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2005 S, black, base model
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tge back wheel wells are quickly rusting out. I have sprayed on some rust inhibitor for now, but I need some advice on foing a semi-decent patch job

I dont weld, which makes it harder. I've done minor rust repairs before but not this major

All tips and tricks welcome. Bonus poi ts for future preventative measures
136746
136747
 

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Get another Xterra. Not trying to make a joke, but that thing is gone man. That is some sever rust. The only solution is to cut out all the rust, which will be more than you think, and weld in new clean metal. There are no patch panels for these rigs. You're going to have to find a donor body to cut that HUGE section out of, then graft it in. Even with that said, you're looking at multiple panels joining in one location - not an easy cut, remove and replace.

At that stage, rust inhibitor is just a waste of money unfortunately. It's literally like putting a band aid on an amputated limb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Even if I do get another X, what's to say it wont happen to that one as well? I live in Calgary, Alberta and even though it is dry as hell here, we still get problems with rust. I think it's all the salt on the roads
 

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Very common rust spot for X's in the salty north, I've got a wheel well on the way out as well, not quite as bad as yours though, but it doesnt stop until you cut it all out, it will spread.
A body shop will cut it back to solid metal and weld in panels, the body contours makes it a bit more laborious. Maybe even cost close to what your X is worth, get a quote, who knows...
If you want to backyard it until it dies.... (which is kind of the only cost effective option for a 16 year old vehicle where they use salt... they just dont last without a lot of preventative treatment, which after a while becomes more costly than the vehicle itself....) they youd also have to grind back to bare metal, and fiberglass the shape back. It wont last unless you really do a good job, nor will it look great if you don't have some skill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What about if I find an X at the scrap yard and cut out the bits I need. Then I could find someone to weld them in place for me?
 

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Rust gets me all kinds of nervous twitchy...if the wheel wells are looking like this - what about the entire undercarriage of the Xterra ? It has to be crispy.
 

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Even if I do get another X, what's to say it wont happen to that one as well? I live in Calgary, Alberta and even though it is dry as hell here, we still get problems with rust. I think it's all the salt on the roads
Or you can move! Lolz

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What about if I find an X at the scrap yard and cut out the bits I need. Then I could find someone to weld them in place for me?
That's your only shot. I would get quotes before you do anything tho. They may want to source their own parts.
 

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I recommend regularly pulling the weather strip on each side and cleaning it out at least twice a year. Maybe more if you live in the rust belt
 

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What about if I find an X at the scrap yard and cut out the bits I need. Then I could find someone to weld them in place for me?
If you can find a donor that's in decent enough shape, it's a option. I'd ask around about who's willing to do that first though. also if there's other rust, hard to know where to stop. If you pulled off the rear corner bumper pieces you probably wont like what you see.
 

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If you can find a donor that's in decent enough shape, it's a option. I'd ask around about who's willing to do that first though.
Most junkyards will let you cut sections of the body off. But you can't use anything that gives off sparks, so you're pretty much limited to a battery powered sawzall
 

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Your all technically correct about welding - but it will still just to continue to rust underneath.

My suggestion - get some fiberglass cloth matting and fiberglass resin. They sell it in the body repair section of auto stores - or did 30 years ago when I lived in the rust belt. Its a bit of work - wear nitrile gloves. Grind out the loose stuff. Do a couple layers of matt / resin - let it dry between. Slather some bondo on top, rattle can over it and call it good. You will likely get a couple years.

You could cut out panels, and weld them in. The heat will warp everything. You will have to paint the whole side. Even if you had all the equipment it would take a couple or three days. The patch above will take 3 hours. Your rig isn't worth it. Patch it well enough to hide, and enjoy it while it lasts. Its an off roader anyway, not a showpiece.

As for moving - trust me that is the best suggestion. That is what I did. Honorary Southerner now. I will never leave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Your all technically correct about welding - but it will still just to continue to rust underneath.

My suggestion - get some fiberglass cloth matting and fiberglass resin. They sell it in the body repair section of auto stores - or did 30 years ago when I lived in the rust belt. Its a bit of work - wear nitrile gloves. Grind out the loose stuff. Do a couple layers of matt / resin - let it dry between. Slather some bondo on top, rattle can over it and call it good. You will likely get a couple years.

You could cut out panels, and weld them in. The heat will warp everything. You will have to paint the whole side. Even if you had all the equipment it would take a couple or three days. The patch above will take 3 hours. Your rig isn't worth it. Patch it well enough to hide, and enjoy it while it lasts. Its an off roader anyway, not a showpiece.

As for moving - trust me that is the best suggestion. That is what I did. Honorary Southerner now. I will never leave.
I dont think the missus will want to move to stop my 16 year old car rusting 😂 I'll try and patch it with resin then. I dont need it to look perfect, just slow the rust down. Such a shame, I love this car, I had big plans for it
 

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I dont think the missus will want to move to stop my 16 year old car rusting 😂 I'll try and patch it with resin then. I dont need it to look perfect, just slow the rust down. Such a shame, I love this car, I had big plans for it
Just make sure you fully remove all of the rust. Just a wire wheel isn't enough, you need to treat the bare metal. POR15, rust converter, etc...THEN do the bondo hack. I'm just worried that where it is, having a door shut on it over and over could break it off. Even professional bondo/fiberglass patches break off eventually. But that could be years away, then you just do it again.
 

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From the fiberglass and bondo patches I have seen on steel it actually makes it worse and rust even faster as it traps even more moisture behind it since it really isn't a perfect seal. Even with the rust converters and neutralizers it seems to accelerate the cancer spread although I am not sure what the actual scientific reason behind it is. I wouldn't expect it to buy you much more time.
 

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From the fiberglass and bondo patches I have seen on steel it actually makes it worse and rust even faster as it traps even more moisture behind it since it really isn't a perfect seal. Even with the rust converters and neutralizers it seems to accelerate the cancer spread although I am not sure what the actual scientific reason behind it is. I wouldn't expect it to buy you much more time.
Maybe. If you clean the rust out and treat is properly It should last a couple years. Option B is do nothing and have a big hole. Option C is a $10K fix that might last 3 or 4 years.

If you don't like fiberglass you can rivet some steel in. Just make sure to use steel sheet and steel rivets - not aluminum. Aluminum causes a bi-metalic thing that makes it rust faster.
 
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