My take on the Challenger Rust issue

My experience arresting the back quarter panel rust issue caused by the foam insulation.
By James Cavender · Apr 2, 2022 ·
  1. James Cavender
    Here is my take on the Challenger Rust issue. I have read lots of replies on this subject and a few things I want to share. First, I agree with one writer that us Challenger owners did not buy the car “just as transportation”, we bought because we say a bit of the excitement lost in most of todays cars. We invested our passion for a vehicle that does more that get from A to B. So, when after a few years we find a major design flaw that we have no control over it hurts. Secondly, I have come to the conclusion that if the spray foam used to fill the cavity in the rear quarter panels had a mesh stop, so that the foam did not go ALL the way down to the rocker panel and thus block the weep holes to allow moisture to expel the panel naturally, this problem would not have happened. A simple, tiny, logical design trick. I have a 2013 SXT and the only warning I had was to find the paint bubbling on the passenger rear quarter panel in front of wheel opening after washing my car. Problem coming from WITHIN the metal. As the attached pics show the extent of damage and the work involved by my great body shop. Needless to say, I asked them to remove all the foam before they went back in to repair the area!! Cut out metal, then shop had to form the metal so as to allow the rocker panel to fit flush, spray in rust proofing, putty, paint and clear coat. Cost was a very reasonable $1,000 and $192 to rent a minivan for 5 days. They did a fantastic job and inspected the other side that shop said was, thank goodness, no rust. There must be more water action on the road on the right-hand side closest to curb is my theory. With only 40,000 miles, she has many more years of use so this had to be done. With all the inflation and shortages, I am sure new Challenger’s cost much more than the $25,000 I paid in 2013. So, there you have it guys. Rust never sleeps. No thanks to Dodge, only to the great staff at my local body shop for saving my baby.

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