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Old 08-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #1
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Car rust problem. ALL opinions needed please

Today what I thought was a small problem with the rocker panels turned out to be a huge problem. I posted pics of it in another thread but this is different. I'm being told by my car friends that I should ditch the car asap; that nothing I do will be enough to fix the rust. I'm in college and still broke and the focus is my only transportation. I really don't want to give up on my car.

These are the ideas I have.

1. Strip the car and find out what is rusted, what isn't, then redo the rockers and replace the bits underneath that have rust on them as well.
2. Do a body swap. Most of the car is fine. The engine and trans are great. I could get another body and swap it all to that car. Problems with that include cost and color. Where will I find a gray focus that is not running and someone wants to part with it for cheap? At best I could find a car that has a good body but is NOT the correct color.

I WISH I could do like the guy who made the thread here for his track day RS. I however am broke. lol. PLEASE guys. Tell me what you think I should do and maybe where I could find a donor car. This really bumbed me out. Thanks again.

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Old 08-09-2012, 07:30 PM   #2
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Looks like some is surface rust and then some isn't, drive it untill it becomes Fred flintstones car
Parts for sale check out my thread, got a new st need to sale old parts
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Drive it. Who cares if it is rusting. Up North here, cars are driven until the driver's seat falls out. really!
Even the floorboard under the driver's feet. missing? no problem, just don't step down at 55mph...
Seriously, your rust is no big deal...
Drive it without putting any money into it. That is all.

If you just want it to not lok so awful, Pack some bondo into the holes..LOL
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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Looks just like any Midwest car. The rockers are almost shot on my 07, salt plays heck on em here.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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my 2000 Volvo S40 was sold in 2009 with no rust. It lived in Kansas City and Omaha so about as Midwest as you can get. Not all Midwestern vehicles look like that.

It doesn't look that bad to me TBH...I'd get it fixed if you like the car though!
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:55 PM   #6
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Take it to a body shop for an estimate. That won't cost you anything. Then you can make a better decision on what to do with the Focus. As it sits with that rust damage, your car won't be worth much.

As to your other options, transferring your drivetrain seems to me as not really feasable. Most any Focus 'bare body' you find is going to have some kind of damage to it somewhere, and it will probably have a salvage title. Economically, you would probably be better off selling your parts piece-by-piece. Doors can get you $100-150 a piece, hood and trunk lid the same. Interior bits are probably worth a few bucks as well if they are in good shape.

If the repair estimate comes in too high, you may just have to bite the bullet and get something with a loan.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:18 AM   #7
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Honestly doesn't look that bad to me.. drive it.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:33 AM   #8
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Looks like the results of people not getting any rust control done. But that said I'll second that it doesn't look all that bad compared to some of what I seen when I lived in Ontario, Canada.

Processes like oil spraying or "rust proofing" (which could mean several different things) make a huge difference. There are even products to attempt to do it yourself. Some may say the damage is already done, and that it is. However you can stop it from getting worse, or at least slow it down a lot. Just stop that rust from spreading and enjoy the ride.

My ol' sunfire was probably one of the crappiest cars you could buy in '04. But I got it oil sprayed once or twice a year. It lived through 3 ultra corrosive Southern Ontario winters before living out the rest of its life to date in the much dryer and far less salty Alberta. The rust today is very minimal on it, no where near like in those pictures. There are a lot of nay sayers but I believe without a doubt that rust proofing/treatment works!

EDIT: From the pictures it looks like your car is parked on a paved driveway. If it wasn't, cars that are parked on lawns or an unpaved area all the time can rust faster too from all the moisture coming up from the ground.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #9
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My rockers were way worse then that, I cut the rust out and rebuilt the rockers with fiberglass. I just can't let garages lift my car on the rocker edges. My car will never be worth selling, so I am going to run it into the ground, but in the meantime, I'm going to stretch that time out as much as I can. Here's what my fiber glassed rocker looks like, the area within the red line is all fiberglass. I'll post without it marked first.

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Old 08-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #10
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I got someone to fabricate some new rockers out of sheet metal for me for my 2000, only cost like 30 bucks a side, and just cut the old ones off and welded the new ones in. Took a little sanding and bondo work, but it all came out great, and the car is still going around 3 years later and the rocker panels still look perfect. Don't fret over it, mine were a hell of a lot worse than yours. But if you wanna keep your car, get it fixed before too long, other wise it will go quickly.
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hes still single and thirsty because he wasted his pepsi...
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