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Author Topic: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot  (Read 1326 times)

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Lizzie Zoom

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Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« on: 07 July 2019, 08:50:27 »

Now on from my Spring Clean thread:

With me acquiring a good supply of Supertrol for the first time thanks to the many recommendations about it, with me currently being in the mood to forget damaging my nails, mucking up my hair, and ignoring my aching old back, I have been thinking about the worst bodywork problem of the Omega, and the Senator before - rear wheel arch rot.

Now my are bubbling and for the last thee years I have been trying to keep on top of it, with much rubbing down, treatment and reprinting. Of course I have only been working to keep on top of the symptom, not the cause, which the expert body shop guy I now know has explained will cost around 1,000 to fully address with the specialist work he can do on the inner parts of those sections of bodywork, plus respraying the whole back end to match the newness of the front.

So, a thought. Thinking of what a number of you have said about going in behind the panels. If I was to rub the very small sections of faulty arches down, then drill very small holes in the outer panels, then spray Supertrol in large quantities through the straw into the inner sections, will it reduce, or even stop, the progression of rot? ??? ???

I would obviously fill the holes, refinish the panel surface with Isopon, then rub down to prime and paint as usual.

Any observations, thoughts, please? ??? :D ;)


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JamesV6CDX

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #1 on: 07 July 2019, 09:20:40 »

Personally Id say its futile, sorry Lizzie.
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dave the builder

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #2 on: 07 July 2019, 09:28:01 »

On mine, i removed the back wheels(to get in the arch) ,sill ends and arch liners removed all the dry mud etc,
I noticed the lip of the arch has a bead of seam sealer round it which was not really sealing  :(
with a sharp knife , I cut all that seam sealer out wire brushed everywhere, cleaned with brake clean so it was spotless,
treated any rust areas with kurust, etch primed,metal protection paint, re-sealed with plenty of panel mount ,some areas i did put a thick coat of waxoil  :-X when dry refitted all panels , supertroled from inside the boot ,
I intend to revisit the arches in this dry weather to see what is going on and do a more thorough job including stripping out all the boot trim/carpet for access
also have a few bubbles in the near side rear door skin right at the bottom ,water has got in the skin seam  :'( :
for some reason , this door on carltons, sennys and it seems omegas all start to rust before the others from what i've seen  :-\
(so whoever at Russelsheim is responsible for painting N/S/R doors wants F****ng with the fat end of a rag mans trumpet  >:( )
I did treat it but 2 small 50p size sections are visible outside the door due to me putting too much paint on to protect it until  i can use the correct matched paint (which I got to re-paint the front pro-drive bumper ,original CDX replaced)

I'd try and avoid drilling holes unless from inside the boot double skin areas and make sure it is 100% re-sealed

 
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VXL V6

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #3 on: 07 July 2019, 09:32:32 »

Once rust starts all you can do is cut it out and weld in new metal. Rust treatments, filler, paint etc are only ever going to delay / slow down the spread but not stop it.

This is why it's important to know the full condition of the sills and front chassis rails because you then know just how much work is required to keep the car on the road for the long term / make a decision when to scrap it. Rear arch repair, while involved because of paint costs etc is pointless if the front chassis rails have a rust hole in them or the rear seatbelt mounting / rear suspension arm mount point is heavily corroded.
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #4 on: 07 July 2019, 09:52:01 »

Once rust starts all you can do is cut it out and weld in new metal. Rust treatments, filler, paint etc are only ever going to delay / slow down the spread but not stop it.

This is why it's important to know the full condition of the sills and front chassis rails because you then know just how much work is required to keep the car on the road for the long term / make a decision when to scrap it. Rear arch repair, while involved because of paint costs etc is pointless if the front chassis rails have a rust hole in them or the rear seatbelt mounting / rear suspension arm mount point is heavily corroded.

