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Good old rust!!

Old 08-12-2015, 04:07 PM
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Red face Good old rust!!

So I bought this car back in March with 64,000 miles, new tires, new oil cooler lines, new oil pan, etc for $5500. Car runs like a dream, handles well. I love it so much, I would buy another RX-8 in a heart beat AFTER DOING A DEEP CHECK. I bought it from my aunt (original owner, purchased late 2003) She took care of it, BUT it was a daily driver. In the winter, she would put snow tires on it. I knew it had surface rust when I looked at it. Some paint bubbling, and the wheel fender lips looked terrible. My plan was to chip away lose rust, coat it in Miracle paint (similar to POR15, Rust Bullet, etc) and epoxy sheet metal, fiberglass cloth and stuff to patch the holes. I did some grinding with my new Hazard Freight grinder, and.. Not really sure what to say. Guess I'll just patch what I can and paint it. The pinch welds where the rocker panels meet also looks like it was either improperly jacked up at some point, or something hit it. Considering both sides of the car have the bend, I'll guess it was jacked improperly. Perhaps that was the start of the rust (compromised pinch weld resulting in rust)

I've seen other 2004 RX-8s in New England (specifically Massachusetts where I live) and none of them are this bad. Lots of them don't even have visible surface rust. Now I don't have any compression tests for my engine, but I'm assuming it's okay. No starting issues regardless if the engine is hot or cold, and smooth power all the way to redline.

What should I do about the car besides patching. This kind of rust bothers me unfortunately. I'm wondering if I should try and find another RX-8 with a blown engine and swap my stuff over, or sell the car in a year or so and take a hit?
Attached Thumbnails Good old rust!!-img_5832.jpg   Good old rust!!-img_5834.jpg   Good old rust!!-img_5835.jpg   Good old rust!!-img_5837.jpg   Good old rust!!-img_5838.jpg  

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Old 08-12-2015, 06:42 PM
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An extreme would be to buy rear fender sections, cut the old out, and weld the new ones in. This process is pretty costly tho.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:36 AM
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Yup, and it's not worth it. For the price I paid, replacing panels would probably be enough to buy a nice series II RX-8. Plus it would need rockers, and who knows what else. Unless I could get a nice RX-8 body for cheap, I guess I'll just patch and paint it the best I can, drive it, sell it, and buy a nicer RX-8. Anyone else have rust on their RX-8?
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:11 AM
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Unfortunately where Mazda rolls the outer 1/4 panel lip, and the inner 1/4 lip 'Join' leaves a large air gap of about 4 mm in some places, salt, dirt and water hangs there and rust starts.

Then if you get stones chipping that bottom front lip next to your sill panel ends then rust can start there too...

I know there were a lot of early 8's in UK with blisters coming through externally over the wheel arch paint and Mazda covered most under the 6 year perforation warranty.

Really not much you can do once a car gets old, when I first got my 8 I removed the rear inner wheel arch felt mats and made sure any gaps between the inner and outer 1/4 panels were sealed, and then I sprayed over area with a deadener tar to also help sealing.??

Did the same on my then new MX-5 which had an even bigger arch gap to fill.

After it dried I re-installed the inner felt liners..

Does it help?, will it stop any corrosion?...so far so good...probably a complete waste of time on my part.

But yeah, unless you are prepared to spend money on body repairs then I would probably flick it or part it out?
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:29 AM
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Ouch, I feel your pain. I received my RX-8 from whoever its previous owner was with the rust creeping just under the surface of the edges of the quarter panels and around the trunk light among other things...
Just forked over the cash to have all of the rust repaired at the beginning of this summer; the body shop also found that the hidden underside of the rocker panels had rotted through as well. They repaired them and put a nice thick coating of rocker guard and rustproofing on all the undersides/wheel well edges.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:00 AM
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Mine's not that bad, but the all the trouble areas are exactly the same. Definitely an engineering issue on the earlier models. I've even seen older Mazda 3s with major rust in the exact same area. In the rear fender wells and along the seam where the panels come together.

