Despite my previous comment in this thread, I am glad to see you are still plugging away at this. You have way more balls then I, or most people on this forum, do or ever will. I hope you can save this jetta and I commend you for giving it a go.
If the seam sealer on the strut towers is cracked, more than likely its rusted......I found rust in spots that didnt even show signs of rust being there.
I was poking around the strut tower from inside the wheel well and punched a hole the size of a 50 cent piece through the strut tower facing the fire wall........that should be fun to fix and paint.
Trust me, you are going to find a whoooooole bunch of hidden rust if those areas look like that.
Good job with your car. I know how you feel, before I even got to drive my car, I had to learn to weld and fix both strut towers and floors. It is the ungalvanized metal and underbody coating that kills these cars. I hope you are going to weld in all the repairs.
When you do your Por15, make sure you get down to metal and treat it with Metal Ready. Por15 is not worth anything if applied over just existing paint. Ask me how I know. After you get the car together, be sure to treat the underbody with anti corrosion oil. That should stop any further rust. A generous amount of anti-seize on every screw will make servicing so much nicer down the road. Replacing with stainless hardware from McMaster would be really nice.
Thanks, guys. Yes, I plan on welding in the repairs. One hole I discovered is at the top of the rear tower. That ought to be fun to fix. That and the gas door are at the top of the list.
My plan with the undercoating and seams is to wire wheel the best I can, apply the 3-step POR process, and then glob seam sealer on. The only way to really get rust out of the seams is to either cut and weld in a new section or pop all the spot welds on that panel. I've bookmarked a MK1 guy who drilled out the spot welds on the rear frame rails in order to get to the rust. I hope I won't have to get that far, but we'll see.
Nice sig Any new photos? I just finished a heater core job on my GLX which was enough of a PITA and it only made me more impressed by your progress in taking this apart. How was it dealing with rusty bolts? One of the worst things about rust other than body rot is how miserable it can make taking stuff apart.
It's funny because it's true. If people would slow down, carry a shovel or some rugs and use snow tires, we wouldn't need as much salt as they insist on putting down. You saw my first post; this car was pristine.
Just about every nut and bolt that I removed got a shot of PB Blaster...just in case. The only studs that snapped were the ones that hold the exhaust crossmember up and that rear crossmember that bolts under the rear seat. I want to take the heater box out so I can finish scraping the front floor's tarboards, but I think I'll leave that. I'm almost tempted to do the heater core just because I've got everything taken apart. Honestly, I guess it wasn't that bad. Every fastener went in a baggie with the name, number of, and location of the part or fastener. Every plug I unplugged got labeled with masking tape and a Sharpie.
I am starting to get worried about the seams. Sometimes I run the wheel over them and they're fine, sometimes I get surface rust, but when I see brown-colored undercoat that the wheel can't reach, that means that rust is in the seams. I suppose I'll use Marine Clean, soak the joint with Metal Ready, POR the thing, seamseal the daylights out of it and hope for the best. If POR does what it says, it blocks anything, including oxygen, from contacting the metal. Does rust stop forming if it runs out of air?
Last edited by Bariman82; 09-07-2011 at 10:56 AM.
I'll try to get some more pictures this afternoon, but all the work is on the underside, and it's on stands. I really should make a rotisserie. I'm almost done wheeling the driver's side. I had to pick up a new wheel and stop for lunch.
Here's where I'm at. The driver's side floor is almost done. The lower firewall is done, and I started on the passenger's side.
It's neat seeing how the car is assembled panel by panel.
This was a rubber plug. With time and salt, it has turned into...not a rubber plug.
This is the driver's rear tower.
The infamous gas door.
The backside of the gas door and what used to be a rubber plug.
Are you ready?
If you want to get rust at the areas you can't reach, you can try Evaporust. You can get it at autozone, a bit expensive in a small jug, but the price is okay when you get a gallon or more. POR15 works as long as it has gripon the surface and enough thickness and no breaks form in the coating. Between seams, this is very hard to do because the car is going to flex at the seams. Flexed seams means cracks will form in the POR15 and thus hold water in areas that you could not cover with POR15. Then you are SOL again.
After getting the surface rust, I would put weld stitches between the seams to stop the flexing between joints. Then treat with your favorite paint and then rustproofing oil that is designed to sit in the seams and crevices. The POR15 will protect the surface and the oil will protect the seams. Apply rustproofing oil every year before winter and your 4 wheeled friend will have a very long life.
Oh BTW, the stitches will make the car harder to repair should it ever need a panel replaced because of rust or accident. Don't go too crazy. Lots of compromises here to find the perfect balance.
Go down to a marine supply place, and buy some OSPHO. We use this at work to clean up our steel ships (that operate exclusively in salt water), and the stuff is incredible! Spray it on, and any metal that has begun to oxidize (rust) completely dissolves, leaving fresh metal.
You'll need the undercoating removed in the known rust areas (preferably ALL undercoating removed everywhere for inspection purposes) in order to properly fix the area; after a break forms in the undercoating, it holds water between the undercoating and the steel causing rot. Water in and of itself does not cause rust, it is oxygen (hence the term oxidation), but it DOES hasten the process, accelerated even more in the presence of salt (an ionic compound).
Be careful with POR-15, as it won't stick to clean metal very well. It needs rusty surfaces (of course surface that is still steel, with surface rust) in order to stick. You'll need to scuff the areas of any clean metal you have. I haven't used it, but I've heard from people who have the ZeroRust is even better than POR-15.
I hadn't heard of Ospho. Thanks. The plan is to use the whole POR 3-step process. I hear you can do it on clean metal, but you have to use their converter/etcher stuff.
Ospho isn't a paint, just an acid (similar to POR's Metal Ready), but works 1000x times better, since it is designed for much harsher marine environments. Spray it on, walk away; come back in a half hour, rust is gone.
When using POR, I always try to avoid getting to completely clean metal; but when I do, I'll take course sandpaper to it to manually etch it before applying the metal ready.
ospho is the ****. i use that on just about every midl steel substance before paint prep. it will seal off rust and help with keeping cancer of the metal to a minimum. kinda ****ty to apply, smells terrable, but well worth the coin
use it right after you wire wheel the surface