Oh dear. My old friend rust.

All the bits that rust!

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Oh dear. My old friend rust.

Postby Doive » 14 Jan 2005, 21:20

Ar$e biscuits. Been noticing a musty smell in the Chevette for the last week/ten days, and spotted a few drips and water marks on the carpet behind the pedals. There is a hole in the battery tray but its quite small so I thought "There won't be too much water coming in there". Oops. Lifted the rubber mat this afternoon and the entire footwell was full of water.

Long story short, the carpet is saturated and after a bit of wire brushery there is a foot long gash under the drivers door where the floorpan meets the sill (or whatever it attaches to). It's probably been like that for the last good while, I don't think a week of rain would eat through a floorpan but what I need to know is this - is it safe to drive, what panels do I need to fix it (if any), and is it going to cost me a fortune? I'm a mechanically minded person and have no idea about bodywork! Obviously as the car lives in a car park I have no access to welding gear myself, so I'll have to get a pro to do it. Could it just be welded up or is there panels needed to fix?

All I see is the newly-found plus sign in my bank account becoming minus again. Sigh.
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Postby Shellysowner » 14 Jan 2005, 21:30

As long as the sill is all pucker then it should still be ok to drive. A personal opinion is just bas a bit of sheet steel to the right shape and weld it on (I'm assuming it's just a flat bit of floorpan) but it depends how original you want to keep it looking from underneath! Welding is expensive when you pay garages to do it. Haven't you got any mates with welding gear?
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Postby Neilyman » 14 Jan 2005, 22:06

There`s a hell of a lot of water that can get though a little hole in the battery tray......been there worn the scuba gear!
All the water that runs down the windscreen ends up swilling down behind the washer bottle or the battery tray. The only welding on my car is the battery tray. I cut a plate the full size of the tray, spead silicone sealer over the tray & mig`d the plate on top of that. Then undersealed the whole lot. been ok for 4 yrs now.
The floor/sill issue is usually a case of bending a, say 1.5", angle piece of steel up & I`d weld it inside the car to the floor & the inner sill. the slit under the car can then be filled, profiled & undersealed & look original.
Wifey had an XR3i, so I`ve also been there & worn that T-shirt, That was caused by a leaky battery tray, had to do the whole of the n/s.
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Postby Doive » 14 Jan 2005, 22:41

There is of course the corresponding hole under the washer bottle but strangely it doesn't let any water in at all - believe me after finding the state of the driver's side I've checked! Unfortunately I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who has welding stuff but I'll keep thining......hmmm.

Also need to get a set of rear arches off TJM, he had them a few months ago and I completely forgot. The arches are so badly holed that they are letting water into the boot, which has been patched by a garage for the last MoT. Of course in their wisdom they simply plated over the spare wheel well, drainage hole and all - not impressed. And they had the cheek to charge me £247.36 for the privilege, definitely won't be going back to them.
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Postby Doive » 15 Jan 2005, 23:16

Here we are. The aforementioned rust.

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The passenger footwell seems to have survived better. So guys, is this just a patch and paint job, or are there new bits needed?
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Postby Shellysowner » 15 Jan 2005, 23:30

It's nasty that it's on the join like that. I myself would make it all out of sheetmetal and then fill like neil said but it depends how good/patient you are with cutting metal. Don't forget that once you start cutting it apart you'll no doubt find more rust to deal with. Don't forget to rust-cure + waxoyl the insides of the sills nicely while you've got them open.
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Postby Tortron » 16 Jan 2005, 05:38

wow thats a semi familiar sight. i only had a pinhole.
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Postby Doive » 16 Jan 2005, 05:41

In some ways its good I caught it now and not in a years time when the floor falls out from under me. Think before I get it fixed I'll have to strip the whole interior out and see if I can find any other stray bits, then treat the whole floor and paint it with a good thick layer of paint - not underseal as I remember someone talking about on the old forum! Of course I'll have to get the holes in the battery tray patched first.
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Postby Tortron » 16 Jan 2005, 05:45

i was thinking about getting some of that rubberised stuff for under cars and doing the floors and stuff on mine (as well as underneath the car where the old stuff is falling off) is this a good plan or is it flawd in some way?
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Postby Doive » 16 Jan 2005, 05:56

Someone from America on the previous forum had done the entire underside and interior floor on his chevette with underseal of some sort. Unfortunately most of these kind of products never really harden, they just go tacky. Sadly after about a fortnight his floor was still tacky meaning that if the carpet went anywhere near it, it would stick permanently. I imagine the smell inside the car must have been rather unbearable too. I would think a good couple of coats of something like hammerite would be sufficient to protect your floor - thats all I'm planning to give mine. Last I heard he was out with a hairdryer and a paint scraper. Having said that, if its a proper rubber coating style thing that definitely goes hard then it may be an even better solution. Just make sure it does go hard!
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Postby Tortron » 16 Jan 2005, 07:51

i havnt used the stuff myself, but people who have tell me that it will cure and harden in about a day. i will have a look around the place next time i go to find the best one
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Postby shuvit-tim » 16 Jan 2005, 09:18

tortron i hope i've misread your intentions

yes to undersealing the undersie of the car. Look into waxoyl

if you're thinking of doing the interior.... GOD NO!!! DO NOT USE SEALANT ON THE INTERIOR

