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#1063128 - 08/12/19 07:48 PM How much rust is too much rust?  
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pearljam Offline
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Hi guys,
Starting to get moving on fixing up my 86 SS that’s been sitting around for a few years.

I’m doing an inspection to see how bad the rust is. The trunk floor has a decent size spot that’ll need to be fixed. The drivers side floor, front and back is very soft all over. The passengers side seems pretty good except for one spot. Frame feels very solid.

Any other spots I should look at? At what point is it just not worth saving her?


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#1063133 - 08/12/19 08:59 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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upflying Offline
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A car not worth saving is when the firewall, cowl, lower A-pillars and door hinge area is compromised.
Save the car with soft floors and trunk.

Last edited by upflying; 08/12/19 09:00 PM.

86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

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#1063143 - 08/13/19 01:23 AM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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pearljam Offline
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What’s the best way to check the A pillars?

Last edited by pearljam; 08/13/19 01:23 AM. Reason: Typo

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#1063149 - 08/13/19 05:34 AM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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ChasUno Offline
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Bradenton, FL
Check to see if the doors sag when you open them. If they do, check the hinges and see if there's play/ wear in them. If not, check to see if it's the actual A pillars flexing through weakened metal (rust).


1986 Monte Carlo SS

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#1063153 - 08/13/19 01:03 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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pearljam Offline
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Ok, took a look. Drivers side metal feels solid at least from the outside. And moving the door shows no give.


Passenger side feels the exact same, however there is a small rust spot starting. Any recommends on what to do to stop that?


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#1063154 - 08/13/19 01:23 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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upflying Offline
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Rust is not stopped, you may slow it down with Por-13 (or similar) but the only way to stop it is to remove it. Just like cancer.
Where is this spot ?


86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

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#1063156 - 08/13/19 01:35 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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PB86SS/87LS Online beer
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A-pillars on a hardtop can rust in the middle where the metal and seam sealer meets. Rocker panels, body mount areas (under firewall are notoriously bad), frame rails and even near the steering box I've seen rot out, rear wheel wells and quarter panel wheel well lips are also hot spots. I'd agree, any area's that don't compromise integrity and are relatively easy to access/replace like floors, trunk pans are sections are worth doing, at a certain point spending so much time and effort it makes sense to find a clean or cleaner one to start with, unless there is some sentimental value to the car.


-86'SS 383 CCC QJet- BRF 2004r-8.5" 3.42 -313/344@RW - 13.35 @103
-87'LS 350 MAF/SD TPI- CRF 2004r-7.5" 3.42 -248/340@RW - 14.55 @ 96
-81'Grand LeMans Safari Wagon 3.8 2bbl/200C/2.73
-07'TBSS Stockish daily driver
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#1063157 - 08/13/19 01:43 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: PB86SS/87LS]  
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pearljam Offline
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Originally Posted by PB86SS/87LS
A-pillars on a hardtop can rust in the middle where the metal and seam sealer meets. Rocker panels, body mount areas (under firewall are notoriously bad), frame rails and even near the steering box I've seen rot out, rear wheel wells and quarter panel wheel well lips are also hot spots. I'd agree, any area's that don't compromise integrity and are relatively easy to access/replace like floors, trunk pans are sections are worth doing, at a certain point spending so much time and effort it makes sense to find a clean or cleaner one to start with, unless there is some sentimental value to the car.


Extreme sentimental value in this one. Got it when I was 18 with my dad. Wanted to fix it up in his memory!


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#1063158 - 08/13/19 01:43 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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pearljam Offline
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https://imgur.com/a/0arKkE5

That’s the passenger side top hinge area.


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#1063159 - 08/13/19 02:04 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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PB86SS/87LS Online beer
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PB86SS/87LS  Online Beer
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New Berlin, WI
Originally Posted by pearljam
https://imgur.com/a/0arKkE5

That’s the passenger side top hinge area.


I've seen rust like that fairly often. I don't think that's compromising anything although it's hard to see what's inside the pillar of course. Would need to do some exploratory surgery to dig in I'm sure.

If it has that kind of sentimental value, go for it.


-86'SS 383 CCC QJet- BRF 2004r-8.5" 3.42 -313/344@RW - 13.35 @103
-87'LS 350 MAF/SD TPI- CRF 2004r-7.5" 3.42 -248/340@RW - 14.55 @ 96
-81'Grand LeMans Safari Wagon 3.8 2bbl/200C/2.73
-07'TBSS Stockish daily driver
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#1063161 - 08/13/19 02:42 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: PB86SS/87LS]  
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pearljam Offline
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Thanks! I guess if anything that’s not something that’ll need to be fixed right away. I’ll have to talk to some of my customers and see if any want to tackle it.

Hopefully starting an engine swap over the winter.


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#1063163 - 08/13/19 05:36 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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Witness86SS Offline
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Hatfield, PA
That's not terrible, but at a minimum wirewheel all the rust out and smother it in VHT epoxy paint until you can get it repaired for real.


