Rust repair on bottom of door
I have a Ford Ranger and the bottom of both doors and the tailgate are starting to show rust. It's on the inside where the door skin is attached to the frame. Would it be very difficult to peel the skin up about 90 degrees to clean it up? I looked closely and I don't see any spot welds on the bottom, just on the sides of the door. I plan on using zero rust on the inside of the door.
I'm thinking it will be difficult to get the skin to fold all the way back down. Will seam sealer with a couple small clamps and plywood get it to stick or should I use the metal bonding adhesive?
The truck is a '98 with factory paint. I plan on painting it but it might be six or more months before I do it. I don't want to let the rust keep eating away until then.
Waylon, the only way to repair those doors to where they won't rust again in a short time is --- you will have to remove at least the last couple inches of the outer door skin lower. When you have the outer skin section cut off then sandblast both side of the lip on the bottom of the door. You can pick up pre-formed generic door skin patch panels from most auto paint stores for less than $10 a side. All it is basically is a flat piece of sheetmetal with the lower lip already pre-bent. You could weld the new door skin patch panel in place or you could use a panel bonding adhesive (much simpler and much better when it comes to future rust in that area). I personally spot weld them on with my panel spot welder but the panel adhesive works really well.
There is nothing you can do with the existing door lowers that is gong to stop the rust from continuing to destroy those lower doors, other than repairing it the way I explained. Of course you could always buy a Ford factory outer door skin and replace the whole door skin but in all honesty that would be a lot of overkill compared to a lower patch panel.
Here's the step-by-step again.
This link will show you the process that we use.
I agree that is the best method to fix the problem but mine is nowhere near that bad. I will take a picture of it this afternoon. Thanks.
How much to fix?
If the repair is smaller you can replace a smaller section of the metal. You can also use foil tape and fiberglass but the repair isn't as strong and won't hold up as well to moisture and time.
I think from his original post, he only has some surface rust along the inner lip of his door. Nothing drastic.
I usually just use a work wheel, and clean up the bottom lip, seam-seal, etching primer and prime.
it is inevitable that the rust will re-appear at a later date. It is the design of the lip that allows moisture to work its way through.
Run your fingers along the lower edge to see if the seam has "swelled". If you can feel the metal is thicker than what it should be, that means the metal has started to rust out from the inside out and you are also seeing some innocent looking surface rust on the outside. If you just scrub it down and spray, you will see the rust come through down the road. The best way to fix is as Len says and replace the lower door skin.
Remember, they call rust "cancer" for a good reason. Any doctor will tell you that you never know what to expect until you cut in.
Hi All, Newbie to this site but not to rust. I live in Wisconsin and salt and sheet metal do not mix. I worked at a ford dealership for 12yrs and the warranty fix was to roll the flange open,sandblast or wire wheel cleanup,self etch primer or epoxy, roll the edge back with door skin tool,caulk,paint. The door skin tool was suppose to save the outside finish limiting refinish time,but most times it would leave a mark and the outside had to be painted also. For rust holes they just replaced the panel/door shell/fender/ect. Ford had and I think they still do 6yrs/100k rust thru warranty on all panels. Replacing the door bottom would be extreme for rust on the inside flange. Most all doorskins are bonded now and the glue has rust inhibitors built in so the rust shows up on the inside flange wheres theres no bond and above the bond line on the outside skin. Lens pic shows that very well. It that case only option is to replace the door bottom or new panel. A good quality rust proofing,the kind that creeps into seams should be applied after the repair in you want it to last.