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Discussion Starter #1
Typical repair on the car. I am starting the repair of the wheel arches and will do the rocker as well. Not 100% sure what I want to do there. I have many questions and would appreciate any help I can get. First is there already a solid repair thread on this topic buried in the forum? Some reference pics:










Got these and started prepping the parts:



Making the cut line because the car is a coupe.

So anyone have any lessons learned or recommendations on what they did when they did the repair? I am also looking for any recommendations on how to remove the quarter glass and roof ditch molding. In a few weeks I will need to paint it and remove the bits.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
OK a bit of progress

So I started the trimming process.



So still pondering what to do about the rocker panels. The Subie saver ones are expensive for what I need to do and don't have the needed material above the break line. I made a "bondo splash" - actually duraglass/bondo hair to beat some panels into shape but not sure if I need to go this route.



Decisions, decisions.
 

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hey bro
very interesting...havnt heard of this "Subie Saver" parts...very cool
ok
I have been a car insurance adjuster for 20yrs "telling shops the "most accurate" way of doing things
so you asked few Q's

1)rear glass RI
call a glass vendor in your area
every body shop has one.....usually charges flat rate
the book says 2.5 hrs to RI the glass
so figure $120-$200 for vendor to take out......and later install rear glass
good news is the vendor will have to use special tool to take off roof mldngs….so I
think that will come with the price above.
I wouldn't even try of taking glass out on my own.....one false move and SMASH....you will be vacuuming glass for days.
all about the tools
go to a bodyshop you trust/have heard 'good word of mouth' story from friends
2)QP glass(s)
well you actually don't need to take out the glass only those black surrounds around the glass...then tape the glass
However....those parts are discontinued parts from Subaru
if you bend or dmg them.....good luck finding them......IF they were avail $286 each from dealer
better off (and safer) taping
there is some pretty bad ass tape made now...like a roll of tape but with a hard Teflon plastic on the edge....to stick into the gaps to ensure no over spray
3)rocker
that rot is not that big of an area
I would source some metal.....cut and fit a section and weld it in
you stated have no way of getting metal...….again go to a bodyshop
in the back they will have tons of part/steel that will be throw away
you don't need that much....sure you could tip a guy $20 to go dumpster diving and obtain enough material to do both sides

hope it helps bro
GL
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good to get a response!!

I decided to just get the rockers. The metal offal will become the filler bits between the wheel lip and rocker. Plus I believe the panels are HSLA like parent metal. For me I decided to pony up the cash to move it along. I have other project cars I need to get to and realistically it would take me two weeks to fab proper filler panels - time is most important to me at the moment. I get metal from Alro or Metal Market but yeah, that is a pretty clever idea to get throw away stuff from a body shop. I may do that in the future.

For the paint I want to remove the rear qtr glass. I don't believe the window is bonded in place but to remove it I have to believe I have to take out the inner qtr trim panels and possibly the headliner. I would rather get some advice from someone that has done that before. If it is as simple as just removing the qtr window moldings that would be great but again I am looking for input form folks that have done this.

I am not looking to remove the rear backlite (window) but I am looking to remove the roof ditch molding. Trying to mask the metal with the parts in place is NG because I wont be able to hide the paint line from the build up - primer, color coat, and top coat. I am fixing a car now that has had that done several times in the past. It is not what I want to do.

More to come in the next days. I have a header replacement and fab on another car at the moment then the RS will go in the garage for metal repair,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am stuck at the moment

The fenders were shipped right away but the Rockers are taking a bit of time. Hopefully in the next couple of days they will show up. I am still fiddling with a header replacement/fab on another car too which is also a hold up. I thought I could do it over the holiday but, er, ah, no! I am waiting for a few bits on that job too so I can replumb the muffler. I am pretty sure next weekend will be full up with that. Its never just bolt on and go. :)
 

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I finally started replacing the metal on the car this weekend. Not the best time to start but it is started. The bad news is my track car is out being covered with snow as I write this - ugh. The worst part looked like this; the old bondo squeeze trick to fill a rusty hole in the corner - its magic!
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To start it took a bit of wrestling to get the rear fascia off . The trim clips were old and brittle so I had to punch them out. I could not believe there were so many trim clips on the upper surface of the bumper beam. I am not too sure how I will get the ones back in in between the tail lights but I can worry about that later. Actually the first challenge was to remove the tail lamps. They have a butyl bead that seals up the body. It did not want to budge but after heating the inside metal with a heat gun and some patience they finally came loose. Butyl is a product engineers go to easy solution but is the manufacturing and service guys nightmare. After that I removed the rear fascia.
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Overall not too bad and in fact far better than expected. Some fab and repair work to do on the lower side mount but not a big deal.
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The rocker area will be the biggest challenge but I think mainly to make sure the metal is clean before adding new metal
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So the first incision. I removed the bad metal which actually was not too bad - cept for the bondo hole. ;-) It was a poorly done repair by the PO's mechanics that could have just as easily been done right the first time with about the same effort to do it wrong. The metal was jut not totally clean before the smeared bondo on it. Gone now!

