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Old 12-22-2007, 01:21 PM   #1
Rokcrln
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Rocker replacement 101

LFD's
Rocker panel replacement 101
and related work




Ok I have been getting alot of PM's and E-mails latley about rocker replacement so I thought I would put this out for anyone looking for info. Now this is by no meens the only way or even the right way but it is how I do most of my replacements.
I first start off with a good look over the area for any wire's or lines that may have been added to this area over the years. Mine has the oil cooler mounted to the back side of the rocker and that looks to be it. I have seen some real weird stuff over the years so look first before cutting. As you can see my rocker looks good and if it wasn't for the one hole above the front of the rocker on the A pillar I probaly would be in paint already. But being anel like I am I could not leave it like this.

Here are the tools I use the most for this and it makes it quick and easy. First is safty, Glasses, full face shield, hearing protection, dust mask, gloves (on my hands not in the pic), 4" cut off wheel, hammer, prybar/flat screw driver and pliers or vise grips also not shown.

I start by doing a rough cut about 1 1/2" in from the floor and down both sides to the pinch weld. Then I run the cut off wheel along the inside angle of the pinch weld so I can bend the rocker down.

Kevin
LFD inc.
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Last edited by Rokcrln; 12-22-2007 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Next I bend the rocker up and down untill it falls off. You could just cut it off with the cut off wheel but I hate sparks in my face Then I slice the remaining sectiones into small pieces before trying to remove them.
I like to do it this way because as a whole the rocker is a strong piece that is spot welded on in alot of areas. But as small pieces their is only one or two spot welds per piece and this makes it almost fall off with very little effert. Just be carefull not to cut too deep or you may end up chopping into good metal causeing alot more work later. So once it is sliced I use the screw driver/pry bar to remove the pieces.
Also once the main rocker is out of the way you can see the spot welds better and get to each one with less effert. As you can see it pry's off with ease.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Then I like to cut inbetween the sopt welds because a piece of metal with ten spot welds is very stronge but one piece with one spot weld will almost fall off with alittle help More cutting but alot less beating or driling. I have used spot weld removers before and I still do for some jobs but this is not one of them. So after you sluce between the welds just take a prybar and remove the middle sections. Then a quick hit with the grinder and the spot weld go away! Next on the threshold sill I mard out the sopt welds and cut between them but not all the way. Make sure you do not just chop at this because you will cut right thru the floor and cause more work. In this case my inner rocker was fine so I wanted to save it. Once you cut most of the way thru this area take a pair of pliars and bend the carpet lip back. You will be surprised how easy this will come loose. I have had several original rockers that were not even welded alont this top edge, talk about easy!
Then take a grinder and remove any bump left over from a spot weld and clean the area up with a wire wheel or grinding disk before you paint it with a rust proof spray.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

I had some epoxy primer left over from a job so I just used that to protect the inner rocker. I then test fit the new rocker by clamping it to the rear B pillar first, then the front A pillar and last to the bottom of the pinch weld. This rocker fit great!!! I have not had one fit this well right out of the box yet. These came from ECE and I have not checked the drivers side yet but I have found that some fit great, some fit ok and some need alot of work to get to fit at all. I fisrt check the fit along the B pillar for how it lines up with the flat part of the jamb and down the door opening. Then I look how the lower rocker fits with the cab corner. You may find you have to tweak things to get it all to line up how you want it. Then I look at the A post area to see how things line up. You want to look at the inner most lip were the door weather stripping goes and the threshold are that rolls up the A post. The little corner that is betwen the threshold roll and the weather strip area never lines up right and will need some help that I will show later. Next you want to see how well the front of the rocker lines up were it folds around the A post. Next you need to check how it fits along the bottom of the rocker. Clamp it in place and clim under and take a good look at things. You should have about an 1/8" or less gap between the bottom edge of the rocker and the bottom of the inner rocker. Then the gap between the threshold and the cab floor should be even and about 3/8" but most that I have done are not even and may be from 1/4" to 1/2" and this is ok because your carpet strip will cover. Anything over 1/2" and you run into problems becasue you will not have enough overlap between the inner edge of the threshold and the inner rocker top edge to get a plug weld. I will show this later.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Now it is time for the real rust problems on this truck. I will give an over view of replacing the Kick panel, home made floor patch (minimal on this truck) and the A pillar.
Here are a few shots of the rust I found and the section I cut off for starters. I will finish this on Friday and up date the post as I go.

