|1999 Rover 800 825 V6 Coupe with Rusty Wheel Arches|
Car: 1999 Rover 800 825 V6 Coupe
Colour: Zircon Silver
Often the first place to get attacked by the Rust Bug on the Rover 800's is usually the wheel arches! The condition of which will depend on how often the owners have cleaned them out, particularly with the rears ones, as these can gather quite a build up with of dirt & muck.
This Rover 800 Coupe had bubbling paint on the rear arches. It was beginning to look, as though the rear arches themselves were already reaching a state of disrepair! The bubbling paint was almost reaching out on to the main body, so it was time something was done about the problem.
The front arches on the car also seemed to have a problem. Every time the car was washed, the front arches had flakes of rust/paint coming off them! Due to the angles at which passersby see under the front arches, this problem had also been avoided! ...and the bubbling was also about to be visible on the front wings if it was left to continue.
Normally when repairing any areas of rust, the area would have to be cleaned of all loose and flaking material/rust. Then the rust would have to be treated, before the area was refilled, then levelled and painted.
This time the option was taken to use POR15 Rust Preventive Paint. Not only can this be painted directly onto rusted surfaces, but it seals the rust permanently!
The car was raised at the rear, so that both rear wheels could be removed and then the rear arches could both be done at the same stages of the process, as this would save time. Then the car would be turned round so the front arches could both be worked on together. With space permitting, all four wheels would have been removed at once.
The photos above show the process carried out on the rear drivers side wheel arch, but was the same for all four of the arches. (The only difference being the front arches have a plastic inner arch which had to be removed and refitted).
The first photo above, shows the rear drivers side wheel arch after the bubbling silver paint had been removed with the aid of a scraper, to expose the rust underneath. The metal itself was not in as bad a condition as the bubbling paint had suggested, and was still quite well shaped, once all the loose paint and rust had been removed.
Rather than going to all the trouble of using a drill with a wire brush attachment to get the whole arch down to bear metal, before straightening, filling, smoothing, then trying to spraypaint and merge the paint back into the original paint without going out onto the main body work, it was decided to simply use some POR15 paint brushed on the rusty bits and take it from there!
The area was masked off, so that the rusty bits were left exposed. Grey POR15 was then applied directly on to the rust. It attaches better to rust than it does to smooth metal and it dries to a rock-hard non-porous finish, that won't chip, crack or peel and also prevents rust from reoccurring. Another coat was applied and the masking tape was removed shortly afterwards, before the paint set hard permanently!
This was smoothed over with some wet & dry paper the next day. The finish was not 100% smooth, but a totally smooth finish was not wanted. The slightly mottled effect would hopefully help to hide the unevenness of the arch in general, and a totally smooth finish would require trickier final painting, whereas this could now all be painted in layers and a definite edge to the paint should not really matter, as it would only be on the arch and not on the wing, and therefore not that noticeable on the rear arches, and would be unnoticeable on the front ones. & Where the paintwork can be seen on the rear arches, it might look like a specially re-enforced coating (...eer, hopefully!).
The rear of the car was masked under and around the arches, before two coats of primer were sprayed on, followed by two coats of Zircon Silver paint, then two coats of lacquer. The outer edge of masking tape was replaced/moved slightly between the paints, so that each paint was fully covered by the next. This also helped to reduce the definite edge effect!
The masking tape was then removed to check the results. Happy with the finished arches, the newspaper was then removed from the inner arches, and these were then also treated to some POR15 paint, then once dried top coated with Car Underbody Seal/Waxoil paint. They looked fine inside beforehand, but this would hopefully prevent any possible reoccurrence.
Finally all the newspapers were removed and the rear wheels put back on.
The same process was then carried out on the front wheel arches as well. The front leading edges of the side sills were also in need of repair as they are exposed most to whatever comes up off the tyres.
The end result was most pleasing.