Rust is the cancer of vehicles. It is always worse than it looks. Whether it is on a classic car or a daily driver, we approach the repairs the same.
There are two kinds of rust.
1. Surface rust, where the paint surface of the panel has been compromised, like a rock chip or scratch exposing the metal to the elements and allowing corrosion to start. Surface rust, is just that, on the surface and easily repaired. However there is the other kind of rust 2. Rust coming from between two or more layers of metal after water had gained access to the interior behind the exterior panels. This type of rust damage is NOT repairable without gaining access to the inner layers, which means one of the layers, usually the outer panel must be removed, cut out.
If you want the absolute best repair possible then a full panel replacement will be the only repair that will satisfy you. We would either do this repair based on time and materials for a classic car (see the restoration page) or according to the suggested book times on late model vehicles. Full panel replacement is the most expensive type of rust repair, and in some cases the only option we have.
Most often we can perform a partial panel replacement with a rust patch panel either purchased or hand made. ALL of the time if a repair requires a patch there will be a secondary layer of metal which is also rusty. Some times we can repair just the surface of this layer, but many times it also needs new metal welded in to have a rust free repairs. These repairs are less costly than full panel replacement and still gets most of the rust fixed.