Fixing auto body rust?

I have a '68 Plymouth Fury play car. It runs beautifully, and the body is basically straight. However, of late, it’s been showing little surface rust spots on the paint; the chrome is perfect. Since I don’t want to spend the $$ right now to do a really good paint job, I’d like to fix these spots before they get really corroded.

Before I go to the auto parts store & load up on cheesy advice & various products, can someone give me any tips?


Well, I’m not an expert or anything, but if you sand off the rust and get a canister of primer from an autobody shop, that should easily halt the rust and prep the surface for the eventual painting.
That’s what I would do…

Thanks, Stpendous man (love the handle!) I thought that too, but I’ve also heard that primer is fairly porous & unless painted over, the metal underneath will continue rusting as soon as moisture penetrates the primer.

I’m a painting contractor, and know that there are products out there that will stabilize the rust & absolutely prevent future corrosion. There is such a dizzying array of products in the auto parts store, I wanted to get some practical advice before starting to whale away on La Chalupa Grande!

There is a chemical that is usually bought in pints, that reacts and changes characteristics of rust. The powder rust stage is the optimum condition for application. The rust and metal will turn dark grey or black. Hardcore preservationists will treat all the sheet metal on their car with this. The solution was once around $15-$20 a pint. Any automotive paint and products supplier worth his acrylic enamel should immediately recognise this by description.

There are some aerosol cold-galvanizing sprays that are good for your needs as well.

General info: two categories are rust remover (Naval Jelly) and rust converter (of the phosphoric acid and tannic acid variety).

There are a couple of brands of tannic acid converter out there that are mixed with a latex primer: turns rust into black shiny plastic. If you don’t want latex primer on your vehicular sheet metal avoid this type. There are varieties of tannic converter without the added latex.

As with any surface treatment topcoating with regular primer is necessary to prevent further corrosion.

OP said little spots…You should be able to get a little bottle of rust stop at the store (it comes with an applicator in a black bottle). It turns rust black so you know its working. This is fine for small spots. I used it & the rust spots havent got any bigger in four years.

Aha. I think it’s the stuff that turns rust black that I’m thinking of! There’s a brand “Hammerite” that’s made for architectural coatings; I’ve used it & it works great on wrought iron & such.

This arms me with a bit more info, thanks!

Take my advice: If you want it fixed just spend the money and get it fixed at a body shop. Backyard body work is a complete waste of time and only makes things worse. Otherwise, just forget about it and let it rust.

Hail Ants has it. Do it right now, or you’ll pay more to re-do it later. The bottom line is how much to you value your car? What’s it worth to you to have it done right?

So far the best advice comes from Hail Ants
First you have to determine where the rust is coming from. The front because of a scratch,which is easy to fix or the back indicating a larger problem. Did the paint “bubble”? That indicates rust from behind.
While rust converter seems like a good idea I’ve not had really good results with it.In order to get a good paint job you’ll have to sand most of it off.