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Discussion Starter #1
Our Nova was a California car and had nearly zero rust (just the floor pans!) and was straight as an arrow 4 years ago. Two years ago we got it to the paint stage and paid a local shop to do the body prep and paint. We changed the car from silver to a burnt orange color and stayed with a 1 step laquer finish.

In working on the drivetrain this month, we notice rust bubbles at the bottom of the front fender, driver's side, just behind the wheel! Geez!

I guess we will have to grind them out, fill, and repaint the fender. Hope we can match the paint!!

Any suggestions on how to handle such a small area with the car already painted? The grinding will take away metal. What is a good filler for re-building up the base?

Would a base and clear coat paint job helped prevent this?
 

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While I can't say for sure on other years the reason my 74 had rust bubbles and rot showing up on the rear outer wheel opening lips (and also behind the rear bumper filler panel) was the factory applied some type of foam sealer between the panel lips in those area's and from what I can tell it retains moisture which over time rots out the metal.
Normally what you see as rust bubbles or rot on the outside finish of the car is just the tip of the iceberg. Most panel rot starts on the backside and since it's not something that evenly rots out the panel eventually you see a little pin hole or small rust bubble in the outside finish of the car. The area around this small hole is also thin but not thin enough that it may have affected the finish on the car. Further away from this rot you should eventually get into steel that is pretty close to the original thickness and not thinned from rusting.
Below are some pictures of a relations car. While most of the car so far has pretty good to work with (and it's a midwest car but we think it led a sheltered life) it still had this one spot that I cut open to find out the extent of the damage and the minimum amount I needed to repair. What was seen on the outside turned into a bigger problem as seen from the backside.

http://hometown.aol.com/krystaldesigns/DartPage3.html

On my 74 with the new quarters, outer wheelhousings, and taillight panels all welded on I applied a rust peventative to the backside to stop or at least slow down any future rust. Time will tell with any repair but I feel confident with what I did. I could have replaced just some portions of the outer wheel opening lips but I knew Murphy would show up later and I would either have rust bubbles appearing or some other rot close to the area's I had repaired.

Jim
 

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Just wondering, how much did you pay for the prep and paint job?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, that was 2 years ago, but I believe it was in the $5000 range.

The sad part was this guy does some fantastic work for the show cars in the area. To help hold down costs, he agreed to let Matt learn about the necessary work by letting him do some sanding and prep work. We were doing our part, but he kept dragged the schedule out until Matt had conflicts with school and sports (since he was in h.s. then) and then we got a marginal job. There are a couple sags and some interesting little round circles in the paint that he blamed on silicon, and some needless overspray here and there.

For the money and time spent, I(we) should have done the work ourselves. There was a great primer article in Car Craft just a couple months ago about the steps to take to turn your garage into a paint booth, the equipement to use, and the techniques. For what we got, it was worth the gamble. The only thing we got out of it that was beyond our ability was him adding two wide black racing stripes over the car. I wouldn't have known the dimensions to use.
 

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it will be hard to tell what has happened until you get into it....behind the wheel sounds like this is a car thats driven, and perhaps in the rain and maybe often....could have a small lip that collected water and caused that....maybe he used something other than epoxy primer which may or may not have helped in this situation
 
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