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2G How I restored the exterior of my 2G GSX

I have been getting a lot of questions about the process I used to restore the wheel well areas and frame of my GSX and figured I would share some of the knowledge I have learned from the process and well as what NOT to do from my trial and error at times..

Ok so here is how I did my setup. To me the process seemed the best since all the bases SHOULD be covered for protection. I am obviously not 100% sure since I do not know exactly how the chemicals react to each other etc once they are put down, if that makes sense hahaha. Anyway, so the process varied depending on the area I was treating and restoring. So here goes... oh and wear the proper PPE!! I found out the hard way what happens when you don't a couple times.

For the WHEEL WELLS... (bottom of car and inner frame at bottom of page)
(1). Wire wheel everything down to bare metal. This to me was the most tedious and time consuming part simply because of access and material already there. I found the fastest way to get the bulk of the area down to metal fast was to use the twisted wire wheels mounted in an angle grinder. After that and for harder to reach areas I used my Dewalt drill with a wire brushed chucked into it. I found the circle wheels worked best and got into the seams very well. For extremely hard to reach areas I had to go with the wire wheels you can put into a Dremel. Takes forever since you can only go at a certain speed, but patience is key with everything here. It took me about a full two weeks to get all four wheel wells down to bare metal in every... single.. spot. Please wear eye protection... I can't stress this enough. I say this because I ended up having to make a trip to the eye surgeon to have a rusty piece of metal removed with a needle out of my eye because of the, "Oh its only for a second" mentality. Also, this makes a HUGE mess especially when you start flinging off the OEM seam sealer and deadening material!! Cover anything in the area you do not want covered in a layer of crap. At times I even had to use a manual handle wire brush... sucks.

SIDE NOTE: Be sure to mask off any areas you do not want treated, like the subframe areas that stick out.. or brake lines.. whatever. If you can remove stuff, remove it and put it back later. You will thank yourself later when you are not having to work around a control arm or something..

SIDE NOTE TWO: Be sure to plug ALL screw/bolt/nut studs so they do not get covered or made un-usable later!! Can use plugs from ACE in the hardware section or make a cone out of painters tape. Be sure to remove them before the por15 protector sets up though or they then become part of the car once it dries.. to clean bolt holes use a wire shot-gun brush on a drill at slow speed. Then spray with rust convertor.

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SIDE NOTE THREE: DO NOT COVER ANY RUSTY OR SUSPECTED bad metal or you can make the problem WORSE by trapping it under all this. This process I used SHOULD eliminate any and all rust on ONE side of a metal, but remember there is always a back side to the metal too. If possible always treat BOTH sides.

(2.) Next I douched the area in iso-propyl alcohol so get all the dust and grime off as well as help with cleaning without damaging the metal. This was pre-covid but I bought the really big jugs from a medical shop, and then after covid I would have to settle for smaller bottles at a time from grocery stores and stuff.
(3.) After this I sprayed por15 metal prep over all the bare metal and just followed the directions for how to apply. Says to never let it dry and keep it wet for a certain time. This etches the metal as well as leaves a very thin zinc coating.
(4.) After this wash the area with water. Here is where I went probably nuts with it but follow me here... I didn't want to use just hose water or tap water because of the crap left behind when it dried. So I used filtered and treated water haha. I know that sounds crazy but I want it perfect. So willing to spend the little time and money to get water that will not leave garbage behind.
3. After it is COMPLETELY dry.. bone dry, I used rusto-leum rust convertor/protector just in the seam areas. Anywhere there was OEM seam sealer or two metal seams met I spray two coats of this.
(5.) Next after COMPLETELY dry... I used black (they also make grey for those that want to color match if you paint the wheel wells same color as car) por15 seam sealer to seal every single seam again, and even areas that didn't even have sealer originally. Again, basically anywhere two metal pieces came together I laid a thick bead down. This is another area you have to be patient in. I cant remember exactly how long, but I THINK the tube/box says it takes 90hrs to full cure!

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(6.) So here is the super messy and super dangerous part.............
I am using the por15 Rust Preventative coating in the wheel wells. This stuff is extremely messy and VERY hazardous to your health. At ALL times around this stuff you need to wear a respirator.. not a particle filter.. a chemical fume respirator. Get one from home depot please... do not kill yourself or anything please! Wear clothing you don't care about because even when I tried to be extremely careful somehow it still gets everywhere. I bought a long plastic under bed tote to put under areas because it helps catch any drips or whatever. Also keep a brush cleaning or acetone can or something near by to quickly wipe any that gets on your SKIN or something you didn't want covered. it cleans up super easy while its wet.. but once it dried if its on your skin you will be wearing it until you peal it off.. again.. I know because even with thick latex gloves and long sleeves and a bunny suite and goggles and respirator.. it still finds a way on you.
I did three light coats like it recommends on the can and used sponge brushes you can get from Homedepot in a big pack. I poured the stuff in a small paint roller cup/thingy also from home depot. Follow the can on how long to wait between each coat, but again.. patience is key! Do not rush it since you have done all this work so far anyway! I would set a timer each time so I would not forget and also not rush it.
I will also stress this... this stuff is very pungent. You will be wearing a respirator but as soon as you take it off, you will smell it.. this includes inside the house if you are working in the garage haahah. I tried to do all this while my fiancé was away so I would not be in too much trouble.. we all know what I am talking about.

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(6.) Once the sealer is fully cured, I used a scotchbrite pad to rough up the por15 rust preventative coat and I shot two coats of rust-oleum self etching primer over the entire area.
(7.) Next I coated over the area with two light coats of rusto-leum automotive primer. This step is probably not needed since its so well protected already but I did it anyway..

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(8.) FINAL STEP... final thing I did was spray three coats of PRO grade rusto-leum undercoating. Make sure it is the PRO can, and not the normal one. The pro adheres and provides better quality in the end.
Ok for this stuff... this stuff it almost worse than the por15 rust preventative.. it leaves a layer of black particles EVERYWHERE.. my entire garage was coating in a light dusting of this stuff. Seriously.. it flies everywhere. You HAVE to wear the chemical cartridge respirator WITH the particle filter attached to it too. The respirator comes with both and replacement ones for the 3M one do too. Second.. it smells god awful. The smell is actually way worse than the por15. Way worse. I smelled this stuff in the house for two days... again.. try to minimize exposure to kids/wife/husband etc. or you will definitely hear it from them.
(9.) Wait for it to dry and then step back and enjoy your newly restored wheel wells!

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For the Bottom of Car.... (covering inner frames below this)

I did exactly the same steps EXCEPT for using the por15 rust preventative coating. That is the can stuff you brushed on the wheel wells. The bottom of the vehicle does not trap as much road grime and stuff like in the wheel wells since there are not tires flinging stuff around the whole time. It still does get lots of stuff on it though so be sure to take everything down to bare metal to expose any weak metal or rust. Use the same process as the wheel wells to get it there. The bottom of the car took significantly longer just because of the amount of area of course but also because you are working upside down the entire time. Be careful not to bump the jack stands or move the body potentially causing it to call off them too. It took me a MONTH to finish the bottom.... so BE PATIENT. There were times I honestly wanted to give up or cut corners, but push through it and you will be soooooo glad that you did not give up or do a shoty job.

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For Inner Frames and Rails...

So in trying to get every part of the car treated and taken care of I am using this stuff by Eastwood that is supposed to spray in a 360 pattern and coat the inside of a frame. Well, the reviews say it is messy and that is an understatement. This shit get EVERYWHERE and is a pain in the ass to use.... first is that it DUMPS the coating out. It drips from everything LOL. Second is that if the tube is not straight it just pools in one side and the other side is “lightly” coated. It takes a lot of work to get right. Like a lot of work. But it works and it’s thick. Used a lamp and mirror in a lot of spots and it did in fact coat everything. TIP: Know where the end of the tip is when letting off the nozzle! If you pull the thing out and it’s still spraying it get all over everything. Including yourself because of course you are close to the damn thing looking at it hahaha. I used plastic covid face shields from amazon and they were priceless the first time the nozzle squirts black shit that would have ended up all over your face.. Keep all tools and stuff away from the area you are spraying.

Pro Tip: This stuff works its way into every single lap and crevasse. Be sure to check your work area often and make sure you are not accidentally spraying it in a rail but its also coming up through the front cowl and getting all over the outside door... like it says on the can and website, try to tape holes and exits to keep it from making more of a mess too. Trust me.. again, from experience.. it is messy.

A trick I learned to get the tube straight is to open the box and take the tube out. Unwind it and use some duct tape to tape the ends down while pulling it straight. Let it sit this way for a couple days and helps a lot. Be VERY careful with this stuff and again, be sure to have some acetone or brush cleaner near by to get overspray or drips etc off you and the car.

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Last edited:


Supporting VIP
Sep 13, 2012
St. Paul, Minnesota
Great job! Thank you for the thorough explanations — and cautions — and all of the pictures. All DSMs should be protected in this way.
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