In the summer everytime it gets warm in your car, the sealant will melt. this happened to someone on here a little while back. In short the stuff will never set properly and you'll end up with a horrible sticky mess everywhere!
when all else fails, rivets, cable ties and bodge tape will see you through

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Postby Tortron » 16 Jan 2005, 09:53

the rubberised paint stuff??, its ok i havnt even gone to the shops yet. what should i use to do the floor? it had some black thick plastic stuff that was all cracked and falling apart letting water get under it (im guessing that is aspestos or something toxic) so thats no longer there.
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Postby Shoveitpusher » 16 Jan 2005, 13:39

the black hard stuff on the floor is bitumen type stuff called an NVH pad. it's really good at catching water and creating 'crevice corrosion'. takes ages to chissel it off but i would.

Doive you will have to chissel it back until you find clear metal. i would start prodding with a screw driver to see how thin the steel is where it's rusted. it will need plates welding in, ideally after cutting out the old. while your at it check the inner sill on the outside (do you know what i mean) the only way to repair this area is from inside the car. i had the same problem on mine, since this is where the roll cage mounts it's a very big deal and it took ages to repair, i also did the inner sills. big preparation job, not such a big welding job.

in terms of structural security it isn't that big a deal, the suspension forces go into the side sills as does the longitudinal load. of course when the floor falls out and drags along the road it would be an interesting sensation.
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Postby Neilyman » 16 Jan 2005, 15:43

You could use a couple of products in side, either the Floor paint used on workshop floors, it`s water/oil/petrol/etc proof & come in a red colour to match your car!, also the rubberised paint they use for damp cellers etc, called `tanking` paint.
btw, wasnt it Mint who undersealed inside his car?
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Postby shuvit-tim » 16 Jan 2005, 16:19

i think it was neilly yeah. Did he ever get that sorted or did he just whack carpet down over it!?

Can you not use waxoyl on the inside of the car Neilly?

Tip for taking th eblack bitumen off: When it comes to taking the stuff off from around the gearbox, let the car run for a while and get hot. The gearbox oil will also get hot and so will the gearbox casing. This stuff comes off a hell of a lot easier when its hot as it becomes pliable. It also acts as a heatsink for the heat coming off the gearbox by the way. you'll notice the metal behind the box gets quite warm once its gone, like you have a giant radiator in your car! :P
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Postby Tortron » 17 Jan 2005, 05:36

yea its nice to have a car whose original colour almost exactly matches red primer. its hard to get that black crap out (the stuff thats still stuck to the floor). whats that workshop paint called? il paint the underside of my car and tell everyone that its a "showcar" and put mirrors on the floor of my shed, (note that the car comes with a very expensive upgrade, The "oil lubricating expansive advanced kinematic" oil leak for short)
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Postby Neilyman » 17 Jan 2005, 05:47

It`s just `industrial floor paint`
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Postby Doive » 18 Jan 2005, 14:06

Just spoke to a bodywork firm who are looking 300 quid to do the footwells, battery tray, under water bottle, the rear crossmember and other little bits he finds. He says its costly as he will have to make all the panels himself as none are available. Does this seem a fair price or am I being ripped off?
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Postby Shellysowner » 18 Jan 2005, 14:11

Sounds about right, from my limited experience of how much bodywork firms charge. To be honest I wouldn't have been surprised if you'd come back with a quote of 400.
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Postby Doive » 18 Jan 2005, 14:17

Well when all that is done I'll hopefully have the new back arches and the guy says he wants another 300 to do those as well. Don't know if that includes spraying.....

The workshop itself seemed to be tidy and had a few cars in getting work done. They had something in the spray booth getting touched up, I was generally impressed with the whole operation as was he by the survival of a chevette. My mate at uni says I should scrap the car, but then he drives a nearly new BMW 320i with two grands worth of personalised numberplate. I know which I'd rather have.
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Postby shuvit-tim » 18 Jan 2005, 16:59

300 seems fair. but be aware when he says he is 'fabricating all the panels himself' he is just cutting a bit of sheet steel, which will take him all of about 2 minutes. Just call a spade a spade I say and admit that he's charging you 300 quid because he can
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Postby Doive » 18 Jan 2005, 17:35

I know the battery tray will take about two minutes as it will be a flat piece welded in, but I sincerely hope that means it will have the rust cut out and then the new bit welded and smoothed in. To be fair the footwell will be quite complicated as it has curves and angles on it. As long as the job is done to a good standard I'm happy.
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Postby ChevetteKid » 24 Jan 2005, 06:40

them pics are exactly how my car looked when i took the carpet out....chevettes dont hold up to rust. expecially the pass. side doors...mines slowly being eaten by rust :cry:
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Postby shuvit-tim » 24 Jan 2005, 10:53

for some reason my interior is mint. and there's is only a little rust on th efront valance and on the rear arches after she was sat outside on the seafront of aber for 6 months before I took ownership.

Doive, I have a piccy of what my mate didto the arch on mine with 038 and p40, i'll upload it today, i need to get the piccy off of my laptop. just to showyou how goofd a job can be done with filler.
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