Fixing Rust on Vehicles: Expert Tips

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Many vehicle enthusiasts find joy in restoring a vehicle. Restoring a vehicle can be a therapeutic process. However, It is important to be aware of the issues you may face, and know how to combat them. When working on a vehicle-restoration project, you’ll most likely run into rust. There will be rust holes or rusty panels needing repair. Leaving rust to its own devices is unsafe; once it starts, it spreads and eventually weakens the vehicle’s structure. And it looks dreadful. So, for your benefit, we’ve provided some useful tips on fixing rust on vehicles and for welding in new sheet metal.

Cutting out the rusted area

Before you begin a welding process, you should identify the entire area of rust. You can use a sandblaster to remove paint from the metal so that you can visibly see the clean metal that surrounds the rust. Once you have identified the area of metal you need to replace, remove it from the piece and replace it with an exact steel cutout. Leave as much of the original metal as possible, if it’s in good condition. Remember to carefully consider the shape that you’re cutting out. Remember that curved shapes will be harder to replace than flat ones. You want to have a simple shape, and if possible, a simple rectangle that’s easier to replicate. Once you’ve removed the rust and measured out the replacement metal, you’ll need to weld it into place.

Which welding process should you use?

When auto body welding, the two best processes to use are MIG and TIG. MIG being the most popular because it’s simpler, quicker and it’s cost-effective. TIG is also a great option; it allows you more control and produces a cleaner weld. Make sure to do your research on the different methods before going at it.

Welding the patch in place

Be sure that your panel fits the space as well as possible. The metal must line up as well as it can and be flat on both the top and bottom. Once it’s is in place, tack weld the corners and the areas where the metal fits best. Then you can weld the full patch. Take  Make sure to take your time when to avoid overheating and distorting the metal.

You shouldn’t set the welder at high amperage and go around the edge continuously. You should weld different areas around the perimeter until the whole edge is secure.

Grinding the metal

When the metal is securely welded, it’s time to grind down the filler metal and remove slag. Keep the process going smoothly and don’t apply too much pressure when grinding. Don’t forget to keep the head of the grinder flat at all times.

When you’ve finished the process, you should have a rust-free piece of solid steel, ready for paint. Autobody welding is fun, and not very difficult to achieve. Try practicing before you jump right into it, but don’t be afraid to try. And remember that Honstein Oil is an automotive oil supplier, ready to meet your oil and coolant needs.

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