Since my van was a fairly cheap purchase it came with a couple issues. Primarily, there was the smoke smell the permeated the interior, but because of the intense moisture of the UP there were a few spots of rust on the outside of the van.
In order to prevent the rust from spreading, I wanted to treat it and some way. This would also make the van look slightly less creepy and junky, after all it’s already suffering enough from me sleeping in the back.
Most of the time people would take their car to an auto body shop. I however, have too much of a can do attitude and a lack of expendable cash. Following this instructable as an outline, I attempted to fix up the vansion a bit.Starting off, I primarily chipped off any loose metal and paint flakes to get an estimate of whether I was dealing with surface rust or something that had eaten through the outside of the van. Each would be a different beast and require different weapons to fight.
After assessing the damage, I masked off the area I would be working on. I then sand the areas down to as bare of metal as possible and sprayed a rubberizing spray over the rust.. For the areas that were eaten though or heavily pocketed, I used some wire mesh and Bondoed over it, trying to smooth the Bondo to be as level with the surrounding metal. For the rust spots that didn’t require the filler, I just prayed the rubberizing agent over the area.
While working with the filler, I had an amusing experience. I was working late at night sitting at the gas door. I heard some shuffling near the hood of the van that caught my attention. As I swung my headlamp beam in that direction, a skunk rounded the front wheel, its eyes flashing as it turned it’s head in both directions. Its tail rose as I rose and sprinted in the opposite direction. Fortunately I didn’t get sprayed.
I sanded the filler down, trying to make it flush with the metal. I was ultimately unsuccessful in this, but I didn’t care too much- I just wanted to ensure the rust wasn’t exposed to the elements anymore.After finishing the sanding, sprayed over the area with an automotive paint that was supposed to match. Like I expected, there’s a bit of difference in the tint, but not bad. The van has character anyways.