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Old 06-04-2006, 07:40 PM   #1
Rokcrln
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How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Inner Rocker Panel Replacement
By
Lewis Fabrication Design Inc.


I will try and walk you thru the process of building your own inner rocker panel that will make floor patches much easier at the same time.
First thing you need is a sheet metal brake or a local shop to bend up a inner panel. This brake was about $200 at a local cheapo tool place. I use 18ga steel for my inner rocker panels and floor patches. The reason I like to build my own inner panels is because the ones you can buy do not extend onto the floor but stops just below the floor edge. Most repairs that I do have rust or damage at this area and also need to be replaced. You can buy floor patches that incorporate the inner rocker panel but they only come in front and rear sections so you will need to buy both just to do one rocker fix.

First thing I do is mark out where my bends need to be made (dimensions are shown in the pictures) and the directions of each bend. The top dimension will vary with the size of your floor patch and the bend angle will need to match your floor for a better job. If your floor is not to bad and you only need to patch just beyond the top corner you can make the top bend 90 and let the floor rest on top of your inner panel. This is easier to do but can lead to future rust in-between the two layers of metal. This is why I like to spend the extra time and but weld all my joints.

So once it is bent up you can start fitting the part. On this truck I also replaced the cab corner so when I had the corner off I completely removed all signs of the old inner rocker so mine extends in past where most will not. How far you replace your will depend on the amount of damage you have. I have found the best way to mark the floor patch area for cutting is to clamp the rocker in place once both ends are trimmed to where they need to be. With it clamped in place take a sharp scribe and from under the truck scratch a line tight against the old floor making a mark on the new floor section. Once this is done trim the patch along that line. Once it all fits well you need to make sure the metal on both of the joint are clean and free of any paint or rust before starting to weld. As you weld in your patch you will want to tack weld it in steps making sure the floor lines up as best as you can with the new floor patch. Also make your tack welds a few inches apart from each other instead of trying to weld it in one shot. This will keep warping to a minimum.

Once it is all welded up you will need to grind down the weld and prime all bare metal before replacing the outer rocker.

I hope this will help a few of you guys as you get your trucks back in shape and ready for many more years on the road.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:41 PM   #2
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

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Old 06-04-2006, 07:42 PM   #3
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Some more
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:43 PM   #4
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Almost their
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:01 PM   #5
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72CSTC5
Hey rock, what is that black you spray all over when you are finished?
On this one it is just some cheapo paint I had laying around and wanted to show what it would look like finished. This truck is going to get media blasted soon so I did not want to waist good paint. The primmer/sealer I use is "Rust tough" and works well for bare metal. Then normaly it would get what ever finish paint that is going on the vehical. I have not found just one paint I like for final coating but behind rockers and hidden areas that you can not get back into later I like rust encapsulator.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gringoloco
The rattle can stuff? You topcoat over this?
Yes that is it. It is one of the better spray can paints out their and their fan tip works great as well. I went out and checked and on the inner panel on this one I used some Cold Galv paint the owner brought. It is an industrial paint the really bights into the metal well. I have used it for years on th ejob site over out welds on galvinised metal studs. I had just never used it on cars before. I feel it is good for behind panels but not if you are going to top coat over it as it is a thick build paint. Also keep in mind that the factory did not use much to prevent rust on our trucks in the rockers and other hard to get at places. So even if all you have around the house is some junk paint from Wally mart it is still better then nothing and will out last the factory parts. The main thing is to keep areas sealed up and do not let alot of dirt and trash build up in your truck because that will get into the cracks (like between the kick panel bottom and the floor board) and then the dirt works like sand paper exposing the metal to rust. The best thing to do is after doing metal patches clean everything real well, paint with what you can afford and then use seam sealer anywhere that dirt can build up and start the rust all over again. We are going to be trying some different Body cavity waxes and aplicators to try and get into the seal up areas to help protect against rust.

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:29 AM   #7
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gringoloco
I always assumed that you would get chemical reactions between the spray can primer and your final finish. Would you suggest a sealer between the Rust Tough and the color/clear, or just spray the color on top of the rattle can primer?

I agree on the tip- easy on the finger on big projects.

-Chris
Yes you always want to seal any primer before proceding to paint. Almost any time I do work for people it will be media blasted after my work is done in order to get the best job posible. Any time you weld it allows impuritys to get in to the metal and the best way to protect against this is to blast when done. You can get a small hand held spot blaster that works well for this if you do not plan on blasting the entire car after all your work is finished. Any time I mention or use paint in my projects it is only a tempory coating and you will need to provide your what you feel is best

Kevin
LFD Inc.

Last edited by Rokcrln; 06-05-2006 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:24 AM   #8
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LooseCannon
Man you got skills! Great writeup... I have a couple of questions about your pics:

1) What is this tool for and called? setting the proper angle?
http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...1&d=1149464456


2) What is this machine for and called?
http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...1&d=1149464548
1) it is just an angle finder or pro tractor. You can find one in any hard ware store. Most guys use them for trim work and building stairs. I have them for when I am doing roll cages. ($5)

2) Iron worker pro~ used for punching holes up to 1" in up to 3/8" steel plate. Aslo shears up to 6" wide 3/8" plate as well as bends up to 12"x3/8 plate.($3500)

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:53 PM   #9
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Re: How to: Inner Rocker Panel Replacement by LFD Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72 Cheyenne402
Hey Rok,

Are you going to be selling any of these replacement panels?
No I wil not. Just take this info to a local fab shop (HVAC/metal shop) and have them bend one up for you. That was the reason behind doing this right up. Also each one would be different since it is made to repair your floor damage and not just be a standard weld in piece like what is out their now. I can not see it costing more then $30-50 to have one made and that is even high. You might get by with a 12pac

Kevin
LFD Inc.
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