Wheel Well Rust Repair / Restoration

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  1. #1
    CelicaSupra.com Member rexgo's Avatar
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    Wheel Well Rust Repair / Restoration

    I've been waiting to do this for a while - did the driver side ~ 2 years ago
    Here's my write-up on the passenger-side.


    Rear wheel well (WW):

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    Removed the wheel:

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    Remove everything from the rear seats back. I covered the front seats with a king size sheet, then a welding blanket, and finally plastic to keep it clean & protected:

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    Here’s the characteristic WW rot that frequently kills our cars: near shock tower, and at the top of the WW under speaker:

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    Used a wire wheel to remove the undercoating:

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    It gets contagious:

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    Next cut the rot out with a pneumatic cut-off tool:

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    The top cut is difficult and the first pass didn’t get it all – had to cut deeper:

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    Here’s the deeper cut with Eastwood rust encapsulator (ERE)

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    Applied ERE liberally since work would be continued in a couple of days

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    The patient:

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    Next step make patches:

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    Painted patches with weld-thru primer – from what I’ve read this is a must:

    Removed paint, and used weld-thru primer on mating areas:

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    I used a Harbor Freight flux core welder, and it easily burned thru the thin WW metal. I used skip welds – came out OK:

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    Looks much better with encapsulator

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    Next, since the welds aren’t water-tite I fiber-glassed the WWs

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    Mask before undercoating:

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    While in there I worked on the filler tube area
    To the left of the wheel is the gas filler tube – under a cover – here’s what it looked like:

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    Wire brushed it and applied Eastwood rust convertor – turns black 2 coats 2 days apart

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    Next apply more rust encapsulator:

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    Mask & Undercoat:

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    Meanwhile back to the WW
    Applied 3M rubberized undercoat:

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    And the finished product:


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    Tom - 83 P-Type, 5 spd, Terra Cotta, 110K, Chicago, sold
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  3. #2
    CelicaSupra.com Member Mkeller316's Avatar
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    Not bad at all. Nice work. Looks like and clean once you sprayed the rubber coat.
    Matt K.

    84 P type - retired DD stainless steel header, Rabid Chimp 2.5 exhaust. 2.5 all the way back to the muffler,kyb agx's 2jzge swapped Hidden Content

  4. #3
    CelicaSupra.com Member spud3861's Avatar
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    What does the fiberglass add?

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  6. #4
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    excellent, i will be doing mine soon. i will take photo as i go along. need to buy a welder first.

  7. #5
    CelicaSupra.com Member rexgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spud3861 View Post
    What does the fiberglass add?
    Makes the wheel well water-tite and provides a smooth surface for the undercoating.
    Tom - 83 P-Type, 5 spd, Terra Cotta, 110K, Chicago, sold
    15 Accord EX-L V6
    97 528i, 110k..sold
    91 CRX.Si..114K
    84 Supra.P.125k..sold
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  8. #6
    CelicaSupra.com Member jjbenzo's Avatar
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    Looks good. Did you use any rust preventative once the new parts were welded in? I see you used rust encapsulator, but that is more for coating over existing rust.
    85 Toyota Celica Supra 7MGTE, Super Deep Red-Current
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  9. #7
    CelicaSupra.com Member rexgo's Avatar
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    I used weld thru primer & encapsulant on the new metal
    Other places I used Eastwood rust converter & Eastwood rust encapsulant - trying to be safe.
    Tom - 83 P-Type, 5 spd, Terra Cotta, 110K, Chicago, sold
    15 Accord EX-L V6
    97 528i, 110k..sold
    91 CRX.Si..114K
    84 Supra.P.125k..sold
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  10. #8
    Member rycrok8's Avatar
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    I know this is old, but the weldable primers are usually for parts that will be sitting for some time and then need to be welded. This controls the surface rust during storage while allowing workers to simply weld right over it when they are ready instead of stripping a non-weldable paint that would contaminate. Zinc vaporizes at ~900 deg F which your metal is +2,000 deg F + so it's gone long before your puddle is going and not an issue.

    You would've been fine welding on cleaned bare metal and then spraying your rust inhibiting primer over it. That would probably be better surface adhesion than the galvanizing anyways which usually flakes over time unless you spent a lot of time on the prep work.

  11. #9
    CelicaSupra.com Member SupraFiend's Avatar
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    The weld thru is the least of the mistakes made in this repair. I wouldn't be surprised if the the rust has already come back in the well. That main, approx 16 gauge, plate in the wheel well needs to be completely removed to get it all. I've posted some guides on how to do this right in various build thread of cars I've restored.
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  12. #10
    CelicaSupra.com Member battleaxe's Avatar
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    ....what...??

    you using a stick welder? why didnt you take out the shock? why didnt you take a little time and cut pieces that fit a bit better? or seam seal all the joints instead of fiberglassing them...why is fiberglass used in any of this? i stopped reading after the first page because this work could have been better but you did some really weird things...did you finish welding? looks like you just..stopped?

    man this is an old post. galvanizing also is not good to weld, or breathe, or do anything with.

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