Rust pin holes can happen on vehicles as new as a few years old in some cases. You might not have the money to pay an auto body shop to perform the repair or the tools to cut and weld a new patch panel in. But there are solutions that will give you a simple repair that can be done in your driveway. Below we show you the process for repairing rust pinholes and sealing the area up for a permanent repair.
Rust pin holes are found where there’s bubbling paint with a discoloration around it, often staining the paint near it. In the very center of the bubble is usually the worst of the rust and you can test the area by tapping a screwdriver on the area to see if it punctures the surface. You can sand the surrounding area lightly to see how far the rust spreads and identify where the rust hole starts and ends. This is the area you need to replace.
Once you’ve identified the size of the rust hole you can take a drill bit that is slightly larger than the rust hole and drill through the panel. This method will knock out the rusty metal and give you a clean hole that you can work off of. If needed you can cut around the hole with aviation or tin snips to make it larger to get into rust-free metal. You can then use a file and sandpaper to file the hole and remove any burrs in the metal.
You’re now ready to open up your Eastwood No-Weld Hole Repair Kit and take the composite backers out. Start by drilling a small hole in the center of a backer and lay it over the rust. You can then trace the hole on to the backer with a marker. If you can’t see the hole through the backer you can shine a light directly on the back or from behind the hole and it should help you see better for tracing. Next, cut out the area you traced with scissors or aviation snips; leaving a little extra material around the edges.
Now you can insert the pin into the backer and test fit it in the hole to make sure it will fit and trim as necessary. You’re now ready to open and mix the epoxy supplied with the kit. Mix the epoxy and apply it to the front side of the backer and the center pin.
Immediately after applying the epoxy to the backer you can insert it in the hole and pull it up until it is tight with the original panel and slide the retainer clip over the pin until it touches the metal and firmly holds the backer in place. You will want to leave the clip and backer like this until the epoxy fully sets up and cures.
Once the epoxy has fully cured you can cut the pin off of the center of the backer and sand the area with 80 grit sandpaper to smooth out the epoxy and the surrounding area. This will leave you with a surface ready for body filler.
You’re now onto the home stretch and you can mix up some Eastwood Contour Body Filler and apply a small amount to the area so that it fills any imperfections in the repair. Makes sure you feather out the filler beyond the repair so you can sand it all level in the next step. You can then block sand the area going from 80-120-220-320 until the repair is blended into the surface of the panel. We suggest using 2K Aerospray Epoxy Primer to seal up the entire area if you don’t have a paint gun to spray primer. 2K Aerospray primer gives you the professional 2K coatings with an aerosol can and are the best solution if you don’t have a paint gun. At this point the repair is smooth and sealed up and you can block sand and perfect the repair if you desire. If needed you can then apply paint and clear to the panel and blend it into the original paint or paint the entire panel.