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A rust topic....


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Hi All,

I have been thinking recently about rust on Disco's and would welcome some opinions on questions I have. Rust is a big issue and ive read contrasting views on it with particular regards to "the end", how long is left for our beloved motors...

I guess there will be no real definate answers but here goes with my background experience then some questions....

My Disco was brought 12 months ago with 8 months MOT...i had a look round and thought that despite a new nearside sill and wheel arch repairs being needed...I got a good motor for the money...Its a 96 TDI 3dr...i didnt see the work as being something i couldnt achive as a hobbiest welder. I started the work and, having the use of a second car (a vectra thats much newer and i hate it compared to my old nail disco), and decided than rather make small patch repairs, i would replace the wheel arch panels with full new panels which i fabricated myself from sheet metal (this is so much cheaper than replacement panels - and i could use thicker gauge material!)...so i did the passenger front wheel arch - this spread to a lot of new metal on the inner wing, and all the trays under the jack area and headlight area...I was pleased with the work. Then after reading on here, i replaced the sill with new box section (credit to Adrian and Mark for the tutorial)...I was over the moon with this and done the otherside the same - despite the existing sill being good...

I then noticed a small hole in the back wheel arch, so, stripped all the inner panels out and made big repairs, any surface rust or pitting was replaced along with the hole and heavier rust at the wheel arch edge...again i have good peace of mind from this job...

other wheel arch was also repaired along with inner wings at bottom on rear...Im currently at the drivers front wheel arch area which is bad - ive just replaced the whole plate under the pedals rather than just the small hole in it as again there were other lighter areas of corrosion and i didnt want to cut an awkward patch around the pressed strengthening lines in the floor \ pedal plate....I didnt like the area by the loom rubber so have cut this out and replaced 4inches up the baulkhead...ive just gotta repair the front inner wing by the headlight and over the wheel arch and battery tray area and itll be 4 months worth of hobbiest work coming to a conclusion....Im contemplating fabricating up 2 new box section body mounts for the front, whilst the bumper and grill is off and replacing this as its thick with rust, but still reasonably solid....

Ive practically "horse-shoed" around the car replacing any rust i didnt like with new metal and treating it with good primer and underseal....

Ive enjoyed the work - and pleased with the outcome - moreso if it passes its MOT in a month!...


Ive heard a view from "an old hand" that once rust sets in to sills - this is the begining of the end?

what level of rust on a car would you define as being "the end"?...Ive seen so many parts on Ebay where people "brought them, then decided to scrap the car for rust"....

Do people scrap a disco because its got my sort of problems, but they arnt hobbiests and cant \ or dont want to weld?...

Is it because they dont want to spend the time repairing them?..

Maybe its because they can afford a newer one so scrap the old one (but to me or others its repairable)..

When would i know that my Disco is at "the end" of its life?..

Is there really an end for a disco if you are prepared to put the work in?...

Ive never lost heart with the work ive done despite finding hidden problems like inner wings...and feel that once the front on mine is finished, it should last bodywise a good few years?...in that time, i need to attack the chassis and netralise any rust probs which are evident from what ive seen underneath...but its OK at moment...

If you can understand what ive put here, im just after some other folks views on this topic and some points ive raised...you can see by the length of this post ive thought quite a bit about it and the desisions for scrapping \ repairing our cars..



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'End of life' is down to your own decision on it. You can forever repair a vehicle if that's what you want to do. There was some talk a while ago that there may be a restriction in the MOT as to the amount of welding a vehicle has on it, but this came to nothing. Protection of the metal is vital - injection of Waxoyl, galvanising, chip-resistant paint, etc.


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There are many variables to consider about scrapping cars (not just Discos), I have scrapped perfectly good cars with minor faults just because I didn't like them, I have scrapped cars because I didn't have the time to repair them.

My current Disco would seem to many to be be a complete wreck, but I have had the time, resources and skills to repair it, much like yourself, new box section sills and much of the floor and rear quarter panels, not forgetting the rear cross member, rear chasis outriggers and whole heap of other bits which I prefer to forget about :rolleyes:

Was it worth it? From a financial point of view probably, definitely not if I take into account my time.

I could keep the disco going indefinitely if I want, depends on circumstances and what (because something will) goes wrong next.

Not really an answer, just my perspective.

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A lot of it is down to what you are willing to do - welding up rusty Discos / RR's is a thankless task so professionals will give quotes accordingly which render the vehicle scrap. If you have your own welder and an infinite supply of enthusiasm then anything can be repaired.

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