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Old 06-13-2015, 01:13 AM   #1
Chub
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1995 SC2
Default Floorpan Rust Repair

I really love the sunroof in my '95 SC2 now that it works... but something tells me that it was leaking for a long time before I bought the car. I managed recently to stop the leaking but now I need to figure out the best way to repair the damage.

I am in the process of restoring the interior and converting from the ugly "biscuit" color to black so today I decided to pull up the carpet. I figured there would be some water damage from the periodic leaks when I had it but I didn't suspect it would be anywhere nearly as bad as it was. Here is a picture of what I found:



This rust is definitely more than just superficial. I took a screwdriver and scraped off the big chunks as best as I could. I got most of it off but I was left with some holes that went straight through the floorpan. Here is a picture of one of the holes next to the screwdriver. You can see the ground through it.



My plan for the repair is to sand down the rust as best as I can and then fill the holes with body filler. Then I want to use a rust converter paint to stop the rust from getting worse, followed by painting the entire floorpan with truck bedliner to make it waterproof. I know the the floorpan is not structural so it is not such a big deal so I would really just like to keep the problem from spreading. I peeled back some of the thermal acoustic barrier you can see in the picture until there was no more rust under it. I think it will be fine if I don't pull up all of the barrier since it is a pain to remove. Is this an overall good plan or should I go to the extreme and cut out the floorpan and weld in some new pieces? I don't really want to go this far unless it is absolutely necessary but I want this to last at least another 10 years. Does my first idea seem like a good idea for the repair? Also, if there is still a leak coming in from the pad under the firewall, where should I check for sealing purposes? I have not ruled out that some of the water was getting in this way.

Thanks for reading my post.
...
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

I think rust converter should be used prior to any filler used.

THe smallest spec of rust, no matter how well encapsulated by paint or body filler will continue to rust.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

If you want the fix to last then use POR-15 and POR-15 POR-PATCH to fill holes. Extra fine mesh fiberglass cloth can be embedded in either of those POR-15 products to increase strength.

Of all the supposed rust fixes out on the market that do not involve acid dips and hot galvanize only POR-15 works long term. POR-15 http://www.por15.com/

You do not have to get all the old rust off either but on the outside you do have to remove the undercoating so the POR-15 will bond to the bare metal, high speed rotary cup wheel on angle grinder works very well for this. That would work well on the onside but it makes a huge mess. Needle scaler is less mess. Either one will require ear protection.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

Thank you both for the replies. I will be looking into the POR products for this repair. However, I have noticed that my car is still leaking. The water appears to be coming in from the firewall somewhere under the rubber insulating mat. Is there some way to remove this mat? I have been trying to get it out with no success. The bottom of this mat is wet and moldy and a stream of water is flowing down into the floorpan. Where should I be looking as far as a place that the water might be coming into the car? I think it is a result of the drain just under the windshield that is in the engine compartment. I need to make sure to end the leaks if I want my new carpet to last.
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Old 06-14-2015, 01:11 PM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

Check that both cowl drains are open, those are the flat rubber drains up near the top of the cowl on the engine side. On the cowl proper is the sealing rubber on the front lip in place, oval foam collar with screen glued down on right side. The are a pair of 50 cent piece depressions on both the right and left side of the cowl that must have a rectangular piece of body seam tape covering the pick points for the robot welder to position the upper cowl structure.

Along the top edge of the insulation you are talking about are several screw nuts that hold it in place, once removed it will come out and can be dried out. Every edge seam under that mat is razor sharp.

If this does not make any sense post some pictures.

I repaired a several square inch series of weld burn holes in the bottom of a 25 gallon diesel fuel tank that is mounted in a CAT 212 grader with POR-15, POR-Patch, and fine weave fiberglass cloth better than 5 years ago and it is in fine shape and holding fuel continuously. These are the only products like this on the market at any price.
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

There is a TSB about water running down the interior surface of the firewall

It is probably worth reading if someone has a link to it:
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

That little gem was updated to cover 91-02 S-Series. I have it captured as a 600K pdf file so it is not easily posted here. I will scan it so it is available later today. If you have an ALL Data subscription it will be in that as well.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

I've had good luck painting rusted metal AFTER cleaning:
In order to remove salts/ions from the mess , (after brush/sand off most rust),
wash the surface with fresh tap water and a little (hand)dishwasher detergent.
Then rinse/flush repeat wash ... . then final rinse with pure water (distilled/DI/RO).

>>>> But the POR isn't as demanding , i think.

I always patch holes after painting(protective coating) both sides , with like fender washers held by bolt/nut. the washers+nut/bolt all submerged in GE silicone RTV (from Home Depot , not autoparts).

Also consider using RTV as final 'undercoating' over paint:
The rtv can be squirted into small container (like tuna can) , and it can be diluted a bit with mineral spirits or Xylene. Do not attempt to dilute with paint unless perform test! The slightly dilute RTV can now be painted on with a cheap fiber 'chip' brush , conveniently , and will dry overnight.

--- May need clean out the Cowl Vent area .Mine got a paint job too. Also grommets suspect. But OldNuc prolly right on target about the drains.

