Register a free account today to become a member!
Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more here.

Clio Phase 1 - Rust repair - On the cheap - Pictures


ClioSport Club Member
  Renault Clio 1.6 Rsi
Evening all,
I was on the hunt for a nice rare colour clio sport to replace my rusty 1.2 phase 1 cheapy runabout, however in the end, due me only being 21, the insurance was still daft money. So I thought sod it, took some sandpaper to my arches and here's what entailed.

Please dont take this as gospel, this is something I've done on the super cheap, on the side of the road, outside the house, this won't be bodyshop perfect but dependant on the work you put into this you could get close.

First, what you need -
- 1/4 in socket set
- 1/2 inch socket set, or a couple of spanners will do it
- flathead screwdriver
- rubber mallet
- sand paper (dry) 90,100,500,800
- sand paper (wet) 2000,2500,3000
- p38 filler
- knifing putty
- filler primer
- paint matched rattle can
- lacquer
- kurust
- little paintbrush

So, first, I went to look behind the doorcards because i figured if the rot was right the way through i would have to wire brush the insides too.
In order to remove the doorcards you need to remove the speaker grill which just pulls off, then undo the 4 torx bolts holding the speakers in and pop the clip off on the back of the speaker. Now pull the seat bottom up towards you so its upright, you will see its attached with two metal tabs, pull up, wiggle it around as your pulling, angle it differently, eventually it will come out just move it around and pull up. Now your going to under the rear seatbelt bolt that's usually hidden by the seat you've just wrenched out, and also undo the seatbelt bolt for the front seat, it's the bolt holding the little black bar and the bottom of the seatbelt on. Once you've done all that, you need to pretty much rip the doorcard off, I thought it would lift up, but mine didnt, the way I did it was to tilt the back of the seat forwards (towards you) as if you were flat folding, I think got my fingers under the back of the doorcard and pulled as hard as I could, its feels like your gonna snap it but It wont so just pull. There only seems to be clips along the top edge so just move your way along popping the clips and it will come off, you have to move the back of the seat around abit to manoeuvre the door card out. Once it's off you can stick your head in and inspect the damage.

To my surprise this is what I found! Clean a whistle, just goes to show the outside can sometimes be deceiving, you will see what I mean in abit!
If you have rust in there I would reccomend a wire wheel on a drill, or get your hand in with some sandpaper until the rust is down to good metal. Then apply a good coating of rust converter, in my case I used Kurust and a little paintbrush.

This is after a good helping of Kurust was applied to where it looked like there was abit of surface rust. The white blob is filler popping through in case you are wondering, I took this photo later on as at first I couldnt get the doorcard off (wasnt pulling hard enough) so I left it before I lost my temper!

Inside the black circle you should be able to see that little silver bit, this is the drain hole, make sure whatever you do inside your sill or outside that you keep this passage clear, I used a wooden stirrer to poke any things through that got in there.

This ladies and gents is the outside of my car!


It's not going to be nice, but you need to chip all the rust off, I used a small rubber mallet and a flathead screwdriver, i hammered the screwdriver head at and angle, so I was chipping away at any metal that's to far gone, and that above is what I ended up with, nothing loose left.

Looks worse than it is! Once I had chipped all the loose rust off I then took to a low grit sandpaper and a block to rub back the surface rust to bare metal, or as close to as possible. Once your satisfied your rust is as gone as you can get it, or be arsed to get it, apply some Kurust to the bare metal areas, dont be stingy with it, get a good helping on!

The metal then changes colour and your left with something not looking too bad!

Next I filled. I can honestly say it takes talent to be this hopeless with filler. For anyone doing this job and reading this, dont put too much filler on, you will spend hours sanding, trust me, I know! I'm sure you already know, but golfball of filler to a pea of hardner and mix well as ed China would say.

I gobbed so much filler on that it took me hours to sand back as I'm doing it by hand. I used 90 grit sandpaper to take it back. Lots and lots of 90 grit.

After many many swear words, many sheets of 90 grit, many sore hands and arms. This is the result, its pretty smooth, fairly accurate and all in all not too bad. So far my total bill is £6 as the sandpaper and tools I managed so scavenge from my fathers shed, so I've only paid for filler so cant grumble to much. By the time I had done this it was 8:45pm and my back and hands were buggered so i packed up for tonight. Providing the weather holds tomorrow I have plans to use knofing putty, a higher grit sandpaper and hopefully get some primer down. If not then I shall have to wait for the next nice day/evening after work.
Hope this is a helpful start for someone, I shall keep this updated as I go so eventually this will be a full "guide".


ClioSport Club Member
As a temp repair that will tidy it up, but without cutting the rust out fully and letting new clean metal in, i can pretty much guarantee that will be bubbling in 6 month. Been there and done that in my youth :LOL:

6 months? You're very generous ;)