Rust repair on a car we’re selling

My wife’s 2005 Corolla is still a great car, even with 196,000 miles on it. Everything works as it should, it gets 34 mpg. What’s not to like? Well, it’s been rusting since we bought it from a nice young couple in 2008. They said they couldn’t make the payments, but also he’d dinged up the driver’s rocker panel somehow, and that’s where it started.

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I listed the car for $2800 and a nice guy and his advisor looked at it yesterday but didn’t make an offer. The rust scared them away; they figured it wouldn’t pass inspection like that.

So today I deleted the listing and got after it.

The new air impact wrench made short work of the lug nuts–but the wheel was frozen to the brake drum!

I got out some other tools to do a CAD (cardboard-aided-design) mock-up of the patch panel.

IMG_6847

I also got the damaged fender from the formerly-totaled pickup truck. I figured I could use some of the wheel well bead from it, and I was right.

From there it was just work: cut, fit, mark, bend, cut, fit, repeat.

And of course there was more rust than I had suspected, so I made more panels.

I had hoped to get the new panels bonded to the old metal by nightfall (“bonded”=”epoxied,” since I don’t have a TIG welder or any such skill). But I didn’t quite make it: there is still an inner fender piece to make.

Ah well. Not bad for a day’s effort. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some time during the week to lay up the panels over adhesive, and be able to Bondo it next weekend.

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I’ve got several other projects to get to–including waking Bridget up for spring.

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About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
This entry was posted in Fixes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Rust repair on a car we’re selling

  1. Tom says:

    Wake Bridget up for the Spring?!? You mean you didn’t take her out at every “mild” opportunity this Winter? I’m so disappointed….

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