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Discussion Starter #1
Apparently from the drains not working so water just sat there over time? How would you even go about fixing that - seems like you'd basically need all new panels since those stampings are a pretty complex shape. Yikes.



 

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Ah yes the soft top drains - what a great piece of design that was, double your money - once the sills have rotted out from all that water sloshing around in them (from the drains) the drains block and rots the channel and surrounding metal out out - looks like a nice job for a fabricator
 

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Definitely a bit of work involved to correct, but not insurmountable. Basically cut out the rot (with your tool of choice), bend/shape a replacement panel out of 20GA steel, tack weld in place, finish weld seams, grind smooth and paint (I like POR-15 semi-gloss black, with or without factory-correct-color-matched topcoat on top of that).

Since the compromised area that you will cut out contains a number of mounting studs and threaded nut-type features, it is imperative that you measure and record their exact locations before you begin cutting away the rot, as you will want to replace those same fastening features in the exact positions on your new, fabricated repair panel.

Another thing to be aware of: It is easy to burn through the lightweight sheet metal when welding, so you'll want to be careful not to run your welder too hot.

Also, when grinding/dressing the weld seams before paint, be careful not to grind right through the thin steel on both sides of the seam.

And finally, if you use POR-15, be aware that it has a very definite cure range that prevents you from topcoating it after about 6 hours (unless you want to sand it first). What I'm trying to say is that you can topcoat POR-15 without sanding it, but you can only do it somewhere between 2 and 6 hours after it was applied, otherwise it forms an impervious shield that does not allow anything to adhere to it (including topcoat paints).

BTW, I've seen a lot worse rot, and at least what you show in your pics is in an area that is real easy to get to.
 

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The guy on the English car program on HD TV used a chemical converter on problems like this. The chemical is painted on with a paint brush and it converts the rust chemically to a sturderier substance which he then fiber glassed over to effect the repair. I know that Eastwood Automotive sells this chemical. I think it is called rust converter or rust emulisifier or some such.

Not saying that this is the best possible repair but it would certainly be the cheapest and easiest. It seems from the photo that your outside sheet metal is still OK and everything is still holding it's shape, so this might be one way to go.

If this is your 73 spider then you have to consider the overall value of the car after you have finished to the cost of making a repair of some kind.

Robert
 

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The guy on the English car program on HD TV used a chemical converter on problems like this. The chemical is painted on with a paint brush and it converts the rust chemically to a sturderier substance which he then fiber glassed over to effect the repair. I know that Eastwood Automotive sells this chemical. I think it is called rust converter or rust emulisifier or some such.

Not saying that this is the best possible repair but it would certainly be the cheapest and easiest. It seems from the photo that your outside sheet metal is still OK and everything is still holding it's shape, so this might be one way to go.

If this is your 73 spider then you have to consider the overall value of the car after you have finished to the cost of making a repair of some kind.

Robert
Is that "wheeler dealer" prat Mike Brewer? - knew he was dodgy but that really is a dodgy bodge - the only way to cure rust is to cut it out completely - i can understand doing this for your own benefit but if you ever come to sell the car its not acceptable unless you tell the buyer what you've done - unless your selling to a dealer then its entirely acceptable...........
 

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Is that "wheeler dealer" prat Mike Brewer? - knew he was dodgy but that really is a dodgy bodge - the only way to cure rust is to cut it out completely - i can understand doing this for your own benefit but if you ever come to sell the car its not acceptable unless you tell the buyer what you've done - unless your selling to a dealer then its entirely acceptable...........
It is not Mike Brewer, but the tall repair guy on his show. Can't remember that guy's name right now. And the product is called rust encapsulator. I did not say it was the best way to go, just a possibility, depending on circumstances. Since Eastwood is the automotive restorers choice of supply in the US, and they sell it, it must havre some legitiment uses or they would not be selling it and fiberglass repair products like mat, cloth, and resin.
 

