Saturday, June 15, 2013
A couple weeks ago I finally managed to drop off the E36 at the body shop. I asked the shop owner to take some pictures of the rust before his guys repaired it and I finally got the time to write up a short entry to show those pictures.
The initial impression of the shop owner was that I picked the right time to do this work. Had I waited much longer the work would have involved major surgery including cutting out sections of metal and welding in replacements. So the fact that I avoided that headache is the good news.
The bad news is that while I only recall seeing rust on the driver's side of the window frame during the last windshield replacement the shop found rust throughout the frame. The worst of the “new” rust was on the passenger side about half way up the A-pillar. It had just started to creep out from the inner lip of the frame, much as the driver side rust did, and would have been more obvious to me had the rubber trim not hidden it so well.
They ground out the rust and applied a zinc phosphate conversion coating, which chemically bonds with the steel to prevent rust, followed up by some primer. Next week they'll prep the surrounding surfaces and blend in the base and clear. As it's easy to take blending to an extreme and touch every panel on the car I asked the shop owner to keep it as simple as possible, not only to reduce cost, but also because the goal here was to stop the rust – not paint the entire car...at least not this year.
I hope to get the car back next week and then install the freshly painted mirrors. Till then.