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1983 GMC Caballero
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I picked up a 1983 GMC Caballero a few weeks back.
The only rust I could find on it was at the pinch welds at the bottom of each door.

I checked the drainage hole on each side and it wasn't too plugged.
Here's a roughly cobbled together collage of the rust on the driver side door.
Vehicle Asphalt Automotive tire Wood Automotive exterior

The plan here is to remove the rubber seal, grind the rust down to clean metal, mask it off, and prime it.
My main concern here is overspray onto the good paint on the outside of the door.

Should I go spray can here? I found some touch up paint that comes in a bottle that can be brushed on.
Maybe that's better for preventing overspray?

I've been meaning to take the door panel off and make sure it's not rusting from the inside out.
Well earlier this week the electric window on the driver side started failing intermittently.
I popped the top of the panel off to look down in the door while actuating the motor. I saw sparks and a little smoke.
I took the entire panel off and found a rats nest of wires, wire nuts, and electrical tape.

I redid all the wiring to the switch with properly insulated wire butt crimp connectors.
It's working much better now (but not perfectly. Subject for a different thread) and no smoke.

Anyway, while I had the panel off I checked for rust.
Here's a shot of the driver side door with the panel off:
Automotive tire Hood Bumper Automotive exterior Motor vehicle

There is some spot rust but I'm not sure if that's a cause for concern.
You can see my hopefully clean wire connectors going to the electric windows.

Here's two shots of inside the door:
Liquid Fluid Wood Automotive exterior Material property

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Water Wood Bumper

Do I need to address the surface rust on the inside of the door?
There are enough holes in here I am not too worried about it holding water and rusting out.

Let me know your thoughts.
If anything jumps out at you that also needs to be addressed please don't hesitate to bring it up.


1983 GMC Caballero
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jason, what caused the rust at the pinch weld? Your truck has been painted. Did the printer not prep & preserve that area
I noticed on the outside of the driver side door you can sort of 'see through' the paint as if they didn't put on enough even coats.
There's also a lot of orange peel and even a bubble or two in the paint.

Because of that I have a feeling the paint job was not done all that well. If that's the case then I suppose they might've painted directly over rust on the pinch welds.
Not 100% sure. Eventually I will have the whole truck repainted but it's near the bottom of the todo list.

As far as the rust inside the door; if you had never showed us, only you would know.
True. I mainly want to make sure I am doing things right. I don't want surface rust to come back and bite me.
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