The sound of rusty metal parting

…is not a welcome noise. Today it came from the driver’s door window regulator. Consequence? The window glass remained in its frame and didn’t drop into the door.

At least it will be raining tomorrow so I can spend some time in the garage removing the door card to inspect the regulator and glass.

I thought the regulator was getting stiff to operate.

I saw the title and immediately assumed you went out to the garage and heard a 1960’s era Fiat rusting.

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I bet a 1970’s Lancia rusting would make more noise. :sunglasses:



I had a 1982 Beta HPE. It didn’t rust out while I owned it. It was a fantastic car to drive, half sports car and half carry all station wagon. Chopped it in for a Capri 2.8i. Which 9 years later was stolen.

I did own a Fiat rust bucket for a while. Sold it just after I wound the jacking point into the sill while trying to change a flat.

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I was thinking the sound of a Vega rusting…:smiling_face:

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I’m reminded of a friend’s '65 OTS. One day just before getting in for a drive she noticed the nose was a little lower than the previous day. It was resting on the radiator, both hinges had rusted off.


Some said, Alfa Romeos Alfasud rusted already in the catatalogue :wink:

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Hold on there amici :grin:,

When I left Italy in 1984 my well used 1967 Fiat 500 had only a few “crusty” areas. Foot wells were solid-ish but safe. My buddy’s Alfasud never got a chance to rust because we totaled in a ditch to save a mulo or to survive not hitting one….
Lancia’s were considered a few steps up and held up well.
Fiat 128 and 127 and Autobianchi 112 and 111’s on the other hand….

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Or a P A cresta :scream:

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It’s truly sad, that so many really cool Italian cars from this era fell victim to the rust…
I heard the main reason was because they started to use recycled steel that unfortunately was polluted by nonferrous metal, thus no good chance to last…

All I have ever owned are E-types and Vegas. Sadly the Vega (especially the later ones) seems to be made of stainless steel compared to what I have seem from the E’s. Not near as many hollow spaces on the Vega that will hold moisture. Even my 400K mile '71 Vega (the worst year for rust) is still holding up well and has never had any work similar to E-type floors and sills that seem so common. Luckily my current E-type has always been an indoor fair weather car and rarely driven in the wet.

68 E-type FHC

Alas, body rot was not solely Italian and not solely 1970s. I recall a 1970s Morris Marina perforated with rust at 4 years old. More recently, a 2004 X Type which had no sills left. It was little more than ten years old at the time.

It’s raining today, so tinkering with the door…

The inspection…

The glass came out easily, but the rubber seal has seen better days. Evident on the glass is overspray from when the car was tarted up in 2002/3.

This looks awful, but it is a mixture of rust and oil/grease. It’ll clean up nicely. However…

… the glass channel is beyond saving. Replacements are available, as is the rubber seal.

Further inspection revealed…

…the door frame bracket has fractured. Quite when this happened I don’t know, it may even predate my ownership of the car as I can always remember the door frame moving. This part is also available.

The regulator mechanism is sound and reasonably free in operation. It will not be replaced, although it too is available.

It looks like I’ll be giving SNBG an order today. First I’ll check to see if I can add any other ‘wants’ to the list.

My personal record on rust-through is that I bought a brand new Datsun B-210 hatchback in 1975 while in college. I think it was the cheapest car on the market, and seem to remember paying not much more than $2,000 for it. There is a good reason why you never see one, even in junkyards. In our Michigan salty roads the body panel metal rusted through in less than 2 years. If you listened closely, you probably could hear it rust.

Ditto 1200s: I rarely ever see one, anymore.

My friend was so happy when someone t-boned his Alfasud at the traffic lights

It was insured for way more than it was worth

definitely not a coastal car

seemed like the entire vehicle was rust, with little pieces of sheetmetal in between


It was the “Alleggerita” version :wink:.

Much more valuable

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Further inspection…

The glass channel is not as bad as I thought. It will be preserved, but a new seal will be fitted.

Once out …

…the regulator did look rough. But a spell with brushes and degreaser…

…had it looking much better. The spring is still rough but most of the rust has gone. Now I’ll just grease and oil everything up and wait for replacement seals and brackets to be delivered.


As for rusty cars, my own worst experience was a Ford Escort UK model. One day while cleaning I noticed a little flake of painted metal was coming away from the sill. I picked at it. And pulled. And the whole sill front to back fell onto the floor. Along with half of the rear wheel arch.

I patched it, and sold the car as soon as I could.


Cleaned components and a delivery of parts from SNGB today meant I could crack on…

One part to replace was the broken window frame mount. The new bracket didn’t quite line up. So I pulled the door cap off (it had been rivetted on - why? It is supposed to be a push fit!) and pulled the window frame out. Where the frame attached to the top of the door had broken and been welded. Not well enough, the weld had fractured.

And when I pulled the remains of the broken bracket out I found it was hand made from aluminium. No wonder it fractured. The frame was already loose at the top of the door, an aluminium bracket just wasn’t strong enough and fretted with the movement. I wondered why the frame was alway loose. Now I know.

It’s all back together now. The frame is much more solid. The window glass is not very secure in the channel. I feel the need to apply some adhesive.

Another day.

Before refitting the door card I thought I’d test the window regulator with the door shut. Wound the window up, climbed in, and… both handles and all my tools were outside the car! That door mechanism is very stiff to operate without a handle.