Completed project: Rusted Out Wheel Wells - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Completed project: Rusted Out Wheel Wells

I thought I'd share a recent project I completed on my 1998 RAV4 Soft Top. When I bought it, the wheel wells were completely rotted and rusted out. Many folks said I should just slather on silicon sealant or Bondo it. I just couldn't stand the thought of a hack job like that and decided to grind everything out and weld in new steel. Here's some "before" pics as I began to cut out the bad stuff. The "after" pics show the new steel during finish grinding. I then spayed in underbody liner or primer/paint. (Sorry, I don't have the painted pics yet) This was my first welding project but I'm very happy with the result. Fortunately very little of the repaired areas were cosmetic; most everything was either under body or covered up with plastics body panels. It was a fun project but I'm very glad it's done.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2016, 12:11 PM
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That's a shirt load of rust. I would've run away. However, that's great work, especially for your first time.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2016, 01:29 PM
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Good job!

What welding technique did you use? (Equipment, etc.)

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2016, 01:30 PM
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Way to go, you got in there and did a great repair, way more than just a bondo band-aide and you have the knowledge it was well done and will last.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I used 20 gauge sheet metal and MIG welded it in with a Hobart Handler 140.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 11:06 AM
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Holy smokes! Nice work! Now i need to go check on my wheel wells...

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks SlimJim. Actually, this rust was the only major problem with the car. A new (used) motor was put in, all new tires, water pump and timing belt. The car sat in my garage for over two months while I did the repair and there was not even a drop of any oil or other fluid after I was done (OK, there might have been some blood and tears, but that wasn't the car). Everything works...AC, heater, cruise control, etc etc. Plus it's a soft top which is in great condition. I knew the seller very well and he is one of those guys that takes caring for stuff to the ultimate (obsessive compulsive?) level. I've been very happy with the investment.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 11:16 AM
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I was looking at a white soft top rav that was for sale north of Houston tx. It had fender rust and since I don't have the know how not the tools to fix it properly I did not buy it. I wish I knew how to weld like you. Good job
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cramped View Post
Thanks. I used 20 gauge sheet metal and MIG welded it in with a Hobart Handler 140.
Excellent. Do you remember what settings you used? And with an Ar/CO2 mix?

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut View Post
Excellent. Do you remember what settings you used? And with an Ar/CO2 mix?
The table inside the welder recommended volts on setting 2 and wire speed on 30. I found the wire speed to be a tad too high so I bumped it down slightly, around 27 (Volts still on 2). Many of the YouTube videos I watched said that the Hobart table settings tend to run on the high side. I found that to be true. I used .025 solid steel wire with 75Ar/25CO2 mix. Of course, I spot (stitch) welded it; you can't run beads on metal that thin.


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