely sand the paint and then spray it.

As for bondoing the groove where the moulding was as long as you remove all the paint so the bondo will adhere it should be ok. Might not take a hard lick but that is usually the case with bondo.
 
  #32  
Old 04-11-06, 10:17 PM
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Hi Mark,
thanx again for the replies.

I've been reading the thread on the rolled on paint. The guy that did it seems to swear by it. He did it on a 69 Charger ! and I only have a civic. I'll keep reading to see others results.

Since Im not looking for show quality, mainly just to avoid embarassments of a rusted car; this method seems to be very economical.

I think with patience and wet sanding this method has potential. To spray paint my whole car with rattle cans, would still be quite expensive to make it look right. Spray painting only parts that I fix up could look funny, cuz the old paint is pretty worned out.

I'll open up the molding and see what the condition is and go from there. Im sure if I shave it with bondo, it should last for at least a few years. Should I drill holes on the grooves to increase adhesion with the bondo?

thanx
 
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Old 04-12-06, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by snguy82
Should I drill holes on the grooves to increase adhesion with the bondo?

I wouldn't, although some swear by it I have never thought it necesarry and have never had any problems with bondo adhering to clean metal.

As for rolling versus spray can - I have never been big on rattle cans, the paint is thin and only a small amount in each can which is why it is so hard to get a good job on a large area with rattle cans. Rolling would solve the problem of not getting enough paint on the vehichle but I sure wouldn't look forward to all that sanding but then I have always disliked sanding -necesarry evil and the less I have to do the better
 
  #34  
Old 04-12-06, 06:26 PM
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K, thank you mark!
 
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Old 04-15-06, 10:37 AM
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I had a bit of time today, so i went to open up one of the plastic covers to take a peak at the rear panels. Surprisingly, they're in pretty good shape. I was so afraid that the rust had spread throughout the panel and the patching with fiberglass was not going to cut it.

But taking a look today makes me optimistic that this restoration job can be done.

Just thought I share my lil' pleasant surprise this morning to you guys.

thanx for all the help so far guys.
 
  #36  
Old 05-01-06, 11:34 PM
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Hey guys,

Here's my progress: photos.yahoo.com/snguy82

I dont know if anyone is still checking.

gimme some comments.

thanx

steve
 
  #37  
Old 05-01-06, 11:35 PM
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Old 05-10-06, 03:13 PM
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Thumbs up Me too...

Hi- Just saw this thread- I'm just about to start the same job on a black 95 Civic EX coupe. Great car, fun & reliable, but mine has fist-sized holes on both sides, and both top and bottom of the fender arch.
I got here cuz I was looking for patch panels- saw the earlier post that said thay're not available- I have to second this. I can't seem to find Honda panels anywhere- don't want to buy a whole quarter panel just to fix the wheel arch.
I happen to have both the equipment (Mig welder with spot & stitch, decent compressor, etc.) and some level of skill to do this job. I've been down the road of trying to fabricate patches before, and it's just not worth it! If anyone has a line on Honda panel patches, I'd sure appreciate it!
One note on your plan for the white civic- The area that's rotted is all that's holding up the front corner of the rear bumper cover. When you start cleaning out the rust, you're likely to have to remove the lower edge of the rear quarter in this area, leaving no way to attach the plastic panel- fiberglass probably won't be strong enough to support it. Maybe if you embed a wall anchor or something in it, might help. Anyone else ahve thoughts on this? Rusty Norton
 
  #39  
Old 05-16-06, 07:35 AM
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Patch Panels

You don't say where you are, but these guys would have them if anyone does.


Cross Canada Autobody Supply LTD.
5 Tilbury Ct.
Brampton, ON. L6T 3T4

(905) 454 0209

http://www.crosscanadaparts.com/cgi-...ada/index.html
 
  #40  
Old 05-23-06, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by snortn
Hi- Just saw this thread- I'm just about to start the same job on a black 95 Civic EX coupe. Great car, fun & reliable, but mine has fist-sized holes on both sides, and both top and bottom of the fender arch.
I got here cuz I was looking for patch panels- saw the earlier post that said thay're not available- I have to second this. I can't seem to find Honda panels anywhere- don't want to buy a whole quarter panel just to fix the wheel arch.
I happen to have both the equipment (Mig welder with spot & stitch, decent compressor, etc.) and some level of skill to do this job. I've been down the road of trying to fabricate patches before, and it's just not worth it! If anyone has a line on Honda panel patches, I'd sure appreciate it!
One note on your plan for the white civic- The area that's rotted is all that's holding up the front corner of the rear bumper cover. When you start cleaning out the rust, you're likely to have to remove the lower edge of the rear quarter in this area, leaving no way to attach the plastic panel- fiberglass probably won't be strong enough to support it. Maybe if you embed a wall anchor or something in it, might help. Anyone else ahve thoughts on this? Rusty Norton
Here's a link on ebay: civic rear panels
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/88-95...spagenameZWDVW

I wish i had access to a welder and the skills to do the job right. This is why I seeked help on this site, and fortunately was advised to use to "kitty-hair" to do the job. I dont really have much experience doing body work, but I was quite happy with the results. This is no means a show car, just my daily driver that I plan on keeping for another 3 or so years.

My main concern right now is of course the amount of metal that was removed due to rust. Thus, the structure of the wheel well is now shaped by fiberglass. The kitty-hair seems to be fairly strong though, so I think as long as nothing hits it, i shouldnt crack. However, the true test would be the Canadian winter. If it passes winter, then I can rest assure. Does anyone know about the structure ridgidity of fiberglass? will it crack in my situation?

As for the rear bumper attaching to the quarter panel, I was concerned about that too. However, the bumper is held on by like 6 metal screws to the frame of the car in the rear, and 2 on the bottom. The bumper attaches to the rear panels by plastic screws which is really meant to keep it in place and does not require much support for the bumper. So for the spot where the screw attaches to the panel, I did like 4 layers of fiberglass mat and kitty-hair. This is holding up so far and it looks okay, but no guarentee for the future.

Civics are fun and reliable, but they are nutorious for rusting, especially the 92-95 model. I think this project would have been a lot easier if I had done it right 4 years ago when it started to bubble.
If u purchase the panel patch it will save u a lot of time and it will look right too. Remember to remove all the inner panels so u can have access to the metal inside. Remove loose rust and spray it with a rust convertor then spray it with primer or rust paint. I used Tremclad rust paint. G'luck.

Special thanx to: Greg, Mark, Imagineer, and Body guy for all your help.

pics: http://s54.photobucket.com/albums/g116/snguy82/

steve
 
 

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