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There’s an IAA auction location pretty close to me, and there’s a 2005 Impala LS with only 74,000 miles and a clean title for sale with a buy it now price of $475. The catch is the rust. Anybody here ever replace rockers on one of these? I’m assuming you have to remove all the doors and both front fenders to do it properly. Only thing is I’m wondering if the rest of the undercarriage has severe rot. When these cars rust, do the rocker panels usually disappear first while the rest of it remains pretty solid? I guess if it turns out to be rotted too bad I could use it for parts for a clean one. Never had a 2000-2005 model. Currently have a 2012 LTZ as my daily and I love it. How are your 7th gens holding up? Would like to start a discussion about this.
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Wow! That looks horrific to me! 30+ years and I’ve never seen rust like that in that location. I’ve got an ‘02, bought brand new in June 2002, almost 234,000 miles now, and it still looks showroom new down there. Got a few rust spots on flat panels like the roof, trunk, and hood, but that’s due to yet another defective paint job by GM, and I can fix it well enough.

I know you say clean title, but I’d be really concerned that this car sat in salt water from a coastal storm at some point. The classic scam is they take the car out of state where it gets a new, clean title, and I’d suspect that’s what happened in this case.

I wouldn’t touch it.
 
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Move on brotha, best case you can use it for parts but not many seeing that you own a new impala. Thats to bad to save, i mean you prob can save it but youll need serious weld skills and another donor car.
 

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Move on brotha, best case you can use it for parts but not many seeing that you own a new impala. Thats to bad to save, i mean you prob can save it but youll need serious weld skills and another donor car.
Yeah that’s true. I’ll probably stay away from it. Most vehicles look like this where I live, in PA a mile from NY they use way too much road salt and it rots everything out.
 

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Wow! That looks horrific to me! 30+ years and I’ve never seen rust like that in that location. I’ve got an ‘02, bought brand new in June 2002, almost 234,000 miles now, and it still looks showroom new down there. Got a few rust spots on flat panels like the roof, trunk, and hood, but that’s due to yet another defective paint job by GM, and I can fix it well enough.

I know you say clean title, but I’d be really concerned that this car sat in salt water from a coastal storm at some point. The classic scam is they take the car out of state where it gets a new, clean title, and I’d suspect that’s what happened in this case.

I wouldn’t touch it.
It is pretty bad, but I’m right in the salt belt and a lot of vehicles around here actually look like that. Where are you located? I was curious how these cars are holding up rust wise for people in various locations. I’ll probably stay away from it and look for a cleaner one, but that low mileage got me a bit interested. I was less interested when I saw that pic of the rocker lol.
 

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It is pretty bad, but I’m right in the salt belt and a lot of vehicles around here actually look like that. Where are you located? I was curious how these cars are holding up rust wise for people in various locations. I’ll probably stay away from it and look for a cleaner one, but that low mileage got me a bit interested. I was less interested when I saw that pic of the rocker lol.
I'm in the Carolinas. You don't see rot like that here. But I grew up in New England and lived there for the first 30 years of my life. As a kid I saw rust like that on 60's and 70's model-year vehicles, but then the rotted-out cars seemed to disappear into the 80's and mid-90's when I left. In recent years, however, on trips back home, I've noticed the old rotted-out fenders starting to show up again (like in the 70's). I wonder if what they're putting down on the roads nowadays is even more caustic and corrosive than years ago because I thought they were protecting the bodies of these vehicles better than ever the last 25+ years.

It's just amazing to me that a vehicle could rust that badly. It takes some serious neglect over a period of time to get to that point. And this is a spot that's clearly visible, so you'd have to think this vehicle has been sitting in water somewhere for a long time ... like maybe at a junkyard where it had sunken into the mud and every time it rained the bottom of the car was submerged (and nobody was paying any attention to it)?

I was just starting to think maybe we're throwing the baby out with the bathwater ... and if you could get that thing on a lift and really see the extent of the rust, maybe it's worth salvaging with only 74,000 miles ... because that's not even its half-life, mileage-wise. But if it's been sitting in a pond of water, the exhaust system will be completely rusted out. That's probably enough to "total" it right there. Probably cost you around $1500-$1800 to straighten that out ... and what's the "ceiling" value on this car once it's all fixed and ready to drive ... $3000 ... maybe??

Forget it. It's priced really low because somebody knows how much money it'll take to make it road-worthy again. Even if you move the decimal point and buy it for $47.50 ... it's probably still questionable as to whether it'd be worth the time and money.
 

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I'm in the Carolinas. You don't see rot like that here. But I grew up in New England and lived there for the first 30 years of my life. As a kid I saw rust like that on 60's and 70's model-year vehicles, but then the rotted-out cars seemed to disappear into the 80's and mid-90's when I left. In recent years, however, on trips back home, I've noticed the old rotted-out fenders starting to show up again (like in the 70's). I wonder if what they're putting down on the roads nowadays is even more caustic and corrosive than years ago because I thought they were protecting the bodies of these vehicles better than ever the last 25+ years.

It's just amazing to me that a vehicle could rust that badly. It takes some serious neglect over a period of time to get to that point. And this is a spot that's clearly visible, so you'd have to think this vehicle has been sitting in water somewhere for a long time ... like maybe at a junkyard where it had sunken into the mud and every time it rained the bottom of the car was submerged (and nobody was paying any attention to it)?

I was just starting to think maybe we're throwing the baby out with the bathwater ... and if you could get that thing on a lift and really see the extent of the rust, maybe it's worth salvaging with only 74,000 miles ... because that's not even its half-life, mileage-wise. But if it's been sitting in a pond of water, the exhaust system will be completely rusted out. That's probably enough to "total" it right there. Probably cost you around $1500-$1800 to straighten that out ... and what's the "ceiling" value on this car once it's all fixed and ready to drive ... $3000 ... maybe??

Forget it. It's priced really low because somebody knows how much money it'll take to make it road-worthy again. Even if you move the decimal point and buy it for $47.50 ... it's probably still questionable as to whether it'd be worth the time and money.
Here they use a lot of road salt in the winters, and I’ve seen cars and trucks as new as 2015 with large rust holes. Even though that rust isn’t all that shocking for my location, I agree with what you said about it not being worth it. Just took it off my watchlist. Whenever I visit the Carolinas I’m always amazed how even 20-40 year old vehicles are completely spotless. Where I live the average 2010 Dodge RAM looks like absolute garbage. There’s some pretty late model vehicles in the junkyards due to all the corrosion.
 

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Here they use a lot of road salt in the winters, and I’ve seen cars and trucks as new as 2015 with large rust holes. Even though that rust isn’t all that shocking for my location, I agree with what you said about it not being worth it. Just took it off my watchlist. Whenever I visit the Carolinas I’m always amazed how even 20-40 year old vehicles are completely spotless. Where I live the average 2010 Dodge RAM looks like absolute garbage. There’s some pretty late model vehicles in the junkyards due to all the corrosion.
I guess if you live up north where they salt the roads you need to stay ever-vigilant, and at the first sign of rust forming, repair it ...even if it doesn't look professional ... at least stop the rust from spreading by sanding, priming, and re-painting (using the matching factory paint). Then, at some point in the future, maybe you take it somewhere to have it professionally repainted ... but at least your metal has been preserved.

That said, I bought my '89 Mitsubishi brand new up there (Massachusetts) and drove it 160,000 miles over 6 full years and never had any rust on it. And I never worried about rust, either ... nor did I wash the car any more than minimally. To me, at that point in time, rusted cars were a thing of the past. But, thinking about it now ... it seemed to me that they had switched away from salt to just sanding the roads around that time ... but I could be wrong.
 
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