How to attack this rust? 71 Satellite

Exterior Body, Paint, Trim, Chrome

  1. poconos_power

    poconos_power Active Member

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    I'm afraid around every turn theres more rust. So far thats been mostly untrue, except a few of the "typical" spots. At least I gather they're typical from lurking around here. So far I've found some quarter rust, need to rebuild a corner including the trunk gutter. But some things like the rockers appear to be rick solid as are the floors. Meanwhile I need to do some cowl surgery! Going to pull the ending and start teardown real soon - build thread to follow. Gotta finish my up my shop build first so I can almost be organized.

    Most of what I need I've ordered patches for or found someone to help me get, but now I have a question about a new spot. After walking around with a screw driver and jamming it in spots that looked fun, I've found a new spot right in front of the passenger door. Looking for a little help on how to attack this. Disclaimer, Never done body work or rust repair before, learning to weld real soon. Looking for some thoughts and advice. Pictures included!

    0121222324.jpg


    Been stabbing away!
    0121222119_HDR.jpg


    Did this use to fill this with lead?
    0121222307_HDR.jpg


    Cowl needs a little help, but parts are coming, thanks barnfind
    0118221655b_HDR.jpg
     
  2. WileERobby

    WileERobby Well-Known Member

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    Remember my quote, after half a century in the auto business: "where there's rust... there's more". The basic plan of attack is to remove the corroded parts while leaving as much original metal as possible. Another point: dismantle and disassemble to assess the FULL extent of restoration required BEFORE going to the next step. "KNOW" what you have to do, before doing it.
     
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    • poconos_power

      poconos_power Active Member

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      Is fixing that pillar something I want to find a donor for? or would it be something you'd try to construct with fresh metal?
       
    • Builderguy

      Builderguy Builderguy FBBO Gold Member

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      Yes it was originally filled with lead. You now need to remove the lead until you have good metal all around that rust. Try not to dig too much into the drip rail if you can help it.

      In regard to the front door pillar, that can be a bugger to fix. I would remove the fender, unbolt the door, remove the paint in the suspect area, and look at what good metal is left. A lot of time rust can look much worse that it is because it expands so much. Sad to say, in this case, it may be as bad as it looks. With door and sill plate out of the way remove the paint to see how far back the rust actually goes. If there is no structure left under that hinge/hinge plate area you might have to get a donor section. If there is still some support left you might get away with some patch work. Not light duty metal (24,22,20, or 18) least I would use is 16 but could bump to 14 for the section right below the hinge (14 is a bit tough to bend and can be harder to find). You can't do too much til you strip off the paint.
       
    • Thrashingcows

      Thrashingcows Well-Known Member

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      Rust is like an iceberg...what you see is only 25% of what is actually present.

      When the time comes I'd strip the car down to the bare bones and then have it blasted inside, out and underneath if possible...soda or walnut shells, or other media that won't warp panels. Once you have the car in that state you can get a better idea of how much work is going to be involved.

      Are you going to sign up for a community college course on basic welding, or just start melting metal and pick things up as you go?
       
    • RemCharger

      RemCharger Well-Known Member

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      Hope you know what you're getting into, sometimes finding a more solid car is worth it.
       
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      • Kern Dog

        Kern Dog Life is full of turns. Build your car to handle. FBBO Gold Member

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        That car is done.
        Rust in structural areas means a LOT of time, money, parts and patience to do it right. Is this car worth it?
         
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        • Thrashingcows

          Thrashingcows Well-Known Member

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          I learned this lesson the hard way when I restored my 1968 Coronet 500 convertible. Now I will pay a premium price for a rust free car and gladly pay the extra costs to have it shipped to me.
           
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          • 1STMP

            1STMP FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            I'm in agreement with ThrashingCows.
            I'd strip the body and have it blasted.
            (if you don't want to do this yourself).
            Once stripped, you'll have a very clear
            picture of what you're faced with. Weigh
            the cost of replacement body sections
            and metal that you can form yourself
            against the possibility of finding a more
            solid body if what you uncover becomes
            a monumental task to repair.
             
            Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
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            • 66 Sat

              66 Sat Well-Known Member

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              Unless the car is a high value model or has some sentimental value, I wouldn't even bother stripping it and blasting it.
              From those limited photos the rust looks terminal. If the body is that bad everywhere (which it's likely to be if you have rust in the roof, cowl, door pillars, quarters), then the frame rails are likely shot too, although you might be lucky here.
              It will be a ton of time and money to fix, I would buy another more solid car of the same year and use your current car as the donor, instead of the other way around.
               
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              • hunt2elk

                hunt2elk FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Unfortunately, I agree with the others and think you should find a more solid starting point. Especially since you have never welded before. I'm afraid you would get 1/2 way into it and then throw in the towel after realizing how bad it is. You will be upside down moneywise in a very short time. 71 Satellites are not high dollar cars and it shouldn't be to hard finding another. If that was a Hemi or A12 car I may think of restoring it, but otherwise, no.
                 
