Windscreen rust repair

An often encountered problem with old cars and in particular the Talbot Express van (also go under Citroen C25 or Peugeot J5) is rust around the windscreen. This post describes how I treated the rust and postponed a bigger expensive workover.

Rust around the windscreen of the van was getting to a point where I just couldn’t ignore it anymore. Rust was visible in the corners of the windscreen and paint bubbling several places. As described in this post, rust had formed as a result of water entering behind the windscreen rubber seal. Below picture shows the gap between the rubber seal and the chassis.

First thing was to examine how bad the metal condition was. I was hoping that I didn’t need to take out the windscreen. Both because that would mean a lot worse situation than apparent from the outer side but it would also be a job more complex that what I wanted to do as a DIY.

Luckily I found from grinding down the rust that the structures were intact (no holes in the metal) and the repair could be done without having to take out the windscreen. I have seen several pictures on the internet of Talbot Express vans with rust around the windscreen that didn’t look to bad from the outside but showed to be much worse when working it.

I used a couple of different grinders but found below hobby machine to be easiest and most efficient to use.

Being my first rust repair I definitely had some challenges and the paint result is far from perfect. However, the rust situation has definitely improved and postponed the need for a bigger workover at an auto body shop.

Apart from removing the rust around the windscreen I also wanted to improve the situation for it forming again. That included both sealing of the windscreen perimeter trim but also avoid the exposure of water by changin the gutter design slightly. Next I wanted to prevent further rust developing those places where I could not grind down the rust itself. So all in all, what I did is summarized below:

  • Use and old toothbrush to remove dirt / algae behind the windscreen perimeter trim.
  • Grind down rust around the windscreen. Lift up perimeter trim where possible and grind under it.
  • Treat all areas (grinded as well as those behind
    perimeter trim) with rust protector / converter.
  • Spray all areas (also behind the rubber band) with rust protective primer.
  • Treat certain areas with metal filler, grind it down and re-treat with primer.
  • Seal the perimeter trim with windscreen sealant all around.
  • Paint the worked areas multiple times (Talbot Express from 1995 white (close to pearl) color code 224 fits with motip colorcode 45450 –
    Corfu Bianco).

Some of the materials for the job can be bought here:

All in all I’m quite happy with the result. It is not perfect – in fact, you can see all places treated (which I guess is not really the purpose with a paint job!).

Below pictures illustrate the process.

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