Rust Repair and Farewell

Summer is flying by here at Reggie's Motorworks. Bits of rust have also been flying by here at Reggie's Motorworks! This week Reggie has been tackling some rust repair on one of our favorite customer's son's cars. First signs of rust were detected in the trunk...then under the passenger side rear quarter panel, up in the wheel well...and then a little more was found nearby. Reggie chipped away at the patches of rotten metal, smoothed out the edges, made patch panels, tacked them into place, threw some sparks with the welder, and before he knew it, they were ready for some self-etching primer and undercoating. Let's get into the details, shall we? This hole is straight up, and appears to have formed due to the bracket (for the fuel ventilation expansion tank) holding moisture.

This is a common one, right behind the right rear wheel:

This is the inside shot of the previous hole:

Here I'm cleaning the edges of the hole with a wire wheel mounted on a die grinder:

Now we can see fresh metal all around so we know that the repair will be strong and not contaminated:

Here's another shot of the hole up top with some cleaning. Later I pulled the bracket down and cleaned (enlarged) the hole more.

This was a nice surprise, yet another hole. This one is in the base of the shock tower.

more cleaning:

Yes, more cleaning:

This was the main event.....I didn't realize it when I started, but it was a mess. This is where the fuel vapor lines come out of the pipe under the back seat. At first I thought it was just a couple of small holes, but then it turned out to be one giant hole. The pipe under the back seat was completely dissolved about 6 inches forward!

Another local customer/restorer/enthusiast loaned me this flanging tool/sheer (thanks, Russ!)

Test fitting a patch:

Here I'm rolling a flange in a patch to make it fit a bit better. I'm mainly doing this for my own practice/experience, as it's probably not 100% necessary for a wheel well repair:

I am not making perfectly sized patch panels to weld in place. I would do this if I were doing work on the visible body, but since we're just in the wheel well I'm taking it a bit easier and making over-sized patches that will overlap on the inside. I tacked the patch panel from the inside of the trunk to hold it in place, then welded around the perimeter of the hole in the wheel well. I do multiple tacks one on top of another to end up with a seamless seal from the outside. This way moisture will not creep in between my overlapped metal. Later, I will also seam-seal this area inside and out to further prevent new corrosion. I should also mention that between the wire wheel and the welding, I treated the metal with a rust converter/preventative solution.

Here is the top hole after the welding from inside the wheel well:

Here is the finished rear wheel area:

Here I am using a socket as a dolly to for the hole where the pipe will come out into the front of the wheel well:

This is 1.5" flexible exhaust tube that I will be using to repair/replace the factory metal tube in which the fuel vapor lines run (again, this is under the back seat):

I ended up shortening a breather tube from an M20 to use as a pass-through in the wheel well for the fuel vent lines. I will join this to what's left of the factory pipe with the flexible exhaust tube. I tacked it in place, then welded patches around it to seal the inside from the outside:

The finished product in bare metal:

The flexible exhaust tube in its new home:

The fuel vent lines coming from their new channel:

I coated all of the bare metal with self-etching primer after a thorough cleaning:

Next I smeared seam sealer over everything. This may be a bit messy, but it should hopefully prevent moisture penetration in the future. I do try not to leave any large clumps that may actually gather moisture later on down the road:

After the seam sealer cured, undercoating was applied to finish the job, while a coat of cheap rattle can red paint sealed off the areas inside the trunk.

Now everything just has to be put back together! We also bid farewell to a Bimmer that served its previous drivers well. As you've seen on our previous post, we've kept the parts that will hopefully help out needy Bimmers very soon.

Until next week...Have a great weekend!