View original topic: another kitchen rust project (warning: long and TBC) Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
guavajelly Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:51 pm

So, after Bikenerds post regarding his kitchen rust, I was inspired to tackle mine. I new it was there because of the seam rust.

But I'm about to get ahead of myself. This is my van.

originally a CA '83 westy, but for the past two years its been a Wisconson salt sponge.
Now, I've been planning an interior project, as many of you have done; including rust/ metal repair, POR-15, sound deadner, re-insulation, either pergo or a bamboo floor, replacement of interior panels (perhaps with 1/8" birch plywood).
Also, an exterior paint job is in the near future. Don't get me wrong, I love blue stars, but it was from the PO, and it is time to say good by to it.
And now that the propane tank is off that will get refinished as well.
but back to the project. I new the rust was gonna be there, but I had no idea to what degree, so i set out (after bikenerds post) to remove the kitchen. Which was a bit more consuming than I had thought it would be, but all in all it wasn't such a big deal. Perhaps I'll change my tune when its time to put it all back together.... I can for see rerouting gas lines, water lines and the re-wire electric to be a PITA.
here is the 25yr old gunk under the fridge.

nasty. no roaches, no money just scuzz

Once every thing was unhook and I was finally about to break the fridge loose, with the help of my trusty crowbar, the galley slid out fairly easily.

Luckily at this point my wife and son returned from the grocery store with reinforcements.

Well, after some refreshment I pulled away the panel and "yellow peril"
to find that which I did not want to find.

now at this point I didn't seem to bad with the worst of it looking like this

I wasn't seeing daylight and I wasn't able to put my finger though it....
yet anyway. So i got out the grinder and ordered some POR-15.
I should have poke with a screwdriver and not my fat finger, because that rust saw my grinder and crumbled before the wheel even hit the metal.
but after after little work, and a lot of black buggers (i couldn't find my mask) the actually hole isn't all that large.

but regardless of size it will have to be dealt with before anything else.
So, I cleaned and washed out all that old dirt and grime with a bucket of Simple green and aided by the high life and called it a day.

So, i'm no body-guy, but I'm not affraid to get my hands dirt and try some new things.

After the metal work is done, I'm ready to add some "quickroof" and then new insulation. I've not yet decided the best option. I don't plan on fiberglass insulation, however somewhere on the Samba I saw some one used a hot water heater jacket- that seamed pretty good. But as I was wander around Home Depot this morning I came across foam board insulation (i.e. blue board) has anyone cut solid styrofoam to fit? That seams like a pretty good option to me right now and will most like be the route I take.

and I appreciate all of you who have posted your wood/ laminate floors, I feel very confident that I will be very please with that modification.

As I work through this project I'll try take photos of how well (or how un-well) things go.

and I just can't resist posting this pic of my 4 month old son.

MattVW Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:25 pm

Looks like you're one of the lucky ones to not have gaping holes back behind the fridge.

This makes me wonder why VW/Westfalia didn't see this coming. ...Or maybe they did and chose to not do anything about it.

wcdennis Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:32 pm

For those not aware, it is bad seals around the hook-up boxes that causes this problem. Water runs in, soaks the fiberglass, and rust sets in. I was working on mine in the rain one day and I couldn't believe how much water was leaking in. The seals are cheap and easy to replace.

FNGRUVN Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:53 pm

I used the white foam board from HD to insulate behind the galley. It's about an inch thick. I didn't want to use anything that would act like a sponge, but I'm not sure if the foam board was the right choice. It doesn't want to conform to the curve of the body and the contact cement I was using was eating the foam. I should have used a different type of glue.

If you can get that area sand blasted, I would do it if I were you. The grinder will leave all the tiny rust pits. A sand blaster will take care of them.

guavajelly Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:29 pm

new seals will be in order for the hook ups (nice call WC).
and now that you mention the shape of the foam board (square peg> round hole) fngruvn, I will probably rethink my insulation choice.
what do you all think about the spray can of expanding foam?


FNGRUVN Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:44 pm

That stuff expands a lot. I've seen some posts in this forum where they used this shiny silver-backed insulation. It's pretty thin, conforms to curves and is self adhesive. Looks like good stuff. I wish I knew of it when I did mine.

tikibus Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:50 pm

hey guavajelly,

Hmm, Jelly. ahhchhh...

You've gone crazy! Sweet! The floorboards look very-uber solid. No leakage from the rear heater core, the propane inlets from tank to body appear decent and the sink drain plug outlet appears clean.

How's about grinding/sanding up another 4 inches to get a decent plate in there. Going to have to grind the V-shaped or U, to mate up with the plate going shear to bottom to top. Get to grind out the Wax. What fun. Brake cleaner and steel wool ( lots of it ) get it good and clean. then grind.

There is a time involved. Check the Outlets ( City Water/Electric/ Fill H20 ) that can be a challenge.
But one thing lurks and stays hidden until too late: You've removed the whole lot, cram your face into the cavity and look up at the welds on the window. No paint. Just gray and weld splatter. Signs of rust ain't good.

have Fun. As far as expanding foam... Why?

Many Posts... Use The Search.

FNGRUVN Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:51 pm

I did the inside of my front doors with some stuff I got from J.C. Witney. It comes in a roll about three feet long, is about an 1/8" thick, tar-like,with a removable backing sheet that exposes a self adhesive side. It worked pretty good. It helped to heat it up a bit to conform to the weird shaped areas in the door. Here again that shiny silver stuff would have worked and probably been better.

tikibus Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:01 pm

Cold Galv Spray.

