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Old 12-24-2004, 02:39 PM
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50 chevy rust

"The car I just Got Is a 1950 chevy coupe.I Know the last time it was inspected was 1974. The rust on the top portion of the car(truck, hood and roof)is alot greater than every where else.My question is being that long of time rusting, at least 20 years, what do you guys think is the best way of fixing the problem & is it possible to replace the biggest portion of the roof with sheetmetal and still have the strenth and looks that I want?Thanks"
testlights, i'm also doing a 50 chevy coupe. i had problems with rustout under the stainless trim around the belt line. what i did was backup the holes with a piece of brass & mig weld them closed & grind them smooth. then i'd shine alight on the back side & find more holes & repeat the process until no more light shone through. the brass did 2 things: 1st it kept the weld from burning & falling through & 2cnd it absorbs heat thereby eliminating most all of the warpage. this method works really well if there aren't too many holes & they aren't too large.
from what you're desrcibing it sounds as if you're car sat out in the weather for a long time & has alot of surface rust on it. try a DA sander with 80 grit & see what's under the rust. ( being careful not to sand too much or too long in 1 spot, possibly making it too thin or warping with too much heat. ) it might not need as much metal replaced as you might think. you'll find pits that sanding won't take out. run over these LIGHTLY with a wire wheel on a grinder. you'll probably find a few holes here & there that can be repaired with the aforementioned method. there may be some small places where it's gotten thin enough for a small patch to be made from 18 or 19 ga. steel. this can also be backed up with brass to greatly minumize warpage. that's the great thing about the roofs of these cars, you can get to the underside of most of it. after all the repairs are done a good rust converter primer such as por-15 or eastwoods' rust encapsulator is in order.
it is also perfectly acceptable to fix badly pitted areas & a few small pin holes with fiberglass reinforced bodyfiller. the fiberglass filler ( also known as kitty hair ) is water proof & can be applied to bare metal. just be sure to get ALL of the rust off 1st!
although i spent twenty years welding in steel fab shops i am also relatively new to sheetmetal, bodywork & rust repair. the best advise i can give is to take your time & work slowly. don't try to get it too perfect. if it gets overworked you can end up with a condition known as "oilcan" ( warped stretched metal that will push in or out but won't go flat ). i feel that if i can work a place well enough that an 1/8 of an inch of filler will cover it that's good enough. start in the easy places 1st & work toward the harder ones as you gain experience.
there are some great books available at your local bookstore on bodywork & paint. get a couple. last but not least check out the eastwood co. for a good selection of bodywork & restoration supplies.
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