Friday, June 28, 2013

Rocker Panel Repair

Fixing the left rocker panel of our van

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

Back in May I had to fix the holes in the rocker panels on our van to pass inspection. At first sight I thought I could just patch up two or three small areas but upon further inspection I realized that the whole left rocker panel was pretty much shot and instead of spending two nights to fix half of it and then another two nights fixing it again in a year or so I figured I might as well replace the whole thing from front to back.

The process was pretty simple: remove the old rusted panel, weld the new one back in, body-fill it, sand, primer and paint it. And that's all she wrote but I have to say that fixing those bloody things is an UGLY, DIRTY, LOUD job. Not something I would do for fun!

About the right hand side: It was actually pretty good except for a couple of small holes. I just patched those up with some body filler and painted over top of it. That patch job will do for the next 2-3 years...

A small hole but not much around it holding up the hole
Those "specialists" at the shop jacked up the van by the rocker panels and bent the snot out of them so I had to straighten that mess out again...ughh...
After the rusty rocker panel was removed. What a dirty, ugly job that was!
The bent rocker panel straightened out again with my hydraulic body kit from princess auto
I welded a 1" x 1/8" piece of flat steel in to strengthen it and give me a good surface to weld the new rocker panel to
The new rocker panel spot welded at the bottom
And then welded at the top
Looking straight down, the back of the rocker panel by the wheel well; that was completely rusted off
After it was patched with some heavy duty tar
Body filler ready for sanding
Another view
Sanded and ready for primer
After it was primered
Then I gave it 3 nice coats of dark bronze metallic paint
Good as new, actually, it's probably better than new

Angle grinder
MIG welder
Impact wrench
Socket set
Body filler rasp

Rocker panels
Body filler




Looks wonderful. I'm sure glad that's done!


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