98% Zinc. After Welding. Bare metal with Zinc sprayed on. Remember Flash Over/ Rust.

Even welding causes condensation on the metal when cooling. The Spray can be scuffed to hold another substrate. Or another method can be used.


guavajelly Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:14 am

So, I'm gonna learn to weld,
the ski hill where i work has a MIG, and the shop guy is a buddy.
just out of curiosity I stopped by a body shop this morning.
the guy quoted me $850 for the job.

so I will be taking this on.

the question is, should i be ordering this rocker panel replacement section

or, since the area requiring replacement is somewhat smaller, fabricating a section?

thanks for comments, I'll be sure to have a can of cold galv zinc spray on hand.

Quote: As far as expanding foam... Why?
I ussually overdo things, so over insulation would be no different.
It just seems to me that the expanding foam gets very dense when hard and would be not only warm(er) but also have further sound reducing properties. It was just a passing thought.

guavajelly Tue May 06, 2008 3:08 pm

so for those of you who care, or those of you who might be taking on this project, I'll continue my progress.

After looking further into my seam rust, I determined that the metal needed to be fully replaced.
so I set out to order the body panel, I called the usual suppliers to no avail, all where on back order. Disheartened I tried to figure out want local metal shop to visit. However, not an hour later I received a call from Richard at OEveedub, and he had found the panel. Very Cool.

after studying the wonderful pics at THANKS BEN!

I figured was ready to take this on, so i loaded up my angle grinder with a cut of blade and set out, after making my first cut (see below) i started to gain some confidence.

and before too long, I had all the metal cut out. Since this is my project it required multiple trips to the hardware store; I failed to realize just how fast I could burn through a cut off wheel.
but here is the gapping hole in the side of my baby.

after getting it all out i continued to grind out the remaining surface rust that is seen and so far I'm feeling pretty good about the job. It has taken me a bit longer than I would have guessed, but that is no big surprise.

Now, the dry fit is very important, if it don't fit prior to the epoxy, it sure won't fit after you glue it up. So i must have put that panel in 200 times and taken it out to grind a little more, but in the end the fit looks very good to my eyes.

After I was happy with the fit I used a few #6 sheet metal screws on the top edge and C- clamps on the bottom.

So far this has been about a 5-6 hr job.
I'm sure it would be much faster, but I procrastinated a fair amount (to cruise the samba of course)
Tomorrow I will try and get the confidence to finish up,
I've decided to use SEM Weld-Bond

So after a little bit more grinding and zinc coating I will apply the epoxy and clamp it up, I hope to have a few more pics of that process tomorrow.

vanagonforever Tue May 06, 2008 4:03 pm

I've got to do this same repair at some point in the not so distant future so I'm really excited to see your progress. Those are some great photos and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all works out. Keep it up!

pb24ss Tue May 06, 2008 5:38 pm

miller in a can? barf. How about a nice Hoegaarden or a Stella Artois?

very nice work on the rust so far! i wish i could do that to my '65.

85_Westy Tue May 06, 2008 7:55 pm

I strongly advise against expanding foam. Much like the fiberglass you're replacing, expanding foam soaks up and holds moisture.


ftp2leta Tue May 06, 2008 9:20 pm

Quote: after studying the wonderful pics at THANKS BEN!

Keep the beer cold!!! i should gain a profit over that single page :-)
Good luck men


guavajelly Wed May 07, 2008 3:24 am

85_Westy wrote: I strongly advise against expanding foam. Much like the fiberglass you're replacing, expanding foam soaks up and holds moisture.


Yes, thank you Mike,
I have decided not to experiment with the foam, but will instead us this
I saw that someone else on the samba used it, and there is no foam or fibers in it.

and again, thanks Ben, and even though it Miller High Life (not a favorite among some sambaites), i will be sure to keep it on ice.

today the mission continues, I hope to report back with good news this evening

Home Team Van Wed May 07, 2008 8:37 am

I just got my new panel and will start cutting today hopefully so I'm real curious to see your progress. I do have a question though. Are you planning on welding the panel after using the weld bond?

ftp2leta Wed May 07, 2008 8:56 am

Home Team Bus wrote: I just got my new panel and will start cutting today hopefully so I'm real curious to see your progress. I do have a question though. Are you planning on welding the panel after using the weld bond?

No need at all. This is solid stuff. Just glue 2 metal part and just try to separate them 6 hours later. It's clean, somewhat flexible and easy to do.
I have that procedure somewhere on my site... mmmmm... ok, got it:

the only mistake that i did the first time is cut to hight!!! leave some more meat on the upper part.
So here:
Leave a good 1 in more. (cut lower)


Home Team Van Wed May 07, 2008 9:23 am

thank you for the pictures and the advice!!!!

ftp2leta Wed May 07, 2008 9:40 am

Home Team Bus wrote: thank you for the pictures and the advice!!!!

No problem, also, to do it the right way you need to fully remove the original skin, by that i mean even the side and lower portion.
As my English is not very... elaborate, here is what i mean:

This is not the side panel but you get the idea.

You can not overlap the new one on the side and botom. You can also gring it. But the skin come so hot that it can warp a bit.

Shit, i had a picture:

got it now!

Ok, got to go work now, got some clear coat to do... got to practice that new water base paint.... (no oil / solvant paint in any paint shop in Canada starting January of next year. Here goes my Sata 1000$ paint gun :-( )


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