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Rocker Panel Question


xxjoeyxxeb

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Hey guys,

Thinking about starting the body work project soon. Heres a pic of my rust, and I was wondering if this part is the right one to replace this rust. http://www.tabcobodyparts.com/html/table_of_contents.htm

http://www.classiczcars.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=19380&cat=500&ppuser=9982

It doesn't seem like that part I showed as a replacement goes up to that flat part.... anyone know which part that is that needs to be replaced? Thanks

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What do the ends of the rocker look like where the fenders fit up to it? If they are good by all means just patch it with flat stock. If the ends are also rusty then you will want to replace the rocker panel. Yes, the rocker panel from tabco fits nicely.

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What do the ends of the rocker look like where the fenders fit up to it? If they are good by all means just patch it with flat stock. If the ends are also rusty then you will want to replace the rocker panel. Yes, the rocker panel from tabco fits nicely.

Not sure that I buy this argument. When I pulled my fenders there was literally a pile of sand on top of the rocker tips (used to live near the beach). The ends were rusty but then about 3 inches inside the rocker they were perfect. I replaced the doglegs in the back and did patch a little hole in the front, but the middle section was pretty damn clean. Pics on this thread over at hybridz: http://forums.hybridz.org/showthread.php?t=102470

I think in this case if the top is that rusty then it is likely that they need to be replaced, but I don't think that's a good rule of thumb either. The only way to know for sure is to actually look inside the rocker and inspect it.

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Thanks guys, I should probably strip the paint down before I make the full decision, but I think a new rocker panel will be good... from the outside of the car it is recessed, so its not smooth. Anybody ever have a shop do this for them? I'd love to do the work myself, but I just don't have the money to buy a welder or anything. Just curious on any "estimates". Thanks again guys.

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jon;

Looking at his pictures there is more rust in those rockers. After having several of these a part I can not agree. If only the front three inches were bad I may agree. But he has rust on the top letting water into the rocker panels the full length. I am not talking just the front fender what does the dog leg look like? I was going to post pictures of the inside of the last set I pulled off which were in better shape then his but, my camera died.

I my case I can replace the rocker almost as fast as repairing it. Especially once the dog leg has been cut out. Lets me treat the metal under the rocker the full length while it is apart. I don't see any damage in the center of the rocker on the other link so why use it as a comparison? Comparing apples and oranges.

I also believe I said if the ends are also bad change it if not repair it.

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Looking at his pictures there is more rust in those rockers. After having several of these a part I can not agree. If only the front three inches were bad I may agree. But he has rust on the top letting water into the rocker panels the full length. I am not talking just the front fender what does the dog leg look like? I was going to post pictures of the inside of the last set I pulled off which were in better shape then his but, my camera died.

I thought you said that if the ends are rusty you want to replace the rocker. In reading it again, you said "If the ends are ALSO rusty". I wasn't saying I disagreed with your diagnosis, only that part. I thought you were making a blanket statement that if the ends are rusty just replace the whole thing. My bad. I can't see a situation where it's not a good idea to look inside the rocker, and since most of these cars need doglegs anyway you can just cut the dogleg off and then you'll have a better idea of what needs doing.

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I don't know that I can agree from the one picture that there is more rust in the rocker panel....from the ONE picture. That rust is the typical rust found underneath the door weatherstripping and the aluminum threshhold plate. Those holes are more than likely caused by the screws that held the aluminum trim piece. As such, the rocker may still be relatively clean of rust inside.

The front threshhold of the door opening where the other screws that hold the alumimun trim in place don't show any rust.

This does NOT mean that the rocker is necessarily rust free. As Jim pointed out, it IS possible that water has seeped in through those holes and caused rust, but not necessarily a fact. The rocker panel DOES have drain holes which might be more at fault for letting water in than these screw holes.

Joey: Post some pictures of the rest of the rocker, both front and rear ends as well as the center, and check for bubbling. Once we see more pictures we can give you a better idea as to whether the full rocker or a partial. Then again, if you have the money, the time, and the welding skills, then heck, replace away... new metal is better than restored metal.

Jon, the rust you found in the rear quarter panel is from the condensation inside the rear quarter panel that seeped into the rocker plenum. Unfortunately the "geezer" as you called him, probably only replaced the metal that had rusted away and didn't do further. Could he by chance have been the "low-bidder"? If so, that might explain why he short-cutted the job.

On another point, the rust you mention on the FRONT of the rocker (sand et al) is generally the result of the cowl draining into the space between the fender and the body and depositing the debris it washes out of the cowl onto that ledge. Sand is notorious for holding water (almost better than leaves/pine needles), so, that you had some rust issues because of the sand isn't surprising. The poor drain design is why I added PVC hoses to mine to actually drain OUTSIDE the car.

But your point of looking inside is spot on. That's the only way you can really see what's going on there.

Joey: Lift the vinyl on the inside of the rocker and look inside the reinforcement holes on the inside rocker metal. You'll need a light and an inspection mirror, but you'll be looking inside the rocker.

FWIW

Enrique

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Could he by chance have been the "low-bidder"? If so, that might explain why he short-cutted the job.

Nope. I called around to every body shop in town when I was fixing that rust and told them I wanted to hold the pieces of rusty metal in my hands when they were done. The geezer was the only guy willing to show me the metal after the job was complete. I don't think any of these internet sites were around then. Too bad, I'm sure it would have been less expensive and I wouldn't have had to do it if I had access to this site or hybridz.org at the time.

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Took some pics First two are from the outside, looking at where the front meets the fender, then third is the rear quarter joint, and the others are after I peeled away the stripping and the underside of that panel inside the car.

After looking at the front joint, it looks like there might be some rust on that corner of the fender. It looks like I'm going to have to strip the paint on the car to see how bad it is.... hopefully I don't find too many surprises.

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If you have a small digital camera, pull up the vinyl on the inside of the rocker and stick the lens into one of the holes so that the camera faces front of back. If your camera is like mine the flash and lens are on the same side. Then take one picture inside the rocker facing forward and one facing back.

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The "front joint" is actually just the overlap of the front fender over the rocker panel. As such it isn't a joint at all. The rust you are seeing is undoubtedly from the vibration abrasion of the fender to the body, exacerbated by the pound or more of debris that's undoubtedly sitting inside the fender area and resting on the ledge that Jon mentioned. That's where the cowl drain tube empties.

You'll need to remove the fender(s) to see just how much crap and damage is there. Then you'll know if you have damage in the forward part of the rocker panel.

The "rear joint" is a true seam joint between two pieces of metal. The small amount of rust visible there is normal to an unmolested rocker panel. (i.e. one that hasn't been opened up and other than a repaint, straight from the factory) However, you really need to look inside that area as best as you can. There are a couple of holes on the inside part of the rocker where with a flashlight and an inspection mirror you should be able to get a good look in there and asses whether it's rusted on the inner part.

Take a look at the pictures jmortensen put on HybridZ to see what a poorly addressed rear rocker /dogleg turns into (the half-assed repair the old man did) and what you eventually end up doing if you don't address it properly NOW. Not saying that what you end up doing now, may not end up being what Jon did, but that you may avoid having to do it again, as Jon had to.

2¢

E

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