Bed liner for door repair?

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Sometime this summer I plan on getting the rust on my Trailblazer taken care of. Things that need done:

All 4 doors fixed (driver side rear is really bad)
Both rear wheel wells fixed (driver side rear is the worst of the two)
Liftgate replaced (too much rust to fix for reasonable cost at this point)
Some touchups here and there where paint got marred and a tiny bit of surface rust has appeared.

Surprisingly my hood is pretty good.

Anyway, this is going to easily run me over $2k to do. A friend gave me the idea of instead of having the doors fixed and the cost of painting and blending them, I should just have the lower parts of the doors from the molding down and the wheel wells along the body lines "painted" with a good quality truck bed liner. He recommended I do the front and rear bumper covers as well so it flows together. This would probably save quite a bit in cost as there would not be as much prep work, paint blending, clearcoating, etc, just tape it and spray the liner. I'd still have the liftgate painted the right color (unless I could somehow find a rust-free one in the right color already) and plan on getting a new crossbar for the front grille (mine is cracked) and having it color matched.

Combine this with the lift I want to get later this year when I get new tires (thinking Treadwrights, either the Sentinels or the Wardens, not sure), and it would give it a pretty rugged look. I don't do any offroading currently but who knows I might start doing some perhaps.

What do you guys think? Good idea? Bad? I thought about trying to do a photochop of it to see how it looks so if I remember tomorrow I'll grab a side or 2/3 pic to play with.

I remember seeing on the old site a pic of someone's red TB that he had done something similar to. That's where the idea came from.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Nick did it and it looked good. Go for it!
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Just make sure that you get all of the old rust removed as much as humanly possible, or the metal will continue to rust begind the liner. The liners are so good these days that any future rust dmage will be masked by the strenght of the liner, and the damage will be worse before it is spotted again.

I had the same thing with the bottom of my doors, they were starting to rust pretty good at the bottom where they are folded over and welded. I spent plenty of time with a circular wire brsuh on my drill and brought in my Dremel for some of the fine detail work. Once this was done I liberally attacked the area with rust inhibitor and then added plenty of Waxoyl to the inner door panels to seal off the job. The Waxoyl will prevent water from sitting in the door folds and causing corrosion in the future.

My hood was much worse, it actually had 3 holes ont he leading edge by the time I was done attacking the rusty metal. Ended up repairing by bonding in a backing plate of aluminum strip using the metal putty that you cut and roll together to activate. This provided a solid backing on which to layer in the bondo from the front. Them it was th usual sand and piant job. I also used Waxoyl liberally on the back of the hood and I am still looking great back there.

Did mine about a year ago and they are as good now as back when I first did them. Not the quality of a professional repair shop, but it stands up to all but the most close scrutiny, and aside from my time it only cost a few $$$ in materials. A good enough job in my mind for a 10 year old truck that will run until the wheels fall off.

I do like the idea of the liner though....
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
For reference:

Rust on the lower edge of my Jeep TJ folding windshield, and worse still is the rust holes

RustyWindshiledFrame-1.jpg




After a good wire-brushing and rust inhibitor application. Plenty of waxoyl was applied after the paint was applied. This sits in the bottom of the windshield and prevents future water from pooling there. The job was done 3 years ago and no rust has even begun to resurface.

IMG_2112.jpg




Applying the putty

P1000073.jpg




Final finish after sanding the putty....ready for paint

P1000103.jpg
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I realized my post may lead to some confusion.

What I meant is I would still have the rust removed, but instead of the expense of the paint process just using bedliner as a cheaper topcoat (no feathering or blending of paint required, no clearcoating, buffing, none of that, just mask, apply liner, done). I definitely don't want to leave rust under there!
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Sparky said:
I realized my post may lead to some confusion.

What I meant is I would still have the rust removed, but instead of the expense of the paint process just using bedliner as a cheaper topcoat (no feathering or blending of paint required, no clearcoating, buffing, none of that, just mask, apply liner, done). I definitely don't want to leave rust under there!

