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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

When I bought my 900 this year, it somehow overlooked some rust on the passenger A-pillar. Anyway, it appears to be developing at an alarming rate. It's now on the inside face and also on the outside face adjacent to the windshield. I'm concerned at this point because the A-pillar is obviously a major structural part. Does anyone have an experience with repairing rust in this location?? Is it something I can do myself by sanding it all down, refilling it and then repainting it. I've never really done any bodywork in the past so to be honest, I'm quite wary of trying this. Do you even know how much a bodyshop might charge for this? I'm guessing it's a good amount of work to have to take care of.

One other option I was thinking was if I could make my efforts to remove what's there and seal it with something like http://www.rustbullet.com. If it could survive until next year then I could have a bodyshop make a more permanent repair.

Finally, what's the best way to deal with stone chips that are starting to rust? There are a couple that I'd like to address just now before winter...
 

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acrscotland said:
When I bought my 900 this year, it somehow overlooked some rust on the passenger A-pillar. Anyway, it appears to be developing at an alarming rate. It's now on the inside face and also on the outside face adjacent to the windshield. I'm concerned at this point because the A-pillar is obviously a major structural part. Does anyone have an experience with repairing rust in this location?? Is it something I can do myself by sanding it all down, refilling it and then repainting it. I've never really done any bodywork in the past so to be honest, I'm quite wary of trying this. Do you even know how much a bodyshop might charge for this? I'm guessing it's a good amount of work to have to take care of.

One other option I was thinking was if I could make my efforts to remove what's there and seal it with something like http://www.rustbullet.com. If it could survive until next year then I could have a bodyshop make a more permanent repair.
There's only one proper fix for rot. Cut it out back to solid metal and weld new metal in. Anything else is a bodge, especially in such a structural area.

Finally, what's the best way to deal with stone chips that are starting to rust? There are a couple that I'd like to address just now before winter...
Clean 'em to bright shiny metal then paint.
 

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That rust sealer works pretty well, it should keep it from spreading until you can get a professional cut 'n replace done.

I once used it on an old chevy van that had huge patches of surface rust. That was 25 years ago and it's stil good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. I have the car booked into my Saab specialist on Monday so I'll get a quote for the cut out and replacement. It all depends how much it'll run but perhaps I'll use the rustbullet to tide me over until next year. I need a new windshield so I could always get it done at the same time!

Thanks again for your valuable help...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Deep Throb said:
That rust sealer works pretty well, it should keep it from spreading until you can get a professional cut 'n replace done.

I once used it on an old chevy van that had huge patches of surface rust. That was 25 years ago and it's stil good.

Frank
http://www7.taosnet.com/f10/saabplate/
I bought some Rust Bullet and so I'm now reading up as much as possible on what to do next.

Here's my plan and I'd appreciate anyone's input:

- Sand down the paint on the a-pillar as required by the rust bullet. I'll also sand down the rusted areas.
- Apply the rust bullet and layer as instructed.
- I'll obviously end up with a silver coloured a-pillar on a champagne car but plan on getting it seen to next year when I can.

Is it fair to assume that if I do this, the rust bullet can be removed, along with the paint and the body shop can do a proper repair on the rusted areas? In your experience, how much would this repair cost and would sealing it only make it harder to repair??

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Here are some pics I just took:






I meant to mention that it's obviously been done before but not amazingly well. I'm just concerned at this point since it's developing quite rapidly....
 

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Rust in those areas is a function of the way the various pieces of sheetmetal forming the body are/were joined, and when/if/how water gets inside rubber seals, etc. around the windscreen/doors/etc. and remains trapped against the metal + creeps into joints and spaces between metal components forming the body.

WHen I stripped the glass out of my 83 gli car (body off to scrap in the next week or so!), I found significant rust developing in some corners of the metalwork where the front and rear windscreens mount. There are some pics here.

Providing you deal with rust sooner instead of later, and the job is done properly, the problem area should be trouble-free after that. Bear in mind that you never really know how far rust has gone until the external coatings are removed. Where it really can be a problem is overlapping pieces of metal as rust can develop between then and no amount of treatment will stop it.

Realistically, the fact that our c900's do last so long without serious rust issues if given proper TLC is testament to how well they were built. But there are lots of cars (not just c900's) that rot severely due to neglect. sigh.

Craig.
 

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don't over freak out about this - its fixable

Looking at that I think there is no way you are to the cut it out / weld new back in stage.

take the windshield out. take the windshield rubber molding off. take off the inside pillar covers. grind it down with a dremel or whatever. get it down to bare silver metal. Dont grind all the way through or anything crazy.

By the way I have seen a lot of c900s, and seen alot of c900's rust. i have not seen that exact type of rust pattern and it looks like its either been repaired before or somehow damaged there. so you're kind of cleaning up a prior mistake I'd bet.

Sand. Paint with POR15. Prime. Build it back to the contours it should be. Repaint with body color + clear. Done.
 

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acrscotland said:
I bought some Rust Bullet and so I'm now reading up as much as possible on what to do next.

Here's my plan and I'd appreciate anyone's input:

- Sand down the paint on the a-pillar as required by the rust bullet. I'll also sand down the rusted areas.
- Apply the rust bullet and layer as instructed.
The problem with all of these "just clean and paint" rust "repairs" is that - as in your case - the rust isn't coming from the surface you're cleaning and painting. It's coming through from the inside of the pillar.

Sure, clean it off and paint it, but it won't actually do anything other than make it prettier. What you're seeing is the rust that's eaten completely through that layer of steel from the inside out. If you could get in to the inside, cleaning and painting that side may slow it, but the steel would still be considerably weakened.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's what concerns me the most - I feel like I can probably sand and paint it but as you say, it's fixing someone elses problem. To be honest, I didn't fully inspect it when I bought it and didn't notice the paint that had been put on top to cover the rust. It's odd because the door has also been repaired at some point (lower right) but the carfax doesn't show any accidents etc, though that's only if it was reported. I certainly hope it's not been damaged in the past.

As a 'worst case' scenario, is this an area of the car that can be repaired with welding etc. while maintaining structural rigidity or does it spell ultimate death? Is it even possible to just replace the a-pillar??

I have to stop by my mechanic on Friday who also has a body work shop so I think I'll ask him to give it the once over. Having just shelled out for a new clutch and rear calipers I can't really afford the repair work (I'm guessing $500, or something). That said, if I can't do a temporary fix to hold me through the winter then maybe I'll just have to....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
nashvegas said:
Looking at that I think there is no way you are to the cut it out / weld new back in stage.

take the windshield out. take the windshield rubber molding off. take off the inside pillar covers. grind it down with a dremel or whatever. get it down to bare silver metal. Dont grind all the way through or anything crazy.

By the way I have seen a lot of c900s, and seen alot of c900's rust. i have not seen that exact type of rust pattern and it looks like its either been repaired before or somehow damaged there. so you're kind of cleaning up a prior mistake I'd bet.

Sand. Paint with POR15. Prime. Build it back to the contours it should be. Repaint with body color + clear. Done.

....and this is what I'm leaning towards...a nice weekend project!
 

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acrscotland said:
As a 'worst case' scenario, is this an area of the car that can be repaired with welding etc. while maintaining structural rigidity or does it spell ultimate death? Is it even possible to just replace the a-pillar??
It's *possible*... Damn near anything's possible.
Is it _economically viable_...? To replace the pillar's going to be fairly major surgery.

Don't forget that I may easily be wrong, and that somewhy the pillar's been stripped and painted badly in the past, and it IS just surface mank.
 
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