Restoring an older car can be a fun and rewarding project, but you my run into problems with rust. Fortunately, there are things you can do to remove rust that has already formed and prevent the vehicle from rusting more. Use these tips as you begin restoring your vintage car to keep it looking its best.
If the body of the vehicle has surface rust, it can be removed by gently scraping away larger portions of the rust. Lighter layers of rust can be sanded away using a fine-grit sandpaper. For more serious rust problems, you can buy a rust removal product. These products are typically applied to the rusty area, and they should be kept on for several hours. The instructions on the container will tell you how long to leave the remover on for. In some cases, you may need to apply the removal product more than once to achieve the desired effect. When it is removed, you should see a significant portion of the rust removed. You can then sand away any remaining bits.
Apply Rust Inhibitor Spray
Rust inhibitor spray protects the bare metal on your car, which helps to prevent the formation of more rust. You should use this product after removing existing rust from the vehicle to achieve the desired results. Use this product before painting your vehicle, as it might not be able to prevent rust from forming if it is not applied directly to the metal. Follow the instructions on the spray to ensure the product has time to set before you decide to prime and paint the vehicle.
Replace Damaged Parts
In some cases, rust can be so severe that the integrity of the vehicle's body can be compromised. If rust has created holes in the body, you'll want to replace these parts. You can source replacement doors, hoods, trunk lids, and quarter panels from a local junkyard, or for cars that are more rare, you can look for after-market replacement parts. You'll need to decide if having all-original parts is a priority for you. If so, you may want to work with local vintage car enthusiast groups to source original parts for a rare vehicle. Be sure to treat the new parts with rust inhibitor spray so they stay protected from rust as well.
If you are concerned about handling rust removal on your own, you can take your vehicle to a body shop that specializes in older vintage or classic cars. This is a good option for antique cars, which may have brittle or delicate bodies that require extra care or attention.