Replace your Rockers
by Pat Goss
Although vehicle manufacturers have made huge improvements in preventing body rust on vehicles, we still have some out there that are like this. And that is rust. What causes rust is where dirt and moisture combine inside or between two pieces of metal, dirt holds the moisture, it eats itself from the inside out. Now in this case you may have to replace this due to structural damage or because local laws and inspections require that you do that. Is this a do it yourself job?
Maybe. Maybe not. See down here we have two separate types of rocker panels. A complete one here, and this one we have a slip on. Or one that lays over the existing one. The slip on, pretty easy for those if you have moderate skills in body work and so on. The other one not so much.
Because the complete rocker, you may have to take both doors off, you have to strip the inside, take the carpet out, take the seats out, possibly the front fenders. All kinds of stuff you have to do. So you have to evaluate your skill level, you tool set and so on and make a decision based on that.
ZACH MASKELL: Well Pat, this white beauty is my workhorse. You would think I park it in the ocean. Well the rocker rust didn’t really bother me at first but then it started raining, rust would drip down onto my driveway, leaving rust stains. I got underneath to take a look to see if I could tackle this issue myself but quickly realized, I need some help.
Rons Rod’s was my go to shop where any body tool imaginable can be found. Once we removed the trim, we located the spot welds and pried them off. We then cut off the existing rocker, this revealed the inner rocker. Ron had to custom make his own inner since we needed something to attach the outer one to.
While the rust was terrible, we didn’t need full rockers and were able to leave the doors attached during this whole process. We also took a short cut and installed the cab corners without taking the bed off. To do it correctly that would need to come off so you can smooth your welds down.
ZACH MASKELL: Sorry I’m stealing your line Pat, I’ve always wanted to do this. If you’ve got a question or a comment, drop us a line, right here at MotorWeek.