Kevin
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Ok so now you need to remove the old bolts but try not to damage the holes as they will help to re-build. Then take the front fender mount and transfer the holes to the new A-Pillar patch. Then bolt the new patch inplace and mark the two remaining holes and mark the top of the A-pillar patch onto the old A-pillar. This mark will help out later. Then remove the A-pillar, drill the last holes then set this piece aside for now.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Last edited by Rokcrln; 12-23-2007 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Now make sure you remove all the old pieces from the lower A-pillar. Once this is done decide how far up you will need to replace the kick panel (if needed). Try and keep the kick panel patch lower than the A-pillar patch if you can. This will will make it easier for doing the kick panel patch. Once you have marked the kick panel were it needs to be cut go ahead and remove that section. Make sure you get all the old sealer removed and clean up the floor area as best as you can. Then measure from the floor up to were the cut line is for the kick panel. Now take the measurement and mark the kick panel about 1/2" to 3/4" higher then the cut. This will make the kick panel fit easier so you can scribe it for a perfect fit. Clamp in the patch piece for your kick panel and from the out side take a scribe and mark the cut line onto the patch. See now why we want the patch panel cut lower than the A-pillar. Also scribe the top two holes from the floor brace into the kick panel, you will need to do this from under the cab. Once this is done cut the kick panel to fit and drill the holes. Then bolt it in for a test fit.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Last edited by Rokcrln; 12-23-2007 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:04 PM   #8
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Now set the kick panel patch aside with the A-pillar patch. Time to fix up that rusted floor ( if needed). Use a 36grit disk (or simular) to clean up the floor. What you are looking for is noice shinny metal out past that brown rust. Mark a patch about 1-2" beyond the rust stains for your floor patch. Do the same for the side of the floor if yours is as bad as mine was. For the side patch take a piece of sheet metal and clamp it to the cab then scribe the patch and cut it out with your tin snips. Don't forget to mark and drill out the four floor suport holes while you are at it. Once that is done bolt it in for a test fit. If it fit good leave it bolted in and start on the main floor patch.

For this one use a piece of craft paper for your templet. Cut it over sized and hold it in place with one hand and mark the outer edge that over hangs the side patch with your other hand. Once that is marked and cut see how it fits then mark the other side of the patch that sits on the floor. Once you are happy with the paper patch transfer that to a piece of sheet metal and cut it out. If your patch extends up the curve of the floor board like mine did you should be able to just bend it with your hands to fit. Try and get it so it fits with out having to push it into place. Once that is done it is time to use yout metal floor patch to mark the floor for cutting.

Kevin
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:05 PM   #9
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

I found that a good way to scrib the line on shinny metal is to use a marker and over mark your area then scribe the lines. It will show up better this way. Then cut out the bad area and test fit your patch while at the same time mark the location of the floor suports onto the new patch so you can drill a few hole for plug welding. If all the gaps look good and the outer edge lines up good with the side patch then it is time to start tack welding it all in place. Once it is tacked in place start welding it up but skip around so you done warp the floor. Then grind it down and coat it with primmer. Then bolt in the kick panel and get ready for more welding and grinding

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

If the kick panel fits good and it should if you have been following the steps Go ahead and weld, grind and prime.
Next is the A-post, you will want to trim some off the top or alot depending what kid of shape your is in. Mine I needed about all it had so I trimmed of about 1/4" and bolted it back in place for it's last scribing. Then I pulled it off and re-cut the A-post to the new scribe line. Then for the last time bolt it in a weld it up. Make sure you have cut out the hinge bolt holes if your patch is that high. Once you grind it smooth, prime it and move on to the outer rocker!

For the rest of this you will need to go to page two post 33 because I did not leave enough blank posts and took to many pics!

