Building a Track Car – Rust remover

Some day I should invest in a CARFAX report and find out the history of this Miata M-edition that I have.  From the VIN it looks like it started out in NC as well as ended up in NC for me to buy it, but it certainly looks like it spent some time where salt and snow happens more frequently.

A little too much oxydation

Just in front of the rear fenders, low down, was rusty bubbling paint.  A little prodding with a screw driver and the flakes gave way spilling rusty steel on to the shop floor.  At that point I sourced replacement panels that would be used to replace the rotted sections.

The bad stuff cut away

Mark broke out the MIG welder and I trimmed the new metal to the size and shape we needed to replace the cut out sections.

The frame underneath was treated with rust converter

Once welded in place it was time for some careful grinding to get things closer to what they should be in terms of smoothness and looks, then a spray with some self-etching primer. 

Just after welding

That preserved things and gave us a base for applying some body filler in stages.  The filler was smoothed on and given an hour or two to dry before it was sanded.  More filler was used to bring the contours back to the proper shape.

After grinding...some primer

Several itterations later and it was just a matter of some light coats of filler to finish things.

Fixes included the passenger door

The rear panel had the badges removed so the holes were also filled and finished.  The hole in the top of the rear fender for the radio antenna was filled in with metal and also sanded and smoothed with body filler.

Track cars don't need radios

The passenger door had been repaired, badly, around the door handle.  The old body filler was cracking so it was dug out and taken down to bare metal that was sanded free of rust and primed prior to body filler being correctly applied.

Almost there

All in all things shaped up nicely.  A rear spoiler was added to the trunk and the a new Mazda front bumper cover has been prepped for mounting.  The old front cover had several pieces snapped off from the under tray as well as some damage to the front. 

The bumper cover will be left off until the engine work is completed and the new radiator and fans are installed.

More to come.

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This entry was posted in Automobiles, Car Stuff, Care and Feeding, Cars, Life and Cars, Modifying Cars, Racing, Road Racing, Sports Cars. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Building a Track Car – Rust remover

  1. Bennett says:

    Did you just use a cut off wheel to cut out the old metal?

    • jimsgarage says:

      Yes, just a cut-off wheel for most of it. There were some spots where layers were spot welded at the factory – such as the edge of the wheel opening. That area needed a hammer and chisel to get metal to part. Some time was spent with a grinder to get the reminants of the spot welds flat.

  2. Kevin says:

    Well I suppose you will have to paint it now ! :o) Lovely job on the body work repair.

  3. Jim's sister says:

    Very nicely done, Jim and Mark.

  4. Good post. I use Eco Friendly Rust Converter products sometime. It is ideal for treating reinforcing steel used in construction and for protecting plates, pipes, flanges, joints and structural members before installation. Thanks for sharing.

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