Rust repair

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3DB
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Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Sat 22 Oct, 2016 12:36 pm

I started some rust repair on my LHS front guard / fender last night. After cutting out the rust hole with a wire brush wheel on my 4" grinder (and removing about 1 kg of 'soil' that formed inside the guard over 40 years of leaves filling it), I noticed that there is rust further inside and set about trying to remove the guard before reading the posts on this forum outlining what a nightmare job it is due to the factory sealant holding the panels together. I'm now unsure as to whether it is worth proceeding further. I hope I haven't already damaged the guard beyond further use trying to pry it off. I might just try to remove as much rust from the inside bit (probably structural?) and load it up with rust converter + kill rust paint, patch the hole and put it all back together, ensuring water can drain away? Cosmetics are a secondary concern for me - primary is to stop the cancer as much as possible before it spreads further.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Sat 29 Oct, 2016 9:55 am

The finished product. I could have spent a little more time sanding the bog, but hopefully this will halt the progress of the rust in this area for a while.

I won't be rushing to do the other side in a hurry, but at least it drains properly now too.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Kcodezd » Tue 01 Nov, 2016 6:49 pm

I hope you have noticed the rust in the A pillar above the sill panel. The water that gets in there will run inside the sill and can also wet your carpets which will then rust out your floors. Please don't leave it too long.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Wed 02 Nov, 2016 4:46 pm

Kcodezd - thanks for your input. Yes I have wet carpets every time it rains and rusted floors. Have drilled holes at lowest point in floorpan to drain as a temporary measure until I get the cause sorted out.

I'm still not 100% sure of exactly where the issue is, even with your description. Do you have a photo? Someone also suggested the area where the bonnet hinges are - drains get blocked with leaves and rust out. I think someone has already had a go at mine, but the sealant has come away again. I will take some more photos and post here.

Amazingly, the only common spot that ISN'T rusted in this car is the passenger side windscreen wiper pivot.
3DB
1976 W123 300D (weekend warrior on biodiesel)
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Kcodezd » Thu 03 Nov, 2016 5:39 am

This is my 280e that I'm in the process of repairing. I bought it in January this year and even though spending at least one day per weekend since then, I am far from finished. It is sad to hear people see this much rust that it's not worth repairing and decide to strip for parts. I know there were nearly 2.7 million of them made, but with that attitude there won't be many left soon. Especially in Australia.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Fri 04 Nov, 2016 5:21 pm

Ok, yes - that all looks very familiar. Was it tough to get the front guards / fenders off?

I see your A-pillar rust and raise you some air vent rust. This should be fun to fix.
IMG_5062.JPG
Also - do you know how to remove this pice of trip on the C-pillar to get to those few bubbles in the paint?
IMG_5063.JPG
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Kcodezd » Fri 04 Nov, 2016 6:46 pm

Hi 3DB, first question, yes it was hard to remove front guards. It took me about 6 hours each to remove. I started with Stanley knives hacking at the body deadner, then google suggested using a flame to burn off body deadner, so I tried that. I do not recommend this option due to the toxic smoke it created. Third attempt and the most successful albeit still extremely time consuming and exhausting was to use mig wire tied to two screwdrivers, dragging between body and guard. Problem is you think your cutting through then the wire snaps, Again and again. Also it is easy to crease the top of the guard as you bend it up trying to reach the difficult areas.
Second, well not so much a question but an ante, my area below the front screen next to the air vent is actually in good condition. I have to thank someone for that, not sure who though.
Third question the C pillar trim removal isn't as hard as it looks. You will need something thin like a butter knife. Plastic preferably to lift the coloured strip in the middle, slightly bowing it out at the centre until the tabs pop out from each end starting with the rear of the vehicle end, then pulling it rearward to come clear of the front end. Then there are two screws to remove. Rust removal is then up to you.
My car is not registered yet so it isn't a big deal deal for me how long it takes to repair parts, but if yours is your daily it will no doubt be pretty daunting work to do on a weekend, and have it going again Monday morning. Good luck and keep up the posts of your progress.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Sun 20 Nov, 2016 7:09 pm

Have you ever started one of those projects thinking it will be pretty easy and quick, then wish (far too late to turn back) that you'd left well enough alone?

