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Old 04-13-2021, 05:05 PM   #1
conoco
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Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

full Disclosure: This is my first attempt at actually contributing something to the board. I hope it helps someone and sorry if it is not as organized as some others who have posted builds. Thanks again for all the help



First I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone here on the board that had great advice and direction with some of the question I have had or problems I ran into doing this work. This forum is hands down one of the best tools I have to use.

Pro's

-When taking off all the massive amount of spot welds the fastest and cleanest thing for me was to use my PLASMA Torch on them. I did this by setting my torch at (5 AMPs) which is the lowest it will go, I then tilted the torch at a slight angle and very quickly kept pulling the trigger. You can see the penetration and you will not blow through the back side if you do it quick. I spent a combined 10min for all the spot welds throughout this project. I did the first one with a spot weld cutter and laughed!! I was not going to spend that much time per spot weld.

When preping for plug welds do yourself a fovor and get a combo FLANGE and Hole Punch Tool, amazon has them for 30 bucs and it is worth the money. Everything looks so clean and easy.


-I ordered all my parts from Ray Buck, Floor pan, pillars, inner and outer rocker and cab floor supports. All the pieces fitted almost perfect for my truck. There was very little modifications I needed to do to make sure everything fit. I was lucky from what I have read and seen. I hope the other side is the same.



-Tig welding was awesome, I had no warpage and everything went smooth



- Having everything out and disassembled, allowed me the ability to coat everything with sound deadener and also spray all the areas with rust prevent paint and also replace all the silicon sealer while everything was open. It was well worth it and I recommend anyone going this far into the work, to take a couple extra hours and prep things and make it fit right. It will benefit tremendously in the future.



Cons

-Measurements were key, but I took a lot of them. I measured everything before I cut anything out. I took measurements that I thought at the time were pointless but ended up being useful when the new pieces went it. It was time consuming and I had to make sure my notes were organized.



- Once I cut everything out I began to get side tracked with wanting to replace and fix everything now that I had access, with the fender and everything else removed and wide open. I had to stay on task and finish everything in order, but it was worth it. I can tell you if I would have had to replace my heater blower motor with the fender and everything on it would have been a complete pain in the ass. Also replacing the heater core with the bench seat out made life so much easier!



-I replaced all my body mounts after I had made all the cuts. I should not have done that. I should have done the mounts 1st, before anything else. Luckily it worked out for me.



- Cleaning, painting, prepping everything seemed endless. I wire wheeled EVERYTHING. inside of the fender, front and back of the wheel well, around the entire front passengers side frame, under the cab on the pass side, radiator mount SO MUCHHHHHH! but it again was worth it and everything looks new and clean, it was a lot of damn work and I was dirty as **** for a couple days even though I wore a Tyvek suite and googles.









Back story, like many other the rockers were shot on my 72. It wasn't until I cut out the outer rocker that I knew (like everyone else) that my inner rocker was also shot and I would also need to replace the A and B pillars along with the cab supports. After I cut everything out, I really thought I just bit off more that I could chew, as this was my first time doing any type of body work. I thought I had just ruined my truck and it would sit in my garage from this point on. Luckily, I took my time and have what I believe is a great finished product. I know there are many different ways to do this job, some of my steps may be wrong, but I am very happy with it. I also used FLEXSEAL on every area that water would possibly leak into, or around any exposed area. Most of the factory sealer is long gone and I thought it would be a perfect time to replace all of that now. Then everything was sprayed with rust prevent paint along with the rubberized sound deeding on top. Now to the driver’s side!! I hope it last for another 50 years!!



While I have the fender, bumper ,grill, and everything else taken off I decided to sound proof the back side of each one with sound proof coating, I also put the sound proof coating on the top and bottom of the inner wheel well and also the radiator support, I also sprayed under where the cowl will be installed and under the entire cowl. I then sprayed it with acrylic enamel on some of the spots because I preferer the shine in some of the areas. Other areas I left as the flat black color. I am hope that the sound proofing on this parts helps out a little bit and also limits the vibration a little.



The interior of the cab I will be using lizard skin. I will also be going all the way up to the gas tank line with it and sure that will help also. All in all it took me 22hrs combined to complete this one side. I know that is probably a really long time but I enjoyed it and learned so much. Most of the time was spent sanding and wire wheeling the different parts for paint and sound deadening. Again, thank you to the many people for all your help throughout this process. I would still be working on it had I not had everyone's expertise.



One of the things that took the most time was making sure all my lines matched. Not only the doors but the hood.



While I had the fender and everything else off, I also replaced my heater blower motor and I also replaced the heater core. I tried to replace everything I could possibly replace with my truck wide open and easy access. That is also what took a lot of time, but I think it was well worth it and will not be a headache anymore in the future.



