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Hello all,
I have taken one of the rear quarter panels down to bare metal and am starting to repair w/filler and will be putting a patch panel on to replace rust in front of wheelwell. The question is, how long can I leave the metal bare before I start to develop some surface rust? The car is in the garage so it isn't directly in the weather, but I don't want to create more work than I already have.

Thanks
 

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The surface started to rust as soon as you stopped grinding, even though you can't really see it at first. I would suggest hitting the panel with a thin wash coat of acid etch primer just to hold the surface as you work. If the base metal isn't kept very sanitary then bad things can happen to expensive paint later.
 
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