How to handle rust

How to by Richieu

Rust is the enemy of all AE86’s

If you adopt the following rules regarding rust you wont go wrong!

Rust is caused by the oxidisation of metal in the atmosphere. All steel rusts from the minute it is exposed as an example we shot blasted a shell the other night and because it was a nice summer evening with no rain forecast we decided to leave it outside the workshop till morning. When we arrived the next morning the whole shell had gone orange, this was the start of the metal oxidising.

There are various factors which can speed up the rate of rusting the biggest cause is salt. You will notice that norther European cars tend to rust quicker and more severely that southern European cars this is because in notrthern Europe the climate is wetter and we use a lot of salt to keep the roads from icing up.

How to deal with rust. Its important to not only get rid of the rust you can see but treatr the area to get the rust you cant see.

For example in nmwisima’s case the rust scabs should be rubbed down with say 120 grit wet and dry to remove the high spots and to smooth the area (you can use water with the wet and dry paper as this helps to clean the paper as its working)

Make sure you go 5% larger than the rust area back to shiney clean steel. Once you have done this apply a rust converter (chemical that neutralises rust using ferric acid) this will convert the rust to an innert skin that will never rust again. Once you have done this and let it cure cover over the area with body filler or body putty (knifing compound or stopper in the UK). Let this cure fully and than rub down with wet and dry paper and a block starting with 240 grit working to 1200grit, by this time you should end up with a really smooth finish.

Now close your eyes and very gently run the tips of your fingers over the area, you should not feel any bumps or dips if you do you need to either rub them down or fill them, if not wash with mild washing up liquid and water and then dry the area thoroughly using a heat gun or hair dryer.

Mask off the area and warm it up with the heat gun so that it is warm to the touch, this ensures that the area is completely dry and the primer will adhere and dry on contact. Build up the l;ayers of primer allowing each coat to dry before applying the next (say 4 to 5 coats)

Once the primer is dried (leave over night or in the sun if you can) rub it smooth with 1200 grit wet and dry paper and then 2400 grit to finish.

wash and dry as you did at the start then apply several light coats of paint by aerosol of spray gun like this,

1st coat very light and leave for say 5 minutes (called tack coat) this provides a good bonding coat for the other coats)

apply second coat moving leaft to right and leave for 3 minutes

apply 3rd coat moving up and down

4th coat should be left to right and finish with diagonal strokes.

Finally just as the 4th coat is about to dry apply a heavier coat (move slightly slower with a can or increase thinners in spray gun)

What wll happen is that the solvent in the final coat will migrate down through the other drying coats and a shine will start to appear. Dont worry if this doesnt happen we have enough paint on to remedy. Leave to dry thoroughly ( six hours minimum or overnight). Remove masking and forget about it for atleast a week as th paint need to harden.

After a week take some of the 2400 wet & dry paper you used on the primer and some soapy water and a rubbing block and gently move over the area painted and the surrounding painted area, this will blend in the repair. once you have a dull finish all over dry with a rag and then apply some T Cut or rubbing compound rubin in circled and straight lines untill the area shines when you wipe with a dry soft cloth. Leave this now for another two weeks as the sremaining solvent needs to leave the paint and it can cure. after two weeks apply a good high solids polymer wax or silicone coating and buff of with a dry rag.

Voila!!! Repair done

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