Rust Bubble
December 28, 2003 9:21 AM   Subscribe

I have a cherry 1973 toyota landcruiser with a small rust bubble (about the size of a quarter) starting on one of the front fenders - barring completely sanding and repainting the fender i'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for dealing with it? thanks in advance.
posted by specialk420 to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
Wow, that must have been an Arizona car, because those things disintegrated like mad. Regarding the spot, that's just the rust you can SEE. By the time you get rid of all the cancer and feather out the paint, you'll have a grapefruit sized patch of bare metal to deal with. If you can live with the aesthetics temporarily, and you want to keep this car, I'd sand down the spot, apply something like this, primer it and paint it with the closest spray can match you can find in an auto parts store. Then, when you are ready for the inevitable repainting of the entire car that will be required to get rid of the rust you can't see, you'll have at least stopped the major damage. You might want to throw a Chevy V8 in the thing at the same time. : )
posted by machaus at 10:21 AM on December 28, 2003

Response by poster: machaus.

actually - this one is amazingly solid - california truck originally - and the rust bubble does appear to be only under paint (its been repainted and does have a chevy conversion). i have been thinking about doing exactly as you suggest - thought i'd see if there are any other body guys out there with some rust magic - something tells me there aren't a ton of autobody types on mefi ... just a guess. thanks for your help.
posted by specialk420 at 10:49 AM on December 28, 2003

special420, I live pretty close to your neck of the woods and have dealt with rusty vehicles for a very long time. You're essentially fighting a losing battle, but the procedure that machaus has outlined is essentially the correct one. The only thing I can add is that once you get the spot repaired, have a sealer applied to keep further road salt and moisture from getting under the paint.
posted by MrBaliHai at 4:25 PM on December 28, 2003

Cherry FJ40s are a rare gem. I am terribly jealous! Which transmission does it have?

My father drives an '85 FJ60 which he bought new in '85 after a garage parking attendant drove our minivan into an open elevator shaft (car totalled; attendant walked away without his job.) I think it just passed 100K miles. Needs a 5th gear but otherwise is a great truck.
posted by gen at 5:40 PM on December 28, 2003

specialk420 - I've welded quite a number of fantastically rusty vehicles (which probably should have been put out of their misery) back together.

In short, just treat the local rust spot - jab off loose rust with a screwdriver, or sand with heavy grit paper, or attack with a grinder, acid, naval jelly - whatever. Then, treat the effected area w/anti-rust primer, rust prevention treatments, whatever. Paint later, if you want.

Having done all of the above, at all levels, I prefer jabbing with a screwdriver, a light sanding, treatment/primer, and touch-up painting with dabbed paint as necessary. Avoid spraying, treating, etc. - unless you're practiced w/a spray gun - except if you're aiming for resale. Life is too short for perfection.

Quick and dirty, that's what I'd recommend. Then, put on goggles and go under the chassis and jab at the frame to check for possible safety concerns from structural problems. Rust is soft and flakey. Watch out for gas and brake lines...
posted by troutfishing at 9:06 PM on December 28, 2003

Response by poster: thanks trout. yeah... i hit the small crack in the bubble with a little naval jelly after it initially appeared. i may bring it to my body guy for his opinion as the rig is nearly perfect otherwise.
posted by specialk420 at 7:27 AM on December 29, 2003

specialk420 - That's wise. Have the body guy check out the undercarraige. The spot on the hood sounds really minor. If you scrape off the loose rust and treat the spot, this will buy you lots of time to ponder - spend the $ for a perfect spot repair? Do a quick and dirty job yourself and spend the $ elsewhere?
posted by troutfishing at 9:29 AM on December 29, 2003

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