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Thread: Catastrophic rust and mangled pinch rails

  1. #1
    DX User
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Vehicle
    1987 Honda Accord LX-i
    Location
    Troy, MI
    Posts
    5

    Catastrophic rust and mangled pinch rails

    Backstory: I bought this 87' LX-i Hatch as my first car back in 2017. It was extremely beat up and not well cared for. Regardless, It has served me as a reliable daily for the past 3 years. I wanted to put some money into it and make it a nice car but the one thing holding me back was the terrible condition of the frame. The only area that really worries me is the Pinch Rails near the rear jack point area. I have included pics to show the damage. If possible, I want to cut out this rust and weld in new metal, but the area that is rusted out seems hard to fabricate a patch panel for. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to tackle this project. I would like to repair this vehicle instead of just getting a new shell since I have a sentimental attachment to this car. Any advice would be Appreciated.




    -driver-side-rear-jack-point-jpg
    -driver-side-rear-jack-point-alternate-view-jpg
    -passenger-side-pinch-rail-jpg
    -passenger-side-rear-jack-point-alternate-view-jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -driver-side-pinch-rail-jpg  
    Last edited by JDMhotboi; 06-22-2020 at 12:17 PM.



  2. #2
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Vehicle
    86 LXi
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    598

    Re: Catastrophic rust and mangled pinch rails

    I don't have a suggestion but I am also struggling with a rust issue. I have a thread in the community chat.

    The rust on mine doesn't even look near as much as yours but I took it to a body shop and was quote $10k and up. They are saying once the outer panels are pulled, expect to see more rust at the inner panels.

    I too have sentimental attachment to my car. I threw a big temper tandrum the day when I was quote the $10k amount...

  3. #3

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    9,982

    Re: Catastrophic rust and mangled pinch rails

    There are a lot of videos on YouTube about rust repair. This will get you started: https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...on+rust+repair

    The short story version is this. If your car is popular, like a 64 GTO, aftermarket suppliers will make a million body panels, patch panels and the like for you to replace those rusty problem areas. Simply cut out the rusty portions, cut the patch panels to fit and MIG weld them in. Grind, sand, spray guide coat, sand a bunch more, add body filler, followed by more guide coat and sanding. Repeat the sanding, body filler and guide coat steps until your arms fall off and you run out of money for more body filler and sandpaper. Or until the repair is glass smooth, dead level and pristine perfect, whichever comes first. This is the easy method ...if your car is popular. Unfortunately, your car isn't popular. There is exactly one body panel for sale on Rock Auto, and it's for a sedan. The easy way will not be for you.

    The fallback method is to buy flat sheet metal and form your own panels. When you've formed them, you can cut and weld them in as per above. Once again, YouTube has lots of videos on the subject of forming your own body panels. Here's another starter course: https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ab+body+panels

    Sadly, you need a shop full of tools to cut and form the panels effectively, and those are going to cost a great deal more than a donor car. What's more, you'll be throwing a lot of metal away until you get skilled enough to produce something worth putting paint on. It's possible you could buy a cheap hammer and dolly kit and with that, maybe a bench vise and a giant helping of cleverness, form your panels with that alone. That would require a tremendous amount of patience and gumption, of course. Even the best body guys only fab panels when there is no other option, and usually when it's in an area where it can't be seen (like a support lip for a windshield or under a cowl or something else that will get covered up). It's very time-consuming work that won't ever look as perfect as a panel that's been stamped in a 100-ton press. In your case, that might not matter, seeing that most of your rust is under the car. If you embark on this journey, I'd recommend looking for ways to simplify the complexity of the panels. Many of the the twists and folds of the original body work might not be necessary. Like I said, a hammer and dolly kit is cheap ($80?) and a decent MIG welder can be had for as little as $400.

    The moral of the story is that buying a donor car and swapping everything over will likely be the cheaper and easier route in the end. But if you decide to do the rust repair and can make it look good, you'll be able to get a job at any body shop in the nation when you're done. Cause you'll be the man.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  4. #4


    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Vehicle
    88 LXi
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    4,156

    Re: Catastrophic rust and mangled pinch rails

    Quote Originally Posted by JDMhotboi View Post
    Backstory: I bought this 87' LX-i Hatch as my first car back in 2017. It was extremely beat up and not well cared for. Regardless, It has served me as a reliable daily for the past 3 years. I wanted to put some money into it and make it a nice car but the one thing holding me back was the terrible condition of the frame. The only area that really worries me is the Pinch Rails near the rear jack point area. I have included pics to show the damage. If possible, I want to cut out this rust and weld in new metal, but the area that is rusted out seems hard to fabricate a patch panel for. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to tackle this project. I would like to repair this vehicle instead of just getting a new shell since I have a sentimental attachment to this car. Any advice would be Appreciated.




    -driver-side-rear-jack-point-jpg
    -driver-side-rear-jack-point-alternate-view-jpg
    -passenger-side-pinch-rail-jpg
    -passenger-side-rear-jack-point-alternate-view-jpg
    you are going to find a lot of other rusty areas once you start looking up in the wheel wells and behind plastic panels.

    Fixing it up will be alot alot alot of work for you. Not saying it cant be done.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    My Acura Type R front brake thread

    https://www.3geez.com/forum/showthrea...r+brake+option

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