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First Things First: Rust Repair

2002spaceodyssey

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I bought a 1974 2002 from a friend who restored the car in the 1990s. It has had previous rust repair in many areas (driver's front subframe rail, driver's floor, rear shock towers to name a few.) It was painted a very dark green (Nissan color) in the 1990s and clear coated. The exterior has had all trim removed prior to painting and looks pretty nice. I bought the car a year and a half ago and have done a few basic things to it. I removed a roll bar and 5-pt belts (it has seen some track time at Summit Point.) I installed retractable seat belts from Blue Devils, an S14 starter, a nice set of E21 Recaros, plugs, wires, rotor, cap, fluids, repainted E21 turbine wheels with Toyo tires. It drives well. I noticed some rust bubbling from the metal floor plugs underneath the car, so I finally pulled out the carpet. I found a repaired driver's floor section and intact-looking black tar sound deadening in the rear and passenger side. I used dry ice (thanks Dry Ice Ice Baby article!) and discovered that all the metal plugs  have rusted through (most fell out leaving holes.) One of holes is perilously close to a rear suspension mounting point. The floor is intact where it meets the inner rocker panels save for a 6" section along the rear driver's side, where it has rusted through. The outer rockers appear sound. I'd like to have these rust holes repaired/patched. I don't know if I should buy a new floor section for the driver's side rear where the damage is worst.

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So I bought a rear driver side floor panel. I dug a little deeper. I found the inner inside fenders (which were covered with sound deadening) have rusted through as well. I also removed the cardboard-like stuff on the passenger firewall and found another hole in the floor there. The inner rear fenders (next to the springs) appear to have been repaired in some manner. And I've added a picture of the previous driver's frame rail repair, which now has surface rust. SAM_0501.thumb.JPG.5be151a27c814078c9248cda90358031.JPGSAM_0503.thumb.JPG.036d3b3b8849bd4d94a98f4833cd3d25.JPGSAM_0494.thumb.JPG.1442a5622a0fbd8336dd801b70a909c2.JPGSAM_0488.thumb.JPG.944ddcfc45f6c46468eb4080d9981230.JPG


 I bought new driver side rear and passenger side front floor panels, and had East Coast Restorations in Finksburg MD do the welding work. They also fabricated metal to repair the rear shock towers, which were rusted clear through. I then used the POR15 process: degreaser, metal etch, POR15 black paint, and finally grey POR15 top coat over the entire floor. It wasn't too expensive, and I'm fairly happy to have the rust and holes gone! Pics above.

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 I bought new driver side rear and passenger side front floor panels, and had East Coast Restorations in Finksburg MD do the welding work. They also fabricated metal to repair the rear shock towers, which were rusted clear through. I then used the POR15 process: degreaser, metal etch, POR15 black paint, and finally grey POR15 top coat over the entire floor. It wasn't too expensive, and I'm fairly happy to have the rust and holes gone! Pics above.
 
 


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Maybe it’s just the pictures but those welds don’t look good. The welds on the right shock tower/wheel well especially look very porous. That could rust through again quickly. 

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NOTE: This blog post is not new -- it's a thread I posted to the FAQ in 2017. I copied it into my blog for completeness. I want the blog to contain all the work that's been done. I just completed the front suspension and brakes, which I will post to this blog soon. 

 

Mike G- Yes, when Peterman welded new rear upper spring perches in (see my Rear Subframe Redux post), he noticed the shock tower welds could be better, and he spent some time working on the welds. I'm hoping now that they are POR-15'd and the car is stored in a dry garage, the weld repairs will outlast me.

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