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1990 Subaru Loyale stationwagon

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I have a 1990 Loyale wagon, with a young engine (just passed 100,000 miles). I love the car, but like all the rest, she's rusting out pretty good and won't pass inspection. I'm not giving up on her though, and I've talked with some mechanics and body shop guys who have given me some tips on fixing her up. I've never done body work before, but the posts on the Safariwagon thread are making me really hopeful that I can keep this car for some years to come. The areas I'm going to try to fix are: both front fenders where the mudflaps are barely hanging on, one hole in the rear wheel well, and holes on the underside of the back end leading up into the trunk area.


Here is the process I'm going to follow, and I'd love to get feedback and tips from the community here:


1. Remove the rust and loose metal from the affected areas.

2. Cut/bend sheet metal and attach it with rivets to rebuild/cover the holes.

3. Apply Tiger Hair fiberglass filler.

4. Prime and paint.


I have already received some good tips, which have led to me to a couple of more questions...


1. My plan was to rivet sheet metal to rebuild the rust holes, and then apply fiberglass filler on top of the new sheet metal. Tom mentioned that fiberglass filler doesn't stick too well to smooth surfaces. Would it suffice to simply prime and paint over the sheet metal, as opposed to first applying fiberglass filler?


2. I am having a boondoggle of a time finding the color identification plate. It is not on my strut tower, nor can I find it near my hood latch. Perhaps it got removed in a repair in the 17 years the car existed before I got it. Any other tips for finding the right color match?


Thanks for any information and help provided!


- Jason

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Glad to see you have a thread going!


As for the Paint code tag, its possible someone removed it (Its only a Foil sticker) As for finding the matching color, if I remember right, Subaru only used two different shades of blue in the 90s Loyale -


955 - Bermuda Blue Met.

280 - Ice Blue Met


I personally think that it is Ice Blue Metallic, it seems to be the most popular color in of the blue 90s Loyale. Perhaps you can post a picture sometime :)


As for the fiberglass, if you are gonna use fiber glass sheets with Fiberglass resin, you'll have better results with it sticking to semi-smooth surface. You can rough up the surface with some 60grit sandpaper which will help.



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Here is what the Color code tag would look like, if its still intact somewhere.


#241 is Porcelain White (Just an example) :)


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Armed with a couple weeks off work, a digital camera, and renewed enthusiasm, I'm going to try to tackle this project. Here are photos of the problem areas...


First, here's the car. I went to the local auto paint supply store to try to track down the actual color code, and their books listed "955 Bermuda Blue" as the only similar blue for 1990-1994 Subarus. I was looking for the "280 Ice Blue Met" as Tom mentioned, but it wasn't listed in their book. To anyone with more knowledge than me about these colors, I'm hoping the photo of my car might help confirm which color code is correct.




Below are two photos of the fenders - one of the driver's side and one of the passenger's side. Both fenders have rusted out where the mudflaps hang on. Instead of trying to patch those up, it'll be easier for me to just replace them. I've managed to track down two used fenders that I'm going to paint and install.





Below is a photo of a hole inside the driver's side rear wheel well. The picture makes it look worse than it is. My plan here is to block the hole with a fiberglass sheet and smother it with Tiger Hair. Should I use some rubberized undercoating on top of the Tiger Hair?




Now on to the nasty stuff. The back end is rusted out pretty bad, with holes on both the driver's side and passenger's side going right up into the trunk area. My plan here is to rivet sheet metal where I can, and use Tiger Hair to seal it up. This is really where I could use advice.





I should mention that I'm not trying to make the car look brand new. My immediate goal is to pass inspection this year, to give me more time to save up money for another car. My dream goal would be to fix this car up so I can drive her for many years to come, considering the engine only has 100,000 miles. Though not being a professional body repair guy, I don't know to what extent those holes in the back end can be fixed up.


Thanks for any and all advice!



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I would cut away as much of the rust as possible, and then remake the areas with 18ga sheet metal (Stainless if you want) riviting it on if you don't have a welder. Just covering up the rust is just going to make it rust more behind the fiberglass.


These areas really aren't to bad, and everything is lots easier if you have a basic Wirefeed welder, and stitch welding experience.


I agree with getting better fenders, it'll look much nicer than trying to patch them.


As for the hole in the Wheel well, that should be addressed asap, this is where these cars love to rot out, check were the coilover bolts to the body mount, most of the time, this area will fail over time and the coilover will be pushed through the wheel well lol.


You can go for the fiberglass idea, but its not going to last very long. About a year if you drive it in the salted winter roads.


Good luck though! I am interested in seeing what you do to this thing :)



PS: #955 would be the correct color. If I remember correctly, the #280 was for the 80s GL (Same body)

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You could indeed rivit sheet metal in there too, and then seal it with Fiberglass and Rubberized undercoating.


See how extensive the rust is in that area, take a wire wheel on the drill and go over the solid surface rust, you could then brush on a rust converter, and then continue with the sheet metal and fiberglass.



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