Wednesday, 5 September 2012
One of the common places on spridgets for severe rust problems is the inside of the wings where they meet the A pillar. My car showed some small rust bubbles on the area that of course was no good news.
One of my main concerns after dealing with all the mechanical side, was to verify as soon as possible the real situation of the body. After removing the seats and carpets, there were no sights of rust problems, except on the inside part of the A pillars that showed some small rust spots.
So now that I had a few spare days on holidays, I just had to take the opportunity and remove the front wings to inspect them….
Removing them was both difficult and easy…. Easy because one wing was just held by about 8 crews, and difficult because the second one was soldered on 2 or 3 spots. I had to use the dremel with the cut-off wheel to remove those solders, which took me some hours.
Once both wings where removed, my worst nightmare came true…… loads of mud and debris was accumulated and the inside of the wings and panels where affected by rust.
First step was to remove as much mud as I could. Using a wire wheel grinder, I removed as much rust as I could to prepare it for the POR15 system.
After cleaning all the surface, I first used the Marine Clean product to remove all grease and dust. Secondly, the Metal Ready was used to each the surface and convert the remaining rust. Metal Ready is supposed to give the best key for the por15 paint. Before painting I used the dremel cut-off wheel to make a square hole on the A pillar where it had a rust spot. That way I could clean the inside, and treat it. Fortunately the A pillar was not in too bad condition.
Two coats of por15 where applied waiting about 3 hours until the first coat was tacky.
Next day once the por15 paint was fully dry, I used a 120 grit sponge to scratch all the surface to give a good key for the blue paint and gave a nice coat. Once it was fully dryed, I gave a large amount of cavity wax to prevent future problems, and used some 2 component putty, to seal the holes I made on the A pillar to prevent any future ingress of water.
The wings will need to be repaired, but until I can tackle with it, I wanted to stop the rust and seal it. I used a rust converter from the Loctite/Henkel company that I had bought some years ago…. I remember it cost a fortune at about 50 eur the bottle. The product is a sort of milky liquid, that is brushed over the rust, and will convert it to a stable state. Once the conversion process has ended, the rust will have a black colour. A coat of black enamel paint was given and once it was dry, liberal amounts of cavity wax where aplied. That should stop the rust for some time, until I decide what to do. I will probably order some repair panels and send the wings to a metal workshop so they can cut and solder the new parts. New BHM wings are available but the 450-500 pounds cost per wing is out of my scope by the moment.
At least now the front of the car looks much nicer and I can sleep knowing there are no hidden rusty nightmares