My XTerra sees a lot of salt water drips and it’s played havoc, lots of rust. I now have some holes in the roof near the rack. If this was Michigan or Wisconsin I could probably find somebody who could grind back the rust and weld in some new metal … but I suspect in Southern California this would cost me about $7000 and be illegal. Any advice besides driving to Mexico or Utah to have it fixed?

Get rid of all the rust
sand clean and spray the top of the xterra with rhino liner.

If its a beater
maybe lay some fiberglass over it with epoxy resin.

Better yet - duck tape?

first thing
Get it fixed at a body shop. Not sure why it would be $7000 dollars or illegal. Andy’s idea is genius.

Second. Invest in a good hose, and use it.

Ryan L.

if anyplace had affordable
auto body repair it would be LA. You aren’t looking hard enough.

advice ??

– Last Updated: Feb-07-12 9:46 PM EST –

...... 1st decide if you want to invest the $$ to have it fixed by a pro shop . If so , bite the bullet and get her done .

If not , do a Tim the Tool Guy job on it (metal , holes , rust = sand - fill - paint ... self explanitory kind a thing , but maybe not pro looking) ... or maybe go the cheapest route , buy a tube of silicon caulk and plug her up .

Seadart … bust out the resin and glass
then call me … Can help.

Anything but silacon !
The acrid smelling buffering agents used in most formulations of silicon caulk are well known to accelerate the progress of rust on steel, even through paint. A better choice would be polyurethane windshield setting compound over the appropriate automotive pinchweld primer, over properly prepared bare steel. these items can be obtained at an auto paint store, an autoglass shop, or a body shop.


I know it is too late now, but since we.
paddle in salt water every day, we take seven gallons of fresh water with us each time. Then when we take out at the end of the day, four of them get dumped over the two kayaks, and the other three get dumped over the truck after loading the boats on.

You might want to think of that for the future.

Jack L

Use a towel
I also paddle in salt water and have had (small) rust issues in the past.

I now carry a large beach towel in my car and use it to dry my boat inside and out after each paddle and before putting it on the car. That way there’s no salt water that can fall onto your car - and it saves having to use fresh water which in SoCal might be something to think about.

washing and patching
When I’ve paddled in salt water (or even mucky rivers) we stop at one of the coin-op drive in self-serve car wash stalls on the way home and for about $2 worth of quarters we can blast off and rinse the boats, racks and car with high pressure clean water.

For the patching, I’d wire brush the big flakes off, get some of the chemical coating that converts rust to primer and cover the remaining rust, smooth over the area with Bondo or other body filler and prime it.

Then I would outline the roof neatly with masking tape and spray the whole roof with one of those black “Miracle Rubber” coatings they sell on TV ads.

Yup - have switched
I don’t do kayaks anymore, which were the biggest problem and I dry off my waveski and surfboards with a towel.

this sounds good …

had a Trooper with gutters
once the rust cancer starts it’s going to continue and a professional body shop won’t necessarily stop it if you continue putting salty things on the roof. Although the rhino liner/duratec sounds like a good idea AFTER extensive de-rusting and priming is done inside and out.