I give you Pandora's Box:
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3DB
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Kcodezd » Tue 22 Nov, 2016 7:02 pm

3DB that is the question I asked myself as soon as started looking closely at the rust at hand. The first bits looked daunting but as I go it seems easier to manage, and as I have small wins I get satisfaction in doing so. Here is some pictures of my progression, which I have hundreds of to remind where I started to where I am now. It is like therapy for me now.
Image
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Tue 22 Nov, 2016 9:15 pm

Very nice - looks very neat and, more importantly, structurally sound. Are you using a MIG? How do you go about rust proofing / sealing the inside surfaces and welds? Very nice.

Unlike my bog work around the door trim holes. Any tips on sanding that back with something mechanical that won't take forever, but also isn't too easy to overdo and thereby undo the work already done? I've tried with a flexible sanding disc on my 4" grinder, but it is too much and one false move ruins the finish and I have to top it up. By the same token, sanding by hand is out of the question unless it is just finishing touches. Maybe one of those small electric 'finishing' / 'detail' sanders?
3DB
1976 W123 300D (weekend warrior on biodiesel)
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Re: Rust repair

Post by mathuisella » Wed 23 Nov, 2016 3:41 am

Kcodezd

I'm in brissy too and looking to do some repair work on my w123. :) paint looks too good to riun though :/

i think the previous owner sanded things back to an okay level and got the car fully resprayed and left the underlying rust :/

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Re: Rust repair

Post by Kcodezd » Wed 23 Nov, 2016 6:13 am

Yes I am using a mig. The pictures I have posted, I was using gas less wire,which was ok but very messy due to lots of splatter. I have since started using argosheild lite which was a massive improvement, which then makes it easier to grind back the welds, highly recommend it. My whole car needs repainting so therefore not concerned about the original paint, so I attack with wire brush on an angle grinder or a 3M paint removing disc on the grinder. In side were I have welded is the biggest concern for rust to return, I try to paint all the insides as best I can before closing it up then spray liberal amounts of tctyl rust preventative every where through the holes Mercedes supplied from new. Fortunately there are many there.
Image
Picture of the passenger floor using argon gas mig welding.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Sun 04 Dec, 2016 8:52 pm

I've now tidied up the big holes I made removing rust with the wire brush wheel. Again, I could have paid a bit more attention to filling & sanding the holes, but at 11:30 on Friday night I'd had enough.

Every time I think I'm getting close to done, I find some more.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Bartman4800 » Mon 05 Dec, 2016 1:48 pm

Just a tip:

When you make sharp edges in your primer/surfacer like that, they are actually very hard to smooth out with the surrounding paint.

The trick is to make feathered edges. This can be done by using a tape trick using some wider masking tape. Roll over one side and stick it onto the front (glue to glue). The tape is now about 1/2-3/4 as wide as before.
The folded edge (don't make a sharp crease there) is now becoming your boundary for masking.
Paint will now just be dusted underneath the masking tape, creating a feathered edge.

Clear as mud?


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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Tue 06 Dec, 2016 4:43 pm

Good tip. Thanks, Bart.

Any tips on where to get some new ones of those little red plastic cylinders that go between the trim and the panel? I'm missing a few.
3DB
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Bartman4800 » Tue 06 Dec, 2016 6:05 pm

YES.....

