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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-26-2015, 09:32 AM
Silver-E39 Silver-E39 is offline
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Rust!

Guys, with age, our vehicles will start rusting in places exposed to elements. While in general, rust can be tackled on external places, it may not be as easy in other places. What can we do with rust that develop in odd places?

In my case, rust is developing at the internal door seams. The rust seems to be coming from an inaccessible part (even if I took off the door panels).

Anyone here know what to use? I've looked up Rust Reformer or converters, but I'm not sure what to do. Sand it down and use clear enamel paint is the first thing that comes to mind. But I still won't be able to get into the seam.
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2015, 10:50 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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The rust appears to be coming from the inside of the door. Not sure how you should proceed. You could remove the inner panel and attack it from both inside and outside.

Was this car from the northeast? Or in a flood?
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Last edited by edjack; 06-26-2015 at 12:52 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2015, 11:01 AM
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:08 AM
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gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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+1 for EdJack. I would use rust converter, followed by rust killer as a primer, and (on the inside of the door) use a rubberized rocker spray as the final coat. On the outside, use the paint of your choice.

This is what I did for my back wheel wells where salt and corrosion can run rampant in the little cracks between metal and rubber liners and flaps.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:38 AM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The rust appears to be coming from the inside of the door. Not sure how toy should proceed. You could remove the inner panel and attack it from both inside and outside.

Was this car from the northeast? Or in a flood?

Agreed, this is going to be really hard to tackle successfully. Even if you can clean and remove from both sides....the internal part of the seam will retain some of the rust. Unless you plan on keeping the car a long time, I would simply scrape out the worst of it, and put some touch up paint over it....I have never seen a rust repair hold up long term, even with professional help. The only permanent solution I have seen is replacement.

Thank god for garages. I have to say I never thought it was that big a deal, but it does make a huge difference in how well, and how long a car will last cosmetically. Mine is 14 years old, and 234k miles, and no rust, no issues anywhere on the body or frame. Always garaged. And this is with driving in rainy Seattle.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:53 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Rain is bad, but salt is worse.
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2015, 02:00 PM
Silver-E39 Silver-E39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The rust appears to be coming from the inside of the door. Not sure how you should proceed. You could remove the inner panel and attack it from both inside and outside.

Was this car from the northeast? Or in a flood?
The car was from the northeast. It is now in Texas. Argh... I've managed to scrape it off and applied an enamel. I am aware how difficult it is to tackle this, especially on the seam. I'll take off the panel and see what I can do.

In the mean time, I think I'll settle with simply minimizing the effects of it.

Last edited by Silver-E39; 06-26-2015 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:01 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Rain is bad, but salt is worse.
We use salt in the city and on the mountain passes when it snows. But worse, we constantly apply ice melter chemical on all the bridges and overpasses throughout the city throughout the winter. Almost constant each evening from December to March. Lots of bridges and overpasses in Seattle...

I wash my car almost weekly...I'll wait two weeks max and hose out the wheel wells thoroughly.
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2015, 06:57 PM
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eparayno eparayno is online now
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If you want to permanently fix the rust , and possibly die from chemical inhalation, look into POR15.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2015, 06:09 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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I have done (successfully) a major rust repair that started on the inner body panel directly in front of the driver rear tire. I bought a piece online from a vendor that would cut-out the piece you need (larger). You can then cut-out your bad panel using the donor piece of inner and outer panel as a template. I welded it in place using rod that would not rust and I coated the entire area liberally with etching primer. This was for a rust repair that was fairly easy to get at. In your case, I would look for a good deal on a door from another car that was rust free. I think that in the long run, approaching it this way would be better. You can use your existing lock assm., speakers if you have DSP audio and donor door does not have same audio drivers, etc. You use your current leather interior cover, et al. Sure, you will have to paint, but you will have to paint regardless of which way you go.

Cost will be tad higher using an entire door, but you can rest knowing the rust should not come back. Sounds like your door moisture barrier (clear, flexible plastic-like sheet that is held in place with adhesive) failed and may have trapped moisture. Or, your drain holes are blocked with crud. Donor doors can be had for under $200 if you look. What color code is your car? You may even find a panel that matches if your car is one of the more common colors like the silver or white- just as examples. If your car is say Lemans blue, you may not readily find. Good luck! A lasting repair can be made, but you must be meticulous in everything you do. No body shop will guarantee any rust "repair". Por 15 is the material of choice as suggested in prior response if you do go the repair route. Stuff is amazing. Like a Bondo on steroids. Great stuff and not that much more $$$ than plain body filler.
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  #11  
Old 06-29-2015, 06:54 AM
Silver-E39 Silver-E39 is offline
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Thank you all for the advice.

I bought corroseal over the weekend at Home Depot, but it seems that POR15 is the way to go for this. I will settle on trying to prolong this door as much as possible before I go out had look for a Titanium Silver door.

I'll keep this thread updated with pictures when I get to it.
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