When You Start Tearing Through Rust... (Bronco Update)

There’s a reason I do not bother to fix rust that’s worse than surface level. Once you start tearing into cancerous rust it’s always worse than you originally expect.

Sheryl wanted to try restoring her new to her Bronco. I advised that we’ll run into far more challenges than we expect, but she was confident in moving forward. Challenge Accepted.

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Neither of us have tried bodywork before and the limits of my rust repair have thus far been limited to surface rust or just replacing bolted on rusty panels with new ones. Nothing like this.

Illustration for article titled When You Start Tearing Through Rust... (Bronco Update)
Photo: Mercedes
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This is the driver seatbelt anchor. It was holding on by a thin strip of rusty metal that while I couldn’t remove by hand, very slight prying with a breaker bar completely separated. It wouldn’t have held up in a crash.

Thankfully there’s enough good metal and ample replacement parts to safely repair this, but it’s a very disheartening sight.

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Illustration for article titled When You Start Tearing Through Rust... (Bronco Update)
Photo: Mercedes

Rocker panel and driver side floorboard repair is going well... but far more of it is rotting than we thought. The truck will definitely be more solid when we’re finished, but it’s definitely less of a daily, more of a Gambler and very much a project car.

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She is turning in her lease soon and the Bronco was to be the new daily, but the rust repairs will definitely stretch out that timeline a bit. At least the right side doesn’t need floor repair. Right side of the truck is what the kids would say is “mint”.

To fill the role of a daily I will probably give her a car. She loves American trucks and would love to learn manual with the Ranger. That works with me! Better than me jumping it and splitting it in half. Daily the cross country proven Ranger and have a Bronco project. Worst case, she could sell the Ranger and buy something with the GM 3800 engine she loves or her other dream car, a Chevy HHR.

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Update: She’s changed her mind. This will only be an offroad truck and she’ll find something without rust as a daily. Probably start off with the Ranger, then sell it when she gets bored for a Pontiac or the HHR.

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