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Rust Repair Panels for 1998 Impreza L


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13 replies to this topic

#1 MikeyDoubleDEE

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:40 PM

Hello All,


I am brand new to this world of Subaru.  I have started my experience by purchasing a 1998 Impreza L with the 2.2L (that is the EJ22 correct?).

 

Having 125000 miles on it, the rust has taken over the rockers as well as the rear wheel wells and fenders. 

 

I am looking for some rust repair panels online and have come up with nothing.

 

 

THE QUESTION:

Has anyone had any experiences with repairing the rocker panels / wheel areas from the rust cancer?  Were you able to find any pre-made rust repair panels? 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Mikey

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#2 lmdew

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:54 PM

Once it starts in those areas it's very hard to stop.  No panels that I know of.  The Wheel Wheel rots due to the cancer all the way at the top of the strut tower outside wall that lets moisture into the inner fender.

 

Get a rust free CO Car.

 

Larry



#3 mikec03

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:25 PM

You might save the rear wheel panel area by cutting it out.  Get a dramil.  You have to cut out the metal to where it's not rusted.  It looks like an area 18" and 12".  The you do the fiberglass [or welded sheet], bondo, precoat, final coat matching color and lacquor.  Will it look good?  Well, not great but better then rust.  Your other alternative is to let it rust.

 

The rocker panel is really bad.  I have no idea what you do there since its a structual part.



#4 Rooster2

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:52 PM

I have used fiberglass woven mat and fiberglass sheets to repair rusted out metal areas, mostly on floor boards. Just use scissors to cut the mat or sheets to size. It is amazing the strength you can build up with layers of mat or sheet cut when layed down upon one another. Your rocker panels could be helped using this approach. You will need to use something like a cardboard box wedged under the rocker panel to keep gravity from pulling down the fiberglass after you have applied it. It is messy work working with fiberglass and resin, requiring lots of newspapers to catch resin drippings, gloves, and paint brushes to spread on the resin. Figure on have the car sit over night to make sure the resin is dry.

 

I have found that the resin does a good job of stopping future metal rusting. Once dry, no moisture or air can get to the metal to cause rust.



#5 MilesFox

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:58 PM

Once it starts in those areas it's very hard to stop.  No panels that I know of.  The Wheel Wheel rots due to the cancer all the way at the top of the strut tower outside wall that lets moisture into the inner fender.

 

Get a rust free CO Car.

 

Larry

So then it would rust out after 2 winters in wisconsin.

 

Here is my advice based on having rusty cars:

Cut off the edges of the rust and seal it up with paint. If you can't fix the rust, you can at least stop it or slow it down. Cut the edges off so that dirt and pebbles will not accumulate inside.

 

Rust like this is caused when dirt and debris clog the drain holes, trapping dirt, which holds moisture. This is why eery subaru in the rust belt always rusts the wheel wells where the bumper clips and mud flaps attach to.


Edited by MilesFox, 12 September 2013 - 04:00 PM.


#6 grossgary

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:07 PM

if it's just on flat panels it's easy, cut it out and patch it.  i just spot weld some pieces of metal in there.  then grind and finish. not that hard, doesn't look perfect but easy enough to color match so it doesn't look totally silly and...rusty.

 

but - when it's in seams, folded, pinched together and severe - it's nearly impossible to really get it all. so depending how bad it is on the inside and hard to reach areas  you might be better off just considering it a 3 year car and go from there.

 

 

So then it would rust out after 2 winters in wisconsin.

 

Here is my advice based on having rusty cars:

Cut off the edges of the rust and seal it up with paint. If you can't fix the rust, you can at least stop it or slow it down. Cut the edges off so that dirt and pebbles will not accumulate inside.

 

Rust like this is caused when dirt and debris clog the drain holes, trapping dirt, which holds moisture. This is why eery subaru in the rust belt always rusts the wheel wells where the bumper clips and mud flaps attach to.



#7 1-3-2-4

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:14 AM

I'm in the same boat.. last winter really took a toll on me since I did a bunch of highway driving, my plan was to plastic dip the car before winter but I don't want to do that with rust still on the body.. the biggest issue is the passenger side rear where those stupid plastic pieces are near the rear door of the Legacy, that's the biggest area, the rest are rust bubbles.



#8 heartless

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:34 AM

Hello All,


I am brand new to this world of Subaru.  I have started my experience by purchasing a 1998 Impreza L with the 2.2L (that is the EJ22 correct?).

 

Having 125000 miles on it, the rust has taken over the rockers as well as the rear wheel wells and fenders. 

 

I am looking for some rust repair panels online and have come up with nothing.

 

 

THE QUESTION:

Has anyone had any experiences with repairing the rocker panels / wheel areas from the rust cancer?  Were you able to find any pre-made rust repair panels? 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Mikey

 

first - the mileage has nothing to do with how much rust the car has - that has to do with how well it was cared for (or wasnt, as the case may be) I have a 98 Forester sitting in my driveway with over 364,000 on it, and very little rust - too bad it doesnt run...

 

next, there are no Subaru specific repair panels that any of us are aware of. Those that do try to repair rust generally make thier own patch panels out of the appropriate guage sheet metal, or use fiberglass...

 

Then there are those that decide is it worth the time and effort? How bad is it? if it is too advanced, dont bother, just drive it until it becomes structurally unsafe - could be a year - could be 8 years....my current daily driver looks a fair amount worse than that - looked worse than that when I got it. Had around 150,000 on it when I got it - just turned over 236,000 on saturday - still going strong.

 

If you are concerned about looks - find something in better condition and take care of it by keeping it clean. If looks arent that big of a deal, take care of it mechanically and it will serve you well for many years yet.



#9 matt167

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 10:40 AM

Parts are more than likely available, just not thru the normal channels like Rustrepair.com.. A Bodyshop will have several catalogs for companies like Keystone and one will have parts in it. Probably not 100% fitting but they exist. Need to find a good bodyshop, and have them order it, or even have them do the repair.



#10 1-3-2-4

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

Can't you just for the smaller areas just cut the metal to shape (part you want to wield) and do it that way instead of trying to use a piece from a doner car?



#11 matt167

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 01:13 AM

That can be done. Metal working is not that hard to get curves going the right way if you have a good tree stump or vice anvil to shape on and a little practice. I have a planeshing hammer that works very well for that



#12 1-3-2-4

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:15 PM

The biggest issue for me is the passenger side rear

 



 



#13 grossgary

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 06:50 AM

Can't you just for the smaller areas just cut the metal to shape (part you want to wield) and do it that way instead of trying to use a piece from a doner car?

 

i've done that a couple times thinking the same thing - it is harder than it looks for someone not into body work. the slight curves in the original metal make it hard to get a flat plate to fit right.  i'm sure with practice it can be done i just don't have time to practice, tool up, and set up.  but yeah - it's not hard to get the job done...getting it to look good is another thing.



#14 1-3-2-4

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 09:11 AM

My car is not a show car so I don't care that much about making it look right, I'd have to do a bit of metal shaping but trying to figure out how thick the sheet metal is and for the wielding what metal should I use?






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