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                • dvw

                  dvw Well-Known Member

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                  71-72 B body is a lot like an E body in that area. Many parts available for the E body. My buddy just stripped down 70 V code Challenger. It looked pretty solid but needing 1/4s, inner front fenders, front floor pans. It ended up being rusty at the lower windshield, cowl, and hinge pillars. Looks like a windshield leak started most of it. The parts are available so it went to be dipped. Another friend had a 68 GTX. Found out that it had been hit in the left rocker and A pillar. He replaced the A pillar and rocker. It took some work, but wasn't impossible. You don't know until its apart if its just one side from a windshield leak or something worse. Heck I see rail replacement all the time. Even entire roof structure. Now I agree there are some that are more trouble than there worth. So you have 2 options. Get rid of it as it sets. Or take it apart and see what you really have.
                  Doug
                   
                • hanks73340

                  hanks73340 Well-Known Member

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                  If you have the time, $$, and skills, you could find a donor car and cut and weld. Just be patient. We replaced a trunk channel and rockers on my neighbors 68 Charger with same rust issues. If there is much more than what you see, you may want to just upgrade to another car and use this one as a parts car if possible.
                   
                • Thrashingcows

                  Thrashingcows Well-Known Member

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                  I know we all seem like we are being negative and not supportive but a lot of us have been in your exact same situation and no one ever gave us advice, opinions or reasons why we should just walk away....I know that is why I ended up $35K in metal work and paint (this was 25 years ago) on a car worth maybe $25K fully restored. When I finally finished the car I was into it for close to $60K!! I could have bought a 68 Coronet R/T with a Hemi for less....:(

                  I have a friend who recently decided he had to have a 69 Coronet that he wants to do an A12 clone, but the car was a basket case, he was advised to walk away and spend the money on the real deal....he ignored the advice and is now getting close to $60K for metal work and paint! He could have bought a real A12 for that kind of money.
                   
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                  • 1967coronet

                    1967coronet FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    Money wise we dont know how deep your in at this point.
                    That car in the pics is going to need many many hrs not to mention $.
                    A member on here (chargervert ) has a very solid statellite for sale. You guys should talk.
                     
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                    • moparwacko

                      moparwacko MASSIVE GOLD MEMBER FBBO Gold Member

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                      Don't know where in the Poconos you are, but that appears to be a typical Pa/Ny state car. If you're not in too deep money wise, it's a good way to learn metal & body work. If you just have to have & restore it then you'll be way underwater with it if you give up and have a pro complete the work and paint.
                       
                    • JDmac72chrgr

                      JDmac72chrgr FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      1501.jpg

                      As others have stated, blow car apart and determine ENTIRE rust issue; Was EXTREMELY lucky with regard to entire cowl, only repair needed, a-pillars good: based on pics, yours is rough at minimum 20151211_145910.jpg 20151211_145907.jpg
                       
                    • Carcinogen

                      Carcinogen Well-Known Member

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                      Those are kind of unusual places to rust.

                      Looks like paint was used to hide rust damage before. What do the usual places that rust look like under the paint?

                       
                    • poconos_power

                      poconos_power Active Member

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                      Thanks for the various view points everyone! I totally can respect the years of experience coming through. The good news is, I picked this up relatively cheap, with a full interior so now I have all the parts for that if I have to shift to getting a solid shell. I also picked it up with the full intention of being a learning car. I agree with the next point of action being I should rip it further apart (already in the plans) and investigate further. Some spots I dug into adjacent to some of this bad rust is seemingly good, almost like it's laser, focused rust but I need to go deeper.

                      I'm going to deploy the scope camera to get a better idea of the state of things -
                      1157559-235110a7de4239fb8fa2da7e67887815.jpg

                      Thanks also for the suggestions on attacking some of the known spots. Everything in the rear seems to have stemmed from leaking around the rear the windshield. It appears to me (so far) that most of the front rust came from the front windshield, though that pillar is concerning. The driver side is solid, and I stabbed around a lot to make sure. I think the firewall section I'm trying to pick up has the A pillars on it too. I'm hoping to graft them in potentially. I just hope the roof isn't all rusty too deep in. I'm sort of interested in learning basic lead work, so why not!

                      Plus, I've already thought about buying a known solid car in addition so I don't get frustrated not being to enjoy driving while I'm going through the process.

                      This is the rocker right under the rusted pillar, put the scope in for a second before I had to run, and it looked ok inside, will post more -
                      1157573-9ba62aa7dfdef4d03f8b7109d71eb4de.jpg
                       
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                      • poconos_power

                        poconos_power Active Member

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                        Ahh, I'll do a little hammer testing. Thanks for linking this! I haven't seen any rot in any frame rails, floor supports, crossmember, etc. But I'll look closer for sure.
                         
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