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 replacing rusted rocker panels

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JohnRedman
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Name : John Redman
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PostSubject: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Jul 24, 2021 8:14 am

The underneath ones, not the decorative covers (although I am needing the clips for those). The first view from underneath on my newly acquired '97 has revealed rust on the steel rocker panels extending from the rear wheel wells to the middle of the door on the right side and just in the back 12 inches on the left. An internet search has not turned up replacements, even on Rock Auto. I would prefer replacements to fabbing up some. I don't find a previous topic on this, so, maybe New Hampshire owners are rare. Thanks.
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albertj
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albertj

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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Jul 24, 2021 11:49 am

JohnRedman wrote:
The underneath ones, not the decorative covers (although I am needing the clips for those). The first view from underneath on my newly acquired '97 has revealed rust on the steel rocker panels extending from the rear wheel wells to the middle of the door on the right side and just in the back 12 inches on the left. An internet search has not turned up replacements, even on Rock Auto. I would prefer replacements to fabbing up some. I don't find a previous topic on this, so, maybe New Hampshire owners are rare. Thanks.

To the best I know, they have to be fabbed or scavenged. "Scavenged" means using row52.com or Copart to locate a donor car and hoping the yard technician knows how to properly break off the sections (drill out spot welds, cut panels, etc). Fabbing might mean starting with a similar GM donor rocker panel; the problem is they have not made G body cars for some time. Here is a list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_G_platform_(1995). Good luck.
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JohnRedman
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Name : John Redman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Jul 24, 2021 6:55 pm

Found a '98 but way out in WA and they are not allowing me (500 mile limit) to ask for a puller to get and send me rocker panels
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JohnRedman
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Name : John Redman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Jul 24, 2021 7:06 pm

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JohnRedman
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Name : John Redman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Jul 24, 2021 7:10 pm

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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Jul 24, 2021 10:17 pm

The eBay ones, no. (actually, h-ll no)

The CarID ones, probably. You might want to order one and see if it fits the profile well enough, as they are not that much.
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySun Jul 25, 2021 5:12 am

I've got a thread about the side body cladding here - link

I couldn't find the correct GM clips, but I turned up a grab bag of aftermarket clips that had some that worked after modification.
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JohnRedman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Oct 09, 2021 4:12 pm

Wonder of wonders, the rocker panels of my green '95 are good, so become my replacements (maybe). I read what (very) little my shop manuals have to say about the process. The book just says to shove the replacement in from the back and plug weld it back in. That is fine for my left side but my right side is much worse and involves the wheel well. Never the less, I'm still going to look for a metal bender to re-create the panel sections. With a profile gauge (which I just bought from eBay) it should be a simple job. I'm wondering also about the double-sided galvanizing given to these same panels. I had an Eagle Summit ('95) that had an aluminumized exhaust system that was still perfect when the engine gave out at 400K miles. Galvi comes out as inferior, yes?
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyTue Oct 12, 2021 9:39 am

JohnRedman wrote:
Wonder of wonders, the rocker panels of my green '95 are good, so become my replacements (maybe). I read what (very) little my shop manuals have to say about the process. The book just says to shove the replacement in from the back and plug weld it back in. That is fine for my left side but my right side is much worse and involves the wheel well. Never the less, I'm still going to look for a metal bender to re-create the panel sections. With a profile gauge (which I just bought from eBay) it should be a simple job. I'm wondering also about the double-sided galvanizing given to these same panels. I had an Eagle Summit ('95) that had an aluminumized exhaust system that was still perfect when the engine gave out at 400K miles. Galvi comes out as inferior, yes?

I would not obsess about the galvanizing supposedly given to the original body panels. There are a number of ways to compromise the metal, and 'galvanized' isn't what it used to be since car makers transitioned, by and large, to cold galvanizing. Cold galvanizing is simply painting with zinc-rich paint and in the 'real world' varies in effectiveness based in part on the prevalence of zinc particles in the coating as applied under actual field conditions (including cleanliness of the metal before application) and in part on the actual chemistry of the paint (including, I am told, age of the paint at application) carrying the zinc metal dust.

So - it remains that you have in hand some rusty body panels that need replaced. Also be sure to check the body pan and box members, carefully, as IIRC they weren't galvanized.

Albertj
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JohnRedman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyTue Oct 12, 2021 11:27 am

Oh, I'm so disillusioned. My mechanic (who no longer does outside body work) checked all the other vulnerable areas and concluded that I was "lucky". He would only oil-coat to slow down the progress as I'm 79 and won't be needing a car that much longer (he thinks). Making it 'right' is what I want to spend my money on, rather than whiskey and wild women, trips abroad etc. Thanks.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyFri Oct 15, 2021 1:47 pm

JohnRedman wrote:
Oh, I'm so disillusioned. My mechanic (who no longer does outside body work) checked all the other vulnerable areas and concluded that I was "lucky". He would only oil-coat to slow down the progress as I'm 79 and won't be needing a car that much longer (he thinks). Making it 'right' is what I want to spend my money on, rather than whiskey and wild women, trips abroad etc. Thanks.

