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Rust Repair Advice Request: 59 Lark

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  • Body / Glass: Rust Repair Advice Request: 59 Lark

    Hi everyone-
    Im getting ready to start on fixing rust spots, and would like some advice please. This is a Los Angeles area car, garaged and I never drive in in the rain. Im looking to get it looking nice, but not any sort of show car. I want to enjoy driving it and have a good interior and decent paint job. 1959 Lark Hardtop.
    My welding skills are amateur to mediocre. But Im patient and will redo it as much as I can to get it right. Mig welder with gas.
    1. Floorboard: the drivers side needs some replacement. I was thinking of getting the "mini panel" from Classic Enterprises, as it looks like I dont need the full version. HOWEVER, check out the third photo. That one shows the metal further back than the mini panel will reach. Does that look like it is ok? Its a bit beatup, but it doesnt seem like there is rust that goes all the way through, and I dont see any rust holes - so Im not sure that I need the larger panel.
      1. QUESTION ONE: do I need the larger floorpan for this or will the mini floorpan work?
    2. Im going to get the repair panels for the front fenders (both sides have similar rust holes),
    3. Im going to get the fender patch for the spot by the B pillar (only need on one side)
    4. Roof: there are rust holes in the roof that are pretty big, see the last 2 photos. Im thinking that I need to drill out some of those holes and fill them back in with round plugs. But this is just about the worst place to have rust as its at eye level when you get i the car. So I want to make sure its smooth when Im done. I will be doing these last, hopefully by then I will have had lots of practice elsehwere on the car.
      1. QUESTION TWO: Any recommendations on how to handle these roof rust holes?
    Any advice is greatly appreciated

    Im also planning on talking to the guys at Classic Ent about all this too.

    Thanks!


  • #2
    Looks repairable. You just need to stick with it. You should see the rust bucket I'm dealing with.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello,
      I would get that whole body sandblasted, remove the front fenders, doors everything & get it blasted & primed. Unfortunately its going to look a lot worse after blasting,
      but at least you will know what your going to be up against & most of the rust removed accept for areas of rust inside cavities etc. Epoxy 2 part primer is definitely the go
      for your first coating, & it gives you time without absorbing moisture a long the way. Hopefully you know a good sheet metal guy,

      *make sure the sandblaster is very careful with broad areas, like roof turret , hood & trunk, I stripped those areas by hand & just blasted around the edges.

      regards, Cus
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        The last time we had a '60 Lark 2 door with the Rain Gutter full of holes and almost rusted off, we simply Cut a Roof off of another 2 Door below the Gutter, easier than filling a hundred holes.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Topper2011 View Post
          Looks repairable. You just need to stick with it. You should see the rust bucket I'm dealing with.
          Yeah, Im enjoying the journey and not trying to do this really fast. Its on the weekends mostly....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cus63 View Post
            Hello,
            I would get that whole body sandblasted, remove the front fenders, doors everything & get it blasted & primed. Unfortunately its going to look a lot worse after blasting,
            but at least you will know what your going to be up against & most of the rust removed accept for areas of rust inside cavities etc. Epoxy 2 part primer is definitely the go
            for your first coating, & it gives you time without absorbing moisture a long the way. Hopefully you know a good sheet metal guy,

            *make sure the sandblaster is very careful with broad areas, like roof turret , hood & trunk, I stripped those areas by hand & just blasted around the edges.

            regards, Cus
            Thanks for the suggestion: Im not looking to do that hardcore on this (I wish I could though!)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              The last time we had a '60 Lark 2 door with the Rain Gutter full of holes and almost rusted off, we simply Cut a Roof off of another 2 Door below the Gutter, easier than filling a hundred holes.
              I dont have access to a lot of donor cars here in Los Angeles unfortunately.

              Comment


              • #8
                weren't there some Larks in the Pick N Pull yards out there recently?

                Comment


                • #9
                  The advise about sandblasting the entire body is spot on, but I understand the desire to not get that deep into the weeds. From the photos, here are my thoughts. You will probably be better off with full floor pans. The problem is getting new metal welded in. If you try to weld new metal to a spot that has pitting, the result is often blowing a big hole in the old metal. Then you have to weld that new hole up and grind it smooth. You want to make sure you cut out old metal such that you have a nice solid (non-pitted) area to weld your new panel to. That rust on the roof is probably going to require you to fabricate a patch panel. Once you get in there and strip it down to shiny metal in prep for making your repairs you will probably find that it is easier to just weld in a single big patch instead of a lot of little plugs. Watch some videos to see how the pro's skip around with small tack welds when installing patches and allow plenty of time for the panel to cool between welds. Also make sure your patches fit nice with just a small gap between the patch and the existing metal. If you can get your panels formed and fitted where you just a 1/32' or so gap between the patch and original metal, it make welding it a lot easier you typically don't get you panel nearly as hot. Also I would recommend 0.23 easy grind weld wire and 3M makes some 3" diameter grinding stones for a cut off tool that work great for grinding you weld down and then finish it up with 40 grit 2" sanding disc on a air angle grinder. Once your patched are done, make sure the first thing applied to them is 2 part epoxy primer to get the metal sealed. Then put your filler on top of that.

