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First Thread :) Large Rust Hole :(

Hey guys, I'm new to the forums... I just bought a 1992 Explorer for 200$ a couple weeks ago! It's at my school right now in the auto shop, Im doing some work on it to past the safety... Brakes and such... But I've got a large rust hole around the gas cap... The rust rotted a big hole right threw the metal... Im not too sure how to fix it because I've never done body work before... I bought some Bondo-Hair and was told to use spray foam (The insulator used on houses) and fill the hole, once it hardens to shave some off and throw some of that bondo-hair on it and then sand it down ect. Will this work? I was told this from a guy who knows a lot about cars but it seems like a wierd way to do it. Anyways, can anybody tell me if they think this might work or alternitive solutions to do the work? Thanks a lot!

P.S. As you can see in the picture... The gas cap door is rusted... it still works and closes good, no rust holes just rust on the top... How can I fix this? Do I have to sand it and then primer and paint? Thanks!

 



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Minivek

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Mine looked fine from the outside but turned out to be well rusted just above the gas door. I'd sugget you CUT the surrounding metal until you all your left with isn't rusted. then, according to the hole you'll have left, cut and form new sheet metal pieces and tack weld them in there and then complete the welding doing little spots at a time, in order not to warp the sheetmetal. then when it's all done, grind the welds till its all nice and flat. from there on you put that putty or primer, according to what it looks like.

This is the painstaking way to do it, but its the only way to do it in order for the rust to stop eating away at that area.
 






Burns

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wow what a hole...Yeah you gonna need to cut off some of that...
 












WizardOfOdds

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lol thanks guys... the only problem with welding is I've never done it before and no access to a welder lol... BUT, if it really is 100% the best way to go... I may take it to a shop to get it done... I'd like to try and do it myself, just for the learning experience... But if worse comes to worse, I guess that's what I'm going to have to do... Depending on the cost of course :p Thanks for the replies guys
 






Burns

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talk to MONMIX he is the body work man...
 












Minivek

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Yeah Monmix knows his stuff. And if your interested, the welding part shouldn't take too long, so my guess is a small body shop might do it for cheap. Also if the price goes over 200$ maybe you could buy yourself a small welder and do the job yourself. It's not that difficult, a bit of practice with spare sheetmetal and your all set!!
 






MONMIX

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that rust is fairly extensive.
what are your desired results ?

Awesome like new ? Show quality ? Dont care just enough to ger er done ? Trail Rig ?
 






WizardOfOdds

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lol thanks guys... I don't care how it looks, doesn't have to be perfect... like you said, just enough to GIT R DONE haha... I was really wondering tho if the spray foam and bondo-hair trick would work? Just because I already have the bondo-hair, I thought it was like fiberglass resin when I bought it but now Im told its not, and you can't use it with fiberglass cloth either... Its just like a strong form of bondo. Thanks again :)
 






MONMIX

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I dont know I have never tried that trick.
If you dotn care what it looks like than just give it a shot.

Do remember this the rust WILL NOT go away and it WILL keep on spreading.
The only way to defeat rust is correct metal REPALCEMENT.
 






WizardOfOdds

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Thanks :) Yeah, I'll give it a shot... I don't have much other options at the moment...

P.S. this may seem stupid but what causes rust and what would cause the rust to continue to spred if I cut/sand down all the rust in that area? What would cause it to spread over the fiberglass and not sheet metal?

Sorry if I get annoying with all the questions... I have a habbit of bugging people with questions :p
 






thebeast86

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Holy Rust Hole

That is a large rust spot. Nothing else is rusting is it? Like floorboards or what not?
 






WizardOfOdds

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Rocker panels are rusted out... I was told to buy new ones, I think they have to welded on or something Im not 100% sure on that... Umm, on the other side of the truck, there is rust but a very small amount around the rear wheel well... Meh, for 200$ it was a steal... I just bought it for something to learn on and hopefully I can get it on the road, if something serious goes wrong with it, like major engine problems/tranny problems... I'll just scrap it and get my money back. ALTHOUGH, that would be a last resort of course. I just don't have major bucks to put into it right now
 






MONMIX

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Rust can be stoped if if all the effected metal is removed. The rule of thumb is to cut one inch beyond the effected area, and treat. There is really no way to 100% completely and totally eliminate rust on a vehicle that sees any daily use. The best is to minimise its opportunities to ever start.
 






MadCow

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In the market...
Not trying to steal this thread but if done decent enough and again appearance isnt that important, could you get away with pop riviting the new metal in? providing you have cut away the bad metal and then smoothing it with body filler? Something else I was toying with was fibreglass, could you cover the cutout opening with that sort of process, or would combining the two materials have too poor of results?
 






MONMIX

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well pop-riviting is a waist of time since the rivits will eventually cause the body filler to crack.
Glassing the whole area would not be structurally sound.
 






WizardOfOdds

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I did the body work a couple weeks ago, just thought I'd update you guys... I used the spray foam to fill the hole and put bondo-hair ontop... looks mint, worked well for me... I did cut out the big chunks of rust but for the most part it was just surface rust and I sanded it down to bare metal (dont know how good its going to work in the long run... I have a feeling it might rust again but Im not sure as this is the first body work Ive ever attempted and nobody has shown me how its done before.

Just a tip, I found out what caused all the rusting... The windshield washer fluid resevoir at the back (where the bottle jack is located) apparantly was leaking one point in time.. I know this because on the inside you can see where the fluid has dripped down, and only the parts where the fluid dripped is rusty. I would check yours if you have it just to make sure, there is another xploder at my school that has rust in the same spot as I did and he probably is having the same problem.
 






toypaseo

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^^^ Good tip about the WW fluid reservoir. Mine has leaked numerous times.
 



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X6StringerX

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I, for one, would like to see some updated pics of your work.

For $200, I can forsee the Explorer as a great learning opportunity for you. You'll most likely find yourself spending hours on these forums reading about what has been done, what will be done, and what can't be done but someone is trying anyway.
 






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