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Yeah - sorry didn't mean it as a diss on you, rather a diss on bodgers who sell for profit, I hate them with a vengeance having been on the receiving end until I learnt my lesson
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd have to agree that having this done professionally is not an economically viable proposition. Sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think what Eastwood sell and some of the other products mentioned are chemical rust converters and encapsulators that are better used for surface rust, anything structural like this it's not going to do anything
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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Ed China. I haven't seen them all but on the ones I have seen he always goes back with metal. That is pretty bad. I'm dealing with almost as bad down in the resto thread. I wouldn't pay to have it done, it's a labor of love and I certainly wouldn't expect to get any money back. It's only profitable if you pay yourself negative 5 bucks an hour.
 

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Along the lines of Robert's post and just for perspective... the only "politically correct" way to repair rust these days is to remove all of the corrosion and replace with new metal. I certainly would not argue against the virtues of this approach when feasible (I now own a mig welder). Twenty years ago I was a bit poorer and had other priorities so I did some limited floorboard repair on the Sprint with fiberglass. Guess what? It remains corrosion free and has proven to be a viable, long term, repair. There are plenty of ways to do a poor repair. Quality is not necessarily dependent on the material used.

In this case, a suggestion is to replace the damage with good parts from a donor car. If you don't own one, you need a MIG if you like old Alfas (and are not a millionaire). Given the amount of rust in the pics, fiberglass is probably not a good option.
 

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I think what Eastwood sell and some of the other products mentioned are chemical rust converters and encapsulators that are better used for surface rust, anything structural like this it's not going to do anything
I am certainly NOT trying to influence you in the choice of your repair.

But----While in high school back in the cave ages, I worked briefly in a boat building shop laying up fiberglass boat hulls. Fiberglass laid up in layers of resin, cloth, mat, and resin again proved to finish up incerdibly strong as long as there was a minimum amount of additional structural support laid in later to keep the hulls from flexing too much.

You have enough structural support still left for properly applied fibergalss to effect a pertty good repair on your Alfa. If you applied it to the inside and then again to the outside of the rust damaged area I think you would be surprised just how sturdy the result would prove to be. "Getting the cloth and resin applied to the inside first would prove to be tedious, but appling it to the outside (inside of the car) would be a snap. This stuff is messy and you need to wear protective clothing and a respirator though. It gets pretty lethal while doing the layup.
 

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All good info !
I just wish that people like Ed and Mike would find a new word instead of 'restored'.....
 

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What's the rest of the car like? If the rockers and such are in reasonably decent shape then it might be worth tackling. As Norsemen50 suggested, cut out the rust, weld back in the structure and convert the surface rust. Doesn't have to look pretty just sound.

If the rest of the car is as rotten as this, then it's time to say goodbye...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What's the rest of the car like? If the rockers and such are in reasonably decent shape then it might be worth tackling. As Norsemen50 suggested, cut out the rust, weld back in the structure and convert the surface rust. Doesn't have to look pretty just sound.

If the rest of the car is as rotten as this, then it's time to say goodbye...
Hi guys - appreciate all the ideas. Rich, this is the same car with the rear parcel shelf issues and I found 1/4+ deep bondo on the front driver side fender as well. Have not gotten into the rocker panels yet but not expecting good things.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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I concur. And it's very possible that is the worst of it. The rust gods can be very selective and the rockers, spare tire well, and wheel wells may have been spared. Case in point is the Berlina I'm working on. The rockers and sills were shot but the trunk and other areas were ok. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
To your point, the trunk on this one looks factory fresh.
 

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I've used a product called Fertan before. It does convert the rust, but I wouldn't use it as an alternative to a good old fashioned cut & weld.

By the way, that's not a rusty Spider. This is a rusty Spider!
 

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tdskip,

Mate where are you buying your Alfas from? You and me seem to cleverly purchase the rustiest cars on the planet.

Please if you intend your next car to be a Sud ... simply don't. That would be considered surface rust on a Sud. You've never seen rust until you have rebuilt a Sud!
Pete
 
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