CALL THE FORUM SPONSOR :love10: :)
1963 220 Sb Sedan "Kermit" (Australian Assembly)
1960 220 Sb Sedan "Zum Schlachten" (Early German Assembly, with a torsion bar spring for the bonnet) - Stored in Country WA
1981 Subaru Brumby 1.8 with Weber and 5-speed box "little utie" - Sold to another enthusiast!
2006 Ford Focus "daily driver"
2002 VW Passat V6 30V Station Wagon (SOLD - This car into a money pit)
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Vanguard » Thu 08 Dec, 2016 11:00 pm

Kcodezd, I think I saw your 280e end of last year when I was having a look around, up Narangba/North Brisbane way? Had a cracked dash at the time too.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Kcodezd » Sat 10 Dec, 2016 6:26 am

Hi Chris. You are proberbly on the the money there. It was on car sales for a while and of course the owner said it was nearly roadworthy, won't take much to get there. I bought it from a house on Boundary road Narangba. As you can see by the photos, all I needed to do was a bit of polishing :dontknow:
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Re: Rust repair

Post by Vanguard » Thu 15 Dec, 2016 11:51 pm

Yes that paintwork was pretty significant.
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 230ew123 » Wed 21 Dec, 2016 12:42 am

Man! I feel really lucky that I don't have that much rust, I only have it in the boot from the leak in the rear windscreen seal. Gotta garage it..

Fight on!

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Re: Rust repair

Post by 230ew123 » Thu 22 Dec, 2016 10:40 pm

Kcodezd wrote:Hi 3DB, first question, yes it was hard to remove front guards. It took me about 6 hours each to remove. I started with Stanley knives hacking at the body deadner, then google suggested using a flame to burn off body deadner, so I tried that. I do not recommend this option due to the toxic smoke it created. Third attempt and the most successful albeit still extremely time consuming and exhausting was to use mig wire tied to two screwdrivers, dragging between body and guard. Problem is you think your cutting through then the wire snaps, Again and again. Also it is easy to crease the top of the guard as you bend it up trying to reach the difficult areas.
Second, well not so much a question but an ante, my area below the front screen next to the air vent is actually in good condition. I have to thank someone for that, not sure who though.
Third question the C pillar trim removal isn't as hard as it looks. You will need something thin like a butter knife. Plastic preferably to lift the coloured strip in the middle, slightly bowing it out at the centre until the tabs pop out from each end starting with the rear of the vehicle end, then pulling it rearward to come clear of the front end. Then there are two screws to remove. Rust removal is then up to you.
My car is not registered yet so it isn't a big deal deal for me how long it takes to repair parts, but if yours is your daily it will no doubt be pretty daunting work to do on a weekend, and have it going again Monday morning. Good luck and keep up the posts of your progress.

Just a thought here upon cutting the deadner. My background is in ceramics, from geology, chemistry and the physics..one of the best cutting tools for clay is the 'e ' string of steel guitars, light gauge is even thinner and surprisingly strong, I reckon it would be better than mig wire..I taught at pentridge for awhile back and they were the most popular clay tool, they kept on going missing!

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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Sun 10 Dec, 2017 6:35 pm

I'm back on the rust bus again. Key objective: halt or slow the rot.

The parts I didn't get to 12 months ago are much worse now, so I need to act before I've got nothing left to work with.

I did the bit next to the air vent below the windscreen today and it goes back right up under the screen. Have removed all the rust I can and treated with rust converter. Will prime tonight....after that....not sure.
Air vent 1.jpg
Air vent 2.jpg
I've also developed some rust on the windscreen wiper motor cover....I'm fairly sure that has never been off the car by the looks. All that sticky foam sealant is still there, but needs to come off to paint. Should I get a new bit of the foam stuff or jut use silicone?
Wiper motor cover.JPG
The other bits I need to deal with are:
  • under the driver's wing mirror; and
  • C-pillar.
Wing mirror.JPG
C-pillar.JPG
Both have trim around and I'm still not sure how to remove that. Is it a case of just prying off with a screwdriver, or is there a trick to it that will avoid snapping it in pieces?