Kevin
LFD inc.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:48 PM   #11
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdstx View Post
I got so caught up in my own BS, I forgot to ask the question. Can you detail how do you deal with maintaining/improving door/fender alignment throughout the repair?
Thats an easy one! Get the new rocker ready to weld on but just use a few sheet metal screws to hold it in place and re-hang the door and check the gaps. I might hang the fenders but have not decided yet. I will show pics!

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:21 PM   #12
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho71 View Post
Thanks,


I do have one question though...Why do they put a hole in the front end of the rocker, and then sell a plug for it? Does it serve a purpose? Just kinda weird if it doesn't.



Jay
Not really sure but I plan on using that hole to spray "body wax" in their to help stop future rust. Don't know why the factory did it because they did not use it for rust protection

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-23-2007, 05:01 AM   #13
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Your "bad" rocker looked super to me! The bigger problem for me was always the cab corner replacement--too many angles to get right especially with that diagnal support the back section~~~Ug!!!!
Yes it looked good from the out side and the rocker it self was good but not worth saving if you are going to replace the A-post bottom. When I first saw the rust hole I thought about just leaving it but

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaros44sr View Post
Good info., nice work! Never heard the term 'body wax', is this something that a paint shop supply co. would carry? Do you apply it with a shutz gun, or does it come in aerosol? And why not just undercoating, this wax must be better or you wouldn't have mentioned it

Amazing how just a little hole on the A post hid all that rust
Body Wax is a real think coating that never dries. It will flex and expand with heat and not crack out. But it will not let water in or air and that = NO RUST! Or so I hope I got it from East Wood a few years ago and have not had a chance to use it yet but what to try it in the top fromnt of the head liner, A pillars (top to bottom) and rockers. They sell a gun and nozel set up for it that comes with a siphone pot, spray extention, tips (wand type, 90* wand type) and even a flex hose for getting into small areas like the sun visor hole

We will see how it works one of these days.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:59 AM   #14
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by lyrikz View Post
Kevin,
That repair you are doing is EXACTLY like what i am doing on mine. I am running into some problems.

The cab support sits to low now. Rocker wont fit over it. The hole for the fender is where it should be, all my measurements are on from teh other side. So if i raised the cab support up to get the rocker to clear, the hole wont be in the right spot..

so frustrated.
If you are sure the fender mounting hole is correct then the easy thing to do is trim the bottom of the support to fit! Will the rocker fit over it and apear to be in the correct place?

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:51 AM   #15
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

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Originally Posted by webfoot View Post
Great pics, thanks! Might be the inspiration I need to do my own.

What do you use to put the holes in the rocker for the new welds? I ordered a punch set but it is backordered 4 weeks out, so I might try something else.
Well it is very expensive and hard to fine but they call it a 1/4" drill bit
Remember this is easy stuff and were people get into trouble is over thinking it. I knoiw their are other ways but I like the easy and cheap way. Best way to do it is once you have the rocker ready to weld down, mark were you want your holes then pull the rocker and drill it. Make sure to turn it over and de-bur the holes as it will not sit tight if you dont. Also by doing this you get good holes with out drilling thru the backer metal.

Kevin
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Old 12-23-2007, 05:45 PM   #16
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

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Originally Posted by dfosh View Post
I just replaced the lower a piller,part of the floor inner and outer rocker .I don't have the rocker welded back yet .I tried to put the front fender back on to check all the alignment and the fender wont pull in far enough to align up with the door .the brace on the back of the fender hits the fresh air box. Door gaps look ok. What did i do wrong ? fender was ok when i removed it. thanks . great post will help a lot of members.
Well for starters if the fender is hitting the fresh air box but is still out past the door then your doorneeds to come out some. Did you adjust the door so the bottom edge is flush with teh rocker? Alot of times the rockers are in a bit from the door. As for the fender being out to far to bolt up it may need shims now because you might have set the mounting flange in too far. Have you looked right at the bottom of the fender to see if it is hitting the bottom edge of the A pillar bottom you installed? I have found I have to trim that section off on most installs for the fender to set right.

