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Rust in t-top and leak.

This is a discussion on Rust in t-top and leak. within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; This is not news to me, I knew the t top had rust when I bought the car. I am ...

  1. #1
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    Satin Black
    1998 Trans Am

    Rust in t-top and leak.

    This is not news to me, I knew the t top had rust when I bought the car. I am planning on getting a wire brush drill bit and try to remove the rust, (perhaps sand it) before applying rustoleum primer and then paint.

    Here are some pics. Any thoughts or suggestions on what else to do?




  2. #2
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    make sure to tape off the windshield.

    Damn that's the most rust I've seen in that area....hope it's all surface and not deeper.

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    Satin Black
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    That second picture, which is a close up of the first one, does look really bad.

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    024mula 024mula's Avatar
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    Man your sunvisors look rough.
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    1998 Trans Am

    Yes, they do. I bought the car 7 months ago. It seems they didn't take much care of it. I bought it cheap...more like a project car. Then we had a baby about 2 weeks later, so I am just now finding the time and funds to work on the car.

    Back to the rust....it's pretty bad. It's got a couple of holes. Do you guys know if this part is "replaceable"?




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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
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    going to need to weld those...

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    Member SuperSSguy's Avatar
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    Hey Juan....Sorry to see that! From what I see its pretty bad, The rust definitely looks deep and it wont be cheap to fix but almost anything on cars nowadays can be fixed and/or replaced its all about what were ready and able to spend...I've seen some products that you can use for rust that would stop further erosion from happening but that wouldn't do anything for the strength of the metal or leaks....also if you have some bad-ass fab guy/welder im sure they would be able to either take that top piece of the metal from a donor car and re-weld it or just fab up some metal replacing the damaged area..either way it wont be a cheap way to go...its just in a bad spot!

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    POR15 Is your closes bet if welding is not an option

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Hopefully there is no rust behind the windshield gasket. Like previously mentioned, get an upper A-pillar from a donor car in good condition and have it welded in place of your rusty A-pillar.


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    Since I am not looking for showroom quality, I sanded it down, sprayed rustoleum paint, then used Bondo Plastic Metal (oxymoron) to cover the rusted areas, sanded it down and sprayed 2 coats of rustoleum paint.

    Obviously, you can see where the bondo was applied, since I am not a professional, but hopefully it will stop the rust.

    Since I recently dipped the car satin black, I used black semi gloss rustoleum paint. Now I have to either paint, or use plasti dip on the rest on the t top bar.





    Last edited by Tataocb; 03-22-2016 at 06:11 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tataocb View Post
    Since I am not looking for showroom quality, I sanded it down, sprayed rustoleum paint, then used Bondo Plastic Metal (oxymoron) to cover the rusted areas, sanded it down and sprayed 2 coats of rustoleum paint.

    Obviously, you can see where the bondo was applied, since I am not a professional, but hopefully it will stop the rust.

    Since I recently dipped the car satin black, I used black semi gloss rustoleum paint. Now I have to either paint, or use plasti dip on the rest on the t top bar.

    Click for full size

    Click for full size

    Click for full size
    As a temporary repair, it looks fine.

    Are you planning on keeping this car a while?

    The good new is that you got the rust that you saw, the bad new is you will not have fixed the rust that you didn't. With surface rust like that, you can be sure that the area under the windshield is rusted up a bit, possibly under the A pillars as well, as gravity wouldve pulled the water towards that way.

    If this car is a keeper, I would find a good/repubtable body shop price out replacing the sheet metal in that area, and possibly the A-pillars (if needed) to know what you are looking at.

    I know you arent worried about it not being a show car but these cars are uni-body construction, that area does support the windshield and the roof, and these cars dont start out as the most rigid things to begin with, and it could become a big problem in a collision, if the rust eats enough of the support areas.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tataocb View Post
    Since I am not looking for showroom quality, I sanded it down, sprayed rustoleum paint, then used Bondo Plastic Metal (oxymoron) to cover the rusted areas, sanded it down and sprayed 2 coats of rustoleum paint.

    Obviously, you can see where the bondo was applied, since I am not a professional, but hopefully it will stop the rust.

    Since I recently dipped the car satin black, I used black semi gloss rustoleum paint. Now I have to either paint, or use plasti dip on the rest on the t top bar.

    Click for full size

    Click for full size

    Click for full size
    As a temporary repair, it looks fine.

    Are you planning on keeping this car a while?

    The good new is that you got the rust that you saw, the bad new is you will not have fixed the rust that you didn't. With surface rust like that, you can be sure that the area under the windshield is rusted up a bit, possibly under the A pillars as well, as gravity wouldve pulled the water towards that way. Also remeber that the Bondo isn't as strong as the metal its replacing.

    If this car is a keeper, I would find a good/repubtable body shop price out replacing the sheet metal in that area, and possibly the A-pillars (if needed) to know what you are looking at.

    I know you arent worried about it not being a show car but these cars are uni-body construction, that area does support the windshield and the roof, and these cars dont start out as the most rigid things to begin with, and it could become a big problem in a collision, if the rust eats enough of the support areas.

  13. #13
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I would be seriously considering the cost of this fix vs getting a roller and doing a drive train transplant.

    You can find a V6 Firebird for cheap and if your front clip is in good condition, transfer it over as well.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    I remember the "Frankenbird" that we watched get done here last year. Forgetting all of the hard core stuff he did, would the cost of a V6 roller, and the swap really outweigh finding a decent (not show quality) LS F-car? I don't know if he has a lot of mods on what he has now, would a swap necessarily be worth it if the car is stock?

    If the rust is the only real problem the car has, he can use it for spares on anything that may be off on the replacement car, save what he wants, and part out the rest, without having a lot of down time.
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    Satin Black
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    Thank you all for the great ideas and informative posts. I have not made up my mind yet if this is a keeper or not.

    It has some other issues as well, mostly from the previous owners not taking care of it. The upper rear seat is all messed up, so I just took that out as well as the seat cushions. The dash is messed up from an old sat. radio mount that was glued to the dash and then removed...so I am not sure yet. It is pretty much stock, except for the flowmaster muffler.

    I remember that back when I was looking for the Trans am, I saw a couple of Firebirds with blown head gaskets that were selling for $600-$800. Right now I am having fun with all these projects and enjoy the power it has when I take it out for a spin.

    If you thought the sun visors looked rough, check out the dash.


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    Damn they F#$k that car up. You sure it's not a flood victim?

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    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    Hmmm...I never thought to check if it was a flood victim. What would I need to look for?

    I did get a VIN report and it did not show anything out of the ordinary.

  19. #19
    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    Where did the car come from? And a clean Vin # doesn't always mean it wasn't wrecked or in a flood. There are ways to keep them from being reported.

  20. #20
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quickest way would be to look under the carpet and dash. Nobody cleans under a dash or carpet. If you have dried mud under the carpet or mold would be good indicators.

    Look in hard to clean spaces in the engine bay for rust or under the car seats.

    Other obvious indicators would be electric issues.

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