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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I'm back again having repaired some wild rust issues around my rear strut tower.
This is what it looked like (I had a long time ago tried to cover it with bondo before tackling the proper fix):

Water Fluid Bedrock Formation Rock


That whole left hand side ended up being a hole as well and I started with welding in some old mower blades I had lying around (This steel is 3x thicker at least than what Ford used):

Water Landscape Gas Wood Bedrock


I kept on grinding away areas trying to find where the metal becomes quite solid, as of course welding easily burns holes through anything too thin.

Bedrock Brick Font Formation Wood


In this photo above I had started to use some old control arm pieces I had cut to size and slot in below the metal that becomes solid enough.

In this photo below you can see I even used the curve of the control arm to try and mimic the curve of the wheel arch at the rear:

Water Tints and shades Wood Bedrock Electric blue


I'll post some more photos of this side finished soon. It seems I didn't take pics of the final product yet. Probably because after driving a few days. The other side developed this crack...

Automotive tire Hood Road surface Asphalt Tread
 

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I strongly suggest that you find a way to reinforce the piece where the shock absorber mounts, to the frame beam. The wheel well sheetmetal being so thin, I'd be afraid that someday the whole thing will detach from the beam.
Your work is almost a piece of art. :) Once you are done, prep the surface and bondo it again, to make sure that stones will not chip the surface and let the water seep again under the paint.
Have you removed the plastic panels from inside the trunk, to see if there are other problem areas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I strongly suggest that you find a way to reinforce the piece where the shock absorber mounts, to the frame beam. The wheel well sheetmetal being so thin, I'd be afraid that someday the whole thing will detach from the beam.
Your work is almost a piece of art. :) Once you are done, prep the surface and bondo it again, to make sure that stones will not chip the surface and let the water seep again under the paint.
Have you removed the plastic panels from inside the trunk, to see if there are other problem areas?
I appreciate the feedback and I guess someone could construe it as art hahaha.

I have really distributed the shock tower load on that side via connecting each piece from the very back to front. I think it’s quite solid, but time will tell haha. I did actually Bondo over with metal infused bondo and then painted and coated a few times. It looks like this now:

Bedrock Grey Wood Automotive tire Formation

I had removed the plastic on the inside when doing the pictured above side. Everything that was weak was removed and reinforced with new metal.

I may have to do that on the driver side too, as this is my start on how welding pieces in has gone. the sheet metal is proving to be quite thin. So I will have to “build up” more pieces:

Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay here is hopefully a final update on this small project.

I have finished the driver side rear (in a blizzard no less lol)

Here is the almost final stage with the pieces welded on:

Automotive tire Font Automotive wheel system Metal Wood


There are admittedly more gaps than I’d like, and some of the sheet metal was thin in areas. So I may grind down in warmer weather and tack on more pieces at a later time.

I then did the metal infused bondo again. I spread it over everything, even the original parts of the arch I hadn’t touched.
Finally, I primed, painted some coats and then put that canned tar stuff on to match the rest of existing Ford stuff.

Automotive tire Road surface Branch Asphalt Bedrock


this is what it looked like after I drove it to Home Depot to pick up some materials later in the afternoon.
 

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I think that you will not see it break for the rest of its life. I did something similar but with fiberglass, and it still holds fine after 6 years. It includes the area around the gas inlet port. I'm now wasting way too much time on the wheel arches under the plastic edges. Yours does not have those, I think. They are a home for water and salt. When they need to be reworked, no valid sheetmetal remains underneath. I took off an inch of crap, and now I have to redo both the inner and outer sheetmetal around the wheel arch. A quarter-inch opening all round. Gotta close that gap before the snow comes for good. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm hoping this will be the last of me touching major areas of rust. I may find myself doing this again, who knows... I'm mainly using this to get around in rural snow covered roads. I love my civic for the spring to early fall haha
I had tried to get by with just bondo early on. But it became apparent after going on anything bumpy that it was just going to continually crack and be a waste of materials. I suppose your areas you covered were in better shape!
 
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