Rust removal
Bilt Hamber Deox C dip solution
Best method for smaller items. Very quick, easy and thorough, with next to no effort required.


Shot blasting
Neccessary for hard (or impossible) to reach areas. Quite pain-stakingly slow and tedious for DIY applications.


Angle grinder – wire wheel or flap disc
Probably the quickest method for DIY situations – quick removal of rust.




Rust prevention


Wire-wheel away loose rust.


Degrease with Marine Clean.


Prep with Metal Ready.


Paint with POR-15 base coat.


Top coat with Chassis Coat.

13 Responses to “Treating rust”

  1. dave estus Says:

    hey, just ran across your web site. i have a rusting 67 convertible that i’m thinking cleaning up. have you done this before, and how much work is it? looks like you are doing it right. dave.

    • Lloyd Says:

      Hey. This is the first project car I’ve had… but with something this involved you’ll learn a lot and quickly. Without seeing pictures of your car it’s hard to say how much work. But I’ll try to help… Assuming the car is running fine and no rust damage (holes) to body panels, and the metal work is just surface rusting (and bubbling through the paint)… to properly future proof the car would still be a lot of work, it would usually mean to strip the entire body and underside and repaint (and redo any body filler). But it depends on how badly rusted it is. If it’s just on the underside or small patches around wheel arches then I guess small, localised strip, clean and repaint jobs could be done.
      But of course if you’re intending on doing everthing including the front subframe (steering, susupension etc.), or if a lot of body panels have rotted right through, then it is even more work. If it involves a complete restore/rebuild then shotblasting would be essential, this would neccessitate stripping out the interior and glass. If it does involves stripping /everything/ (engine, fuellines, brakelines etc.) out/off the car I would say it could be possible to do in a year depending on how much free time you could find… maybe two years (I think 2 years is what it’s going to take me… I got the car last March, so coming up for the first birthday soon…). I think most important in whether or not it’s worth doing is whether you’ll actually enjoy doing the work.
      How does your car compare to mine when I started? If you have any pictures or more details I could probably be of more help.

  2. Hi There- a nice presentation of your restoration process. This is my first foray into a late 60’s Pontiac Firebird with drum front brakes.

    Have you noticed the brake return spring retainer has an egg shaped hole where it slips on the post at the top of your backing plate.? On my Bird this piece will slip off over the head of the 1/2″ bolt which attached sthe post to the spindle. which does not seem a good situation.

    I’m not happy about this part and feel the egg shape is due to wear but have no confirmation such as an NOS part. The part does not seem to be serviced by GM and not reproduced.

    Your comments please.
    Martin Lum

    • Lloyd Says:

      Hello. Thank you for your comments.

      It has been a few months since I rebuilt the drum brakes but I do remember the retainer bracket you mention having an egg shaped hole. Honestly, whether this is by design or through wear I am unsure. I am certain however that the bracket would not slip off; the springs will hold it very tightly in place.

      Just a quick thought… is the narrowest part of the egg-shaped hole also large enough to slip off the post? If it is then concerns over the egg-shaped hole causing the bracket to be oversized and slipping off the post are moot. If not, then like I said, the springs will hold it and I would not be worried. It is worth noting that every single component of the drum brakes, including all the brackets and both shoes, is loose and has to be held in place by springs and/or hold-down pins.

      My brakes worked adequately (the shoes being almost completely worn out) before disassembly so I am not worried. Hope that helps.

      Anything else and I’ll be happy to try and help.

  3. Carlos Says:

    Hello,, great work!.. I ‘m looking to do the front floor pans on my 67 Firebird Convertible. Both sides have some large holes and need replacing. The driver side toe area has alot of rust , so I need to buy the front pan that covers the lower toe area. Any advise on who has the best floor pans for sale out there. I see so many on ebay, just not sure who to trust with good material and perfect fit. Again I’m just in need of the driver and passenger front areas. The rear are ok. Thank you and great pics and info. I’m not a body man, but looking at your pics, I think I can cut the rusted areas out and patch the new pans on my own.. Take care Carlos

    • Lloyd Says:

      Hello. Mine came from NPD and were repro parts not OEM… they fit fine, with just a little persuasion needed on one side. It is a fairly straight forward job to replace them, you shouldn’t have many issues in doing so.

  4. hiltman Says:

    Hey Lloyd,

    I bought POR-15 awhile back. But didn’t buy any Marine Clean or Metal Ready. I hope it’s not too expensive. I believe you used this system for your sub-frame. I’m going to do mine next weekend. Did you sand blast your subframe, or whire wheel it. I couldn’t find any info in your subframe ‘how to’, so I figured I would ask.

    • Lloyd Says:

      I did use POR-15 for the subframe. I wirewheeled it and managed to get it fairly shiny looking in a day, there are some places that you won’t be able to reach so shotblasting would be better, however my shotblaster is not up to much. Besides, POR-15 (apparently) likes a little rust to bond to.
      Spraying will give a much nicer/smoother finish… I brushed to save on the cleaning up, and I am fairly happy with it. The base coat smooths out while drying nicely, but the top coat dosen;t and will show brush strokes. Remember do to the topcoat (if you’re using one) whilst the base coat is still tacky to ensure the layers bond, otherwise (I found this out when doing some smaller items) the top coat can just peel off.

      Read from this page:

      • Lloyd Says:

        Jeez… just realised that is very nearly a year ago now… Oh well :-).

        If you look at that picture… the subframe was brushed, and the control arms were sprayed.

  5. hiltman Says:

    I thought I read that you could just apply POR-15 after sandblasting. I read that new metal needs to be cleaned because of the oily coating that is applied. Wish me luck. I’ll be doing it this weekend! Thanks for the response…


    • Lloyd Says:

      Marine Clean is just a degreaser. The Metal Ready leaves a zinc coating for the paint to bind to and also helps prevent future rusting. After sandblasting there’ll not be any grease, so degreasing is probably not neccessary, and it will also give a good (not shiny/smooth) keyed surface for the paint to adhere to, so perhaps no need either for Metal Ready.
      But, if you are using a wire wheel I would recommend both degreasing and the surface prep. Because if there is any grease the wire wheel will just spread it around and will also leave the surface quite smooth.

  6. hiltman Says:

    I saw a cool trick on Team Camaro where they plated that channel that connects the two cross members together in the middle in order to keep all of the dirt and grime from accumulating there.

  7. hiltman Says:

    I found the metal ready locally. I haven’t found the marine clean yet, but can probably use any number of degreasers. I ordered up some POR-15 Chassis Black top coat and can pick it up next week. Thanks for the information.

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