Also, the bottoms of my doors are looking bad around the rubbers, as is the boot. I'm scared to look deeper at this as it will probably be another Pandora's Box. But I'm wondering if I should just pull the rubbers out in the short term to let it all dry out a bit?
Door seal.JPG
Boot rubber.JPG
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 230ew123 » Sun 10 Dec, 2017 6:50 pm

Yikes mate you are brave! every picture i say to myself yikes or ouch. I am working on some spare doors (nothing on your level), cutting out rust, mig back in new steel, grind prime and paint. from what I have experienced, rubber has to be removed as there is more than likely rust under it.

single stage paint for me has been the biggest journey in learning (I prefer it over 2 pac/clear as it is easy to repair), after much research, to get deep mirror reflection takes many hours of wet and dry...no wonder a good paint job is worth $10k

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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Sun 10 Dec, 2017 7:06 pm

Yes, it is pretty bad. Cash and time poor as I am, I'd rather be focusing on other things, but if I don't get this under control, I guess all the other mechanical stuff I've been doing will all be in vain.
230ew123 wrote:
Sun 10 Dec, 2017 6:50 pm
deep mirror reflection takes many hours of wet and dry
I totally respect the effort that would take, but I'm under no illusions about this old girl being in that boat, unfortunately - I'm in pure preservation / conservation mode - simplest and fastest methods to extend the life of the body. Any tips gratefully accepted! Especially removing those trim pieces.
3DB
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 230ew123 » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 10:13 am

If it helps with trims and panels from my experience thus far..you probably know more than I.

front quarter panel is the same from 280e, 230e and 300d, the earlier ones have the mentioned butynol type sealant glue which I have found it is easiest to remove by burning off with a little can of lpg and gas torch from a $2 shop (stinky but makes life easier). And or I pulled off a quarter panel from a later model 280 wreck and it did not even have the butynol glue, bonus!

Trims have to be approached like a surgeon if you don't want to damage, bend and or scratch. Fine flat screwdriver for leverage and those firm plastic tongue type trim tools are best.

I have an old 78 landcruiser neglected and the body full of rust from being parked under a tree. Fortunately most panels bolt on and off like mecano. But I lack the time to take her on, so I soaked her (the complete car where rust is) with the kero gun with a blend of atf (cleaning oil), kero (thinner), fish oil (rust preventative), just to keep the rust at bay as the running gear is solid. Some recommend gibbs brand penetrant, seems to work but exy. I got a 1000l cattle trough which I can fit most of the panels, easily fits 2x w123 doors. Soaking in molasses dissolves the rust leaves the good paint, bog if any falls off (I reckon molasses is not promoted as no one makes money from it). I combine water blasting, grinding with angel grinder flap discs (I got a good 'flex' angle grinder as I use angle grinders often for other things)and dremel with a large lapidary diamond bur, sand blasting (using burwell black beauty ground furnace slag, aggressive and cheap), soaking in molasses, kbs rust blaster and or the kbs degreaser to put off flash rust. Rust creates a fairly large industry!

About 20 years ago on the tojo, I removed the rust with steel wire wheel on the floor pans, simply put the common water based rust convertor and then sealed with cheap spray enamel, and then painted brushable bitumen on this. It was meant to be temporary, would not be recommended by any purist, rough and ready, but has held up fine for this period, the rust has not come back. Fast and Cheap! But when and if i do it properly, I would have to remove what I did.

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Re: Rust repair

Post by 230ew123 » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 10:36 am

From memory..The c pillar trim is not so hard to remove, the coloured cover piece is an alloy which is under tension,it has an internal tab at the front and is semi flexible, gently lever with a butter knife from a quiet back side towards the front, plastic tongue tool midway, it clips off, similar principle to the older door handle plastic trim. Needs etch primer to repaint being an alloy. There is also a phillips head screw attachment somewhere in there..I roughly remember but definitely doable

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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 5:48 pm

Thanks, 230 - will take all of that onboard.

Regarding your
230ew123 wrote:
Mon 11 Dec, 2017 10:13 am
old 78 landcruiser
, have you seen these?

not cheap, but beats the hell out of rust repair

http://www.dnaoffroad.com.au/body/fiber ... anels.html
3DB
1976 W123 300D (weekend warrior on biodiesel)
1995 Holden Rodeo 2.8 factory turbo diesel ute (daily driver...also on biodiesel)
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 230ew123 » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 10:55 pm

yeah, they have been around for awhile but I have heard mixed reports about fibreglass panels..sure they don't rust but can rattle around, snap rather than bend. I think of how tight one could bolt fibreglass together, not like steel. I think of vibrations with an old 4b, opposite to a smooth merc. Also I reflect upon how easy it is to ding a surfboard. Perhaps epoxy would be a better resin as it is more flexy, the better canoes are made from them, but much more exy.

