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Old 03-31-2005, 06:38 AM
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A pillar

Old cars are like old houses...just full of unpleasant surprises!

Yesterday I discovered that the bottom of one A pillar on my wagon is rusted out. There's a hole in the very bottom of it the size of a plum. The car use to have a roof rack and I'm assuming that it was leaking around the bolts for that and water was collecting in the pillar but I don't know for sure.

I've read the archives about removing and treating rust but I'm still unsure how I should approach this problem since I really can't get up into the pillar to make sure I have gotten all the rust out.

I have a spot sandblaster so I was thinking about using that to shoot up inside the pillar to remove as much rust as I can. Good idea or bad? Any suggestions on a better method?

Once I've removed as much rust as possible should I use something like naval jelly or would something like Ospho be better? Would it be best to shoot epoxy primer or would this be a good spot for cavity wax?

Should I leave a weep hole in the bottom of the pillar in case I'm wrong about the source of the leak or seal it up tight?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated because I'm in way over my head here! Oh, the rest of the pillar seems to be in good shape. Just the bottom that's a problem. Thanks!

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Old 04-01-2005, 12:04 PM
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Do some water testing and find that leak! Start low on the windshield area and work your way up the pillar and onto the roof. A hose with full flow low pressure water should show where it is. Have a helper with a flashlight in the car watching for water when you are hosing the car. Fix the leak. Another area may be your seams at the cowl/dash area. Cut your rusted area away until the rust is removed then replace that section. Seal the inside/backside of the repair with cavity wax.
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Old 04-02-2005, 05:27 AM
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Thanks, Bob! I'm going to check to make sure that the windshield isn't the source of the leak today but I'm 90% sure that the old luggage rack was the culprit. Don't think that there will be much cutting involved other than to clean up the edges of the hole a little. The surrounding metal seems to be sound. I'm just worried about the backside of it having rust on it.
Can't see up inside the pillar but there is some kind of spongy material in there....feels like foam rubber. Is that something from the factory or am I seeming the results of a previous repair?
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