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Thread: Seeking Advice for 'Minor' Rust Repair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Seeking Advice for 'Minor' Rust Repair

    Hi,

    I noticed some rust under the rear hatch deck lid a few days ago on my 1988 Trans Am, with the rear hatch that lifts up.

    See pics.

    Those round black things in the middle of the rust are plugs that are removable.

    I was wondering how much a body shop would charge to fix it, and whether I could do the job myself.

    Or maybe I should just leave it alone.

    I bought the car in 1998, with no visible rust, and I have kept in a garage 90 percent of the time since then. I don't drive in salt, but still ended up with this rust somehow.


    Looking for advice on how to do it, and whether it'd be a good idea to take it to a shop. ($$$$$)


    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    37,855

    Default

    My guess is that the problem was caused by drilling for the plugs and not priming the bare metal that was caused by the drilling. To repair it I'd remove the plugs then blast the bad paint off then prime and paint the area. Blasting should remove the rust but the metal may be pitted which could be leveled using some body filler but in that location you could probably leave the pits and just prime and paint over them and reinstall the plugs.

    If you have a compressor you could do the repairs yourself for less than a shop would charge but you would need a blaster (shown below), spray gun, and the primer and paint. If you do it yourself be sure to wear the proper protection for blasting and spraying.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    8,733

    Default SAVE them...

    This is another issue but I want to point it out to you.

    You know, your car is getting old (1988), OK, is old and in good condition the value begins to rise. If it were mine (regardless of age) I would try NOT to harm the VIN stickers put on all the panels of the car. They are one sure way to prove to anyone that the parts are original to that car. Whether resale or insurance they serve a purpose.

    Since you're close to the area you'll be working, you could put a piece of clear plastic over the decal and use a wider tape to preserve the area plus. Make the tape go top to bottom since your work area is side to side. If you want to. Not sure if you gave those ID's any thought.

    Henry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    My guess is that the problem was caused by drilling for the plugs and not priming the bare metal that was caused by the drilling. To repair it I'd remove the plugs then blast the bad paint off then prime and paint the area. Blasting should remove the rust but the metal may be pitted which could be leveled using some body filler but in that location you could probably leave the pits and just prime and paint over them and reinstall the plugs.

    If you have a compressor you could do the repairs yourself for less than a shop would charge but you would need a blaster (shown below), spray gun, and the primer and paint. If you do it yourself be sure to wear the proper protection for blasting and spraying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    My guess is that the problem was caused by drilling for the plugs and not priming the bare metal that was caused by the drilling. To repair it I'd remove the plugs then blast the bad paint off then prime and paint the area. Blasting should remove the rust but the metal may be pitted which could be leveled using some body filler but in that location you could probably leave the pits and just prime and paint over them and reinstall the plugs.

    If you have a compressor you could do the repairs yourself for less than a shop would charge but you would need a blaster (shown below), spray gun, and the primer and paint. If you do it yourself be sure to wear the proper protection for blasting and spraying.

    Thanks for the reply! I went out to the garage and looked at it again, and noticed the third brake light (which you can see in one of the pics) has a gasket around it that has loosened up over the years, and maybe water was getting in there during car washes (groan), and just staying there for days.

    Gonna have to figure out how it's put together there. I think the 2 plastic plugs are for bolt holes. Maybe bolts that hold the wing on.

    The deck lid, which has the 2 rusty spots in the pics, seems to be hollow, meaning the other side of the rusty metal is probably more rusty metal, assuming water has been trapped inside. I hope it isn't rusted through. Afraid to even touch it now!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    This is another issue but I want to point it out to you.

    You know, your car is getting old (1988), OK, is old and in good condition the value begins to rise. If it were mine (regardless of age) I would try NOT to harm the VIN stickers put on all the panels of the car. They are one sure way to prove to anyone that the parts are original to that car. Whether resale or insurance they serve a purpose.

    Since you're close to the area you'll be working, you could put a piece of clear plastic over the decal and use a wider tape to preserve the area plus. Make the tape go top to bottom since your work area is side to side. If you want to. Not sure if you gave those ID's any thought.

    Henry
    Henry, yes I noticed the numbers there, but it hadn't clicked that it would be important to keep them. Thanks for pointing that out.

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