I saw a program awhile back on some pacific island where they using coconut fibre for car panels, they could hit the panel with a hammer and it would bounce back. Looked good , but don't know what has become of it. Couldn't imagine doing it to a fibreglass panel.

I went to high school with the sons of Bowell(years ago), they made the fibreglass sports car bodies, have no idea upon the longevity of them tho.

Fibre glass guy down the road made proto type panels from kevlar and epoxy for holden when they were in 'business'. 7 times stronger than steel and a fraction of the weight..That plastic had a resonating 'rinngg' to it, definitely strong..but again fibreglass I have some reservations upon.

I dinged my merc awhile back (double doh, absolutely my fault), why I am restoring two doors (penance), but in the meantime I did a temp job, pushed the dings out, bogged it, primed and painted within 2 days and $300, it would have cost $2k minimum to get it pro fixed. If they were fibreglass it would have been a big mess of plastic with gaping holes.

And still then, nearly everything oxidises and degenerates back to the earth. Few plastics hang around for 50 years say..maybe not even 40 which puts the steel of a w123 in a new perspective...

Somehow, how I still prefer steel and enjoying learning a bit of metal fabrication stuff, welding is fun and satisfying. Fantastic instant glue. Welded the broken mower deck back together the other day saved $300 bucks and grief of dismantling and hunting parts..

I'll keep the merc as a show pony but the tojo I can chuck logs of wood in, bush bash and tow heavier stuff like merc wrecks one day..

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Re: Rust repair

Post by mathuisella » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 11:36 pm

3DB wrote:
Sun 10 Dec, 2017 6:35 pm
I'm back on the rust bus again. Key objective: halt or slow the rot.

The parts I didn't get to 12 months ago are much worse now, so I need to act before I've got nothing left to work with.

I did the bit next to the air vent below the windscreen today and it goes back right up under the screen. Have removed all the rust I can and treated with rust converter. Will prime tonight....after that....not sure.

Air vent 1.jpg
Air vent 2.jpg

I've also developed some rust on the windscreen wiper motor cover....I'm fairly sure that has never been off the car by the looks. All that sticky foam sealant is still there, but needs to come off to paint. Should I get a new bit of the foam stuff or jut use silicone?

Wiper motor cover.JPG

The other bits I need to deal with are:
  • under the driver's wing mirror; and
  • C-pillar.
Wing mirror.JPG
C-pillar.JPG

Both have trim around and I'm still not sure how to remove that. Is it a case of just prying off with a screwdriver, or is there a trick to it that will avoid snapping it in pieces?

Also, the bottoms of my doors are looking bad around the rubbers, as is the boot. I'm scared to look deeper at this as it will probably be another Pandora's Box. But I'm wondering if I should just pull the rubbers out in the short term to let it all dry out a bit?

Door seal.JPG
Boot rubber.JPG
great pictures. just curious , how did you cut the odd shape near the glass ?

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Re: Rust repair

Post by 230ew123 » Tue 12 Dec, 2017 10:17 am

Man! I feel for you brother, that is one battle you have there, assuming you are registered and keeping her on the road. The beautiful cut (imagine using an air saw?) you made below the wind screen is a bugger of a spot as I can well imagine there is more rust below the rubber.

Whilst being a well executed minimalist cut, the replacement steel would have to be exactly the same. (the floor plan replacement weld you did could be exhibited!) I do not have much experience with welding but the simpler the shape the easier it is to work. The rubber and hence glass would need to be removed to weld it, which makes it quite a job if done properly.

If you patched it with fibreglass, it would be ok for a little while but the rust would come back as it would be a tricky joint between the rubber and steel. An extremely suspect spot for water to hang out. Water loves to hang out around rubber and steel, add some summer heat, vibrations, happy rust. Hate to be a' pooper', but I somehow doubt a rwc would be given for structural spots with fibreglass. Pending if you needed a rwc and whom was giving it. I heard somewhere that the authorities are xraying old cars to spot weak spots..(anyone?)

