Wheel Well Rust Repair
Rust repair is something that should be undertaken quickly on a vehicle. That’s especially true with rust repair in the wheel wells. This can spread very quickly, as it’s subject to mud, salt and more off the roads.
You need to start the rust repair before you have holes in the wheel well. It’s not a job for complete novices, but neither is it especially complex. With a little time, most people can manage this easily.
Step 1 - Jack Up the Car
Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels where there is rust in the wheel wells. Using a jack, raise the appropriate end of the car. Install jack stands for safety. Take off the lug nuts and remove the wheel. This will give you access to the wheel well to begin the rust repair. Test the rusted area with a screwdriver. Poke at the rust. Where it’s very bad the blade will go through.
Step 2 - Use the Grinder
You need to start by removing the rust from the wheel well. Use personal devices as needed. To do this, plug in the grinder and run it over the surface in the wheel well. Press down and take out as much of the rust as you can reach. Keep blowing on the surface to check that you’ve taken it all off. This can take a while as you need to do a thorough job on the rust repair.
Clean out the wheel well with a wire brush. Not only will this remove the loose rust, it will also take off smaller bits the grinder was unable to reach.
Step 3 - Weld
You’ll only need to use welding as part of the rust repair if there are holes in the wheel well. If this is the case you should cut a piece of sheet metal to the size that will cover the hole.
Fire up the welder and weld the sheet metal patch in place. If you don’t know how to weld, employ the services of a friend who has experience or pay a welder to do it for you. Always wear gloves and a proper face shield for welding. Be careful when welding anywhere near the engine. Be sure to hold the sheet metal firmly in place so no heat goes into the engine compartment.
Step 4 - Cover
Now you’ve eliminated the rust you need to complete the rust repair by making sure rust won’t recur in the wheel well. Dupli color undercoat is ideal for this. Use a spray can and spray it on the wheel well. Be certain to cover everything, including the sheet metal patch. The undercoat will keep the mud and salt, as well as small rocks, from damaging the wheel well.
Put the wheel back on the axle and hand tighten the lugs, Lower the car to the ground with the jack and finish tightening the lugs. You’ve now completed your rust repair.