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H. Rust on a 45 Year Old El Camino?

posted Jul 21, 2015, 1:42 PM by Dane Belden   [ updated Jul 26, 2015, 6:19 PM ]
It's true, the Shop Truck does have some rust, but in all honesty it isn't near as bad as many are.  This is due to a combination of it being a California car and the amount of oil shed to its undercarriage over the years.  It wasn't under-coated by the dealer, but previous owners effectively did the same by not fixing the oil leaks in both the engine and transmission.  The rust concentrated in two areas.  The first being the front fenders behind the wheels.  This is a common area for rust on most all GM vehicles of the era.  When you look at the design it also just makes sense because leaves and debris that collect in the top of the cowl work their way down the cowl shoulders to the bottom and then clog the drain areas.  Over time the cowl as well as fenders rust from the inside out.  The other area that needs attention is the bed/back window area - again, to be expected on these vehicles.  Here is the telltale sign which after you remove the fender you can see the extent of the cowl damage.
Dane BeldenDane Belden
The other thing that is obvious is that whoever did the bodywork for the repaint used a soda can as a "backer" behind the rust before putting filler on.  We can only imagine what else we will find once we strip the body.  NOS fenders will replace these, but they are in good shape so patch panels will be welded in to make the as new for a future build.

Back to the cowl area, the rust has been cut out and new patch panels fabricated and welded in.  The seams were then sealed with SEM sealer and the entire area re-primed.
Dane BeldenDane Belden


Now the inner and outer fenders can go on and the final assembly and detailing of the engine compartment can be completed.