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Rust Repair And Restoration - Busted The Rust

It Looked OK In Pictures, But Our El Camino Desperately Needed New Metal. Read How We Busted The Rust.

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Editor Glad admits it freely. Our '64 El Camino shop truck is a beater. His prepurchase criterion of having a rust-free cab was validated. There is no rust around the windshield, back glass, and cowl, and that's a major score. But the floorpans and quarter-panels were pretty much junk. Those are big enough flaws to keep us from truly enjoying our Pro-Beater parts hauler. The flappy quarters are an eyesore to all who set eyes on its Shamrock Shake flanks, and the holy rusted metal (Batman!) floors, while novel at first, merely provide an entrée for fumes and road grime that ultimately overwhelm the driver and unlucky passenger.

Rust Repair Time Trust us, we're not getting soft here at CC. Our Elco is first and foremost a parts hauler, not a resto weenie's museum piece, but Fred-Flintstone-feet-through-the-floor driving is not a style we can endorse on a daily bass. The federal government wasn't able to bail us out, but OPGI and Nor/Am did with auto body parts and materials, and the students at Los Angeles Trade Technical College provided the labor to give our Elco the structural stimulus and rust repair it so badly needed. All did not go smoothly with our rust repair, either, but we won't gloss over our mistakes. If torches, sparks, and high-pressure transmission line blowouts light your fire, grab your welding jacket and read on.

Rust Repair: Tools Needed
Cutoff wheel
Angle grinder
Flap disc
Scotch-Brite Roloc pads
Drill
Spot-weld cutter
Hammers and dollies
Oxyacetylene torch
MIG welder

Quarter-Panel Repair
Once back in our shop, we got to work on phase two of the Elco autobody rehab. As mentioned before, the quarter-panels were a mess. The left side suffered from serious rot aft of the wheel opening, and the right side had been replaced some time ago but was hung temporarily with only a few tack welds holding it on. We didn't know which one would be the most difficult to fix, so we started with the right side.

Parts List
Description PN Source Price
Floorpan, left CCH18LH OPGI $109.95
Floorpan, right CCH18RH OPGI $109.95
Outer wheelhouse, left CH20903 OPGI $102.95
Outer wheelhouse, right CH20904 OPGI $102.95
Tailgate skin TGP6467 OPGI $203.95
Lower fender patch panel OCH104R OPGI $59.95
Quarter-panel patch panel, left ZX786262AFE JC Whitney $107.99
Spot-weld cutter kit 11282 Eastwood $59.99
Pneumatic panel flanger and punch 31015 Eastwood $89.99
*Note: the quarter-panel skins sold through JC Whitney are made by Nor/Am Autobody Parts.
SOURCES
JC Whitney
La Salle
IL
866-529-0411
www.jcwhitney.com
Rust-Oleum
11 Hawthorn Parkway
Vernon Hills
IL  60061
847-367-7700
www.rustoleum.com
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Los Angeles
CA
213-763-7000
http://college.lattc.edu/
Eastwood
800-343-9352
http://www.eastwood.com
Nor/Am Autobody Parts
Rockwood
MI
800-779-7794
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