But that is the thing, mine is all very sound and after my re-inspection of the underneath of the car I can really say it.  Let's put it this way, from what I can see and hammer to test, the amount of good metal is enough to make me believe it is good for another 5 years at least, any more is going to be a bonus, and anyway I may give up driving by then! :D ;)

No, it is only the top of the wheel arches that are causing me concern, which I recognise any work I do is probably putting off the inevitable, whenever that is.  That is why I have the quote to have it all attended to by a specialist who has explained in depth what he can do from within the arches, cutting out and welding back in sections of metal.  All for around 1,000, so I am saving hard! :D :D :y
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dave the builder

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #5 on: 07 July 2019, 09:53:27 »

100% agree
but new metal rusts too  ;D
delaying rust is all we can do
definitely inspect all the prescribed areas and only spend money on cosmetics IF your car will last long enough to benefit from cosmetic repair,
though sharp edges are an MOT fail on wheel arches , so a temporary cheap fill and blow over is worth doing if required

that said, if you have money spare but lack the skill and knowledge, getting a full structural inspection and treatment or repair is viable IF the car is worth more to YOU than the car is actually worth (which are 2 different things  ;D
chassis rails etc can be repaired but it's not cheap
 
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #6 on: 07 July 2019, 10:05:57 »

Personally Id say its futile, sorry Lizzie.

Yes, no doubt you are right James, but it is such a late production car, which even now has only covered 77k miles, that has most things going for it, I will persevere no matter what the cost in terms of time and money. 

Buying another car now is just not a practical solution, and apart from acquiring a new car which is highly unlikely, what would I be inheriting in other more troubling issues, on a car that cannot possibly match my 3.2 that I can work on, know a lot about, and have a great forum to get answers from! :D :D :D 8) 8)

I previously did break away from Vauxhall's from 2002 to about 2008 for practical reasons (a divorce :'( :'( : : HE kept the non company car!!) and kept a 1979, F reg, Toyota Carina II estate going from 160,000 miles on the clock to 250,000, with even trading it in 300, the same as I paid for it, to get my then next Omega.  We, him and I, also kept a 1968 Wolsley Hornet going for 6 years, plus one of our ex-company, 1986, Carlton's, with 120,000 miles on the clock after our 18 month business use of it, that kept on going with our maintenance for over 5 years. This Omega I now have had the longest out of all I have ever had (5) and will keep going to the end as I know there will be no more! :'( :'( :'(

So, I am committed to keep this one going as far as my bodywork repair limitations allow me to! :y :y
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VXL V6

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #7 on: 07 July 2019, 11:06:35 »

Anything you do will improve the situation, it may slow it down but it won't stop it is really what I am trying to say.

The reason I mention the front chassis rails is that what looks like a bit of surface rust that a wire brush and spot of a n other rust treatment will solve is sadly not enough, they rust from the inside out so if it appears on the outside it has eaten all the way through.

My two Omegas that are C 100K were much worse for corrosion than my 218K daily driver so I'd be cautious assuming that low mileage will reflect positively on the underside condition of the vehicle.

Like yourself I intend to keep my Omegas for as long as possible, as such one of them will be having rear arch work done by AndyC in the coming months, but this car has also had sills and a front chassis rail repair previously, like you I feel this car is worth the effort and expense.

Anyway, it could be worse, you could own a Disco or SD1 which requires you to carry a welder on the boot!
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #8 on: 07 July 2019, 11:36:47 »

Anything you do will improve the situation, it may slow it down but it won't stop it is really what I am trying to say.

The reason I mention the front chassis rails is that what looks like a bit of surface rust that a wire brush and spot of a n other rust treatment will solve is sadly not enough, they rust from the inside out so if it appears on the outside it has eaten all the way through.

My two Omegas that are C 100K were much worse for corrosion than my 218K daily driver so I'd be cautious assuming that low mileage will reflect positively on the underside condition of the vehicle.

Like yourself I intend to keep my Omegas for as long as possible, as such one of them will be having rear arch work done by AndyC in the coming months, but this car has also had sills and a front chassis rail repair previously, like you I feel this car is worth the effort and expense.

Anyway, it could be worse, you could own a Disco or SD1 which requires you to carry a welder on the boot!

Once more, very, very useful comments and observations VXL V6, which I am taking fully on board! :-* :-* 8) :y :y

I have also been carrying out some product research, and have come across this one:

Comma WS500M 500ml Wax Seal Aerosol

This product, which is for cavities,  seems to claim, with others confirming, that it really does stop rust, then protects the metal, I thought I would apply this first inside the arch panels through my drilled holes then also apply the Supertrol once that has dried to give even more protection. A double approach that I can not resist, and I will use both products elsewhere around the chassis weak points that have been highlighted to me. ;)

My new war on rust has started in full!! I have also ordered new 2.5 tonne wide car ramps, heavy duty extension ramps and a high lift. to 550mm, trolley jack to update my equipment so I can easily get right under the car without restriction, and back ache!!:D :D :D
« Last Edit: 07 July 2019, 11:41:11 by Lizzie Zoom »
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dave the builder

