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The Horror


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After starting my body work in earnest, I found rust under "decorative" rocker panel trim. See pix. I think I pretty much whittled it back pretty close to unblemished metal.

How much should I cut out? I REALLY don't want to replace entire panels/fenders; would prefer to cut cleanly and weld patches. Looking for advice. ...this sucks.:sick:

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Well, both the areas you show are common rust prone areas, if that makes you feel any better....

You can cut out the rusted out portions and just put small patches in but by the looks of the rust behind the holes, I'd say you'd be better off buying the patch panels that are available and going to distance...You might end up putting new rockers in as well if the rust has compromised the rocker at either end.

The front fender is the easiest of the two..or should I say less difficult as you can remove the fender and get it up on a bench where you can work on it.

The dog leg behind the door is the more involved and is probably one of the two toughest fixes, second only to batter tray rust. You need to take a good look on the inner fender and see if you have any rust through there... I just did one side of mine and had to buy a complete inner fender patch panel and cut the bottom six inches off it to patch where the rust had gone from the dog leg through the inner fender. Not only does it go into the inner fender, but it can get into the rocker and the door jamb as well.

If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, you might be ahead of the game to get a body man look at it and see what they would charge to repair if you supply the panels.:ermm:

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The metal you see behind the large hole in the fender is actually the part that caused most of the problem.:disappoin

The backside of the fender has bracing that runs down the back of the fender to stiffen the bottom and it is open to all sorts of debris and water. The water from the cowl drain dumps down right on top of the end of the rocker and then it gets inside these braces and causes the outside of the fender bottom to rust out.

You really need to take of the fender, as the front of the rocker could be needing repairs as well as the hole in the fender..:ermm:

Sorry to give you bad news, but if you take it apart and then it's OK, you'll at least know one thing you won't need to worry about for a while. If it is bad, well, after you get done replacing what is bad and fixing the hole in the fender, you won't be getting any surprises in the next few years...

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Well at least you have one side that looks good on the outside. Now all you have to do is get those 4 stubborn bolts out of the bottom of the fender so you can take the fender off and get in there to see if you have any hidden surprises..

Those 4 bolts are usually the ones that will snap off, so be prepared with a good E-Z out, or a left hand drill bit and a tap and die set. But, be carefull, as I have in the past while trying to loosen those bolts, taken a chunk out of the bottom of the rocker panel.. Just letting you know, just in case:ermm:

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