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Hi, I drive a white, M reg Renault Clio (year 1994) and have noticed some rusting on the arches near the rear wheels. Can someone please tell me how to sort out the rusting and give me a list of what materials I would need to D.I.Y myself rather than to go spend a fortune for someone else to do it. Please suggest a cheap & safe method and where I can purchase materials i.e. paint, etc, etc. Look forward to your suggestions!

Many Thanks.
 

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Hi there mate, I read that you have 'just' noticed the rust - is it just showing signs of its presence? The reason I ask is that your options will be dictated by the extent of the wheelarches (i.e. is the rust coming through from the inside of the panel, or is it surface rust?).

Also, is the rust on the inside edge or on the visible exterior?

You really need to assess this correctly to decide how to proceed - I'll try to cover all the bases, but you need to be aware, that rust is almost impossible to eradicate, it will be a weakness that will regularly need attention, but is always best dealt with as soon as possible.

  • If the rust is only on the surface and only on the inside of the wheelarch - sand down the rusty area (only) until you reach clean shiny metal - I would apply KURUST to the surface and allow it to work (this will go some way to remove any latent rust spots which would only re-occur). Then, I would apply some white Finnigan's Smoothrite (by brush) over the entire inside section of the wheelarch. I would probably do this for all remaining arches as a preventative measure. You can either leave it at that, or add a layer of underseal (again by brush) which can be freshened up from time to time.
  • If the rust is in the same place as above, but it has rusted through the metal, then the method is pretty much the same, but the rust has to be attacked from both sides. It is also highly unlikely that this repair will be robust, you are delaying the inevitable - a new section will at some point be needed.
  • If the rust is only appearing on the visible surface of the wing around the wheelarch and is only due to stonechipping (and the area is quite small) please read my feature on paint reconditioning in the 'how-to' section.
  • Again, if it has corroded right through, please refer to 2 sections above.
Spraying should really only be carried out as a last resort if the rust has been allowed to extend over a large area, but the principle is as follows;
  1. Always prepare & paint under cover
  2. Sand down the area to be painted (starting with coarse paper 80 grit on the rust, then gradually move to finer paper 240 grit, moving to 500 grit as you 'feather' the area surrounding. Apply KURUST.
  3. Mask off the area where you will be painting.
  4. Apply a couple of coats (the first quite light, the second a bit heavier) of primer and allow to dry.
  5. Remove the masking paper (except what is covering trim/tyre) and gently rub the primer and most importantly, the edges of the primer where it meets the original paint with extra fine paper - 800 grit. This is to ensure there is no 'edge' to the resultant repair.
  6. Shake the aerosol of white topcoat properly, and lightly spray over the repair area in sweeping motions (i.e. left to right). Begin with very light coats, becoming progressively heavier, but allow time to dry thoroughly between coats (even give a gentle rub with the extra fine paper to level out any surface impurities).
  7. Once you have given around 4-5 coats, leave the paint alone to harden (a couple of days, at least - unless you applying constant heat), then once it has become resilient, you can use a cutting compound (follow the instructions, but be gentle), followed by a polish to buff the fresh paint to a shine, and to blend in the repair with the remainder of the panel.
I hope this helps you - please feel free to ask away if you have any more questions from the above. Preparation and patience is the key to a robust and as professional-looking repair as is possible.

Post a picture of the area if you can.

Paul:)
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Rusting around the rear arches!

Hi,

Thanks for your descrptive response. I forgot to mention that the rusting has been there since I bought the car 7 months ago and the rusting is on the outer bodywork of the arches. There are no rusts inside the arches that I'm aware of. Anyway I have eclosed some photgraphs to show you the extent of the rusting which will help you assess my situation! Please find these attachments with this thread.

Thanks again!
 

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Hi there, thanks for including the pictures.

From what I can see (the bubbling of the paint itself), it does look as if the corrosion is originating from within - which means that when you start rubbing down the panel, you will more than likely start finding holes.

You can still repair this (I would, if it were me), but as I previously mentioned, it will need to be tackled from both sides, and more than likely, filler will be needed to provide a smooth and stable base for repainting.

I would reiterate that this will probably not provide a long-lasting (i.e. more than a year or so) repair, before it will need some rework, but its worth doing, as it may last longer if done well.

The entire job will take approximately one weekend to include rubbing down/filling/sanding/priming/painting. I would start the job on a Friday night, leaving the filler to harden overnight, then spend Saturday sanding & priming, getting the final top coats on for Saturday night, then by Sunday lunchtime, its fixed - the polishing up would be left until Wednesday (to be on the safe side).

Hope that helps you.

All the best, and again - any questions? Just ask away.

Let me know how you get on.

Paul:)
 

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Props & Materials

Hi Paul!

Thanks ever so much for your help - I really do appreciate the good gesture mate, so thanks. Sounds like a job worth doing! One last thing before I start the work... please can you give me a list of all the materials I would need to do the job i.e. what sort of sand paper, paint, etc, etc. And also where would be the best place to find these materials - is Halfords any good?

Do let me know.

Abdul
 

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Here's your shopping list!

Hi there Abdul, okay - let me see;
Sandpaper (wet & dry) - very coarse (80 grit) for the initial rub down to bare metal. (I don't know if you are doing this by hand or using a power tool), but you would probably need 2 sheets/discs. Then some intermediate paper (circa 180/240 grit) for the initial sanding of the filler, again 2 sheets/discs. Then the same amount of fine grade (400 grit) for just prior to priming. The same amount of extra fine (800 - 1000 grit) for between coats & to feather in the edges where you are painting.

FORGOT TO ADD - a sanding block if you are doing this by hand.

So, 8 sheets or discs of wet & dry sandpaper, thus far.

KURUST - one bottle & a small brush for application.

Filler - I would probably go for a tub of Plastic Padding as its easier to mix for plugging small holes/surface imperfections - than a fibreglass-based filler.

Primer - grey primer - 2 aerosols (to be on the safe side.

Masking tape - one roll & newspaper for covering those areas you don't want to paint.

T-cut or any rubbing compound for blending in the painted area once it's properly dired & a good polish for sealing in the shine and giving a protective coating.

I would get an aerosol of your car's colour specifically made up rather than off-the-shelf, as I think that you get a bit more paint for your money (and it seems to give better coverage).

Halfords is okay - but I personally would recommend the place where you will get the paint made-up - it will stock all these items and probably be cheaper - plus, you will have the extra assurance that this will all be professional trade quality.

Hope that helps - best of luck!

Paul:)
 
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