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Old 11-09-2016, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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2004 Toyota Echo rust repair - rocker panels - pics!



This summer, I picked up this $1k Echo to use as Winter Beater 2016/2017.

The car's biggest problem is rust in the rear rocker panels. The car actually looks OK from normal standing human eyeball height, but from squirrel eyeball height, it's pretty nasty... and/or an enticing place to hide beech nuts!



Time to get out the cutting discs and find out how far away good metal is!



Pretty far away. That pretty much tripled the size of the hole.



Above: this is a bit more than just a cosmetic repair. (I knew that when I got the car.)

The rear trailing axle is bolted to the unibody in a sort of 3-sided box, one side of which used to be made up of the rocker structure.

I used heavier gauge metal than original to rebuild that corner.



Above: looking up from underneath. Don't laugh at my welds here. I went back and made it (somewhat) better.



Above: the rocker has ... had! ... 4 layers. 1 outside, 2 sandwiched reinforcing layers, and 1 inner (axle attachment side).

I could only rebuild one of the 2 sandwich layers. Saving both would have required me to open the side of the car up much higher.



Above: spot welded a bunch of puzzle pieces together to approximate the shape of the rocker, the lower flare of the wheel arch, and wheel arch lip.



Just today: I ground things smooth, and epoxied over the seams of the puzzle pieces to seal it up tight.

All that took me the better part of a week, spending an hour or so most evenings.

Next up, rebuild the other side!

Then body filler, paint, undercoating & rustproofing.

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