No confusion, Sparky. :biggrin: I figured you would do the job properly.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that (IMHO) the most important part of any repair process like this is to remove the ability for rust to reform. I used Waxoyl, but Eastwood sells tons of equally good alternatives for rust fighting and rust prevention. these cars have some serious water traps that lead to rust in the first place. I'm very used to this having grown up in the UK and loving classic sports cars (which all seemed to feature their unique ways to let the great British weather return them to the earth in iron oxidee form).

Post some photos of the finished job (and any along the way steps too), I'd love to see what the finished result looks like....
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I will once it happens. Probably won't for a couple few months as I need to save up the money. I spent a little bit of cash recently on a toy that should be here early April which will make it easier to be without the Trailblazer while it is getting the rust fixed :whistle:

*edit* found who's TB it was. janesy86 on here has the TB that gave me the idea of using bedliner. I won't have the cool MDB Fab bumper, but...

DSC06291.jpg
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
By the way, here's some pics of the worst stuff that needs fixed. All 4 doors need work and the liftgate as I said needs replaced at this point.

I don't have pics of the front left door or the rear right wheel well as the ones I took showed absolutely nothing and were worthless. But those two parts have the least amount of damage.

Rear left door (worse than the pic shows, worse than the rear right door is)
View attachment 19695

Rear left wheel well
View attachment 19696

Front right door (bad pic again, worse than pic shows but not quite as bad as rear left)
View attachment 19694

Rear right door
View attachment 19697

And the part above the right tail light - not a common rust area for these trucks so I'm not sure what happened here.
View attachment 19698

Lovely, isn't it? :frown:

I'm going to go over the frame with a wire wheel and something like POR-15. The problem with boxed frames vs C channel however is you can't clean and coat the inside of the frame, and I know there is rust scale in there. Sigh.
 

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davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Sparky said:
I'm going to go over the frame with a wire wheel and something like POR-15. The problem with boxed frames vs C channel however is you can't clean and coat the inside of the frame, and I know there is rust scale in there. Sigh.

That's about how the bottoms of my doors were. I do not have either the wheel arch rust or the tailgate rust, but I had a bad case of rust on the leading edge of the hood.

You can get products to coat the inside of box frames from Eastwood, but I am not sure how good they are. Every summer I promise myself that this is the year I treat my Jeep TJ to a thorugh internal frame rust treatment, but every year a bunch of other stuff crops up and the poor old Jeep remains neglected.

I am still trying to find a great wand or flexible schutz gun that I can attach to my compressor and that can get inside the frame internals and deliver a healthy dose of rust inhibitor...
 

rjpoog1989

Member
Dec 4, 2011
116
This is something I'm looking to do as well. I say go for it! :thumbsup:
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Quick and dirty photochop. I tried to get the texture of the liner in there but kinda failed lol. Also imagine it with a 2.5" lift and bigger tires - I'm not good enough with photoshop to do that :tongue:

View attachment 19700

Heh, that stock front bumper makes it look so blah. Needs something.
 

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Sparky

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Porkins

Member
Dec 5, 2011
6,960
Like the Color matched cross w/ blacked out grille w/ black rims.
 

Sparky

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
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TB2k4

Member
Dec 4, 2011
134
davenay67 said:
For reference:

Rust on the lower edge of my Jeep TJ folding windshield, and worse still is the rust holes

After a good wire-brushing and rust inhibitor application. Plenty of waxoyl was applied after the paint was applied. This sits in the bottom of the windshield and prevents future water from pooling there. The job was done 3 years ago and no rust has even begun to resurface.

Applying the putty


Final finish after sanding the putty....ready for paint

davenay... beginner here. i also have similar door rust and rear panel wheel well rust. i was thinking i was going to give the repair a try myself. the process i was going to follow with my limited knowledge and understanding was... 1) Grind down to the bare metal- sanding. 2) rust inhibitor 3) putty to fill the water trap created by the seam- flattening it out... 4) bed liner for extra protection 5) primer 6) paint...

hows that sound?? tell me how flawed my plan is and what major errors i am overlooking (im positive ive oversimplified it)
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
TB2k4 said:
davenay... beginner here. i also have similar door rust and rear panel wheel well rust. i was thinking i was going to give the repair a try myself. the process i was going to follow with my limited knowledge and understanding was... 1) Grind down to the bare metal- sanding. 2) rust inhibitor 3) putty to fill the water trap created by the seam- flattening it out... 4) bed liner for extra protection 5) primer 6) paint...

hows that sound?? tell me how flawed my plan is and what major errors i am overlooking (im positive ive oversimplified it)

I'm not certain how well paint will sit on the bed-liner, or even how it will look with the highly textured finish. Either way, it should only be a cosmetic thing, because the structural integrity of the repair will depend on the rust removal and paint preparation stages.