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #9 on: 07 July 2019, 12:00:57 »

every day is a school day  :-[
"heavy duty extension ramps"
I have to empty my boot to get my omega up on my ramps (to clear the bumper )  ;D
no chance of driving forward on to them
just googled them "words" Lizzie and it appears i'm an idiot who's been struggling with bricks ,bottle jacks  :-[

I will look into purchasing something ,
so thank you  :) :y
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johnnydog

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #10 on: 07 July 2019, 12:15:16 »

All these rust preventative treatments are primarily only good for solid rust free metal. That's why treating a car in its early stages of life is obviously better. Once rust has started showing itself, these treatments will only slow the onset of corrosion, not eradicate it.
The other point to consider is that if there is a possibility that in the near future you are going anywhere near an area with a welding torch, then I wouldnt suggest treating it with any type of treatment similar to waxoyl or the like, unless you don't mind your pride and joy going up in flames  :D Waxoyl for instance is very flammable and heat travels when welding so any previously wax treated areas that need welding have to be free from these treatments and also need to be worked on with extreme care!!!
MIG welding needs very clean solid metal, cleaner than gas welding, and there is far less distortion with MIG and not as much heat. But both need clean areas to do it properly.
So in short, if you think you need to have any type of welding done in the near future, then I would definitely save any cavity treatments until there is new metal in there.
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dave the builder

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #11 on: 07 July 2019, 12:27:37 »

very good point Mr Johnydog  :y
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #12 on: 07 July 2019, 12:38:02 »

All these rust preventative treatments are primarily only good for solid rust free metal. That's why treating a car in its early stages of life is obviously better. Once rust has started showing itself, these treatments will only slow the onset of corrosion, not eradicate it.
The other point to consider is that if there is a possibility that in the near future you are going anywhere near an area with a welding torch, then I wouldnt suggest treating it with any type of treatment similar to waxoyl or the like, unless you don't mind your pride and joy going up in flames :D Waxoyl for instance is very flammable and heat travels when welding so any previously wax treated areas that need welding have to be free from these treatments and also need to be worked on with extreme care!!!
MIG welding needs very clean solid metal, cleaner than gas welding, and there is far less distortion with MIG and not as much heat. But both need clean areas to do it properly.
So in short, if you think you need to have any type of welding done in the near future, then I would definitely save any cavity treatments until there is new metal in there.

Ah.  Food for even more thought!!

In the meantime though I cannot just sit back and let just a small amount of rust (compared to what I have seen before on wheel arches) get so much worse.  I do not want to spend 1,000 at the moment, and probably / perhaps not for another ear.

Would a car body specialist not use some form of wax neutralising system before welding? ??? ???

Thanks for raising this point though :y :y
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Doctor Gollum

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #13 on: 07 July 2019, 14:03:59 »

Even a replacement quarter panel will start to rust on the arch within a few years.

Either restore it properly and keep it in an air-conditioned garage or leave it be and save to buy a replacement when it fails its MoT or you can't bear the sight of the rust. Whichever comes first.

Trying to keep a daily driver rust free is arguably a waste of time  :-\
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: Infamous Rear Wheel Arch Rot
« Reply #14 on: 07 July 2019, 14:21:48 »

Even a replacement quarter panel will start to rust on the arch within a few years.

Either restore it properly and keep it in an air-conditioned garage or leave it be and save to buy a replacement when it fails its MoT or you can't bear the sight of the rust. Whichever comes first.

Trying to keep a daily driver rust free is arguably a waste of time  :-\

I know you are right DG, but at least it keeps me busy! :D :D ;)

This is not a daily driver either, and nowadays spends more time in a dry garage, but without a/c., than being driven ;D ;D

I am not spending big money - yet- that would come with the new panels, but they would rust as you say, but they would last to after I do not want this type of car anyone.  I think on balance I will just continue to keep it all as a hobby, and that is what it is, enjoy what I have, and just do what is necessary now, at this point in time, to SLOW down the rot, which you and others are right about. It will NEVER stop; never does with our cars.

I would say I wish they had built them of fiberglass, but I once saw a Reliant Robin after an accident back in the 1970's.  It was in small pieces all across the road!! :o :o ;)

Oh well, let's have some fun during the next week when I'm feeling bored and all the housework and other chores are done. With my new additional maintenance equipment it will be back to under the Omega!! ;D ;D :)
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