What Happens to Bondo Bodywork After a Couple of Years?

About 3 years ago I did some body repairs to the rear quarter panels on my 1993 Acura Vigor. To be honest, this was a $500 car and I didn’t put too much effort into it. My main goal was to seal up a water leak.

It only took about a year to start to see the paint bubble again indicating the rust had returned. Perhaps I could have done a better job of removing the old rust, but it’s been my experience that if you don’t cut the rust out completely and replace it with new metal, it’s very likely that the rust will come back in a couple of years.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t use Bondo, or do fiberglass repairs to your vehicle. I’m just trying to point out something that Neil Young sang about years ago, Rust Never Sleeps. So don’t be surprised if in a couple of years after you do a bond repair that the rust comes back.

At least my trunk doesn’t leak anymore, and that was my main goal.

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26 thoughts on “What Happens to Bondo Bodywork After a Couple of Years?

  1. Pretty darn good for 3 years 👍

    I did a repair on a car on one side using fiberglass and epoxy resin over perforations and it delaminated after three years, on the other side of the car I used JB weld instead to bond the fiberglass to the steel and it's still bonded to the metal. So yeah, for small jobs bondo's all you need, especially if the car's old and isn't worth much but if you get serious perforations with extensive rust damage you can still fix it cheaply without going the expensive welding route, using JB weld to bond fiberglass cloth (the smooth type) over steel, then regular bondo to fill it up as usual, it'll stick to the metal much longer. Because JB Weld takes a long time to cure, I use small ND magnets to hold the fabric to the sheet metal 😉. And to those that say JB Weld is expensive, yeah, if you use the teeny consumer size kits – they sell large ones for pros that have 5 times as much stuff for only twice the price of the teeny tubes.

  2. a used car dealers repair would have lasted maybe a couple months, they repair the bodies just enough so the buyer can ride it off the lot and then its the new owners headache.

  3. The reason that paint bubbled up is because there must’ve been air bubbles in the bondo and the air expands but I didn’t see the original video so I don’t wanna criticize too much

  4. Hey Eric dont fuck around with rusty panels bruh its gona keep eating away at the panels for as long as you keep the rust there inside. use rustoleum rust eater or the evaporust works wonders bruh.

  5. I fail to see how new metal is going to rust less than fibreglass. Entire car bodies are made of fibreglass and boats. What failed here was the painting solution, with moisture still getting in somehow.

  6. Hey Eric, what if you cut out the affected area just like you were going to weld in a patch, but then patched it with Bondo instead? How would that work?

  7. This is why you deserve the number of subs you have… for following up on stuff like this. I spose it makes it easier when the crowd might remind you or ask for it but still… it’s actually useful and appreciated.

  8. Idk what you did because I couldn’t find the original vid but collision repair shops do this all the time with bondo and years later there is nothing wrong

  9. Nice video! I have rust on the area you're touching around 1:542:12 . The car is a unibody style. The body is all one piece, except the front fenders, hood trunk and doors, obviously. What are the options for completely removing the metal in that area. I want to research before I pull out a cutting wheel. For reference it's a 1980 Mercedes 450SL.

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