Everythning you suggested sounds good....just rememebr that prep (rust removal and rust treatment) are key and will make or break the long term longevity of such a repair. Go beyond the rust to get to good paint, keep sanding / brushing the rustyareas until you hit solid metal. Be prepared that the rust may be all the way through and you might end up creating a hole in the metalwork.

I would add an extra step, and that is adding a form of rust prevention to the repair. In the case of the doors, that would be applying a product such as Waxoyl (in my case) or some kind of Rust Inhibitor or Encapsulator product (Eastwood has a ton of greate products in this area) to the inners of the doors. You can pry the door cards off and apply directly and see what you are doing. Or you can get a lance and apply product through the drain holes on the bottom of the doors. With doors, gravity is your friend and lets the rust treatment get into the crack where water causes the most damage.

The job I did on my Chevy doors and hood is still holding up perfectly after more than a year. The Jeep repairs are also still as good as the day I did them nearly 4 years ago.

Let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to add extra detail or show some photos of the process / end result.
 

TB2k4

Member
Dec 4, 2011
134
davenay67 said:
I'm not certain how well paint will sit on the bed-liner, or even how it will look with the highly textured finish. Either way, it should only be a cosmetic thing, because the structural integrity of the repair will depend on the rust removal and paint preparation stages.

Everythning you suggested sounds good....just rememebr that prep (rust removal and rust treatment) are key and will make or break the long term longevity of such a repair. Go beyond the rust to get to good paint, keep sanding / brushing the rustyareas until you hit solid metal. Be prepared that the rust may be all the way through and you might end up creating a hole in the metalwork.

I would add an extra step, and that is adding a form of rust prevention to the repair. In the case of the doors, that would be applying a product such as Waxoyl (in my case) or some kind of Rust Inhibitor or Encapsulator product (Eastwood has a ton of greate products in this area) to the inners of the doors. You can pry the door cards off and apply directly and see what you are doing. Or you can get a lance and apply product through the drain holes on the bottom of the doors. With doors, gravity is your friend and lets the rust treatment get into the crack where water causes the most damage.

The job I did on my Chevy doors and hood is still holding up perfectly after more than a year. The Jeep repairs are also still as good as the day I did them nearly 4 years ago.

Let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to add extra detail or show some photos of the process / end result.

i think i will leave out the bed liner and just stick with the rest. what tools would i use to sand/work down the rust to the bare metal. i dont think my rust is all the way through- its very surface and in the beginning stages im just looking to tackle it early.
new process: Sand to bare metal, Apply rust inhibitor, then would it be smart to apply putty to the area with the seam to make it a smooth surface to ward off future water deposits, prime then paint it??

im not afraid to admit my cluelessness... you lost me a little on the "door cards" part... could you please expand and be sure to dumb it down for a beginner trying to learn :crazy:

and i get your dedication to proper prep, all my research and common sense makes me know that i want to take my time and really work on this. later this month ill have another car to zip around in so i can leave the TB in the garage and work on it and do a proper job as time allows.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
TB2k4 said:
i think i will leave out the bed liner and just stick with the rest. what tools would i use to sand/work down the rust to the bare metal. i dont think my rust is all the way through- its very surface and in the beginning stages im just looking to tackle it early.
new process: Sand to bare metal, Apply rust inhibitor, then would it be smart to apply putty to the area with the seam to make it a smooth surface to ward off future water deposits, prime then paint it??

im not afraid to admit my cluelessness... you lost me a little on the "door cards" part... could you please expand and be sure to dumb it down for a beginner trying to learn :crazy:

and i get your dedication to proper prep, all my research and common sense makes me know that i want to take my time and really work on this. later this month ill have another car to zip around in so i can leave the TB in the garage and work on it and do a proper job as time allows.

No problem. :smile:

Door cards are the name for the inner trim panels. Either prying back the interior trim panel or removing it altogether allows full access to spray the relevant areas of the rear of the door skin, especially the bottom where water pools in the crease and starts the corrosion process. I just pryed the bottom bacl on mine, whioch gave me enough room to inspect behind and see exactly what I was doing.

I use an electric drill and a variety of good wire brushes. I also use a Dremel with various tips for detail work in crevices and creases that the wire brush just can't reach. Do your self a favor and take a look at Eastwood (Eastwood - Auto Body Repair Tools | MIG Welder | TIG Welder | Plasma Cutter | Auto Body Supplies & Accessories) for some great ideas, tools and materials.

Use Bondo or any other similar product to smooth exterior surfaces so that they present a perfectly smooth section with which to paint. I used that metal epoxy putty for areas that need some strenght, such as the holes in the bottom of my Jeep windshield frame.

Painting is the hardest part of this whole process, specifically matching the vehicle's exteriro so that the repair is seemless. Certqain colours are harder to colour-match than others too. It sounds as though you have caught this early, which means that you probably won't have to remove any paint from the visible area (the part that you can see when the door is closed) on the door bottom. In that case you can probably easily get away with a decent colour match using an aerosol can (with factory match paint, either from GM or from a reputable company like Dupli-Color, etc) to paint the door lowers in the interior facing edge of the door.

The reason that some members have suggested the bed-liner finish is to avoid the hassle of painting and matching colours (and finish) perfectly. The combination of bed-liner and paint could be a very cool compromise. The rough surface not only makes the sanding-down process for the final finish much easier (there really isn't any), but the colour-matching process becomes much easier because the rough finish breaks up the light and lends the colours a bit for you.
 

TB2k4

Member
Dec 4, 2011
134
what are the consequences of peeling back the metal... can you bend it back?and that doesnt affect the structure of the door at all because it still hangs by the other folds/sides. and the luckiest part of my repair is now the rust is out of sight- just the inside of the doors and a little on the rear wheel well trim if you look hard and put your head in the wheel well (this part of the project is more preventative and appearance than anything). so painting shouldnt be too much of a concern... i found the paint online and since its interior im not too afraid of messing up too bad. although i did discover that the rust did drip down/rust at the bottom of the door. how would you paint just the bottom of the door? just hold a shield and spray upwards?

would you recommend removing the door to do the work? i can let the car sit in the garage for a week or two at the end of may. just set the door on seesaws with padding to protect the exterior paint?

as ive mentioned, this project will be done in pieces. what parts of the process can i stop between? ive read that you CANNOT leave the bare metal overnight because it can already start rusting... but can i stop between the primer and paint?
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
TB2k4 said:
what are the consequences of peeling back the metal... can you bend it back?and that doesnt affect the structure of the door at all because it still hangs by the other folds/sides. and the luckiest part of my repair is now the rust is out of sight- just the inside of the doors and a little on the rear wheel well trim if you look hard and put your head in the wheel well (this part of the project is more preventative and appearance than anything). so painting shouldnt be too much of a concern... i found the paint online and since its interior im not too afraid of messing up too bad. although i did discover that the rust did drip down/rust at the bottom of the door. how would you paint just the bottom of the door? just hold a shield and spray upwards?

would you recommend removing the door to do the work? i can let the car sit in the garage for a week or two at the end of may. just set the door on seesaws with padding to protect the exterior paint?

as ive mentioned, this project will be done in pieces. what parts of the process can i stop between? ive read that you CANNOT leave the bare metal overnight because it can already start rusting... but can i stop between the primer and paint?

Don't bend the metal....it will stress the metal and possibly crack good paint around it. Simply not needed on a lightweight repair like this. A good rust inhibitor will 'creep' into all of the cracks that water would, and seal them against future water intrusion.

Out of sight repairs are easy, you should have no problem doing a great job using a simple aerosol with colour-matched paint. The exterior would have been a different proposition for sure.

No need to remove the door, in fact it doesnt really get you any benefit that I can see. Simply tape off any area that you don't want the new paint to hit and you can spray away merrily. Door lowers are easy becasue you can open the doors and you will be spraying away from the car, simply protect the door inner trim and door front paint section.

Leaving bare metal is never advisable. You can definitely wait between primer and paint coats, but I wouldn't advise driving around more than necessary between coats if at all possible. This whole job is an easy weekend fix, even done in stages. Patience with letting paint coats dry is always good thing.

You are doing the right thing in nailing this before it worsens. I cringe when I see people driving around in cars with huge rust holes and corrosion. All of these started off small and were left to fester into gaping holes....:no:
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Some cases people don't care or (like me) simply didn't have money to do anything about it. I'm still waiting on cash yet. Mine is bad enough that I don't think it is something I can tackle myself and do properly. Entire pieces of metal need cut out and replaced on mine :frown:

BTW if anyone has a forest green metallic liftgate for sale that isn't rusty let me know :biggrin:
 

TB2k4

Member
Dec 4, 2011
134
davenay67 said:
Don't bend the metal....it will stress the metal and possibly crack good paint around it. Simply not needed on a lightweight repair like this. A good rust inhibitor will 'creep' into all of the cracks that water would, and seal them against future water intrusion.

Out of sight repairs are easy, you should have no problem doing a great job using a simple aerosol with colour-matched paint. The exterior would have been a different proposition for sure.

No need to remove the door, in fact it doesnt really get you any benefit that I can see. Simply tape off any area that you don't want the new paint to hit and you can spray away merrily. Door lowers are easy becasue you can open the doors and you will be spraying away from the car, simply protect the door inner trim and door front paint section.

Leaving bare metal is never advisable. You can definitely wait between primer and paint coats, but I wouldn't advise driving around more than necessary between coats if at all possible. This whole job is an easy weekend fix, even done in stages. Patience with letting paint coats dry is always good thing.

You are doing the right thing in nailing this before it worsens. I cringe when I see people driving around in cars with huge rust holes and corrosion. All of these started off small and were left to fester into gaping holes....:no:

not bending them back what do you mean by "prying them back" instead?
 

jake1

Member
May 23, 2013
2
:thumbsup:View attachment 28646.jpg]I found a product that really works to keep rust from coming back after it has been removed. I applied it to my bare metal door seams in April 2012. And I do mean 2012! And then it gets reapplied every few months. I left the doors bare, just to see if it worked. The product is Boeshield T-9. See attached photos for more. As you can see the seam is nearly rust free. I was in awe, at how well it works. I also applied it to my chrome trailer hitch ball in 2009. Still looking like new. You can apply it to new metal to keep it from rusting. Hope this information will help everyone stop the rust monster in its tracks!:hissyfit:
 

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rmsg0040

Member
Dec 10, 2011
285
Did mine last year with herculiner, prep is very important, I also used the UV topcoat

 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Heh old thread.

Well I never had a shop do anything. Cost was too much, even to just fix the rust as there are literal holes and far larger chunks that are affected. I was almost ready to just let it rot :frown: But now it I may be giving complete DIY a go later this year with an angle grinder, tin snips, fiberglass, and rhino liner. I have NEVER used fiberglass before so it could be... interesting lol. Just want to try to slow it down a bit, clean it up, and stop water from getting inside the truck in the back. As it is that left rear wheel well lip is almost entirely gone now.

I'm still looking for a dark green liftgate however as that would probably be worth replacing vs the work of trying to fix the entire bottom half of it lol.
 

smitty5150

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,069
I'll be coating some pieces in bedliner. Remove loose rust, inhibit rust, Bondo glass, bedliner, and the grand finale.......
Top coat of gloss finish exterior enamel matched to the factory color. My cheap truck doesn't need show quality repair work.
 

Rickochet

Member
Mar 6, 2013
1
smitty5150 said:
I'll be coating some pieces in bedliner. Remove loose rust, inhibit rust, Bondo glass, bedliner, and the grand finale.......
Top coat of gloss finish exterior enamel matched to the factory color. My cheap truck doesn't need show quality repair work.

How did you come out with your rust repair?
 

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