b. Remove any vents or plugs that will enable you to
see the interior of the sheet metal, where serious rust
On some vehicles, it will be necessary to
remove the taillights or loosen an interior
panel to properly inspect the quarter panel.
c. Begin at the front of the vehicle. Open hood and
check the perimeter. Proceed to the top seams of the
fenders, and eyebrows. Look through openings in
h. Inspect the rest of the quarter panel and wheel
fenders (where possible) to check as much of the front
house seam, floor extensions, and the seams around
fender and wheel house seam as possible. Look down
taillights. Inspect the perimeter of the tailgate,
the frame and check for flaking. Check the battery box,
particularly the rear or bottom seam where dirt and
radiator supports, and headlight hardware.
d. Proceed to the driver's side of the vehicle. This
i. Look through the wheelwell openings and check
side of the vehicle will rust faster because oncoming
the condition of the underside (steel housings, floor
traffic will splash salt-laden water and slush onto the
pan, frame, etc. ) If you feel that you cannot properly
vehicle. Check for bubbling and discolored paint,
inspect the underside this way, put the vehicle up on a
which in most cases is caused by rusting from the inside.
hoist and check.
If you find any rusted area on the outside of the vehicle,
determine whether it is surface rust, due to a paint nick
or a poor paint job, or if it is working its way out from
3-15. General Drilling Instructions.
the inside. Keep checking for any signs that may
indicate that the vehicle has been repaired. If the area
was properly repaired because it was damaged by an
accident, it should not include the use of plastic fillers.
In some instances, only an expert body man can
Drilling metals can be extremely dangerous.
recognize a proper repair job, so be extremely careful.
Wear proper eye protection and keep hands
away from cutting tool. Sharp fragments
e. With the front door open, look through the door
may remain around the drilled area. Use
hinge opening and check the front fender, wheel house
extreme caution when touching these
seam, and fender brace. The fender brace is the most
critical area of the vehicle, and should be inspected
from the inside and outside of the vehicle. If a seam has
begun to discolor, it is an indication that the seam may
begin to split. It must be repaired along with other rust
When drilling holes using a conventional
1/2-inch (1.3 cm) drill bit, use caution not to
f. Check all seams on doors, doorjambs, and
damage components located behind hole
doglegs. Look for chipped or bubbling paint, or
discoloration of the paint and splitting seams. If the
paint is chipped, you have a surface rust problem. If the
a. If using a conventional 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) drill bit,
paint is bubbling, there is a chance that Stage 2 or 3 rust
has developed. If there is good metal under it, it is
place a short piece of 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) I.D. hose on the
probably because the metal wasn't prepared properly
drill bit, approximately 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) from the tip.
This will prevent possible damage to components
before painting, or because a small chip in the paint
corroding the metal. If you cannot find good metal
b. Except when otherwise indicated, hole locations
under the bubbling paint, the rust has worked its way
are approximate, and should be sight drilled.
through the metal and must be repaired. If the seams
Rustproofing tools vary. Some hole locations may have
have begun to split, Stages 3 and 4 rust have developed
to be adjusted to suit the spray patterns of those specific
and must be repaired.
tools. All drilled access holes should be 1/2 inch
g. On most vehicles, if you roll the window down,
(1.3 cm) in diameter. This will allow the entrance of a
you can look through the top of the door to inspect the
variety of tools.
outer skin. If this is not possible, the condition of the
c. All chips from drilled holes should be removed
seams will give you a true indication of the condition of