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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-30-2014, 10:19 AM   #1
stevenpulga
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Clever ways to cover rust

I have an 323i that has some rust showing on the quarters. Anyone have some clever ways to cover it up? Not quick fixes or anything but maybe stickers or anything else that would make it less difficult to look at


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Old 04-30-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
Encryption76
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Cover rust with stickers?

How about take it to the metal and primer/paint it. Probably some good youtube vids on the best ways to do this.

Stickers... lol.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:39 AM   #3
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Put Band-Aid stickers on it. I hear that's all the rage now with the teenagers.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
stevenpulga
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Clearly not everyone has the financials to get it fixed. Yes eventually I will get it done the proper way but right now I can't. I was just looking for some friendly help but instead you attack me. You're great for this community, keep it up
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:41 AM   #5
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NOS stickers would work, and they are proven to add 50bhp on a 323.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:43 AM   #6
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Rust is like cancer..

If not treated properly it will continue to spread and eventually kill your car.

Repair it right or not at all. Throwing stickers over it is going to allow the rust to continue to spread, the stickers will eventually fall off as well. Google search and hit up Paintscratch.com

Buy OE paint color in a spray can, primer, clearcoat and various grades of sandpaper. Take the rust down to bare metal, primer, wet sand, primer again, wetsand, basecoat, wetsand, basecoat, wetsand, clearcoat, wetsand, buff and polish. Make sure before you start spraying you mask off surrounding areas, but roll the edge of the tape to create a soft blend and not a hard line. It will wetsand and blend far better.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenpulga View Post
Clearly not everyone has the financials to get it fixed. Yes eventually I will get it done the proper way but right now I can't. I was just looking for some friendly help but instead you attack me. You're great for this community, keep it up
You could probably buy what you need to do it at walmart to at least protect it until you can afford to have it color matched ect.

If you are worried about the price of some rattle cans and sand paper then wait till something like the cooling system needs repair.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:46 AM   #8
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You could probably buy what you need to do it at walmart to at least protect it until you can afford to have it color matched ect.

If you are worried about the price of some rattle cans and sand paper then wait till something like the cooling system needs repair.
Or the CCV

or the Oil filter housing gasket

or the suspension

or the brakes..

Fact is if you're worried about the price of a little paint, you shouldn't be driving a BMW.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenpulga View Post
Clearly not everyone has the financials to get it fixed. Yes eventually I will get it done the proper way but right now I can't. I was just looking for some friendly help but instead you attack me. You're great for this community, keep it up
You asked us if putting stickers on a car is less noticeable than rust.

You can get some touch-up paint to put over it, but that's only going to go so far to mask the problem. At least it'll help the visuals.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenpulga View Post
Clearly not everyone has the financials to get it fixed. Yes eventually I will get it done the proper way but right now I can't. I was just looking for some friendly help but instead you attack me. You're great for this community, keep it up
Fixing body panel rust with stickers is the dumbest idea I have read on this forum so far. That is a serious accomplishment so congratulations. Wait until Cavi Mike gets here if you think I'm being mean. Covering it up so you can forget about it? So the rust can continue unabated, trap moisture, and perforate the sheetmetal?

If you can't afford a car, then don't have a car.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
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Let's go cheap on this. I will say that this is not a cheap car to maintain.......it's ridiculously expensive. Getting rid of this shouldn't cost much.

There's several routes to go. First get some pictures of it and post so we know what were dealing with.

You need to sand it out with either 40 or 80g sandpaper $1 maybe $3
Or a cheap wire brush from dollar store
Or naval jelly from auto parts store with multiple coats till it's gone.

If you like the car you need to get rid of the rust. The bolt on panels don't rust bad. Some barely at all. Like the doors, trunk, hood and fenders. These are different metal composite than the main body. I'm guessing better metal for crash purposes.

Then get some high build rattle can primer......$7 spray 3 coats letting each one dry about 10 minutes. Sand with 320 grit $2 with a soft sanding pad at a body shop store $2

Then a can of spray paint to spray it. You need to protect the metal to stop the rust

Primer will make it worse.....has to have paint on it. Contrary to popular belief......primer isn't water proof. It is like a sponge and absorbs water. The only reason I recommend any of this is because you want to cover it up or put stickers on it. And you asked a cheap way to cover it up.

