I got new tires put on new wheels. I got Sonata wheels to replace the rusty steel wheels on my Elantra. Rusty steel wheels are a clue to how well the PO or POs took care of the car...not very well. At least the rear struts look new.
Swapping wheels I found rust holes. They go all the way through!
At the front of the wheel well. The front mud flap thing was holding a lot of grime, dirt, and some car in it. After opening this can of a car, I am no long a fan of mud flaps. They may stop debris from flying and scratching, but they hold dirt, mud, and crud.
Moving toward the back of the wheel well: more rust problems were discovered. Next, I decided to take off the bumper cover. After finally finding all the screws I realized I still had some bolts attached. The brackets were made of rust! Crap. Only 1 of 4 brackets survived removal of the bumper from the car. This was quickly followed by learning the left side of the trunk is vented. The right side of the trunk is not vented. My car seemed to think this was a problem, and it fixed the problem: the lower area under the right trunk corner rotted away. Some poking and scraping led to: I can see my muffler from here, and the ground from within the trunk. Shit.
All the rust lead to a last minute trip to the Pick-a-Part for a new rear bumper cover. I found a 2005 Elantra with minimal rear fender rust. 3 of 4 brackets are intact with 2 in good shape. It seems venting prevents trunk rust and worsens bumper cover bracket rust. (I find this very interesting, and it makes sense; rust happens where the water goes or stays.)
My project is still not road worthy, and still does not have any purple. Next, it will get some bondo, with some purple. Hopefully this does not go too horribly.
Here is some wrenching music: