Oh nooooo..... RUST!

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Feb 8, 2016
San Antonio, TX
I was washing my cruiser off a while back and came across this bubble on the bottom of the passenger rear quarter panel. I know it doesn’t look like much compared to most cruisers out in the wild, but I thought I was clean.


After consulting with my Land Cruiser support group @OSS @CenTXFJ60 and @cwwfj60 I got to work right away. My first step was to sand down to the metal and get a look at how bad it was. As I got down low to start sanding, I noticed this tumor hiding behind the rear bumper end cap on the same quarter panel. Holy $hit... this one looks bad! I can’t believe I’ve missed this.


If I had any doubts or was in denial about that first bubble, this tumor was a big reality check. So out came the sander and the quick process of sanding away at least six different layers of paint and primer.



I wonder how long this guy has been lurking under my bumper?
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I removed the rear panel to get to the inside of the quarter panel and extracted about a softball sized, 30-year old mound of dirt and debris. No wonder this panel was rusting out...


Jimmy noticed some old evidence of prior rust repair. Notice the strip of sheet metal welded in above the wheel arch.


So it was time to get back to work.

The first step in treatment plan discussed between Jimmy and I, was to grind out the rust until I had clean metal around the margins. So in a homage to @NeverGiveUpYota , I pulled out my dremel and got to work.


I used a long socket as a gauge and template. I would later use the same socket to trace a pattern on some sheet metal to cut a patch.


Well, I wasn’t done finding rust...
Welcome to rust repair

The more you dig the more you find.
Eventually all will be gone.

I know the spot you are talking about and it is a major dirt trap. I cut and welded the whole corner out.
When I got after it with the Dremel, I poked through the sheet metal on the other side. Looks like I’m gonna patch both sides of this quarter.


Jimmy was awesome enough to let me cut off some donor metal from another fender he had in his boneyard. So we’re happy to keep everything OEM. Same color too haha!


Eventually I had cut all the patches that I needed to fix the rust. And was ready to weld them in.


A quick test of the fit...


Looks pretty good. Time to let Cody work his welding wizard skills...
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Here’s where Cody (@cwwfj60) went to work. Bare handing it with the welder. Remember to wear gloves at home kids!


A few passes with the angle grinder..


And it’s ready for some filler and putty.


Next comes Jim’s specialty. Body and paint....


Jim’s an artist...
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After a little body filler and some finishing putty, you can’t even tell that there’s patched in sheet metal underneath...


Oh yeah... in between all this, we helped Matt install his Tough Dog lift on his bad ass FJ73...


I really love this Cruiser. We’ve discussed trading several times...

The next step is paint. The truck has a single stage re-spray over the top of the original Freeborn Red paint.

I took my fuel door off and brought it to a local auto paint supply store to have them match it. In order to do so, a decision had to be made to stay with single stage, or apply a base and clear to the entire panel.

In order to stay with the single stage paint, the skill required to burn and blend it in to the existing paint would be beyond my paint experience skill set. So the choice is to blend the base coat and apply clear of the top.

Instead of clearing just the one quarter panel, I will eventually clear the entire passenger side after fixing some minor chips and scratches along the way. This way, the freshly cleared panel won’t stand out against the rest of the paint. In time, I plan repeat the process around the entire truck. This will essentially be like having a new paint job.

To cover the bare steel and prevent flash rusting... I just sprayed some rattle can red Krylon over the area. It’s down low enough to where you really can’t even tell when you’re just looking casually.


Okay, maybe you can tell a little bit. Haha.
Princess Puff doesn’t get dirty.
Nice thread Ryan, def about fing time you started showing off that beauty.
I'd be curious to know how many of us just went out to check our Cruisers! Never thought to look there. Always check around the mud flaps and wheel arches. Great post Capt.
Working on some preventative maintenance now. Hopefully, the rust won’t reappear in this panel again. First step was to change out the fuel filler neck gasket (is that the technical term?).

The part number is 77293-60030 (thanks Jimmy, I’ll order you a replacement). Everyone should call their favorite parts person and replace this as soon as possible.

The old gaskets crumble and fall apart, letting water and fuel flow and freely into the inner cavity of that quarter panel.


After one wash, I checked and there was water 2-3 inches deep inside that cavity. Which reminds me to remind everyone to make sure the drains are clear at the bottom of the pinch welds holding the inner and outside panels together at the bottom.
Wow bro with the way my 62 smell of gas I would've burned my garage down welding lol. Looks great.

I can’t say that we were not a little worried about that too. There’s a lot of hot metal splashing around those fuel lines inside the panel. I held some wet paper towels in there to help shield the lines while Cody welded. It seemed to catch most of the shrapnel. It could have been a grisly way to die though!
A little more future rust mitigation... after cleaning the inner cavity, which required much scraping, scrubbing and vacuuming. A coat of POR 15 was brushed in as a final preventative measure.


Since I also removed this shield to access the fuel neck, I decided to strip and repaint it. Now it kind of stands out.


Someday, I’ll get the body off and paint the undercarriage like Jim’s “Frankenstein” build...


I really love this Cruiser. We’ve discussed trading several times...


What can I say? While I like my FJ73, the wagon bug has bitten me.

The repair on your cruiser is coming along really nice.

Again, I really can't thank you and Jim enough for helping me put that suspension on.

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