Justin
1986 Black SS
Upgrades: 350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler - Proforged Steering Kit - Astro Shaft - AR62 OUTLAW II Wheels - Energy Suspension Bushings - Bitflipper Chip - 87 ECM - Moog Springs and Ball Joints - Bilstein Shocks - Bucket Seats
#1063166 - 08/13/19 08:38 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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upflying Offline
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Reno, NV
I'd remove the right door for a closer look. Probe with a screw driver for soft spots. At minimum you need to clean and vacuum the area behind the hinge mounts. Probably a drain hole at the bottom of the firewall got plugged with debris. The right door hinge area filled with water and the cancer you see started.
That's caused by a car sitting on the street and under trees dropping leaves., rain water flows to the low or right side of the car.
The area behind the suitcase is also probably filled with leaves and debris.

Last edited by upflying; 08/13/19 08:43 PM.

86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

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#1063197 - 08/17/19 08:54 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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84ss355*4spd Offline
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That body plug that someone installed after spraying in there id pull that plugvand look insode with a pen light . Doesnt look to bad ive fixed worse .


84ss current restoration
86 ss gone
85 ss new
85 z28 tpi
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#1063199 - 08/17/19 09:09 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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pearljam Offline
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I’m so disappointed in myself for letting it get like this. The car was so beautiful and I’ve let it sit for a few years now, even one winter spent outside. Ugh.

I’m wondering if I can get someone to repair that section, maybe even replace it eventually.


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#1063202 - 08/18/19 04:05 AM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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Buick Runner Offline
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Old cars will need rust repairs sooner or later. Do you have any welding machines?


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1063272 - 08/22/19 01:01 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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You can buy the lower a pillar secti9n where the fender bolts to the pillar at the bottom .dont get dissapointed .dont think of all the issues at once one thing at atime so u dont get over welmed


84ss current restoration
86 ss gone
85 ss new
85 z28 tpi
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#1063280 - 08/23/19 01:15 AM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: Buick Runner]  
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pearljam Offline
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Originally Posted by Buick Runner
Old cars will need rust repairs sooner or later. Do you have any welding machines?



I do not! That’s beyond my skills! The good news is, I’m an automotive parts sales representative, and have quite a few customers/ friends that do.

I’m just trying to find that piece online somewhere. I see the very bottom of the A pillar, but not that part.


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#1063281 - 08/23/19 01:17 AM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: 84ss355*4spd]  
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pearljam Offline
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Originally Posted by 84ss355*4spd
You can buy the lower a pillar secti9n where the fender bolts to the pillar at the bottom .dont get dissapointed .dont think of all the issues at once one thing at atime so u dont get over welmed


Thank you! I think the car is still in pretty decent shape, but I feel If i don’t start to fix it up and use it now, it’ll be almost too late when I get to it. Still kicking myself for letting it sit!


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#1063301 - 08/24/19 01:35 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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Well keeping moisture off it is key if its sitting .invest in a good tarp or one of those tent type garages


84ss current restoration
86 ss gone
85 ss new
85 z28 tpi
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#1063372 - 08/29/19 01:50 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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I wouldnt bother with floor pans even personally. I also am paranoid about hidden rust and dont live in the rust belt so I have a poor knowledge of rust repair. Most of the cars here are ragged out not rusted out.

Last edited by tigerss; 08/29/19 01:50 PM.

Black/maroon 1988 hardtop 90k stock
White/maroon 1985 hardtop 33k stock
#1063385 - 08/30/19 07:26 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: tigerss]  
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upflying Offline
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Originally Posted by tigerss
I wouldnt bother with floor pans even personally. I also am paranoid about hidden rust and dont live in the rust belt so I have a poor knowledge of rust repair. Most of the cars here are ragged out not rusted out.

That sounds like my car, it was a beat up California car but no rust.


86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

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#1063452 - 09/05/19 12:39 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: tigerss]  
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pearljam Offline
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Originally Posted by tigerss
I wouldnt bother with floor pans even personally. I also am paranoid about hidden rust and dont live in the rust belt so I have a poor knowledge of rust repair. Most of the cars here are ragged out not rusted out.


That would be so nice. They use salt here in Canada constantly. An inch of snow? Let’s salt the whole city.

I’m fixing this one solely on sentimental value.


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#1063472 - 09/06/19 03:35 PM Re: How much rust is too much rust? [Re: pearljam]  
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Originally Posted by pearljam
Originally Posted by tigerss
I wouldnt bother with floor pans even personally. I also am paranoid about hidden rust and dont live in the rust belt so I have a poor knowledge of rust repair. Most of the cars here are ragged out not rusted out.


That would be so nice. They use salt here in Canada constantly. An inch of snow? Let’s salt the whole city.

I’m fixing this one solely on sentimental value.


Here in NJ, it only takes a threat of snow for DOT to dump an inch thick layer of salt on the roads.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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