Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 73 SS Hatchback that has a trunk rusting issue.

I would like to ask for suggestions on different ways to fix this issue.

At present I have no welding machine or the money to buy something that will be used for a short time. Tonight I am searching the net for a aftermarket replacement pan. If they even make one.

I discovered that some '73 parts are are hard to get.

Is their a way to fix small holes in a trunk floor pan. I was thinking of using something like bondo or fiberglass. Something I could use gradually building up the trunk floor pan.

For the bigger one's. I was thinking on buying sheet metal, cut out a over sized patch and use a good glue / sealant over it?

Below are some photos I took of the trunk.







I am not really worried on making it to look nice just waterproof. I plan on putting my amps their for the sound system in the future. More than likely it will be covered with carpet in the end.

http://www.buddyv.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=nova
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,340 Posts
get a wire wheel and if its not too bad maybe tack welding???

that might be way too much work though...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
872 Posts
trunk

wire wheel it, then put acid on it if theres any rust left, and then use marine tech on it if the holes dont get much bigger then that you will be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
It's like this: There are those whom would mandate replacing the entire pan for a single pinhole of rust. Then there are those whom would be willing to patch a small hole with steel patch. Then there are those whom just want to seal it back up ( for now ).

There is a lot you can do to slow the rust down for now, and replace the pan later. The WORST you can probably do is just smear some bondo body filler over the mess. That is because bondo absorbs water, and causes MORE rust.

You mentioned fiberglass, that is a good option for a 'temporary' repair. For a large hole, use window screen or posterboard to lay across the hole. Then lay the fiberglass on that, and it will lay flat. Otherwise it will 'droop' and look sloppy. In this case temporary is a relative term. I've done fiberglass patches on floorboards which have lasted over ten years.

I like to use an empty oil jug to mix the resin. I cut a side out, wash it with gas or lacquer thinner, and done. A cheap paint brush is great for laying resin down, or poking the glass into nooks and crannys. The instructions say to dip the glass in the resin, but that is messy. I prefer to brush resin on the surface first, then lay the glass down and it will stick in place. Then use the bondo spreader to scoop and lay the resin onto the glass. Use dropcloths and rubber gloves, and clean up will be minimal. Switch out your gloves if they get sticky. Good ventilation is a must.

Another thing: check your turnk seal. If the water is coming in from the lid, then you've got to replace that seal else you'll have more trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Here is another non-welding option. You can wire wheel it real well then use POR-15. For the bigger than pin holes you can lay some fiberglass cloth over the holes after the first coat and paint over it with the second coat and it will dry rock hard. The POR-15 replaces the resin and seals out the rust at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the advice.
I didn't know that bondo will adsorb and hold water.

For the smaller holes would Duraglass suffice?

For the larger ones use the screen as a bridge that firebird77clone suggested?

Also use Duraglass over the larger ones. Would Duraglass over a larger hold eventually crack?

As far under the trunk I need to replace the fuel. So while I have it off I am planning to POR-15 the underside. That way I have a water tight seal.

Firebird77clone the hatch back seal is on back order from Soft Seal. :yes: Thank you very much for the advice.

I shall be posting pictures as I repair the rust.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,502 Posts
It might be a little hoozhwa (Ok a lot) but a buddy of mine bought a Chevelle a few years ago sight unseen and when he was restoring it he called me and asked me why when he pushed on the trunk floor it made a crunching noise. I was baffled so I went over to look at it and found the problem. Someone had layed a replacement floor pan on top of the rotted out one in the car and pieces of rust had gotten in between the two layers to where when you pushed on the topside new metal it made this crunching noise. This was really rigged but didn't look too bad although you could see where the edges of the new floor were somewhat hidden with seam sealer or some type of glue and smoothed out.
The other problem this guy or you might have in doing something like this is the gas tank brackets are welded to the trunk/hatch floor and if it's too far gone you may be driving one day after getting a full tank of gas and have the gas tank break loose and possibly fall out.

Ideally look around to see if a better trunk/hatch floor can be cut out of a donor car. This is what I did for the hatch floor replacement in my 74. It was a lot of work but I wanted to make the repair invisible so I had to spend a lot of time dressing the welds top and bottom and doing other body work to make the repair very hard to see and not have it more easily covered up with a heavy coat of undercoating and such.

Before or after you get the repair done, you need to find out where the water is getting in at and correct this or else your new panel or audio system will not last.

The hatch floor is the same as the coupe and depending on where you make the cuts at to put in the new one you may have to transfer over the hatch floor supports. After I put in my donor floor I had to rework the left side hatchfloor mount by shortening it about 1/4" so the metal panels and hinged lid fit better than originally from the factory.

If you want to look at some pictures, do a search on my webshot.com albums under my user name of " custom_jimmy " or " custom_jim ".

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Before or after you get the repair done, you need to find out where the water is getting in at and correct this or else your new panel or audio system will not last.
The water was coming in from the hatchback window. The original hatch was was cancer ridden. I since found a used hatch with very little rust. Luckily the window was intact due the the fact of the vast amount of filler that was their trying to prevent water leaks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,240 Posts
holes in trunk...

i couldn't open your photos....but if the holes aren't too big some duraglass works well to fill in the bad spots. I then paint over this with SEM rustshield and then you can refinish with other paint. if the holes are big a donor trunk pan or repop unit is the best answer...just remember the gas tank is under the trunk....so be careful with dilling, cutting or welding...I would remove the tank to do the job right.

wilma
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
If all you had were a few pinholes or one spot that you could cut out and patch then yes I'd suggest you do it that way. I looked at your pics and your pan is pretty bad. If you want to fiberglass it and put window screen in it then go for it. Just know you will be doing it over again later. Also if you do go this route, make sure you sandblast to remove all the rust before glassing or it will just continue to get worse. If I were you I would go with the POR 15 and fiberglass mat. Clean you pan and scrape up all the loose scaley stuff. Put a nice wet coat of POR 15 down and then start laying fiberglass mat over the holes and soaking them with POR 15. This will help stop the rust over fiberglass wich will do nothing to help the rust.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,365 Posts
I'm in the replacement camp. I can't tell from the pic how much is actually gone, but you have so many pin holes, it indicates you pan is toast. If you go at it with a wire wheel, any remaining metal would be paper thin.

The real delima is your trunk pan isn't available. You might consider using a 70 - 72 pan, tank straps, and gas tank. I'm not sure how your filler tube is routed though. You have the same frame rails so you would only have to fit it in to the front and back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
Definitely a canidate for replacement.

I like the POR15 / fiberglass suggestion. If you were to do that top and bottom it would probably be strong enough to hold out for a while.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top