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Manta B - Rear Wheel Arch Repair


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thought i would share my experience of discovering rust in the rear wheel are in a Manta B.

may be helpful for anyone looking at a Manta and knowing what to look for.

this car was a near new import to New Zealand and you may find its not as bad as some others of the same era.

the shell looked mint until it was media blasted.

perhaps others can share their similar nightmares?


















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All done in my shed.

There are other repair options for the Manta, I chose to do this one as it was the easiest one for me in NZ.

Everyone has an opinion on this subject, I am only posting this to share my experience after finding it very hard to find any decent information

I hope this helps anyone worried about a rust repair and simply needing to see what can be done.

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Tidy job Derek,

I done the same to my old mk1 cavy

I welded up the panel continuous jumping from side to side but their was too much heat hence the panel warped :/ , Apprentice mistake , good idea pluging the holes , didnt think of that at the time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

You have done a nice job there and I am not going to be popular but you have potentially made 1 rookie-ish error. Typically you use the smallest panel piece that will do the trick but leave you on the solid. Basically you would normally cut down the patch panel unless it is rotted that far up to enable it to be cut out bigger next time. You go to the maximum size of panel straight away you have no where left to go next time except smaller or unpicking that seam, and seeing as seems have a habit of attracting rust that can be tricky.

A second aside is that the easiest way of removing an arch is to hold a grinder at 45 degrees to the spot welded flange and run I t gently around the outside corner until a think line, typically brown appears, that is when the vertical side is separate from the flange. It's then relatively easy to see where the flange is held and often it peels off but beware sharp edges.

Looks to be coming along nicely

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No mate the biggest error was starting working on a car that had previous botch repairs.

I think the next repair will be a new quarter panel.

Some time ago (on an Chevette) I removed a patch repair that was done low down in the arch and there was a hell of a mess between the outer skin and the inner guard, looked ok from the outside but absolutely boggin inside as there was no way of getting down between the panels with any decent seam sealer. looked like they had squirted some paint in there and hoped for the best, which turned out to be a short term fix only

used a similar spot weld unpick method yesterday but with a carbide burr (un picking a bonnet skin from its frame)

Edited by opelmantagsi
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To be honest that doesn't make much difference, soaking the seam inside in thinned primer a few times so capillary action can suck primer into the gaps and fill it is the best thing. I tend to joggle the panel on the car these days so any liquid running down the inside hopefully does not rest on the edge of the seam or get sucked in, however , you appear to have joggled all the way to the ends of the panel and potentially the quarter to sill bottom seams, I tend to butt weld the last few inches because not only does your seam have to be sealed 100% perfect inside and out so does the pre-existing seam or water can travel along this into your work. Most restored classics last because they are embalmed with rust inhibiter and rarely see a wet road. You are working on a car that when built brand new would need welding within 7 / 8 years. Don't get me wring you are doing a great job but and sound like you may have gone big with the repair because of previous work, but the point is more for those looking to do similar. Regarding the rust, if I get 7 ot 8 years out of a repair on one of these used as a daily drive I count myself lucky. If my bit lasts the original bit 3" away may be gone lol

Anyway I have no sympathy for rust repairers until they have done one worse than mine :)

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Interesting point about the joggled edge.

I've just done the same repair although only used the actual arch section of the panel as it was really only the lip that was bad on mine.

I was aware that its better to joggle the car to prevent creating a moisture trap but I also had to joggle the repair panel in the end as with a Manta there is no way you can fit the joggling tool up under the quarter panel due to the curve of actual wheel arch. How do you do it on the car - is there a different tool to the one pictured in this thread that can fit in tight spaces?

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