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Old 07-04-2018, 03:30 AM   #1
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Default Newb tries to fix fender rust

Hi everyone!

Just got a 1994 Nissan Hardbody 4x4 (V6 3.0L Extended cab) yesterday. My first truck! I'm super excited about it. My grandfather was a mechanic and although I'm still new to it all, I'm eager to learn.

As you can probably tell, my fenders all have a bit of rust so that's my first project. Would love your suggestions on how to get rid of them.

Should I:
a) cut the rust out and trim it (maybe this would let me put in 32s? Would be pumped if I could install those without a lift, otherwise 31s will have to do)
b) cut the rust out and install a patch kit
c) cut the rust out and put on fender flares
d) Buy new fenders
e) Something else

Some considerations: I'm hoping to be pretty cost-efficient with this at the moment so ideally this doesn't put me over a couple hundred bucks. I want to be able to do some basic offroading so if I could find a way to do this fix in a way that accomodates 32s that would be awesome (otherwise I'll stick to 31s)

Thanks!





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Old 07-04-2018, 05:19 AM   #2
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31s for with no mods. I'd expect 32s to clear as long as you have a proper offset and do not try to flex the truck out.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:03 AM   #3
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Grind, file, sand, or cut out every bit of rust until you reach shiny metal. All of it. Gone. It's cancer, get rid of it.

THEN patch and paint it. If you can't patch it right away after doing this, just primer it for now and think about it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:46 PM   #4
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Welcome to infamous!

Unfortunately Nissan wasn't big on rust proofing. Your long term plans for the truck should tell you how to repair the rust. And, usually by the time you see the rust it's a bit worse underneath. Body work is relatively cheap.

You could buy new fenders, rust-proof the insides and paint the outsides to
match, then install. New fenders aren't that much but color matching might be a challenge. If not, then cut, patch, bondo, primer and paint like SciFi said. Primer is designed to absorb paint and that means it will absorb moisture, I wouldn't just leave it primered.

I would repair the bed the same way. Good luck

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Old 07-06-2018, 03:12 AM   #5
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Hi everyone, thanks for all the helpful responses. I'm looking forward to getting more into this community.

So cumulatively what I'm hearing is, take out all possible rust, rust proof (POR-15 or something), patch, prime, and paint.

Are there any patches that work best? I know a lot of people use bondo, but I'm wondering if Rage Gold or Evercoat have any differences that make them better.

In terms of the 32s, anyone with experience mounting 32s on a stock body? I'm not planning on crawling so much that I flex it out, and my offset is the same as when it was manufactured, but I also don't want to go big then regret it with a bunch of rubbing when I'm offroad

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:22 AM   #6
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I switched from Bondo to Evercoat Rage a long time ago, I think it's easier to work with and it doesn't load up the sand paper as quickly. Honestly, you can be successful with either and Bondo costs less. Based on your pictures, you'll need more than one quart. I like Metal Ready to help remove rust and etch the metal in preparation for body work. I've also had good results with SEM's Rust Mort.

Good luck and keep us updated with pictures.

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Old 07-06-2018, 07:47 AM   #7
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Another thing you can do is keep searching Craigslist in your local area for someone parting out a truck. Since they haven't produced any D-21 trucks for twenty years, you have some limited choices:

1) Parts truck
2) eBay
3) Parts store
4) Wrecking yard
5) Aftermarket companies
6) Post request for parts sale here at IN
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:45 AM   #8
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Thanks again for the help guys. Sorry for the delayed response, was on holidays overseas. At this point I'm thinking Metal Ready then Bondo. What other steps am I missing here (other than priming and finishing).
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:30 PM   #9
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Body work is part mechanical and part artwork. I recommend you watch a video or two on YouTube to get an idea of how others get the job done. Good luck

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Old 07-21-2018, 07:29 PM   #10
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Will do. Planning on spending a week in August really trying to perfect it.

Curious as to what your opinion on 32s was. Will they work with my truck? Normal offset, no lift, no sag either though, and would be used for some hunting-related offroading but not rock crawling or anything.
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