What you can do is wire-brush (by hand or with a drill) the vulnerable areas (let the mechanic tell you what and where) then paint them with POR-15 or RustBullet. Both of these solvent-based paints scavenge oxygen from the rust as they cure (smell pretty bad too) and leave a base you can paint over or spray rustproofing over. As long as you no kidding scrape off the loose stuff and topcoat properly it's pretty much once-and-done. You **must** get the loose flaky rust off (descale) or else it will pop back up where the paint was unable to react with the rust. Basically, the rust layer can only be a flash, not a strata.

You may be able to find a handyman in your area who'll do that for you if you can't yourself.
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyFri Oct 15, 2021 7:16 pm

I've become fond of Rustzilla. Unlike POR-15 it is not toxic and difficult to use. I don't know which one will last best over the long run but I always had rust come back under POR-15. Rustzilla is thin, like water, and I think it penetrates into the rust better.
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JohnRedman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Oct 16, 2021 10:31 am

Oh, good. As soon as I figure out how much I need for my problem areas (the Mercedes, too AND my go-cart).
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyMon Oct 18, 2021 6:33 pm

Jack the R wrote:
I've become fond of Rustzilla.  Unlike POR-15 it is not toxic and difficult to use.  I don't know which one will last best over the long run but I always had rust come back under POR-15.  Rustzilla is thin, like water, and I think it penetrates into the rust better.  

I'll have to look at that.

Rust comes back under POR-15 if you don't scrape enough rust off in the first place.
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Jack the R
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Jack the R

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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyMon Oct 18, 2021 10:08 pm

I only had surface rust and I took it off using a wire brush on a drill.

Rustzilla needs scale taken off but it also needs a little left behind to convert and bond with. It has a pleasant smell and almost seems like something you would drink, but I wouldn't do that.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyTue Oct 19, 2021 4:43 am

Jack the R wrote:
I only had surface rust and I took it off using a wire brush on a drill.

Rustzilla needs scale taken off but it also needs a little left behind to convert and bond with.  It has a pleasant smell and almost seems like something you would drink, but I wouldn't do that.

That is more than adequate.

POR-15 does not stick to bare metal all that well. But you only want surface rust not anything deep and flaky. If the metal will stand up to descaling, you're golden.
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JohnRedman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyTue Oct 19, 2021 10:07 am

How about sand blast it then wait a week till surface rust appears?

John Redman
Grafton, NH
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyTue Oct 19, 2021 1:57 pm

If you're going that far, one of the rust preventative primers would be good.
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JohnRedman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyTue Oct 19, 2021 4:51 pm

Sand blasting 'in place' can't really get the inside surfaces.
John Redman
Grafton, NH
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albertj
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albertj

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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyTue Oct 19, 2021 6:05 pm

JohnRedman wrote:
Sand blasting 'in place' can't really get the inside surfaces.
John Redman
Grafton, NH

A solution might be lanolin, or another organic (not mineral) oil that scavenges oxygen to spray on inside surfaces that have rusted a bit, provided you can get it thin enough to soak in. In the past people used transmission fluid mixed with turpentine, and other 'cocktails.'
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JohnRedman
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Name : John Redman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyWed Oct 20, 2021 2:33 pm

Good info. I'll probably not go the cut and weld route after all.
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptyFri Oct 22, 2021 9:00 pm

albertj wrote:
JohnRedman wrote:
Sand blasting 'in place' can't really get the inside surfaces.
John Redman
Grafton, NH

A solution might be lanolin, or another organic (not mineral) oil that scavenges oxygen to spray on inside surfaces that have rusted a bit, provided you can get it thin enough to soak in.  In the past people used transmission fluid mixed with turpentine, and other 'cocktails.'

I've been wondering how to treat the inside of the frame rails on the Charger. They're full of mud dauber nests and I don't even know how to get those out. I haven't really studied the problem yet though, maybe they're open from the back.
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JohnRedman
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PostSubject: Re: replacing rusted rocker panels   replacing rusted rocker panels EmptySat Oct 23, 2021 10:15 am

I'm guessing that a persistent application(s) of high pressure water and air would clear out most blockages. Rinse, blow, repeat. If one has the benefit of a lift and the requisite tools then the anti rust fluids then the hot oil. That's the path I plan on (now). If my pups tongue could get in there, even simpler.
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