Kevin
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:06 PM   #17
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Ok here is some more of the post!
So I first just clamp the rocker in place starting at the back then the front then the pinch weld. It looks to fit ok so I pulled it off and drilled 5/16" holes for plug welding later. I then put it back in place and used some self tapping screws to hold it so I could hang the door and see how things fit. Remember always test fit door or adjust doors with out the strike in the jamb. This will allow you to jet the door to swing and close right were it is adjusted too and not were teh strike moves it. After bolting on the re-built hinges I adjusted the door as best as I could for now. I will go ahead and bolt on the front fender and adjust the door some more before going much farther or welding in the rocker. Right now the door is flush with the rocker but the rear or the rocker is a bit low. I will need to pull it back off and rework the lower curve to rais up but still match the cab corner as well as posible.
I might get a few hours on this in the morning to work on this before we head out to the parents!

Kevin
LFD inc.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:06 PM   #18
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

I had a few hours this morning to finish up the rocker replacement and even had time to fit the fender to it all. I was in a hurry so the pics are not the best but they will do fine. I had to raise up the rear of teh rocker a bit to even up the door gap but did not want to have the rocker and the cab corner not aligned. So what I did was raised the rocker about 1/8" or so and this made teh door look right even know it was still off about 1/8". This look fine now and you can not really tell their is any differance but if I had left it you would have seen a 1/4" gap differance in the bottom of the door or if I had raised it a full 1/4" to be perfectly even with the door then the rocker and cab corner would have been off by that 1/4". I feel this was the best solution. So now it was time to weld it all inplace. I just plug welded it thru the 5/16" holes I drill before. Then a quick hit with the grinder and it is as good as new.

Then with the door adjusted and the body lines all looking good I mounted the front fender. Now I had a problem! The bottom of the fender was out almost 1/2" from the door and rocker. So the first thing I checked was to make sure it had full conect with the fender mounting cup (bottom fender mount) and it did not. Turns out the new A pillar bottom was a bit to long and bound up on the fender bottom. So I trimmed that off and it helped but only by a 1/4" so the next place I looked was the fender it self. The fender brace is spot welded to the fender and looking at it I saw and extra 3/16" of space between the fender and the back side of the brace. So I poped it apart, slid it back and welded it back up.
This truck always had real bad door gaps and panel alignment. So bad my wife even made fun of it so you know it was bad. It has panels and doors off several different trucks and non of it worked real well but I keeped telling my self for the price I can't complain right! I am not trying to get it perfect but good enough that she won't be able to find anything to laugh at, truck wise that is

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:07 PM   #19
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

So you can see it was alot of work from start to finish about 8hrs per side from "Door to Door". So it came in with the door hanging on rusty pillars and 16hrs later they are hanging on a new solid foundation The finished pic it still looks like it is out a bit but it is just the angel and it sits flush.

Hope you enjoyed by project and hope you will find it helpfull!

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:32 PM   #20
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Quote:
did you weld the hinge bolt hole to the new piece? does it still move so you can adjust the door? Can you get a close up of that weld?
No it is not welded to teh new patch panel. The clip that holds in the threaded plate is welded above the top two bolt holes and was still solid. So all I did was cut out a hole for the bolt to go thru and still have room to adjust like the ones above it.

Kevin
LFD Inc.

Last edited by augie; 04-09-2011 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:45 AM   #21
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdstx View Post
The last photo in post #10 shows the cab support bolt holes plug welded. Please explain? Thanks
Once I finish replacing everything and protect it with a rust inhibitor I feel fairly certain that I will not be going back in so I pull one bolt at a time and weld it up! I feel it just removes the chance of any movement or water and dirst packing around the bolt/nut and helping rust come back. It is not somthing that has to be done just somthing I do. I think I started doing this on ones that were so rusted that the bolt holes were not in good shape so they did not do alot of good holding anything anyways. Now unless it is a full resto I just weld them up when I finish!

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #22
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Re: Rocker replacement 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheyenne10 View Post
You are going through a lot more work to share all this with us, Thanks again, these tips encourage many of us.
Yes it does! I spend about 3-4x's as much time as it takes from start to you all reading it if not more. I do it to try and help more people get into this hobby and see that it is not all secrete stuff but just somthing you have to think about before jumping in. I want more trucks and cars keeped on the road and it won't happen if people can not do some of it them selfs

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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