First, you all get the standard speech on rust repair. It’s the speech I give when any of my regular customers wants me to repair the rust on their modern car. Here goes… YOU CAN’T STOP IT. Once it is visible, it’s like an iceberg. Ninety percent of it is unseen; under the surface – or in this case, on the inside of the panel. There are three elements required to cause rust to start: metal (the food), water, and oxygen. Once it has started though, only two elements are needed: metal and oxygen. A byproduct of the rusting process is water so with just the slightest access to air will cause rust to continue to grow. Unless the inside can be cleaned completely, and usually it can’t, the rust will always come back.
With restoration work it’s possible to clean everything well and protect the metal inside with paint. The only thing left is replacing the rust hole with new metal. Cutting out the metal is more about finding solid metal to weld to than getting rid of the hole the rust caused. If there are pin holes then the metal is probably too thin. After a patch panel is sized and fitted, it’s important to make sure both pieces are as tight as possible so the heat from welding won’t melt either piece. Once the welding has begun, the heat can also warp the metal – make it wavy. The way to avoid that is to ‘tack weld’ first. The tack welds hold the metal in place and for the solid weld, it’s best to weld in roughly one inch sections keeping as far away from the previous hot area as possible with each new one.
Grinding the welds is the last step. Not hard work but dirty and time consuming. Once ground, it is ready for filler. I’m going to save that for another day. What I did with the rest of today is listed in my log book which I’ve posted a picture of. It’s the way I know how much to bill my customers. Thanks for reading -Kevin