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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 04-04-2010, 05:21 PM   #1
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Fixing the rear quarter panel rust - 90 4runner

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Last edited by 4sknrnnr; 04-04-2010 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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2nd attempt to fix the pics

The rear quarter panels of my 4runner had the typical Toyota rust pattern - throughout the dog legs and over the wheel arches. Knowing that this problem would only get worse, I decided to fix it. I had no experience with body work so it was time to learn...

Drivers side:
Click the image to open in full size.

Passenger side:
Click the image to open in full size.

I believe rust can only be fixed by cutting it out and welding in new metal. So I drilled out the spot welds around the quarter and sectioned it at the window frame.

Drivers quarter removed:
Click the image to open in full size.

With the quarter panel removed, you can see how the rust also exists on the supporting structure. The only way to get rid of it is to cut it out. Just drill out spot welds, remove a bunch of undercoating and seam sealer, and this section has about 10 pieces that come apart in layers. It's funny to see the roof cantilevered. Also, you only put the red shop rags on the sharp corner after you cut your head.

Structure removed:
Click the image to open in full size.

Cutting out the rusted rocker and dog leg:
Click the image to open in full size.

With the rust cut out, it was time to start welding the replacement parts back in. It was important to get the new structure in exactly the right place such that the quarter panel and tailgate would fit appropriately. Before I removed each piece of structure, I drilled at least 2 3/32 through holes into a piece that would be staying on the truck. Then I transferred the holes to the replacement pieces and used Cleckos as tooling pins. Clecko side grips also proved very useful as unobtrusive clamps. Every spot weld I drilled out, I now get to re-weld. I used a wire feed MIG, with 75/25 mixed gas and .025 wire for all of the welds. I found it was too easy to burn through with .031 wire.

Structure welded back in and primed:
Click the image to open in full size.

Rocker and dog leg rebuilt:
Click the image to open in full size.

Then I got the drivers quarter tacked in place. It went on and off the truck probably 15 times before I got all of the cuts to line up correctly. I covered every seam/ weld line with seam sealer and prepped the structure with regular auto primer and zinc weld thru primer in the weld areas.

Click the image to open in full size.

People seam to hate the idea of bondo, but some amount of bondo is a necessity. Because I spent so much time making the metal fit correctly, the bondo was really just leveling out the different layers of paint and filling any deep 80 git grinding marks that were left over. I applied several thin coats of bondo over the weld seams on the rocker panels, door jambs, and window pillars. The bondo was applied over a very large region in comparison to the weld to blend it in nicely. I used a 12" Durablock with adhesive backed sandpaper to shape the bondo working in an X pattern. I started with 60 grit paper and worked to 320. It takes several coats of bondo to get a really level surface so this process takes some patience. Then I applied a skim coat of the bondo glazing putty to fill in any pin holes.

I also got the pleasure of sanding the entire truck. I used an IR DA sander and worked from 120 to 180 to 220. Had I not been planning on priming the truck I probably would have gone ahead and done the sanding to 320. But a vehicle with so many different colors and exposed bondo really needs to be primed to be done right. For areas that are impossible to reach with a DA sander, like the door jambs, I scuffed with a scotch brite pad.

Truck prepped for paint:
Click the image to open in full size.

I drove the truck to a body shop to get it painted (in the middle of winter in CO without any windows). They were open to the idea of me doing the body work and them painting it, but they had one of their body guys go over the truck in detail before quoting the job. Make sure you check out any potential paint shop on the BBB website and ask to see previous work before you agree to let them touch your work.

All put back together:
Click the image to open in full size.

Close up:
Click the image to open in full size.

