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Guest Message by DevFuse

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My subaru has cancer. Can I put it through chemotherapy?

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10 replies to this topic

#1 sjschlag


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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:04 PM

I came home from the holidays and started working on my wagon. 


I started chipping away at the rust on the rear rocker panels in front of the rear wheels. With it being winter and all and my foot 90% healed I can start partying on the wagon. 



I took a hammer and tapped at this spot, then this hole appeared.



The massive hole, from a different angle, showing the crossmember. 


Went over to the drivers side and lightly tapped at some rust bubbles in the same area

1002046_10101802121321389_898608063_n.jpAnd ta da! this hole appears!


1495437_10101802121436159_1128030250_n.jThis chunk also fell on the floor. 


Looks like this car got cancer pretty early and then someone tried to bondo it up. The rotting is concentrated in these two specific areas, the rest of the underside seems to just have surface rust. 


Has anyone rebuilt these two areas before? I'm trying to stop the cancer from spreading anymore before I drive the car a bunch. Any tips or tricks to remedy the rest of the rust? I'm not sure if they still make these rocker panels, but if anyone knows where to look any advice is appreciated! My buddy has a MIG welder, and I can hammer some sheetmetal if needed, but I'd like to avoid as much hammering as possible! After it's been properly patched, does anyone have a recommended chassis coating or paint they use? here in Missouri/Kansas they salt the crap out of the roads...



#2 lvsarge


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:11 AM

Yikes. Looks pretty bad. You really don't know how bad it is until you start taking the paint off, too, though. It can probably be 'saved', but it may not look the same as you would need to do a lot of preping on the sheet metal to get it to look similar. I guess it depends on how much time/patience you have and how good your welding skills are. For my rust work I've used Rustoleum Galvanizing primer to cover the spots. Careful with rust work, as I've found you just uncover more and more, and the best way to repair it is to repair it all, so you end up with a half sanded car, and definitely not something you want to drive in the winter time there.

#3 idosubaru


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:11 PM

it's hard to see from pic's but if you can cut out large sections and weld in new good sections from a parts car that's the easiest way.


fabricating and piecing together and getting it all out is a chore.


i think milesfox has some good rust work threads and pictures if you want to check his out...i think his is on an EA82 body.

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:43 PM

That is the bane of the midwest subaru, most prone to salt, and lack of other soobs for parts. If you are willing to put the work into it, you can keep your subaru alive. To combat midwest rust, you really have to trat the car and inspect it seasonally to keep up with it, and stay out of the salt.


I have used wire wheel to clean up the metal and paint on por-15. I cut out and welded patches where there is rust through. There is a lot more structural metal behind what you cannot see.


People will argue and say the effort is not worth it, and to go find a rust free car, but any rust free car will start showing its rust after a season or 2 of winter driving in road salts. The trick is keeping the car clean. You can hold the rust at bay and keep it from getting worse. The worst examples i see are cars that live in rural areas with gravel roads where stone chips and debris accumulation promote rust. Take the fenders off and clean the dirt that accumulates behind them, and be sure to clean out around the rear shock mount towers to prevent rot there.


Any dirt accumulation harbors moisture and prevents water from draining out. Clear out the drain holes in the door sills. Try to avoid body filler in excess as body filler always rusts out and pops from behind, especially if applied vary thick.

#5 sjschlag


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 03:42 PM

Thanks for the advice guys!

I guess the question I was really asking is if you all thought this rust was repairable or if it was more of the "terminal" variety. I would say that I'm a mere beginner at mig welding but I have a few friends who are more experienced. I'm a little worried about the surface rust coating the crossmember behind the rocker panel (the one the rear diff is attached to). I'm not sure if my skills are up to fabricating a chunk of that as a replacement. I guess I'll have to bust out the angle grinder and see what I can find...

#6 Uberoo


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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:35 PM

if the rust on the crossmember is just surface rust it wont affect structural integrity for atleast a couple of years over there...

#7 sjschlag


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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

Think I could splice these panels in? They're for gen 2's...


#8 sjschlag


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Posted 18 January 2014 - 08:53 PM

Been doing some surgery the past few days...











Next up: taking a wire wheel all over this thing until it's all gone! Then maybe I can get started on the passenger side...

#9 sjschlag


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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:53 PM






I cut up some scrap sheet metal, beat it with a hammer, welded it all in place then painted all of it with chassis paint. It's coming together! 


Hopefully tomorrow I can zap on the outer rocker panel and paint it up, then move on to the passenger side. It might be worse over there...

#10 sjschlag


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Posted 16 February 2014 - 06:42 PM






Drivers side metal work is FINISHED! Now on to some filler!


Passenger Side has inside patch panel welded in, and is now painted up. Got a metal brake to make the passenger outer rocker panel and I was really impressed that the outer panel I bent up fit pretty well! 


There's a small chunk in the wheel arch that rusted out, that's on the menu this week to patch up. We're in store for some good weather here in KC this week so hopefully I can make some more progress!

#11 sjschlag


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Posted 23 February 2014 - 10:25 PM







The welds ain't pretty, but I'm hoping some hardcore sanding will knock em' all down. Glad that this part of the project is done!

Edited by sjschlag, 23 February 2014 - 10:26 PM.

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