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Old 12-03-2012, 04:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How about another rotten rocker panel brainstorm?

A couple months ago I noticed a rust bubble between the back door and whel well so I got the grinder out this weekend and before I knew it I had the rocker trim off and I was staring at a bunch of rust under the back door. Front door actually looks pretty good.
I ground off most of the crap metal, sprayed some rust converter on it, and a couple coats of primer to get me by for a while.

Took it by the body shop today and he said $300 to weld in the replacement rockers (supplied by me - they're pretty cheap, $25 per side) and paint it.

Sounds like a fair deal, but as usual - now I'm thinking I should just tackle it myself.
Given the location - appearance is so unimportant it seems like something that would be pretty hard to mess up bad enough for it to matter.
I think one of the hardest steps to get right would be locating the holes correctly to allow the trim to snap back in place.

My main objective would be to clean it well enough, and protect it well enough to keep it from rusting at least for the next 3-4 yrs.

He described the prep process to me and as I understand it he basically expects me to have it prepped before I take it back to him. He explained where to cut the bad panel so it could be replaced and welded with a new piece.

I have done some basic welding before, but I would have to acquire a welder. I might be able to access one at work for a few hrs.

What about coatings before/during installation?
It seems like it would be wise to coat the new panel before welding it in place, but I don't expect any coatings around the weld area to fare well.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are weld thru coatings. I don't use them. I spray the inside of the rocker with Eastwood Heavy Duty Rust Preventer after welding, and call it a day. Should outlast the rest of the car.

Jeep Rust Repairs

Finished, and after rust proofing:

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks eg. The welder (and weldING) will probably be my big obstacle. I have a couple possibilities in the works though.

I've been searching around for some internal rust inhibitor sprays. Seems like a good idea.

I think I can open it up a little more w/o any real effect on having enough material left to attach to. It seems to me I need to make a better effort to clean (probably wire brush on the grinder) some more loose rust out of there.

What about a good filler?
I have a half-dollar sized hole on the little strip of metal between the door and wheel well that I will need to try to fill.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Liquid_force View Post
Thanks eg. The welder (and weldING) will probably be my big obstacle. I have a couple possibilities in the works though.

I've been searching around for some internal rust inhibitor sprays. Seems like a good idea.

I think I can open it up a little more w/o any real effect on having enough material left to attach to. It seems to me I need to make a better effort to clean (probably wire brush on the grinder) some more loose rust out of there.

What about a good filler?
I have a half-dollar sized hole on the little strip of metal between the door and wheel well that I will need to try to fill.
MIG welding autobody type steel is something that takes practice to do right, it's thin and will be very easy to blow through. All of the rust inside of the rocker area needs to be removed before welding in new rockers, if you don't it'll come back very quickly. Usually a combination of grinding and sandblasting does the job. As for the hole between the door and wheel well, I believe what you're talking about is the dogleg, if there's a hole anywhere on that, it's likely much worse underneath. You will have to cut the wheel arch out and replace it with a new repair panel, they are around $60 on ebay.

After you get the rust issues sorted, get the car undercoated with an oil coating. It's very popular in Canada and it works very well. They will fill the rockers and interior panels as well. One popular company that does this is "Krown Rust Control".
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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MIG welding autobody type steel is something that takes practice to do right, it's thin and will be very easy to blow through.
I suppose I should mention that was not my first attempt at panel replacement. I learned how to do that on my first car-about 25 years ago. However, I haven't done this type of work since the early 90's. It's almost like riding a bike.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I suppose I should mention that was not my first attempt at panel replacement. I learned how to do that on my first car-about 25 years ago. However, I haven't done this type of work since the early 90's. It's almost like riding a bike.
By the looks of it, you did a great job in the photos!
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Last edited by JW657; 12-05-2012 at 04:46 PM. Reason: grammars and such
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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By the looks of it, you did a great job in the photos!
Thanks! I'm happy with the way it turned out.
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