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Hi all,

I’m looking at a 70 nova tonight that’s all original and seems to be in really good shape (Arizona car) but it’s my first time checking out a car and i’m wondering where to check for rust. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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... I’m wondering where to check for rust.
See link below.
You can also bring a magnet with you to place on any area of the finished/painted sheet metal to see if body filler is hidden below.
  • If the magnet sticks to the sheet metal, that is a good sign.
  • If the magnet does not stick to the sheet metal, that is a bad sign of some body filler in that area.
NOTE: Be very careful not to scratch any painted surface of the car when doing the magnet checks.
 

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Front and rear window channels are a good place to start. If those are rusted out our have rust holes, that means it has allowed water to get inside the other panels and almost guaranteed rust will be found in the inner panel areas. Check around the rear wheel wells on the quarter panels. Water drips from quarter windows and trunk rails and makes its way down in there over time. If that area is bad you might end up having to replace the entire quarters and that can lead into a whole other topic of having all required tools to replace entire panels.

Good luck!

TM
 

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another place to look close at is were the A an B columns met at the rockers. also look at the bottom of door panel edges an all frame connections.
 

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Everything above plus where the dash meets the windshield and the rear deck filler below the rear window. Holes in the floor covered by carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just checked the car out an hour ago. Quarter panels all looked good from inside and out, trunk looked good inside except there was some rust all around where the weatherstripping goes (it was pretty corroded) but overall pretty solid from what I could tell. It was a 1970 all original 250 6 cylinder but the guy wanted too much for it I think. He got it shipped from Arizona last summer but hadn't had any time to fix it up the way he wanted it so it's just sat since then. He is firm on selling it for $22,500 CAD. It would need a lot more $$ to make it a safe solid driver I'd imagine. So now my $22,500 car is potentially a $27,500 car. Seems a little high, no?
 

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Sounds high to me. What condition is the car in? Does it run and drive? Does it need tires and brakes? How is the paint and interior?
 

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Sounds high to me. What condition is the car in? Does it run and drive? Does it need tires and brakes? How is the paint and interior?
Exterior condition was good. It had some dings for sure but I kinda like the look of it being around the block. Tires were good, brakes were original drum brakes, and interior was great except the dash had cracking all along the top. As for it driving.. I couldn't even take it for a test drive because the guy wasn't even there. His dad showed it to me because he wouldn't be able to get there till the weekend. Regardless I'm sure he's going to sell it for his price and pretty quickly. Not too many novas come up for sale in my neighbourhood, but when they do, they're gone in a day or two.
 

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Well, location, supply and demand do play a role in the equation. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Check the floor. See if they can put it up with a jack or a lift so you can have a look under it. A few bucks to do so could save you thousands in the future. RifRaf makes a good suggestion about magnets. I use one of the many refrigerator weak magnets RockAuto has sent me when I go to look at a car. If there's body putty or bondo the magnet won't hold it's own weight and fall off. Look for evidence of places where the frame has been cut or straightened or heated or repaired; some body work and panel replacement takes welding, heating or cutting, and there might be evidence.

Seriously, being very thorough on the front end for body damage and rust will pay off in the end.
 

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What are your plans for the car? You gonna keep it original or are you thinking of dropping an eight cylinder into it. You need to figure the cost of the mods you might want to make too.
 

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If you get into replacing panels, even trunk gutter sections, you have to start factoring in sheet metal work. Do you have a welder? Do you have a compressor, tools, etc? After you complete the metal work, can you shoot new primer, paint, clear coat? I'f not, what are your local shops charging for paint? It can add up extremely fast.

22k+ is ( in my opinion) way too high if body work/sheet metal work has to be done.

TM
 

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What are your plans for the car? You gonna keep it original or are you thinking of dropping an eight cylinder into it. You need to figure the cost of the mods you might want to make too.
I just want a driver to cruise around in. Eventually over time I'd probably put a V8 into it, but that's not priority. Just want something solid that will be fun to drive while I slowly chip away at making it a safe and reliable car.
 

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If you get into replacing panels, even trunk gutter sections, you have to start factoring in sheet metal work. Do you have a welder? Do you have a compressor, tools, etc? After you complete the metal work, can you shoot new primer, paint, clear coat? I'f not, what are your local shops charging for paint? It can add up extremely fast.

22k+ is ( in my opinion) way too high if body work/sheet metal work has to be done.

TM
I do have tools but I don't think it needs any body work. I'd be S.O.L. if I had to do that stuff. I'm looking for a solid car to hopefully avoid all that, but I passed on this one. I think there is a better deal out there. TBD though!
 

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Personally Watt, I think you made the right choice. Using your head now will protect your wallet from over-exhaustion.
At $22K CDN with what you described and what the guys here have offered you likely dodged a bullet, if I remember earlier conversations where you described your current capabilities. Having said that, many of us learned new skills as we re-built but you have honestly (respect that) stated you'd be S.O.L.and you're looking for something to cruise. That's being honest with yourself.
Keep looking, reading and saving! It'll fall in your lap when it's time.
 

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Sounds to me like the seller is trying to get back some of the exchange he paid when he brought the car from Arizona.
Passing on this one was a good decision.

Bob
 

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I second AllyMc, the initial appraisal is Crucial. Look at the build threads on here, most of the the problems are rust repair. A wise option is simply to buy a car that the owner has stuck a ton of money in, that is close to what you want. $30k will buy you a pretty nice car, IMHO.
 

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Hi all,

I’m looking at a 70 nova tonight that’s all original and seems to be in really good shape (Arizona car) but it’s my first time checking out a car and i’m wondering where to check for rust. Any help would be appreciated!
To look for rust on a car is the back lower quarter panel the front lower quarter panel and around your drip rails that's floorboards but for it being an Arizona car you shouldn't have that much rust
 

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Water sinks to the lowest level. Water rusts stuff. It likes to stay under carpet and mats, so look at the floor, under the carpet and under the car, in the trunk area. It likes to stay under cracked or old window rubber, so look at the lower corners of window rubber. Lower parts of the car. Look at the lip where wheel openings are and at the underside and Lower corners of doors. If you suspect repainting and bondo work, take a weak magnet with you. If it sticks to steel but falls off where you suspect work's been done: body filler (bondo).
 

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I bought a tool a while back which has come in handy many a time so far and it's an inspection camera.

I used it to view inside the trunk drop off sides on my 68, used it to view up into the rockers, used it to see timing marks on my daily driver, and plenty of other things. It plugs into my lap top with a USB end, has a variable brightness lighted end, and some push on ends with one being a mirror on a 45 degree angle, and another with a hook end to possibly hook onto something dropped into a hard to access spot.









The tool also has very decent clarity:



Jim
 
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