Last edited by 77mjd; 08-15-2015 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ASH8 View Post
Unfortunately where Mazda rolls the outer 1/4 panel lip, and the inner 1/4 lip 'Join' leaves a large air gap of about 4 mm in some places, salt, dirt and water hangs there and rust starts.
Did Mazda ever do anything to correct this issue?
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:37 PM
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Not sure, but I've seen several other 2004, 2005 RX-8 in my area with no rust (or very little) whatsoever. My pinch welds and outer rocker panel were also crunched upwards on both sides leading me to think that the car was lifted improperly at some point. Then the area would be vulnerable, and prone to rusting. Once it starts, it spreads. For rust to start, something has to be compromised.

I think I'll patch it up the best I can, paint it, sell it, and take what little I get and put it towards a nicer RX-8. I wish someone had a perfect RX-8 body with a blown engine and wasn't asking such high prices ($2500) that I could buy and switch stuff over. But it's probably better to just get a whole new car.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 77mjd View Post
Did Mazda ever do anything to correct this issue?
Nope..

Mazda like so many other brands has a very very thin paint and clear coat, frankly one of the worse manufacturers out there, if they can save a few mils or ounces of paint they will, good old bean counters.

Probably more than anything Mazda's paint is my main bug bear, yes it looks good where you can see it, it is where you cant see is what concerns me.

Sharp stones can break into the thin paint very easy and rust starts fast if not 'touched up'....it is a PITA.

One really has to be **** around these areas, particularly in countries where salt is applied to roads.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 77mjd View Post
Mine's not that bad, but the all the trouble areas are exactly the same. Definitely an engineering issue on the earlier models. I've even seen older Mazda 3s with major rust in the exact same area. In the rear fender wells and along the seam where the panels come together.
Can you post photos of your rust? And especially the area where the quarter panel and rocker meet? Mine's pretty bad as you can see. Even those little mud flaps fell off
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:47 PM
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Can anyone post photos on the lower quarter panel wheel arch/rocker panel area? Need a photo so I can shape the metal and then fiberglass filler correctly.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:23 AM
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Check out this one, Local guy to me, but I have not seen the car.

https://hartford.craigslist.org/cto/5173375229.html

I picked mine up with a blown motor for $1600 its silver.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:28 PM
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If I found one with a blown motor near by for a good price, then I would think about it.

I'm wondering if anyone would even buy my car for $4000 or so with the rust it has. I spent $5500 on the car. Say I drive it 6 more months (I would have had it a year then) and sell it for $4000 the lowest. Then I basically spent $1500 ($125 a month) for a super fun loaded sports car. Doesn't seem to bad. BUT is my car even worth $4000 with the rust it has...?

Also, can anyone post photos on the lower wheel arch/rocker panel area (inside the wheel well, and out side) So much material is gone, I need something to work off of.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ouimetnick View Post
If I found one with a blown motor near by for a good price, then I would think about it.

I'm wondering if anyone would even buy my car for $4000 or so with the rust it has. I spent $5500 on the car. Say I drive it 6 more months (I would have had it a year then) and sell it for $4000 the lowest. Then I basically spent $1500 ($125 a month) for a super fun loaded sports car. Doesn't seem to bad. BUT is my car even worth $4000 with the rust it has...?

Also, can anyone post photos on the lower wheel arch/rocker panel area (inside the wheel well, and out side) So much material is gone, I need something to work off of.


No, your car is not worth 4000. Sorry I wish it was. I'm contemplating selling my shell that needs a motor, I could deliver it to your door. If your interested PM me.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:23 PM
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I just bought an '04 8 for $1k with 141k miles on it and im looking to do a restore. It's in great condition except for the rust. I'm at work right now, so I'll post pictures when I get home, but there is rust on the front wheel well, rear wheel well, and the pinch weld is starting bubbling.

I started cutting and grinding away some of the body to see the extent of what I was dealing with. After looking at it, I'm really only worried about the pinch weld.

I can't find anything online that will tell me where the main structural components of the car are, so I can't really tell if the rust I'm looking at is damning or not. Like I said before, I will post pictures later, but can anyone tell me if they've seen this before?

The car is in great condition and I can get my money back easily by parting it out, but I'd really like to finish the project.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:38 PM
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Does anyone make a patch panel for the wheel arch? Looking quickly its about $400 a side for a quarter, a repair that would exceed the value of the car. I guess I could roll some out, but why reinvent the wheel (arch)
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:17 PM
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This attachment may help someone.
Rust / Perforation Repair Procedure for Rear Fender Arch
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File Type: pdf
Rear Fender Arch RUST.pdf (1.35 MB, 192 views)
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