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Looking at buying a 2002 that has rust


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Hi all new to the forum and looking to buy a 2002 project. I have a couple alfa romeos but no BMWs so not sure what the big rust spots are on these cars.  If they are anything like alfas the metal is like paper and rusts very easily and in many places. I have attached some pictures of the cars rust areas that the seller has sent me. If someone that knows these cars well could give me an idea if its a good or bad buy that would be great or what is required to repair the weak areas it would be greatly appreciated, would like to save it from the scarper if possible.



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It what is lurking under what you see. How much rust you can take is proportional with your pocket and your welding expertise.


I've see cars that in my opinion were dead, being brought to life.


Your pictures seem to show significant rust in the rockers and rear shock towers. If you can do the welding, there are many resources out there.

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Inner frame rails provide a significant percentage of a 2002's structural rigidity, and the car you pictured seems to have lost most of those rails to severe, pervasive rust.  It can be repaired, but there's a LOT of welding involved, and much will have to be fabricated.  While the outer rockers are available as repair parts, they're just cosmetic; it's the inner rails that are structural, and I don't believe they're available.  


To do that car right, you'd need to build a rotisserie to roll it over on its side to access and repair those rails.  As was pointed out, worse cars than that have been resurrected, but unless you enjoy a challenge, there are better ones to be had.  Too bad, as it looks quite nice from above, just not underneath.  Don't be seduced by nice paint and pig cheek fenders...



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That's a Datsun 411 shell!  sss!


So:  my take is different- if you WANT a rust repair project, and you've welded a Giulia back together after replacing the rockers,

that 2002 is NOT too far gone.  It'll be a lot of work, but the parts are mostly available (all the exposed compound curves are)

and if you think that a having a pile of 2002 parts left over when you're done is cool, do it. 

It's only feasible as a 'guy in a shed in his backyard' project if the 'guy' has a big shed

with a level floor, several welders, an oxy- acetylene rig, painting equipment, etc, etc, but it's possible.  And read some Brit resto mags-

they save TR4's that are worse.  AND you can buy a complete TR4 body, but they still do it.  So SOMEONE must think it's fun...


Do you want to spend the next 2 years of your life (evenings and weekends) or 3 months (60+ hour weeks) that way?


I don't, anymore, for a car I could spend $2500 more for and instead spend 2 years shoehorning an M54 into.

But that's me.

I WOULD do it for a car that's unique... like a Giulia.  I sold a rotbox VW T3 Notchback that was about that bad, and I regret it- that was a

really hard- to- find car, and I shoulda kept it.  But I've cut up 2002's that looked about as bad as that one, and didn't feel bad about it at all...



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Let me be the dissenting opinion.


If, at the end, you want a pretty, shiny, rust-free car, and if you have the money to buy a nicer example, then don't buy this one.


But if your budget is very tight, and you will die unless you own a 2002 in the next three months, and are terrified that they are rapidly appreciating out of sight, and you can happily live with a ratty imperfect car, then don't rule it out, and instead look at it in the context of what else it needs, what else is available, and its price. It looked like there was one bad rust spot on one rocker and a bunch of surface rust elsewhere. You and a 2002 with rust can life a long happy life together if you keep it dry.


Just my 02 cents.



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55 minutes ago, Manouk94 said:

Thanks all for your input and i will for sure take all of it in and keep looking 

Keep looking..but keep in mind unless you are spending big bucks on a nut and bolt restoration, there is really no such thing as a "rust free" 2002. It is like stated above it really depends on your time, ability, patience and resources. 

For a knowledge base, there is no place better than this forum. 

Good luck and happy hunting 

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