Body Rust Repair

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Jun 29, 2011
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Im new to this board so go easy on me if I screw up protocol. I recently purchased a 1978 FJ40 with a fair amount of rust. Trying to figure out the best approach to move forward. Can i use some kind of rust primer/paint over the current rust or should i plan on buying new pieces all together?

Im in Pensacola Florida and looking for repair shops as well if anyone knows of any.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 
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Bite the bullet, buy repair panels and work on the cruiser yourself. Paul Pilgrim ,I think, makes the best cruiser replacement parts. Others on here also make parts and they vary in price and fit and quality. Covering up rust is a cheap,tempory fix for the short term when money is hard to get. MIke
 
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It either needs to be sanded off if it's not bad, or cut out and repaired if is rusted through.

That's about the best advice you're going to get. POR and similiar products are good only if the steel is structurally sound; it's great for frames and other heavy steel items, but if the rust on sheet metal is bad enough to need POR then it's probably too far gone for it.

I'm in the same boat as you are and I'm about to buy a small 110v MIG and start the cancer surgery on my 40.
 
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my sill is rusted through and so are my side panels. I am electing to replace the TUB. This is more expensive but will take less time for me and less patch work.

Most people here Patch with fresh metal. Bondo is a 4 letter word.

Tubs can be sourced through many companies.

Steel tubs made by heritage, real steel cruisers, and Pilgrim
Aluminum tubs made by Aqualu
Fiberglass tub made by somebody i cant remember.

There are lots of vendors for these tubs. Many people sell replacement body panels, like real steel, Pilgrim, CCOT, etc etc.
 
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FJsnoozer said:
my sill is rusted through and so are my side panels. I am electing to replace the TUB. This is more expensive but will take less time for me and less patch work.

Most people here Patch with fresh metal. Bondo is a 4 letter word.

Tubs can be sourced through many companies.

Steel tubs made by heritage, real steel cruisers, and Pilgrim
Aluminum tubs made by Aqualu
Fiberglass tub made by somebody i cant remember.

There are lots of vendors for these tubs. Many people sell replacement body panels, like real steel, Pilgrim, CCOT, etc etc.

Why is bondo a 4 letter word? I would agree that if you're using that to patch a hole in lieu if doing a proper repair, but if you weld in a patch and use bond to fill, I would think that is totally acceptable. Not everyone can afford shop rates, let alone a whole new tub.
 
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Post some pictures what some consider a lot of rust is nothing to others. You can always cover it for now and really fix it later. I have used this master series stuff on some part and almost two years later they look like the day I painted it on them with no top coat.

Mastercoat Silver

What I love about the directions is you can apply it over marginally prepared surfaces. I hit them with a wire wheel brush and then painted it. Where this stuff has dripped/spilled on plywood it will not come off and is like aluminum. I am very impressed so far.

Pics will give people an idea if you should clean up and paint, or cut and replace. It also depends on what you want done now as down the road. These moisture cured paints like the one I mentioned pull all moisture out of the rust as they cure and prevent the rust from continuing and are very effective. You can finish and paint over them and should not get any rust bubbles and should still be able to get to a nice finish, you can even put body putty over them. So there is the absolute correct way, cut and replace then there are other options as well.
 
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Why is bondo a 4 letter word? I would agree that if you're using that to patch a hole in lieu if doing a proper repair, but if you weld in a patch and use bond to fill, I would think that is totally acceptable. Not everyone can afford shop rates, let alone a whole new tub.

A friend who restored his jeeps with a guy who does museum quality work uses body filler. He literally covers the car 100% then sands it off. Puts the doors and hood on and bondo's (with rage not bondo) over the doors and hoods and then cuts them out. It is really the only way to get a truly flat finish and also properly hide patches in the metal. Bondo is great stuff as long as it is applied properly and the metal under it properly treated. Bondo over rust that has not been removed or stopped will turn into a huge problem that you will not know till everything under the bondo is gone. Any body shop you go to will use body filler, but hopefully use it properly.
 

