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Towermonster 10-23-2012 10:00 PM

Body clean up project (Opinions wanted )
I just became the proud owner of a 98 Ram. The price was right, but unfortunately for me the one big flaw was the typical Ram rust. Not completely unexpected, I grew up in the northeast I'm used to that, but now I am looking at 3 options to make my rig look nicer.

1) Sanding down the rust spots on the rocker panels and rear wheel wells filling with bondo, and slapping some diamond plate over the cancer spot. Running it from the front bumper all around the tail gate.

2) Still using the diamond plate but only on the rocker panels, slapping on fender flares to cover the offensive crap on the fenders.

3) Using fender flares, but trying to find replacement doors from down south somewhere.

I was talking to a buddy about the diamond plate idea, and sealing the top and side of the plate "patch" with silicone to stop any moisture from getting down in there. He made mention that I may still get crap up and in from the underside. I want to leave the underside open to drain out anything that gets trapped in there. I am hoping for someone who has the tried anything I am thinking of, how much work was involved and how well did it work. Thanks

GrahamL 10-28-2012 12:26 PM

They make chrome rocker panel covers you can buy. And you could get a can of roll-on or spray-in bedliner and put it in your wheel wells and it will cover it up and stop it from rusting. You could also put that stuff on your rocker panels. Thats what I did.

BrandonMski 11-05-2012 02:02 PM

I had my truck under coated about 6 months ago (don't ask what it looks like because I ain't seen it yet lol) and when I get home I plan on using a roll on liner to do that bottom body line. I did the latter to my first truck and it took about 8 hours from start to finish. It looks great. For the rust on the wheel wells I am going to sand it down, bondo if need be, and then put some bushwhacker fender flares on her.

bdodge445 11-05-2012 07:36 PM

I wouldn't use any of those ideas. They are band-aides and you will have rust showing again within months. LMC truck has patch panels for all of the areas you mention for $60-$90 a piece. If you are afraid of welding, most auto parts stores will have a panel bonding glue, 3M part number 8115, this stuff will rip the steel before the epoxy lets loose. Body filler is pourous and will absorb moisture and hold it unless it is sealed from the elements, not likely to happen if you're filling rust holes with it. You could use a short strand fiberglass filler and that would be a small step better. Also they make a product called chassis saver, about $50 a qt. Very hard, very durable stuff. if you can get to both sides of the steel and brush on that stuff completely covering all rust it will stop it from spreading at any speed. Like I said these are band-aides, likely to only last a few months before rust starts bubbling through again. The only cure is to cut out all rusty metal and replace with good steel. I own a body shop in northern MN, I've seen my fair share of rust repair.

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