                  Best of luck
                  Wayne
                  "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wdills View Post
                    The advise about sandblasting the entire body is spot on, but I understand the desire to not get that deep into the weeds. From the photos, here are my thoughts. You will probably be better off with full floor pans. The problem is getting new metal welded in. If you try to weld new metal to a spot that has pitting, the result is often blowing a big hole in the old metal. Then you have to weld that new hole up and grind it smooth. You want to make sure you cut out old metal such that you have a nice solid (non-pitted) area to weld your new panel to. That rust on the roof is probably going to require you to fabricate a patch panel. Once you get in there and strip it down to shiny metal in prep for making your repairs you will probably find that it is easier to just weld in a single big patch instead of a lot of little plugs. Watch some videos to see how the pro's skip around with small tack welds when installing patches and allow plenty of time for the panel to cool between welds. Also make sure your patches fit nice with just a small gap between the patch and the existing metal. If you can get your panels formed and fitted where you just a 1/32' or so gap between the patch and original metal, it make welding it a lot easier you typically don't get you panel nearly as hot. Also I would recommend 0.23 easy grind weld wire and 3M makes some 3" diameter grinding stones for a cut off tool that work great for grinding you weld down and then finish it up with 40 grit 2" sanding disc on a air angle grinder. Once your patched are done, make sure the first thing applied to them is 2 part epoxy primer to get the metal sealed. Then put your filler on top of that.

                    Best of luck
                    Thanks!
                    Ive been watching lots of videos on youtube about how to do all this, so I have an understanding about how to cut out and then weld in new metal.
                    Of all the work that Im planning, the roof is the part that I am most worried about getting right: the curve in that part of the roof is going to be the hardest part to create if I use a panel (but that also seems like the best way to approach it. Im planning on tackling the roof last, after Ive had the practice on being sloppy and making ugly welds on floor panels, then getting better on the fender repairs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is the headliner out of the car? If so where its rusted at the drip rail I would sand blast the inside of the roof skin as clean as I could get it and on the outside where the rust is. Then build my patch panel and be sure it fit up from the inside as close to perfect as I can make it. Now cut out the rust keep it as small as possible. Then use 3-m patch panel adhesive and glue my patch panel in from the back side. It has to fit tight so if you have to use small screws or pop rivets to hold it until the glue is set up. I like to leave it overnight. Then seal good around the edge of the patch on the back side of the roof either with panel adhesive or epoxy two part seam sealer. After totally cured prime and undercoat. On the out side remove the screws or rivets grind the whole area good and tap where the screw where just a small amount and put a nice skim coat of panel adhesive over the whole area. Let dry over night grind as smooth and flat as you can get it epoxy prime area and after that has cured do your filler and body work as you would any other repair.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like swvalcon's suggestion of panel adhesive for the roof patch. Keeps the heat out of it so you don't get warping. Form your patch and test fit it with screws first. Use enough screws to get a nice tight fit all around the edges of the panel. Take it in and out multiple times to be sure it goes in and fits the same way every time. Then apply the adhesive and screw it in place.
                        Wayne
                        "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Totally agree with posts #11 and 12 - have used that successfully on some former projects and far easier than trying to keep a cut-off roof panel from distorting on re-entry.

                          Those floor pics are a bit dark, but if that's you having wire-wheeled the floor already, I'd say they're in fine shape to make smaller patches and tack them in - I've worked on far far worse - these floors are pretty good!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The floor doesn't look bad at all. I would paint the whole thing with Hirsch Miracle Paint, cover the holes with fiberglass cloth and then give it a second coat all over. That's just my CASO way.
                            Yogi, slightly smarter than the average bear
                            '60 Hawk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Yogi View Post
                              The floor doesn't look bad at all. I would paint the whole thing with Hirsch Miracle Paint, cover the holes with fiberglass cloth and then give it a second coat all over. That's just my CASO way.
                              Yogi, slightly smarter than the average bear
                              Seeing as how a good driver quality 59 Lark is worth maybe $5,000, I agree with this approach. You need to do the minimum to make it road worthy so you can enjoy it. It is very easy to get upside down by getting too carried away. This is true even on the more valuable Studes. Just ask me how I know...
                              78 Avanti RQB 2792
                              64 Avanti R1 R5408
                              63 Avanti R1 R4551
                              63 Avanti R1 R2281
                              62 GT Hawk V15949
                              56 GH 6032504
                              56 GH 6032588
                              55 Speedster 7160047
                              55 Speedster 7165279

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