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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Rust in rear wheel arches (near suspension) a common thing??

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3 replies to this topic

#1 rverdoold


    Subaru Nut

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 04:26 PM

Picked up my '91 legacy station, a daily driver with 250k km on her (2.0 AT FWD), from the MOT (or governmental roadworthy check). The car runs fine and transmission was rebuild at 160k km, for now compression in all cylinders is fine as well. Problem during the MOT the mechanic said that they have removed a heat-shield which was ratling and that there is rust in the rear wheel arches near the point where the shock is mounted.
I know the mechanic good enought that he doesnt fool me and said officially it just barely passed the MOT on that point. For the rest its a fine car to drive.
My question is, how hard is it to fix this thing. Guess it would mean: remove shock, cut out bad part and weld in good part, put shock back (but it will be more complex than that)?
Is it a common problem for subies of that age?

#2 ericem


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Posted 30 September 2007 - 05:48 PM

Sure if you don't wash it often and salt gets trapped in the area. Do you have pictures?

#3 Reveeen


    Certified Subaru Nut

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 06:26 PM

how hard is it to fix this thing.

I guess the "better" question is:
How bad is it?

If not too bad, or if it is still ok for a MOT, the preferred situation (and the cheapest) is to stop the rust now, before it gets too bad and won't MOT inspect. Clean up the area as best as you can, paint seal, and apply your preferred method of rust-proofing twice a year.

Yes, you can buy/try to buy an intact inner wheel well, with enough metal around it to patch it into the pressed metal frame box (below), and the behind the rear door roof pillar/window surround structure. Then after carefully cutting the old out, you can mig weld the new in, and repair the quarter panel to inner wheel well seam. This is a "no fun" job, expensive to pay someone to do it, time consuming, and dirty if done by yourself. Even a "competent" repair in this area is not going to be as strong as new (because there are 3-4 layers of pressed metal gussets in some areas that you can't replicate).

The reason these cars rust in this area is because they weren't built overly strong in the first place. When loaded/empty, and traveling over road bumps, the structure flexes (a sedan has the rear package tray to stiffen the structure, the wagon nothing). Each, and every, time the structure flexes it cracks the paint, allowing rust to start, at some point the metal will crystallize and fracture.

#4 rverdoold


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 05:28 AM

Sure if you don't wash it often and salt gets trapped in the area. Do you have pictures?

Car is washed often and also waxed. Especially i rinse the wheel arches cause i know its a bad area for moist.

I still have to check how bad it acutally is.

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