CURING RUST

The bodyshell is extremely sturdy and generally very resistsant to tinworms. But not totally immune. When buying a twenty-year-old-or-more car it is advisable to scrutinize its condition. Replacing rotten panels and structures is a timeconsuming (and therefore expensive) job, no matter what car. Unless you can swing the welder yourself or know someone who will do it while you paint his house or fix his garden.

THE DOORS.
The lower part of the doors rust like crazy. From the inside out! The drain-holes are often clogged.
- The cure: Remove any electric wiring, unbolt the six hinge-bolts and throw the door away. Find a donor car (scrapyard?), rustproof the new doors, and install them. All doors from all 99's, 90's and 900's are interchangeable. (It goes without saying that 2/3-doors dont mix with 4/5-doors, doesn't it ?)

How it usually looks
The cure!

THE REAR LOWER SUSPENSION ARM.
From m79 these were galvanized, and there was a reason for it!
- The cure: Finding a pre-79 rear trailing arm in good condition is next to impossible. Finding a new rear damper for the pre-79 rear trailing arm is also next to impossible. Why bother then? Instead, find a 99 or 900 m79-or-newer donor car and install the late type trailing arm. Now you are able to walk into an accessory warehouse and buy new dampers off the shelf, like any other car owner can do. (Which you must, the old ones wont fit)

This one had rotted straight through!

THE BATTERY TRAY.
A common place for all cars. The acid is not particularly healthy for sheet metal.
- The cure: My cure will be to cut away the tray altogether, and reposition the battery in the boot. And not just any battery. That would only transfer the rust-problem to the boot. A sealed spiracell gel-battery, labelled OPTIMA is the sensible choice here.

THE FRONT RAIL UNDER THE BATTERY,
where the lower suspention a-arm is bolted in. If the battery tray is rotten, acid may have caused damage here too.
- The cure: Cut away rotten bodywork, and replace with fresh steel.

REAR DAMPER UPPER MOUNTINGS.
A classic rustspot. Dirt gets trapped here, and collects moisture.
- The cure: When it comes to welding, I let the proffesionals handle it. I could always learn a new trade if I wanted to, but becoming an expert requires a lot of training. So I teamed up with a friend of mine on several weekends, impersonating a handyman.

 


WHEELARCHES.
Peel off the trim and inspect the seam weld between the inner and outer wing. Especially at the rear lower end. Beware, if mudflaps are missing.
- The cure: Cut, grind and weld.

THE REAR INNER WHEELARCHES.
Fold down the seatback, remove the wheelarch trim, and inspect.
- The cure: This job is best done at the same time as the rear damper upper mountings

THE FLOOR.
Under your (and the passenger's) feet, where the front rail is welded in. Poke around with a screwdriver.
- The cure: Cut, grind and weld. Incidentally, one of the important functions of a handyman is to extinguish fires, as old rustproofing bursts into flames.