However, if patched with fibreglass (I still personally prefer epoxy resin as it is more flexy) and kept dousing it with anti rusting goop, who knows, might last you ten years..

I have tried temp repairs with fibre glass on the tojo, the only place it did not come back is the floor pan where I coated with bitumen and was not exposed to the elements. But I wouldn't periodically goop bitumen just below the windscreen, unless I really was in the desert during a madmax era.
I guess my old tojo is in a similar state to your merc, good running gear but rusty body. She is no longer on the road but I still tow firewood on the block with her. I plan to pull her apart and do it proper.

I have a mate who restored a volvo amazon, he worked with a good metal fabricator (confidently states the car can be in a thousand pieces, he could put it back together), they took out all the glass and welded all new steel, proper. Replaced with a reco engine. Took many hours within a year (it was handy he worked next door at the time). Fastest and cheapest way was to park it and find someone to work with. 2 good workers together is the equivalent of 3 individual workers. 15 years on she is solid and very cool. (but he still admires the w123, luxury he says!)

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3DB
Maybach
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Model you own: w123
Location: Sydney

Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Fri 15 Dec, 2017 9:38 am

mathuisella wrote:
Mon 11 Dec, 2017 11:36 pm
great pictures. just curious , how did you cut the odd shape near the glass ?
I used my new Dremel with a tiny little cut-off wheel. It worked a charm - took an entire wheel though.

The purists might be advised to stop reading now as pictures of the repair are to follow and it is not pretty.

So I cut out all the very rusty bits, wire brushed as much rust as I could, all the while with the vacuum cleaner running to stop bits falling into the cavity to create more issues later.

Applied rust converter.

Painted with Dulux RustKill or similar (I only had an old tin of white)
Preped hole.JPG
And fabricated a patch out of aluminium checker plate.

Drilled some holes and riveted it on.
Checker plate patch.jpg
This will be my method for all rust holes going forward.

No more stuffing around with bog trying to get it neat, only to have the rust re-appear in little patches 6 months later.

I think it is in keeping with the ever more rat rod / industrial look that the car is evolving into.

I did bog the little hole on the windscreen wiper motor cover and re-painted the underside of it though.
Cleaned and painted wiper motor cover.JPG
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3DB
1976 W123 300D (weekend warrior on biodiesel)
1995 Holden Rodeo 2.8 factory turbo diesel ute (daily driver...also on biodiesel)
(@thirddegreeburns on Instagram)

mathuisella
Zeppelin
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun 08 Jun, 2014 6:03 am
Model you own: w123
Location: Brisbane, North side.

Re: Rust repair

Post by mathuisella » Fri 15 Dec, 2017 10:01 pm

Ah, i have a spot under the glass i need to do for my w123, but i've got a parts car i'll be taking a cut out from :) although i'm no welder, we'll see how it goes.

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3DB
Maybach
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Model you own: w123
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Re: Rust repair

Post by 3DB » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 2:27 pm

I had written a big post on my latest round of rust work but when I clicked submit I lost the lot. So here is the abridged version.

Lots of rust in the driver's door due to rusty window frame

boot also bad on the the driver's side but ok on the passenger

Other doors mostly ok

Rear passenger window was hard to wind down from rusty metal bracket inside rubber, placing pressure on the glass

Also retrofitted a new fire extinguisher into the old bracket that had broken straps.
Driver's door.JPG
Drivers door.JPG
Rear door.JPG
Window Frame 2.JPG
Window frame 1.JPG
Rear door.JPG
Boot 2.JPG
Boot 1.JPG
Fire extinguisher.JPG
Rear window.JPG
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3DB
1976 W123 300D (weekend warrior on biodiesel)
1995 Holden Rodeo 2.8 factory turbo diesel ute (daily driver...also on biodiesel)
(@thirddegreeburns on Instagram)

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