Sea Knight

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Post pictures.

It is very unlikely you will get any recommendations to put anything over the rust. It either needs to be sanded off if it's not bad, or cut out and repaired if is rusted through.

Sounds like your rust issues are similar to mine (and everyone else for that matter). I agree with Eddy. Fix it once, correctly, and be done with it. Here's a couple before and after shots of my old rustbucket. Primer covering rear quarter patch panels in the last pic.
Lee's FJ40--Rear Quarters 2011.jpg
FJ40 Sill and Corner Channels 5-27-2011.jpg
FJ40 Repairs--Sill and Quarters Closeup.jpg
 
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The best approach is to have the panels media blasted...then you know what is truely underneath all off the rust and any previous work.

Here are pics of my media blasted panels...

FJ40mediablast_52.jpg


FJ40mediablast_54.jpg


CopyofFJ40mediablast_49.jpg


Our Tub ended up having extensive rusting so we bit the bullet and went with a complete tub and firewall from PACOL

IMG_4437-Copy.jpg


IMG_4434-Copy.jpg


PACOL front fenders

IMG_4435-Copy.jpg


There are many approaches to rust....it all depends on your skills and the depth of your pocket book.

Welcome to the addiction!

Doc
 
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Why is bondo a 4 letter word? I would agree that if you're using that to patch a hole in lieu if doing a proper repair, but if you weld in a patch and use bond to fill, I would think that is totally acceptable. Not everyone can afford shop rates, let alone a whole new tub.

Bingo. I meant for filling in rusted dents and cancer.

Even my new tub will havd a little bit of filler for smoothness. and spot welds.
 
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Reply

Thank you for all the great advise. My pocket book is very tight (New house and 1st baby on the way)...so a combination of mastercoat silver and bondo may be my only really recourse at this point. I also don't have much experience working on bodies so this will be interesting to say the least. Will post pics when i get home.

thanks again!
 
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Rtill said:
Thank you for all the great advise. My pocket book is very tight (New house and 1st baby on the way)...so a combination of mastercoat silver and bondo may be my only really recourse at this point. I also don't have much experience working on bodies so this will be interesting to say the least. Will post pics when i get home.

thanks again!

First I'd like to ask you... What are your plans for this rig? I'd it gonna be a stock restore, wheeler, DD?
A decent DIY repair of the rust you describe could cost less than a hundred bucks PROVIDED you have a welder and an angle grinder aaaaaaand you don't mind if its not "stock". There's much to body work other than time once you get in to the task and get over the fear factor. Grafting panels is nothing more than a series of spot welds and keeping the metal as cool as possible.
 

Cruiser Corps

Toyota Land Cruiser Parts | Oklahoma City | USA
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Welcome! And congrats on the new home AND BABY!!!

Re-read the comments posted above. ALL of this is GOOD stuff.
We've been doing body work for over 20 years and these suggestions are spot on.
Another company called Reel Steel makes patch panels. Do you do any welding?

Enjoy!
 
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Sounds like your rust issues are similar to mine (and everyone else for that matter). I agree with Eddy. Fix it once, correctly, and be done with it. Here's a couple before and after shots of my old rustbucket. Primer covering rear quarter patch panels in the last pic.

Thats a nice job Sea Knight.

Rust is a pain.... cut and replace.
 

FishNinJay

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First I'd like to ask you... What are your plans for this rig? I'd it gonna be a stock restore, wheeler, DD?
A decent DIY repair of the rust you describe could cost less than a hundred bucks PROVIDED you have a welder and an angle grinder aaaaaaand you don't mind if its not "stock". There's much to body work other than time once you get in to the task and get over the fear factor. Grafting panels is nothing more than a series of spot welds and keeping the metal as cool as possible.

Yep.. I just got my first welder. Haven't even opened it yet, and already looking at the upgrade! There was a thread here, where they did some nice repairs using cereal box templates, sheet metal, and a BFH... :clap:

Just dive in.. that's what I'm going to do!
 

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