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Old 05-20-2020, 06:57 PM   #1
VovloBadger
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Default New Project Wagon - Starting with Rust, need some advice

So, the wife and I just picked up an '89 245 and drove it from NC to Michigan to its new home.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/s1Wb56YvqmBdhrS99

On the trip driving in the rain we found the passenger footwell carpet wound up soaked. Thus, despite the atrocious suspension and related bushings, loose exhaust, brake issues, and need for a tune-up my first goal was to figure out the rust issues.

Out came the seats, decorative bits, carpet, and pads. What I found you can see below but it is obvious this car had the interior and some exterior metalwork in the past (Hello, rivets!). It seems to me that most of the damage is confined to the outer part of the underbody just inside the body seam. Sections of the underbody are completely deteriorated in the vicinity of the molded cross member near the forward end of the front doors.

My thought is to remove the undercoating in the affected areas, cutout the remaining rusted area and go back in with sheet steel welded in. The only part that seriously concerns me is the deterioration of the cross member near where it terminates at the body seam. I plan on cutting that out and going back in with thicker gauge steel.

Once all the welding is done I plan to use an epoxy to ensure it is sealed and then recoat the underbody. The damage to the interior I plan to just use some sheet steel to rebuild the profile and just tack weld in place. Another coat of sealant epoxy on the interior and done.

My question is, am I overthinking this? Is there an easier method or route that I could be taking that will yield good results? This being Turbobricks I know someone has dealt with such issues before!

Rust Pics

Thanks, everyone for whatever knowledge and advice you have to share!

Last edited by VovloBadger; 05-20-2020 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:21 PM   #2
84B23F
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VovloBadger View Post
...dealt with such issues before!
Well, with some MIG/TIG welding, and using a Car Rotisserie with engine/transmission removed, what we have here is a project.

Unibody vehicles can be reconstructed...here's some tips on Butt Welding

It's do-able, if you have the skills....body could be slid on another frame, as was done with this Amazon.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:45 PM   #3
283SD
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How good of a welder are you and how much time do you have, tools, equipment etc.? My wife's '90 245 looks like your car, could I fix it, yes, will I fix it no, I have spent 50 years doing restoration, a lot of it on rust repair. I wish you the best on your adventure.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:10 PM   #4
2manyturbos
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Originally Posted by 283SD View Post
How good of a welder are you and how much time do you have, tools, equipment etc.? My wife's '90 245 looks like your car, could I fix it, yes, will I fix it no, I have spent 50 years doing restoration, a lot of it on rust repair. I wish you the best on your adventure.
I couldn't have said it better. The Swedes would say, "what rust, that's nothing". You are looking at about 30+ hours of rust repair. That is a really bad spot to have the rust issues you have. You have taken a rusty car into the worst possible environment for it to exist in. I have quite a few people I know in MI. They have told me how bad the chemical deicers used there are on their cars.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:38 PM   #5
VovloBadger
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Well looks like I'm on the right track then with the welding!

I'm good with a welder and don't mind spending hours under the vehicle making it right, that's what project cars are for! I actually just dread cleaning off the underbody coating to get clean steel to weld to.

I did find several places that sell replacement body and frame pieces, and luckily it seems I can get the side frame pieces that are eaten at. As for the sheet steel, I'm just going to rough in some of a thicker gauge on the exterior and buy new floor pans (also still available).

As for being in Michigan I work in the Marine Industry and have access to industrial sealant epoxies I plan to coat all worked on areas with. After that it's a full new underbody treatment and keeping her in a garage and off the winter roads.

I'll be sure to report back how it goes.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:01 PM   #6
Mr. V
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You're fortunate to have the knowledge and tools to accomplish this most difficult repair.

Me, I'd have passed on the car: no welding knowledge or equipment.
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