Rusted wheel well, structurally ok?

Discussion in 'Subaru Impreza' started by bkreuter, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. bkreuter


    Mar 10, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I have a 96 Impreza, 2.2. The left rear wheel well is rusted out on top. This was discovered because the seat belt locked up, and removing the seat belt exposed the hole. Evidently water had been splashing up there for some time, corroding the seat belt and causing it to fail. (see pics)

    So I removed all the loose rust with a wire brush, and this enlarged the hole a bit. My concern is that it's right at the top of the wheel well, and the structural integrity may be compromised. There are still 3 good sides that would be supporting the forces transferred from the shocks, but I'm not sure how to analyze this.

    I could bend a bar and bolt or weld it to the good metal above and below the hole. (then of course seal the hole so water stops getting in).

    What do you think? Is this part of the body integral to taking the forces from the suspension? Should I go to the trouble of trying to reinforce this, or just seal it and control the rust? Thanks for any advice!

    96-Impreza-left-rear-wheel-well-2.JPG 96-Impreza-left-rear-wheel-well-closeup.JPG
    bkreuter, Mar 10, 2019
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