Reason # 7239 why I hate winter . . . . yes we do body-work too.
Last spring when I was washing off the winter grime some of the paint came off the lower end of the fenders on my wife's VW. Seems they were rotting out from the inside. So on Saturday I figured it was time to tackle the nightmare.
Why does this happen? Piss-poor design. The plastic wheel well liner traps sand and mud behind it. That layer there is about twelve inches tall and about an inch thick. And you don't know it is there until you remove the wheel and the wheel well liner.
Time to get serious and yank the fender to work on it properly and clean the front end of the rocker pannel.
Which was also quite corroded
That is what came off the passenger side fender
A couple hours work with a steel brush on a drill gets me to bare clean steel.
And the driver's side looks just as bad so it gets the same tratment.
Remove that fender too, and grind on it for a couple hours, mask it off and hit it with Permatex Rust-Prep from NAPA. Essentially phosphoric acid in a spray can. Turns all remaining rust in to magnetite an inert element that won't rust.
Passenger side gets the same treatment. Note how it turns black. That is the magnetite part.
Inside of the fender gets the same treatment.. good enough for Saturday. Time to call it a day and let the rust converter do its thing.
Next morning hit the inside of the fender with self etching primer and then rubberized undercoating.
Rocker panels get the same treatment
Then line the inside of the fender with Bituthane (Bituminous-Urethane) AKA Ice and Water Shield
Which while adding some more protection inside, provides me some backing on the Swiss cheese steel to . . . .
Apply some Bondo (body filler for yous fureiners)
A bit of sanding and some gray primer makes it look good enough . . .
To coat with some more rubberized undercoating.
Sunday 5 pm got the refinished fenders installed and adjusted so all trim lines look even. There that should hold for a while. Don't know what a body shop would have charged for the job but I figure that it makes a fairly decent 13th anniversary present for Annie.