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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle
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Rust repair

I just bought a 75 2.0. I thought I had checked it over pretty good, even looking for the dreaded rot under the battery area. Well, it's worse than I thought. Looks like I'll be doing some major cleanup, and welding in a bunch of new sheet metal.

Anyone been through this? I'm hoping it's not a lost cause. I need to learn more about the structure of the unibody in this area to make sure I get it rebuilt strong and right. Looking forward to your input...
Old 01-28-2005, 08:48 AM
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The good news is that most of the metal panels that you'll need to do the rust repair are available though places like the Pelican Catalog or Restoration Design. Restoration Design also has some pictures of the typical rust repairs needed for the 914. Good luck.
Old 01-28-2005, 09:03 AM
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After more poking around underneath the car (under battery box area), a piece came loose and exposed quite a lot of rust damage over a pretty big area, visible from the bottom.

It's one thing to have rusty sheet metal on a strong frame, but... Is the structural integrity of the unibody vulnerable to serious weakening here? Is driving it going to put stress on it that might cause more serious damage?

I don't mind a project. My son and I are into it. But I did want to drive it as I go. I was hoping to save the major work for later when I do an engine swap and have good access to everything.

Again, appreciate any feedback.
Old 01-28-2005, 10:38 AM
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Randy, from the way you are explaining how you want drive the car, i would drop the motor, do the rust repair, and put the motor back in and enjoy the car for a while before you do an engine swap.

Obviously doing everything at once is ideal, but the reality (unless you have major $$$ burning a whole in your pocket) is that it will turn into a 4 month + project. You can only do one thing at a time, and getting into everything at once will most likely leave you scattered and wondering where the years went.

The "while i'm in there" is a notable one, but the great thing about these cars is how easy everything comes apart (compared to newer cars). With a right rear frame rail thats close to waisted, I figure with a few hours a night and some hardcore time on the weekends should get the rust taken care of in about a month. Then put the motor back in, and enjoy the work you and your son accompleshed. Then, when your ready, do the motor.

Have fun!
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'73 914ish ->6ish GTish 2.8 twin plug mfi... happy camper.
Old 01-28-2005, 11:02 AM
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Keep an eye on your door gap while doing repairs in this area. Tack your repair in first, check everything two or three times then keep checking as your welding the repair in. I have a tool I made that is a life saver. It has two plates that mount where the door latch and top door hindge go. To the plates is welded two pieces of round stock with a turn buckle in the center. I have one for each side and even a like tool that goes across the cab at an angle to take out twist. Good luck in your repairs. Feel free to e-mail me wth questions or used body parts
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:21 AM
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Don't you worry, this car is my new purchase..and this is what i found.


http://www.9xxfin.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1795
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:27 AM
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I think it can be done a LOT faster than 4+ months. A friend and I did the tray and the inner-wall in a weekend. (He was a good welder, but that's the fastest part.)

914gem is right, and I know the type of jig he made...good stuff, and can REALLY help with the process of making sure everything is kosher.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. After more inspection, I don't think my rust problem is quite as bad as I feared. Zendalar, you definitely got me beat!

I'm going to drive it casually/occasionally for now. Pretty soon I'll drop the motor and get the rust repaired. Then I can look forward to really driving it for a while before tackling the motor upgrade.

Now I have to work through some electrical problems. Yay.
Old 02-02-2005, 04:04 PM
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