Saturday, 25 May 2013

Wheel Arch Repair

 As the name of the post suggests this is a quick post about how I spent the last couple of very sunny days. If your interest in cars is no existent then by all means run for the hills now as you will no doubt find what follows a bit dull.

As the first picture shows I found some rust had developed around my rear drivers side wheel arch over winter. Living in rural Scotland I wasn't really surprised as the car spends a lot of the year coated in salt from the roads. My car is a little over 10 years old and not worth much more than a few grand now a days so I wasn't going to pay to have the paintwork repaired. So I decided to just repair the body work myself, I've never done a large repair like this before so it was a bit of a learning experience.

 Firstly I masked off the wheel arch so I could sand off the paint and rust without fear of slipping and knackering the rest of the paintwork. I masked off to the first lip of the arch so that when I spray the area the edge where my new paint meets the factory paint is more natural and looks like a shadow.

Working first with aluminium oxide sandpaper to remove the rust I then used varying grades of sandpaper to sand the metal and paint work as smooth as I could. I'm not looking for a pro finish as the car is old just something I can live with.

You can see from the circular marks on the metal where the rust had been starting to affect the metal given enough time the rust would have eaten through the wheel arch. 

 All smoothed off and ready for undercoating. If the car was newer and I wasn't lazy I would have used anti-rust treatment over the area to prevent the rust coming back. As the car only has a couple of years life left in it I didn't bother with the anti-rust treatment.

Undercoated using red primer, having first masked off the area using newspaper and sheets. I covered the back end of the car in newspaper and the rest of the car in a big dust sheet. Its important to cover all the glass on the side you are spraying on as the particles can travel quite far and whilst they might not show up on your body work they will on your glass. 

Having left the undercoat to cure overnight (24 hours) I then hit the area with the correct top coat, I didn't bother sanding between primer and topcoat, but if you want a smoother finish you should. Again my car is old and I wasn't hugely bothered by the finish.

And here's the finished result. Please note the white bits visible in the picture are just bits of masking tape I haven't picked off yet. 

I will wait about 48 hours to make sure the paint is fully cured and then use hot soapy water to take of the last of the masking tape which is still stuck along the spray line. Personally I'm pretty happy with the result its not perfect but unless you stand and stair at the wheel arch its not obvious that its been sprayed. The only bit I didn't do very well is in the bottom right of the picture. I should have taken the paint further over to make the line smoother, but I can live with it.

Anyway that's how I spent some summery afternoons on the driveway, it was cheap easy and quite rewarding. I've got some more major body work repairs (Panel damage following a bump the wife had in the car) to bore you all with at some point in the summer so there's something to look forward to! :D

In modelling related news I had a bash at putting together the Warlord Plastic ECW infantry, they are nice casting but reawakened why I usually avoid plastic infantry like the plague. Will be switching to lead highlanders from their range, and lead Scots from Perry's or Renegade.

This also appears to be my 300th Post so yay me. thanks for all of you who have followed my meandering blog and all the nice comments left by you kind folks over the years. The comments and support received for posts always spurs me onto keep painting and work harder.



  1. Works for me. Nice job, Mr. Smillie.

  2. 300 tremendous posts, here's to the next 300!

  3. Thats really good Smillie do you fancy doing the same for my car,lol. 300 post chaps thats amazing

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