/// After painting + RTV-ing my cockpit floorpan , i laid down a few commercial plastic garbage bags under the carpet to capture any fluids that might be incurred... .

Last edited by TomM96; 06-15-2015 at 03:11 AM. Reason: fergat un
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

I am finally getting around to fixing this. I just ordered the POR-15 floorpan and trunk kit to fix the rust and holes in the floor. I also ordered POR-Patch and I will be looking for places to seal around the firewall while I have the dashboard removed. I am going to make sure to document the procedure and upload it for future reference for anyone that might be interested in how to fix a rusty floor. Hopefully I can get it going within the next 2-3 weeks.

I had hoped to get this finished earlier in the summer but my wife bought an older Subaru Legacy 5-speed with a bad front differential that needed a bunch of TLC. No matter how much I tried I couldn't convince her to get a SW2. However, I am definitely not in danger of becoming a traitor for the Subaru. The SC2 is so much more fun to drive and a lot less complicated to work on.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

FYI
POR-Patch can be positioned with a plain old chip brush to a tin coat. Once it cures it is impervious to just about anything except UV and high heat. Be sure to top coat with a UV proof coating, even on the floor pan.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

POR15 is the bomb, but be warned, if that crap gets on your skin, it's like truck bed liner - you'll have to "wear" it off. Any kind of soap out there won't come close to taking it off, and you'll get a lot of funny comments from your friends and co workers on why your hands are covered in black specs...

Wear old, long sleeved clothes you wouldn't mind tossing in the trash afterwards. And latex gloves. Good latex gloves...
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

MEK or acetone before it starts to cure. Do not get it under your fingernails. You want the Pro-Guard neoprene over latex flock lined gloves, or acceptable substitute. There is a glove commonly call an "autopsy" glove that is perfect for this job. The plain latex just dissolves.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

>> "autopsy" glove

Yer killin' me !
I also know a plumber who wears 'artificial insemination gloves' when doing toilets !!!
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Old 12-11-2015, 02:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

That is what they are called right on the box. You can find nitrile (Buna-N) gloves which do better in chemicals at reasonable prices and they are on Amazon & eBay
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:17 AM   #15
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

I received the POR-15 floor pan and trunk repair kit in the mail a few days ago. I blocked off two days of my schedule for this repair on 1/5 and 1/6. However, in the time that my SC2 sat since this spring the rust has become worse. I have some pictures of it but this brings me to a new question as to the right way to approach the repair. For the holes that go straight through the floor--I plan on cutting back the undercoating and sanding this area to attack the rust from both sides.

Now I have a new problem...there are now some holes that do not go straight through the floor but end up in the frame rails. I know that if I do not treat the rust on the underside of the floor that it will continue to rust. I think I know the correct answer on how to proceed but I want to make sure others are thinking the same thing before I go about something I regret. I don't want to cut up the frame rails--I have a welder but I do not have a place to hook it up, nor do I have the skill to fix it. My next best guess would be to cut a hole in the floor big enough that I could get a paint brush in there to get POR-15 on the rust in that area. Does this sound like the best way to approach this problem? I just want to get an idea before I start such that I can work efficiently on the two days I have already set aside for the repair.

Here are some images of what the rust looks like now:





I managed to get the rubber mat attached to the firewall out of the car. It was wet--mostly on the bottom along the seam. I plan on going over the whole seam with POR-Patch once I remove the dashboard and can get in there better.

Thanks again for looking and for your input.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:19 AM   #16
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

Just cut open sufficiently to get a modified brush in there to POR-15 coat it. Be sure to re-undercoat the bottom when all done to seal any seams on that floor rail.
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

can't a body shop just weld in a new floor section? how can you get rid of all that rust? ya gotta figure the floor is weakened by all that rust. must have been a nasty leak...
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnsctwo View Post
can't a body shop just weld in a new floor section? how can you get rid of all that rust? ya gotta figure the floor is weakened by all that rust. must have been a nasty leak...
The leak doesn't have to be that nasty. A few years of dampness trapped under the carpet 24/7 will eventually win the day. I agree that the strength of the floor, which is integral to the structural integrity of the space frame, is compromised. I wouldn't even bother fixing that if it was mine.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by VUEmaniac View Post
The leak doesn't have to be that nasty. A few years of dampness trapped under the carpet 24/7 will eventually win the day. I agree that the strength of the floor, which is integral to the structural integrity of the space frame, is compromised. I wouldn't even bother fixing that if it was mine.
you would think you would smell a musty smell if the carpet was wet that long. I wouldn't fix that as well, not worth it. too bad..... for what it would cost to repair it the right way you might as well invest the money in a car in better condition. of course if it's repaired by just sanding off the loose rust & slopping the holes with bondo then it would be cheap repair, but a weak structure...
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: Floorpan Rust Repair

The S-Series is plastic...it can't rust out. You're seeing things, time to make an appointment with an Optometrist.

IMO I'd fix it by replacing the floor pans, not patching over what's there. My boss/co-boss had rust repair done on his truck, didn't look that bad on the painted side...holy crap on the unpainted side (attached images). Not sure which side you're seeing...could be the good side...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (78.5 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (97.5 KB, 40 views)
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