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Rust advice

Aug 11, 2015
Central NH
First time posting in ages, I think since the forum crashed a while ago. '79 245, bought it used in 2015 from a now-well known shifty Portland-area dealer who misrepresented the amount of rust on the car. Both buttcheeks were crusty to the point of needing repairs. Hired a local shop to do the work and they didn't really do a great job. Had the car painted in 2017 and couldn't afford to get this repair done again, they cleaned up the previous work a bit but I knew this day was coming. Should've found a way to make it all work at once, but life got in the way. Here I am 6 years later and both buttcheeks are rusted out, driver's side much worse than passenger. Driver's side C-pillar body seam also looking crusty along with a bit of the pinch weld.



I really want to get this done RIGHT so I'm not in this position again in a few years. I've talked to a few shops here in Central NH and haven't found anyone that seems to have even seen a 240 in the last 20 years. I know there might be a bit of handholding here... Choices appear to be -

Find a clean donor 240 and cut out all the metal for a shop to work with (Tricky here in New England)
Purchase expensive Volvo steel from a shop like classicvolvorestoration.com (Top $$$ but I know I'll be getting good material)
Purchase cheap Chinese steel from Rockauto/etc. (Cheap, but maybe these panels are better than expected?)

Looking to see what folks here would do. I know the body seam in particular might be tricky, which makes me wonder if cutting that entire giant section from a good donor car would simplify things for a body shop.
Sorry, I don't know much on this but if you're in northeast maybe use some rust stopping product until you can weld in panels and that. Shouldn't have any issues down the line with it either way. Just a thought and others will have much better advice than me.
The labor is 90% of what those repairs are going to cost you. Get good quality new stampings, or, find a rust free donor car and cut what you need off of it. I have one very clean butt cheek in storage I cut off a donor years ago for this exact purpose. I don't remember which side off hand. It's available. I think I cut it about 2" up into the quarter panel.
I'm in a similar boat. Rotted floors and buttcheeks on a turbo I'm restoring. Plan is to buy a welder, learn how to weld, get a parts car/shell, chop it up, slap it in. I was looking for a shop at first but just finding someone to do the work was a goose chase and too much effort. Good luck. Following.
Rust is the many splendered gift we get here in the rust belt. As mentioned metal work is labor time. So, if you have a shop do the work it can add up quickly. The general rule of thumb is you're only looking at 10% of what you have to repair. Equipping yourself with the tools and supplies needed is a good chunk of $$ but after that you can do the work and save a ton of labor money.

If you just want to cover it for awhile till repairs. Some of the paint over rust paint from Eastwood is a good product. Plus you can use it to paint the areas after repairs to protect from new rust.
Not a permanent fix, but I've been taking my cars to Carrara's Hot Oil Undercoating in Rutland, VT every year.
Though it won't fix the rust, it has seemed to significantly slow it down/prevent new rust spots from forming.
Also, fluid film is a good option for at home (use a spray gun with a gallon container)
I think there is a proprietary oil undercoating made in New Hampshire, but I can't remember the name.