Right, I'm going to demonstrate how someone with little skill and knowledge can TEMPORARILY repair their rotting arches. Don't get me wrong here, I see rust and I want it gone, I hate the stuff, I chop it out and put new metal in but then I have my own garage with all the gumf to do it and I'll be fairly confident that it'll last longer than BMW's attempt after.
I notice a few questions around the net on how to deal with this crap and short of chopping it out and creating a permanent repair, there's not much else you can do to see the end of your little orange mate. But then in these tough economic times you may not have between 300 and 500 quid to throw at your aging car or perhaps think that the money is best spent on food and water.
First of all, this is how I deal with rust... NO MERCY
But if you want to tosh over the car, make it look a little bit better and be proud you done man things and impressed the wife then stay tuned. I'm not going to keep referring to chopping the rot out, or doing a proper job, so assume in this case that we are not doing either.
There are various ways people attempt to tackle this kind of job, the stuff they use is different, the methods they use are different, even their views are different. I'll show you how I've done things in the past to get around a problem when I may of not had access to the more advanced equipment, I know my first car was basically all done like this
All the materials required can be got at a Halfords or other similar outlet store.
1st rule is to not be scared of the little bubbly patch eating your car. It is the enemy and must be destroyed (or in this case put to sleep for a little while). Then you'll need to find out what caused the problem like bodywork rubbing against the effected area, previous owners mega ditch finding tyres rubbing or it's been shot at by stones. Whatever the cause, there has been paint taken off by something at sometime.
Then it opened the doors for everything to eat it. I'm not going to give a science lesson either, so Google the rusting process or something if you can be bothered.
The following process I done today whilst at work on a removed panel that was scrap, I had a great time. Never intend this repair process to be permanent and I won't accept any responsibility for any accidents and/or damages and/ or failures that may occur to anything in the world, i.e you have the spray nozzle around the wrong way and are permanently blinded.
If you are in doubt you should always consult a specialist whilst wrapped in bubble wrap with a crash helmet on. In the interests of health and safety, always follow the manufacturers guidelines.
Here's what you'll need:
Some space that you don't mind getting grubby
A flat blade screwdriver or similar
A Stanley blade
A small paint brush
Your Nans chopping board
Plastic padding or 'filler', 'lob', 'bondo' or many other things it's called
A spray can of zinc primer
A spray can of your cars colour and possibly laquer if required, the paint supplier can tell you.
A 'project pack' as they call them of various sanding papers, anything from 40grit to 1200grit will do it.
Rust converter, sounds great don't it? Commonly it's rust eater or krust etc...
Some soft cloths, preferably for wiping panels
Water to put in the bucket
A copy of the daily sport
Someone to make the tea.
First of all, know where all the gear is and note how tidy everything looks, that'll change shortly. Remove or loosen any surrounding trim or the wheel and support the car correctly and safely. The affected area will become larger whilst work is carried out, so allow for this. Mask off local body parts... ( on the car!!!) that you don't want spray on. Once that is complete make tea. Then the area must be wiped with a solvent to remove any polishes etc.
Now for the juicy bit.... Some blurry pics!
Here we have the offending part, in this case, damage from stone chips have allowed corrosion the metal. The chipped paint has let in water and dirt, rust has formed and expanded pushing out the surrounding paint and allowing more water and dirt in and rust has now effectively 'moved in' into your paint where it will start to spread. Bad times.
Using a screwdriver or similar item you can remove 'blown' paint by lightly scraping the areas.
Don't forget to solvent wipe the panel...
Then using a fairly abrasive paper, in this case I used 40 grit, you can remove the rusted bit and surrounding paint until you hit unaffected metal. Remove as much rust as possible, it'll make life easier later. Don't worry about going too hard on it. Keep off the general surrounding painted finish though, it'll scratch the hell out of it.
Once that's done, get the rust eater out, I'm using my own favored brand here.
Follow the instructions to the word. It will usually take a few applications, again there are various methods people use, but just follow the destructions to keep it basic. It'll help after a few hits with the stuff to wash it off and inspect, don't assume it's worked it's magic, you're fighting a war remember. It'll look black but a light sand with 40 grid will show the rust is still standing it's ground. Follow application process again.
Until it has gone and you're just rubbing off black stuff.
To seal off any remaining specks that fancy making a return, I found that fiberglass holds it well (mine never came back whilst I owned my cars anyway)
Knock a small amount up... see me Nans chopping board there
And apply it to the area/s thinly making sure you've covered it all like a plaster, effectively that's what all this is. Worth noting here that it would do you a favor to use the Stanley blade to clean the mixing board and spreader before it goes hard.
Once it's gone hard, it won't take long, they'll be a tacky residue left. Get your 40 grit again but this time sand lightly to even the surface making sure not to remove any covering the affected area, you'll just need a thin layer left.
Then it's time for the filler
This is to fill the surface scratches and indentations. You may need to repeat this process if the first layer didn't go on right or you've sanded too much away. The surface you make now will be the on your finished paint will go on, any holes or dinks will show up, take the time to get it right. Put it over the whole area thats been repaired, it'll rub down easily if there is too much. To help make things easier, feather the edges.
Once that's hardened off it can be formed into shape using abrasive papers soaked in water. To get high spots down quickly I used the 40 grit until I was close to the rest of it, then I used 600 grit until bits of the fiberglass were bleeding through just, then 800 until I started to uncover the fiberglass, but no more. Making sure along the way that the sanding was even and following any profiles in the panel.
Then finally I used a 1200 grit to finish
Now it looks like a kind of funny Peugeot bonnet I could rinse it off, dry it and mask it up for primer. Make sure the filler is not wet when the panel looks dry. Water is your enemy now and the paint will have a pin holed effect if the filler is still damp with water.
Spray the primer concentrating on the repair and let the overspray sit on the unmasked bit, this will be flatted off once it's dry. Try to avoid building up the paint by the tape, it'll make life harder later.
So it's nearly done now. Once the primer is dry and your happy that the area is covered, you can check for imperfections. If there is then you'll need to sand the primer down and re fill the problem and then primer it after sanding. If there are runs, once dry they can be flatted off using the 800 paper with water and then 1200 once your near the work surface.
Once happy with the repair, remove the masking tape surrounding the local area repair and give it a light rub with the 1200 and some water, your not looking to remove lots of anything here, just flattening down some minor lumps and bumps in the primer and loose the edges where the tape was.
Wipe with a cloth, NOT solvent or you'll take the lot off and create a mess. Make sure the area is super dry and dirt/ dust free. Wetting the floor which probably happened whilst flatting will help.
Select your chosen paint colour and make sure the can is well shaken. Make sure the surrounding area has nothing in that you don't want painted and that your car is still masked well. You'll want a few light thin coats as directed on the instructions. And there we have it.
And that is how you go from this...
Like I said, I'm classing it as a temporary repair. This took me approximately 5 hours over the course of the day with drying time, you might want to leave it longer, again, follow manufacturers guidelines. It should cost around £60- £70 for all the bits unless you steal them.
I hope it is of some use to someone and I expect to see less rotten arches at the next meet!