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Looking from the inside of the trunk through the hole. This was good news because it meant I could seal this all up nicely after the job because I had easy access.
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So I cut up a section of the patch panel I was going to use. I spent way to much time doing a lot of "what if" scenarios on where I should cut it etc. I removed any of the questionable metal on the body and made the horizontal cut line has high as possible. It seemed to me that would be the easiest o blend later and the weld line would be away from the wet area. I have POR15, 3M weld through primer, 3M sealer, and 3M wax but that still may not be enough, only time will tell.
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Discussion Starter #8
So the following photo is a bit troubling, it looks to me like the inner "C" pillar bracket weeped water onto the pinch flange. Without fixing this I would expect rot again in the future. This car will not be garage kept for many years so I have to figure a countermeasure. I cant think of why this would happen unless there is a leak from the sun roof or qtr glass,
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Now tuning the fit for the patch panel:
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Now how it that for a fit!! Ready for welding!
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A bit more tuning:
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This is where I am now, I am fabbing up the return flange on the "B" side. I used tape to develop the trim line for the wheel well outer.
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I put it into place and traced the trim line. This view is looking from the shock to the flange:
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Here is the trace line and beginning of a pattern:
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So I started to get fancy with the patch piece and got the fit good to the flat (rear) part of flange but the main part of the return flange has a double bead and it hard to match. I started to get out the pipes, vice and hammer and then beating the flange to fit this double form which was going OK I then realized - "Ah why not use the offall from the patch piece" , yep that was the answer.
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So tonights mission is to complete the return flange fill piece and start on the rocker or rear lower tab.

A couple of points before everyone gets excited about the rust that I will not be removing. I am not going to the extent of removing entire panels to remove all the seam rust. This is a fair/good car with minimal rust but there is rust in all the seams. I will certainly be cleaning up any visible rust especially any welded surfaces. The rust trail from the "C" pillar bracket is a good example. I think it was the lesser of two evils for me just to leave the rust in the forward part of the flange vs cutting it all out and trying to get a good patch. My goal is to stop the rot and keep it solid for 5 yrs, which I think is reasonable. I am removing the rot that is evident and preserving the rest with POR15 and 3M Wax. It seems like alot of work for just patching but to do the car right otherwise it would be a year long process and I have other projects. This guy is a solid driver and I want to keep it that way.
 

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You need to do the whole arch, not just the exposed rust... there's rust all through there and you need to cut it out and put a fresh arch on it. Else, it's just gonna rust in another few seasons and start bubbling up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You need to do the whole arch, not just the exposed rust... there's rust all through there and you need to cut it out and put a fresh arch on it. Else, it's just gonna rust in another few seasons and start bubbling up.

There is rust in every seam of the car so it is best to manage what is there vs tearing each seam apart. I would not do a thorough job on just the one seam then ignore the rest. As mentioned previously that is a very big job and my focus is on patching the open holes. So I can either butt weld (which is what I am doing) or flange weld. Flange will certainly trap water and rot quickly and butt weld, well you are never 100% sure you don't have pin holes. If I completely remove the pinch flange then clean the seam, prime, and reweld I have to try to get it all sealed up from the inside after welding; I am not sure how to do that any better than the path I am on and now I have two weld seams to manage (just forward of the flange and the flange) for me I have more confidence in the sealing strategy I've got. I am looking to stop what is there vs a sterile clean up of rust. One last point IF I were to completely cut the arch away it would be a nightmare trying to get the quarter metal to match back up. That is a lot of shape and form transitioning from the front and top of the arch. It can be, and has been, done but that requires a lot more work and is not the level of repair I am doing on this job. Sometime down the line the flange rust will show up again as you state but I don't expect it any earlier than the other parts of the car. It will have to be maintained vs repair but that is expected. If you have done this too paste your link to the pics and I will check you what you did. I have only seen this repair on the Subesavers site.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Progress on the inner patch panel.
81776



Argh! Amature hour! I forgot to check which weld wire I had in the welder. A few weeks back I was welding up a header and had Stainless wire in it. OK switched over to the right stuff I got back in the game;
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Probably one more evening of tweaking and will have this patch done to.
81778
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Discussion Starter #13
Slowed up a bit over the weekend with a cold and needed a replacement liner for the welder. The lower rear corner looks to be the challenging bit. The water collected under gobs of sealant and cleaning out the rust area made the hole bigger and bigger and bigger.


