Rust issues with 89' Chevy Blazer - what is the cost for repair?


#1

In the photos here you can see there are quarter sized holes in the passenger door and some rust damage underneath the car. To me it doesn’t look like that much, but the previous owner did a bunch of work himself - maybe that’s why. To remedy all rust what do you think the price would be? Me welding is currently not an option and I have zero experience doing work on cars. Thanks.


#2

More than the car is worth if you have it done professionally. Like, a lot more.

If it were my car and I was absolutely determined to keep it and insisted on taking care of the rust, I’d get a wire brush and get all the rust off of the underside, patch any holes with Bondo, and spray a rust-converting paint on there. Then I’d go to a junk yard and get a new pair of doors, hopefully from a Blazer the same color as you’ve got so you don’t have to repaint it.

Realistically, I’d just drive it rusty until it got too rusty to be safe. Not much point sinking a pile of money into that vehicle – take the money you would have spent on fixing the rust and put it in a savings account toward getting another car.


#3

Lets say I’m being completely irrational about the rust though, and I’m keeping the vehicle in perpetuity. Are we talking $1000 in rust repairs, $3000, higher? Replacing a door isn’t a big deal except that would automatically mean a paint job because this vehicle is extremely aged to the point it looks flat black. Most people seem to avoid repairing rust and they either ride it out or purchase a new car - I am considering ignoring those options. Any potential quotes in dollars? Thanks!


#4

In my area of the country, Blazers of that era all began to be badly affected by rust problems after just a few years, most likely as a result of very poor or non-existent rust-proofing at the factory. Thus, even though shadowfax’s suggestion about getting doors from another Blazer is a good idea, I really question whether you would be able to find doors–or any other body parts–that were not badly eroded by rust.

But, before undertaking any body repairs, I would suggest that the OP have the vehicle put up on a lift for a thorough inspection of the frame, brake lines, and floor panels in order to see just how much rust in on the underside of the car. I think it is likely that there is so much unseen rust that repairing/replacing body panels would be sort of like rearranging the deck chairs on The Titanic as it sinks below the waves.

However, only an inspection by an eagle-eyed mechanic will tell the story.


#5

^That is very wise. Thanks for your help.


#6

The only way you’re going to keep this vehicle in perpetuity is as a planter behind your mailbox. Rot is cancer. This buggy has already seen its better days.


#7

Yep, couple thou at least for cosmetics but you really need a polish and wax job. Rust starts from the inside and works its way out so it is much worse than what it looks like from the outside. Plus those moldings on the side may look nice but they hold in water, salt, and crud making rust worse. The ones to ask though are the guys at the body shop of your choice.


#8

Meh. Assuming the frame is in good shape, the car’s never gonna look showroom. Fix the rust yourself, replace the doors, and then spraypaint the whole car with rattlecans. Wetsand after and use some rattlecan clearcoat. It won’t win any car shows, but it’ll look fine, from a distance anyway.

If you do that, the most expensive part will be the spraypaint. You can get a giant bucket of Bondo for not very much. Most of the “expense” will be your elbow grease.

If you have a body shop do it… Hell, you’ll have trouble finding a body shop willing to do it - they don’t like touching jobs that aren’t covered by insurance, on vehicles where the price of the work will far exceed the value of the vehicle. Why? Because if you decide to screw them and not pay, they can’t sell the car to get their investment back. but assuming you do, I’ve seen body shops charge $1,000 just to do a small rust patch on a rear fender. On your vehicle, wouldn’t surprise me if it was well over 5 grand.