When living in any climate that receives rain or snow, your truck's body work will begin to show signs of rust corrosion as time passes. Here are some tips to help you determine the extent of the rust damage to your truck and prepare it for repairs and avoid having them progress further, causing serious body damage.
Prepare to Repair Rust Corrosion Damage
Your truck will receive a great deal of moisture onto its metal body over time, and as a result will begin to rust and corrode. You can visit a local junkyard to look for a replacement part, such as the fender, wheel well, or side panel, but because rust damage commonly occurs to trucks in the same areas. For example, all trucks will begin to rust around the wheel well and along the ground panels, leading to corrosion, so it is difficult to find a used replacement panel to restore your truck's rusted areas.
If there is an area of rust in the bed of your truck, another options is to buy a steel truck bed repair panel, which you can use to patch into the truck's area of damage to restore its condition. You can also buy a new replacement panel from an auto part's dealer.
Repair and Remove Rust Damage
Another common solution to repair rust damage is to repair and patch your trucks' existing panel with automotive body filler. First, determine the extent of the damage within the metal body of your truck. Use a wire brush and a metal pick to lift up rusted metal from the truck body. This removes the rusting damage and helps you determine what areas of the metal are still intact and in good condition. Remove all flaking and peeling paint and rusted metal. Rust damage can leave your truck's body filled with holes, similar to a moth's damage to paper and fabric.
Keep in mind if the truck you are working on is a newer model, it may be difficult to repair the body work, as newer models are made of thinner, but heavier metal. Older truck models are more easily repaired because the metal is much thicker and will not lose its structure during a repair.
Once you have removed the damaged corrosion of the metal, you will be able to see the areas of the metal that remain for you to work with. If the rust is only surface rust, you can sand away any remaining rust and apply an automotive bonding repair filler, let it dry, and sand it smooth to match the surrounding truck body metal. If the rusted areas have corroded through the entire metal thickness, you will need to cut out the corroded section and have it replaced with a new patch of metal and welded in place. If you have experience with vehicle body welding, you can complete this yourself, otherwise taking it to a professional body shop can make the truck repair look its best.
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