Screwdriver stuck into a 5000lb glob of sealant
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Cutting and still cutting
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Its a big patch and fortunately it is in an area that wont be seen.
Hopefully the new weld gun will arrive tonight so I can get back to the program. The welder is 22yrs old so probably about time to replace the liner, i went for new gun so all is fresh and new. The wire feed was inconsistent so fingers crossed.
 

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The fist patch did not weld in that easy nor was it that great. I used 0.028" metal which was close to the parent metal in that panel and I just put holes though it as I tried to burn in the weld. Even at the lowest settings for voltage, rate and wire (0.023") it was too much. The first patch was in an area that had lots of bends and form so lots of stretched and thin parent metal. So along with the new weld gun I took the drive motor out and cleaned the commutator and bought a new ground clamp. With that I was good to go and it worked like new.

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I also switched to 0.033" steel and burned in on the thicker steel and pull the weld into the thinner parent metal. That was the trick!

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Because it is so thin you can't really burn in a bead, it too has to be stitched or tacked in. The first set of tacks and stitching went quick but to fill all the pin holes and weld them up was hours. Weld, grind, weld, grind, weld, grind.....but eventually you get there. BTW I use a light on the back side of the weld to find the pin holes.
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Next was the dreaded inner patch piece. I knew that was going to be an exercise in uncoolness because you have to be under the car trying to weld and I don't have a lift to get good access to it. I hate welding under cars! Standard start of a new patch with the template fab.
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Next was the patch fabrication
 

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In the end this patch went fairly well but it took two days to fab and weld - remember weld, grind, weld, grind .....
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A lot of shape to that patch, some fit up and tuning and it fit nicely.
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Yeah that is another fill patch I put in the front side too. I was not sure how I wanted to connect it all together but it is working. It would seem easier to make one super large patch piece but to make a part that lines up all the form and edge shape is a HUGE task for which I do not have all the tools nor the time.
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Finally the inner section is in.
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A bit of clean up on the front weld and the rear flange then zinc rich primer, seam sealer, POR15, Schutz and in the inside wax. I have the outer hole to do next then square and trim up the excess flange material then on to fabricate up the front lower fascia mounting tab - the end goal. The fab jobs always take a long time. As you have guessed by now this isn't a job to do unless you have all the right tools, it also creates quite a mess. Lots of disks and piles of grind dust.
81911
 

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The bumper cover is usually assembled to the reinforcement off of the car. There are 17mm bolts under the rear frame rails. Remove those, and the reinforcement slides right out. Now, there's plenty of room to install the cover-clips. Slide the entire assembly into the frame rails, and secure the edges where it meets the quarter-panel. HTH
 

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The bumper cover is usually assembled to the reinforcement off of the car. There are 17mm bolts under the rear frame rails. Remove those, and the reinforcement slides right out. Now, there's plenty of room to install the cover-clips. Slide the entire assembly into the frame rails, and secure the edges where it meets the quarter-panel. HTH
YES! Thanks for the tip!!
 

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I made some progress but I also tripped up a bit. I had a better look at where the water was coming from that bled into the seams and well, the story is not good.

This is a pic taken from the large patch panel hole I cut out in the outer qtr panel. The lit area in the center is where I poked a hole through the corroded metal with my finger. ARGH!
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It looks like this - not good.
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To give a better idea of where this is it is at the top of the shock tower on the outer panel.
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So next I have to remove the strut and see what I can do. There is not a lot of room to work up there.

I also started my plan on the rocker. The pinch flange is all mangled up by the POs shoddy mechanic that used it as a jack point.
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I thought I could save it but I am going to just cut it all off and weld in some new metal. I have a lot of clean up to do on this flange all the way along the entire rocker. I hope I can save it. I have to see where the rocker drains are and seal it up as best as possible without clogging the drains.
 

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Some good news, I had made progress on the rear patch. I 3M Zinc rich primed the pocket and used seam sealer where I could before sealing it all up.
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I started by fabbing a new template of the hole. The shape is a bit odd but it worked.
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A bit of forming. It doesn't look like much but there is quite a bit into it.
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Starting to come together. I could have done a better job with the shape of the flange portion but it worked pretty good as is so I just pushed on.
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Final trial fitting and tack up. A few taps with a hammer and dowel along the the edges and it fit like a precision puzzle piece. The holes are to plug weld it. Before I tacked the patch in place I had Zinc rich primed the inner surface.
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This is where I am at the moment. The patch really fit well and the weld was the best so far. A little bit of trouble at the rear edges, I think the inner surface of the cut out was not perfectly clean. I had hoped to burn into the primer but it requires too much heat, I then buffed the primer off locally and made it easier.
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I can reach this area from inside the trunk so topcoat paint will be applied after the job is complete. A few minor patch bits and a new "L" bracket for the trim clip, some edge trim refinement and the first part will be done.
 
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