Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

New to the forum, but I've browsed as a guest before. I was looking for an Outback wagon for awhile, and landed on the Impreza Outback Sport Wagon when I got a fantastic deal in a private sale. Thus far, the car has been amazing.

The only issue I've had (and knew about beforehand) is the rusting on the body panels behind both rear wheels. As you can see from the pictures, it's quite advanced. I'm aware that at this point, there's not a whole lot I can do about it apart from replacing the panel itself, but the panel is enormous and I think part of the frame, so not worth replacing. I'm really just looking to manage the issue at this point, ideally to stop it from spreading, particularly in the image where you can see the rust has eaten through a few layers and it holds water.

My question: is there any (ideally cheap and simple) products or fills I can apply to slow the rust down and fill in the small hole that's appeared? I envision some kind of insulation-like spray would be the most convenient, but that may just be a pipe dream of mine.

I also live in Canada, in a region where we get immense humidity in the summer, frequent thaws in the winter, and mass amounts of salt on the roads. Something that could protect against that is also a boon..

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,391 Posts
no, the metal needs to be cut out and repaired. you can cut the metal out - and then tack weld or even sheet metal screw a piece of metal in place and paint it to match. it's not too terribly difficult actually to do those two things and while it's not perfect it gets rid of the rust, looks better than those pictures you posted, and doesn't cost $2,000 like a body shop show room repair.

i've posted pictures of a real hack job i did - and it doesn't look great but again it's the same color, no holes, and the rust is gone. doesn't look bad, better than rust holes that'll be back next year.

if the rust is present - it's going to come back. anything kind of filler or patch only encapsulates the rust and a foam would likely trap more moisture. if the rust is there - it's coming back.
 

·
Registered
2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
Joined
·
717 Posts
I agree with Grossgary on the repair. There is no short fix to what you want, that won't come right back, only worse.

Part of the problem is that black plastic trim piece that goes around the wheel arch. It traps the salt and moisture that started your problem. Why Subaru uses it leaves me scratching my head.

Find a backyard body shop that can cut out the bad metal, form up some new sections, weld them in place, and then prime them and blow in that section of the panel. Tell him you want a decent job that's structurally sound and will last, but doesn't need to pass a close showroom inspection.

I can't project a price, because it'll vary on where you get the job done, and who does the work. I have a shop near me that does bodywork for around $50 an hour and paint work for $75 or so an hour. Be prepared for $500 or more, but you may find some one who can do it for less. Just be careful that the body man doesn't cut out the bad metal, and simply fills in the hole with a gob of plastic body filler. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
Joined
·
717 Posts
Just to clarify further.

The really good body shops will quote a price that will be out of your price range. They have a reputation to protect, and they won't want to do the job the way you want, simply because they know that down the road, someone will ask you "who did the work?" They won't want their name associated with a less than perfect fix.

You don't want the fly by night guys either, because they'll just knock out the rust, put in a mile of filler, sand it and spray bomb it, and still charge you a fair chunk of change. Unfortunately, both fenders will look the same way they do now or worse, in less than a year's time.

See if you can't find an apprentice body man, who can do the fix in his backyard garage. Or, maybe there's a high school auto shop/body shop in your neck of the woods that would welcome a small challenge. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Cool, thanks for the tips, guys.

One thing I'm wondering: If I remove the rust myself, spray a crap-tonne of rust inhibitor in the opening, and then use fill + tremclad style auto paint, would that work as a stop-gap solution while I look for the right body guy?
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
Cool, thanks for the tips, guys.

One thing I'm wondering: If I remove the rust myself, spray a crap-tonne of rust inhibitor in the opening, and then use fill + tremclad style auto paint, would that work as a stop-gap solution while I look for the right body guy?
Not really... I mean yeah it will look better for a week or a month, but it will still be rusting. It's just more crap to scrape off when you get around to actually fixing it- and that might matter if you are paying someone else to do that work.

You don't have to replace the whole panel, you can do just a little more than what is missing from your car.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top