AMC Pacer



driver's door lower edge

The pictures on this page show some neuralgic parts of the Pacer's body. If you find a Pacer in that condition, on one hand that's bad because it is not rust-free. On the other hand, it could be much worse, because this Pacer at least openly shows its weaknesses. The worst case is a Pacer that was conditioned for selling at an inflated price by the use of bondo and paint. Removing the make-up is much more expensive than having a Pacer that's just rusty rebuilt by a knowledgable body shop. A body rebuild consumes a lot of money or time — and don't forget to calculate the paint job! — so an (at least almost) rust-free car should always be preferred. You never get out what you put in a restoration when you sell a car, so it only makes sense if you repair the car for yourself and don't think about selling it fast.

Endspitze links

Rust endangered parts on the Pacer's body are: The front wheel wells, the floor panels (mainly under driver's and front passenger's seat), the rocker panels, the lower door edges, the rear quarter panels and the complete back below the trunk lid. No inner fenders stop the rear wheels from throwing mud and dirt everywhere in the back of the car. The dirt settles down wherever it can, and corrosion is inevitable. "Minor rust around license plate area" is very likely to translate to "full body restoration".

Seitenteil rechts

More rust nests are at the edges of the windows, hidden under the chrome covers. The firewall corrodes where panels are welded together, which can be the cause for water puddles in the foot wells. Other causes for that are bad door seals, leaks around the wiper motor or a loose windshield. The windshield is glued in place, something that's standard now but wasn't in the 70s. If the glue should appear to be ripped, best bet is to have the window re-glued by an expert. Don't use silicone sealant, as it contains acids that act as corrosion accelerators, and you don't need that on a Pacer. If you need a fast and cheap, yet not lasting solution, that doesn't make matters worse, use a special body sealant.


What else?

The doors weigh around 80kgs (the passenger door is heavier than the driver's door, as it's longer). No hinge can withstand that force eternally. If the door drops down when it gets opened, new hinges are due. With the giant doors, big gaps between them and the body panels are inevitable. If the gaps differ strongly between top and bottom or left door and right door, check for signs of an accident. The gaps between hood and fenders normally are exact and not too big.

The trunk lid lifters wear out with time. When the button is pushed, the lid should go up by itself. On most Pacers, it doesn't anymore. But if it does stay up by itself, that's at least something.

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Last modified: 2019-12-25 16:17