Aside from the rocker panels, there are a few other places on the car that should receive special rust-proofing. Because the car had been stripped to metal, it became highly vulnerable in obscure spots where the new paint didn’t reach. One example is the cavity directly underneath the headlight well: an area with no other purpose than to gather moisture. Some superficial rust had already begun to form in those spaces and I decided to kill it quick. My remedy was a small can of POR-15, the anti-rust and sealant most recommended by auto-restoration bloggers. Also recommended is a companion bottle of Prep & Ready to season the target surface for best adhesion of the POR-15, although I suspect it will adhere to anything by its lonesome, including pure rust itself. POR-15 brushes on like glossy black paint, and cures to a non-porous, UV-proof, rock-hard yet flexible finish that is indestructible. The manufacturer warns not to get any POR-15 on the lip of the can, or you will never get the can open again. As you can see in the image above, I barely got the fresh can open for the first time!
I hit both spaces as thoroughly as possible with a wire brush and then vacuumed up the residue. Masking the space was critical since the only way to apply the sealant was through 2 tennis ball sized holes. I used a long-handled 1.5″ brush to spread and smear the POR-15 all over the floor and corner seams of both chambers. Since I couldn’t reach directly under the holes, I sopped up the POR-15 and squeegied the brush on the lip of the hole so it ran down inside, creating a shallow lake to cover the entire inside bottom surface. If you’re going to do this, remember to lay some newspaper under the car to catch the bleed-through. It DOES NOT come off concrete.
Another area that is susceptible to corrosion is the front trunk weatherstrip channel, especially the sheet metal seams close to the headlight wells. Soda-blasting had cleaned it out nicely, and I want to keep the rust gone. After masking and scuffing the channel with a Scotch-Brite pad, I applied a couple coats of POR-15 all the way around.
The only remaining spot that needed better protection was the drain trough of the door wells, both inside and out. The rotted originals had been cut out and replaced by the body shop, and sealing them up seemed like a happy idea. With the windows and related hardware not yet installed, it was easy prepping and applying a couple coats with a brush. Door wells most always have drain holes, so it’s important to keep them from being sealed up, or the whole purpose will be defeated. It’s a good idea to remove the masking tape before the POR-15 gets too hard, otherwise the tape may not come off without some time-consuming surgery. You can see where I marked the location of the drain holes in the picture below: