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Old 01-17-2004, 10:06 PM
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Passenger Door Rust

I have an 1988 ford escort station wagon with rust pretty much everywhere, but my main focus besides my rusty wheel well is on the front passenger door. After removing the door and closely examining it I discovered an extensive amount of rust both on the door skin and the shell backing.
My question is how do I go about removing rust in an area that is pretty much not reshapable with sheet metal and a bunch of machining tools (to many bends and curves as well as a drainage hole). I was thinking remove the skin and go from there, but there is no after market door skins available and I don't think I am knowledgeable to reapply an existing skin.

Would the water/electrical charge method work? I'm mainly interested in removing rust and keeping it from coming back.
If someone could please help me out it would be greatly appreciated.

I will post a picture soon

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Old 01-17-2004, 11:21 PM
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The easiest way to fix rust on parts that unbolt is to find a good rust free replacement. Unless it is a rare car or a very hard to find part, replace it, the time it take to fix the rust isn't worth it. I would check out Ebay or some salvage yards and find a rust free door that is reasonable.
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Old 01-18-2004, 08:52 AM
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Unless you are poor like me and have more time then money. You can pick up a 4x8 sheet of sheetmetal for around $65.00. I got enough out of it to do cars with a lot of rust outs, but if you don't have the tools and a welder and a lot of time it wouldn't pay to do it. The amount of curve on the bottoms of the doors can be formed by hand. make a pattern of the bottom of the door with like freezer paper, so you know the shape where the door meets the fender and quarter. Cut out the rusted area and drill out the spotwelds where the door folds over the inner metal. Cut out the bad metal and cut a new piece from your pattern, giving enough extra to fold a flange over the inner metal on the door bottom and edges. Fix all the inner door rustouts with new metal and sandblast any rust that isn't bad enough to weld in new metal. When you have all the inner part fixed weld in the outer panel you made, taking plenty of time and skip welding to prevent heat build up. Then bend over your edges, you have to cut slits to get them to bend over and easy. Weld up the slits you cut and spot weld to the inner sheetmetal. The only reason I did all this is because I had 4 doors on one car to do and two on the other. Doors were averaging 200 a piece at the salvage yard. You can also see if they make a patch panel for the lower door on your car.
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Old 01-18-2004, 09:51 AM
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Ditto on whay Merc said. Shop around for a good one. There are quite a few yards around where you could get one that is in better shape. Look at the back of car lots where the cheaper trade ins are. It may be possible to pick up a whole car for parts. If the rust is very extensive and you try to repair it you can end up with more time and money into fixing it than just finding another part. Good luck.

Kevin
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:14 AM
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very true on an escort. Unless it isn't something rare and very hard to find, I would look for a good used one before you do all the work that would be required. Now if it is something rare like an old muscle car where the good parts are all long gone, You might have to find someone who makes a door shell or fix it.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:55 PM
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As surprising as it may seem may year/model has little to no after market parts available. I've looked high and low, even went to the ford dealer (which I knew would be insane $$$) but returned with nothing.
Although I did find one lonely web page that still has door skins +shells to offer, but they are charging a big amount of money, at 500 per door, by the time i replaced all 4 doors I would have a quarter amount of the cars original cost in doors alone. I didn't think it was worth that kind of money.
Thats the only reason I figured I'd try to tackle some body work, because trust me I hate it.
Thanks for the help though and I will definitely use the tin foil wrapping as a mold idea.....never even occurred to me lol.
But if you know of a place where I could buy some fair priced skins/shells or both please let me know.
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