If you are interested in doing something like this, I have posted a much more detailed write up here: http://sites.google.com/site/wastedf...ta/rust-battle

Last edited by 4sknrnnr; 04-04-2010 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:52 PM   #3
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yes there is a problem with the pictures, I'm working on it.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:00 PM   #4
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Cant see the pics either.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:05 PM   #5
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MMMMMM the pics i'd like to see
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:38 PM   #6
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Brilliant post..... want to see it follow the google link, Great read.....Wekk done obviously a very talented individual.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:13 PM   #7
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Pics are working

Sorry everyone, the pics should be working now.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:45 PM   #8
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Hey, I saw your site before, really super cool. I love your 'underhood shower' article too.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:51 PM   #9
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Thumbs up

Awesome job! I just got done doing a whole bunch of body work on my 4runner too. I had the exact same dog leg problem, so i feel your pain. It looks really good, especially considering it was your first time doing body work
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:05 PM   #10
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holy crap, awesome job man!
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:08 PM   #11
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Want to do mine?
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:08 PM   #12
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Wow thats alot more work than i did and i ahd the same kind of rust on a runner i had a while back... only i just got out my hand tools and grinder and cut out all the rust without removing the rear quarter panel.... fiberglass/bondo filled it up with foam sanded it all back to shape painted it and it was good enough for me.
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:58 PM   #13
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Nicely done.

Maybe I missed it, but where did you get your replacement quarters from?
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Brilliant post..... want to see it follow the google link, Great read.....Wekk done obviously a very talented individual.
Thanks! I don't know about talented though - a talented individual would have done the project in half the time!

Quote:
Hey, I saw your site before, really super cool. I love your 'underhood shower' article too.
I appreciate it - I have a write up on that shower, I'll add it to the website in the next couple days. I did that about 4 years ago but it still works great!

Quote:
Awesome job! I just got done doing a whole bunch of body work on my 4runner too. I had the exact same dog leg problem, so i feel your pain. It looks really good, especially considering it was your first time doing body work
There is def a design/manufacturing flaw in the dog leg section because I had to search upwards of 20 trucks to find 2 that were not rusted (all CO trucks). Never did find 2 that were clean on the same vehicle.

For anybody else thinking about teaching themselves to do body work, its really not that hard so don't let people discourage you. However, when people tell you it sucks, that part is true! Just be really anal and read everything you can find.

Quote:
holy crap, awesome job man!
Thanks!

Quote:
Want to do mine?
Not at all! Actually I'd be happy to come give you pointers and share what I learned but I don't think I will be doing this again until I get up the courage to restore something like a Cuda.

Quote:
Nicely done.

Maybe I missed it, but where did you get your replacement quarters from?
Good question, I don't think I mentioned it. I cut the panels out of another 4runner that had front end damage and was destined for the crusher. I found a guy on Craigslist parting it out and got lucky the rear end was rust free. He was nice enough to let me cut out as much as I wanted because it was all trash to him. Def cut way more then you think you will need. I wasn't lucky enough to be able to take the dog legs and rockers out of this truck so I had to find those at a junkyard. For a little while my truck was black, silver, gold, green, white, and that bondo skim coat pink color.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:33 PM   #15
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Dude, I feel your pain...I patched the rear fenders with panels from Corey at toyotafiberglass and some sheet metal. I've also done the front fenders with his fiberglass replacements. Mine is white, dark metallic gray, primer gray, Evercoat Rage Gold green, black, and one other colour I can't describe...
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:08 AM   #16
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I would like to see the under hood shower write up.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:24 AM   #17
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I wish there were inexpensive steel Q/panels/ bedsides for 86-88 pickups
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:23 AM   #18
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Nice write up. You do awesome work, that runner looks brand new. Ill be following this write up the next couple of months when i paint my truck.

Now if i could only make up my mind on what color to use.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiroshu View Post
OK is the sound like this: "Tap tap tap" "Tick tick tick" "clack clack clack" "knock knock knock" "Ba ba ba ba" "Screech ta ta tap screech ta ta tap"........... Got oil?
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:40 AM   #19
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Very nice. That came out perfect!
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:53 AM   #20
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Wow! That's encouraging!

Getting ready to replace a munched passenger side rear bumper cap, this makes me think that something like that would be easy!

Any pointers on how it comes off/attached?
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4runner, 510, 71, 91, datsun, fender, frame, panel, panels, quarter, quater, rear, repair, rust, rusted, window

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