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This is the expensive way to cover it up. The gray primer on that is water proof......but it's epoxy primer and has to be shot out of a paint gun with activator. It's the ONLY water proof primer.

This community has the most knowledgeable mechanics and experts on this car. There isn't many problems your e46 will ever have that has not been discussed or solved here in these forums...They do things right and are for the most part sophisticated. They are fanatics and spend more on wheels than some people spend on their whole car. They don't like cheap fixes, cheap parts, tasteless mods, and will hammer on anyone who does so. They typically aren't nice about it.....Don't take it personally.

You are at 2 posts so you are new here. Check out jfoj, mangos sig to learn a little about what's going on with software diagnosis....which you will need....and preventative maintenance.

To post pictures here.....load them into a flickr account.....select picture......copy bbcode and paste it here
image by -glhxturbo-

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Old 04-30-2014, 03:48 PM   #12
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OP, glhx has "enlightened your path"
Don't take it as this community is responding in an offensive manner. Some are more direct than others.
Each one is coming from different environments, with different opinions etc. That's what makes this forum productive. I am from Eastern Europe, for some, here, I am just some guy with an e46 from some land they never seen and which might, automatically be some place from Borat movie

But, seriously, I don't feel offended, it is each one's right to presume and, don't worry, we, in EU, also do the mistake to put a negative tag on US (like, I mentioned in another post, here is a great vault of resources on e46....in my country, you can find only some translations, copied from such websites, as nobody cares any more about e46, being a really obsolete car, in EU, like it or not).

Getting back to your post, OP, it is natural that members would jump to say: can't afford doing .... on an e46, don't own it. It is a community of people who believe in this model and, as such an idea of covering rust with stickers, is a little bit tragicomical. The rust will still be there and I don't think you need to hide it from anyone, unless you are thinking that the main idea of owning an e46, in US, is to ride along, showing everybody your shiny premium european car (in case you use a glossy sticker )

Seriously, follow glhx's advice...some repairs can really be done on a tight budget. If you feel stranded financially, maybe you should admit to yourself that this car is not suitable to your current budget and trust us, all those who spent a lot on maintenance and repairs, your current issue is kids play, compared to many other serious costs, which may follow quite soon,...
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #13
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If you cover the rust it will keep spreading, sometimes even faster. It needs to be removed by sanding or cutting it out, then repainting. If you can't do it right you're better off sucking it up and waiting until you can than making it worse. My first job as a machinist/fabricator bassman told me something I'll never forget. If you can't do something right you certainly won't be able to go back and fix what you fvcked up. It's very good advice.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:33 PM   #14
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this forum is going downhill.... now we want to cover rust with stickers? Do you redline your car everywhere so you can say,"v-tec just kicked in yo?"
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon002 View Post
Rust is like cancer..

Buy OE paint color in a spray can, primer, clearcoat and various grades of sandpaper. Take the rust down to bare metal, primer, wet sand, primer again, wetsand, basecoat, wetsand, basecoat, wetsand, clearcoat, wetsand, buff and polish. Make sure before you start spraying you mask off surrounding areas, but roll the edge of the tape to create a soft blend and not a hard line. It will wetsand and blend far better.
Brandon, Can you expound on blending (soft blend). I've taped/painted before and with that nasty line, the new paint job sometimes looks worse than what was there before.... at least to me.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:24 PM   #16
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When you apply the masking tape, roll the edge, that way when you finish painting and peel the tape it's a feathered edge, not a hard line.

Hard to really explain. I will take a picture in a second.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:29 PM   #17
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If you google "3M soft edge masking tape"

It's basically a strip of tape that is tube shaped, so that when you spray it blocks overspray but doesn't cause a hard line. If you take a normal piece of tape and roll it in to a tube, then mask off with it you get the same effect without having to spring for the more expensive soft edge masking tape. Does that make more sense?

So stick a piece of tape down, pull back the edge closest to the surface you are painting, fold it back so that it is curved and then tape it down so that it kind of resembles the 3M soft edge tape.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:22 PM   #18
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Bling it!
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:24 PM   #19
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Hopefully he hasn't replied because he seen the error in his ways.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:34 PM   #20
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why in the hell did you buy a 14 year old bmw that you cannot afford
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