Last thing- I know everyone is partial to MIG welding for this type of work. I decided to TIG welding everything. I butt welded everything and I was able to do it in 1.5 inch runs. For me this was faster than a hundred spot welds that I have seen be completed from other people doing the same work. I think it looks great being MIG welded. I just preferred the cleanliness of TIG welding and the fact that TIG welding absolutely makes you fit everything close to perfect. There is little room for error so I figured if all the fitment for the various pieces were good enough to TIG weld then I was close to how it needed to sit. It forced made me take my time on the cuts and grinding to get the fit that was needed. Here are the weld setting I used in case anyone needs them.



I hope this helps someone doing this job for the first time. I was very nervous at times and thought I really screwed my truck up at a couple points. Just stick with it, take your time, think about how things go together and try to visualize everything. I must have taken my door and fender off 20 times a piece throughout this process. But all the lines are great so it was worth it.



Prime weld 225 Tig/stick welder

61 amps ( I used foot pedal and also trigger finger depending on the location) DCEN

Pulse settings- 1.5 Pulse per Second- 30% back ground amps and 90% base

# 6cup - gas lens ( Gas lens gave me the ability to stick my tungsten out over an inch while I did plug welds and hard to reach areas!!

12 CFH for everything

-1/16th seriated tungsten

.45 ER70s-6 filler wire and also 1/16th silicon bronze in some locations.
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Last edited by conoco; 04-13-2021 at 05:57 PM. Reason: spelling errors and adding stuff
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Old 04-13-2021, 05:08 PM   #2
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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Old 04-13-2021, 05:11 PM   #3
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

Finished
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:43 PM   #4
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

I am impressed with what you are doing. Thanks for all the hard work you are doing on communicating you experiences with all of us. Keep it up! (It might be helpful to note where you got your parts from. Are they repro).
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

Good for you! What a feeling of accomplishment eh? That job is in my future, Iím really dreading tearing the truck apart and finding all the rot. Not to mention tying up my garage for what would probably be months at the rate I work!
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

Great job on the rocker replacement. You will find that most of this work is getting the nerve or confidence up to give it a try. Most people look at something like this task and say I can't do it without even trying. You stepped forward and gave it a shot. Again great job!
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Old 04-14-2021, 01:53 PM   #7
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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Originally Posted by georgieb51 View Post
I am impressed with what you are doing. Thanks for all the hard work you are doing on communicating you experiences with all of us. Keep it up! (It might be helpful to note where you got your parts from. Are they repro).
I used RayBuck for all my parts. Unfortunately I would have loved to go with GMC Paul or MANES. But the shipping to Alaska was to expensive, which I understand and its unfortunate. I did get the cab braces from MANES and they were awesome to work with.

All the parts I got from RayBuck were labeled as Tri-Plus. it was heavy gauge metal which was awesome to see when I got the parts. I was really worried because I was TIG welding and the thinner stuff would have played hell on me. I appreciate the kind words, it has given me the confidence to keep going with other stuff I have not done before. This was such a fun and frustrating project at time
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Old 04-14-2021, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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Good for you! What a feeling of accomplishment eh? That job is in my future, Iím really dreading tearing the truck apart and finding all the rot. Not to mention tying up my garage for what would probably be months at the rate I work!
Cruiser, I cant even begin to tell you the feeling I felt when I started to put everything back together for mock up, and realized ( damn, I didn't just ruin my truck) LMAO!! If I head to Fairbanks this summer we will have to get together! Fishing season is almost here!!!
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Old 04-14-2021, 01:59 PM   #9
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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Great job on the rocker replacement. You will find that most of this work is getting the nerve or confidence up to give it a try. Most people look at something like this task and say I can't do it without even trying. You stepped forward and gave it a shot. Again great job!
You are exactly right, it was such a great experience and I learned so much about my truck that I wouldn't have learned unless I did this. Thanks for the kind words.

I will say if I never have to pull that fender off again, I would very much be greatful LMAO!! that was a pain
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:30 PM   #10
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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Cruiser, I cant even begin to tell you the feeling I felt when I started to put everything back together for mock up, and realized ( damn, I didn't just ruin my truck) LMAO!! If I head to Fairbanks this summer we will have to get together! Fishing season is almost here!!!
Sounds good. Next time I head to Anchorage, Iíll send you a note to see if youíre in town. By then you should have the other side done!
So RayBuck wasnít too bad shipping to AK? I hate paying more for shipping than what the item costs!
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:24 PM   #11
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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Sounds good. Next time I head to Anchorage, I’ll send you a note to see if you’re in town. By then you should have the other side done!
So RayBuck wasn’t too bad shipping to AK? I hate paying more for shipping than what the item costs!
So lets talk about shipping LOL! I was lucky for the passenger side. I work up on the "Slope" which I am sure you know what that is. (For those who don't I work on the oilfields at the top of Alaska. 2 weeks on 2 weeks off) I was fortunate that I shipped my parts from "RayBuck" to a buddy of mine that lives in Washington whom I work with" It was 38 dollars to ship from RayBuck to his home in Washigton. He then just brought it on the plane with him as checked baggage so the rest was free. Again, I was super lucky. My awesome sister recieved my order for the drivers side and her husband is going to bring it up to me when he comes to work, or she will ship it to me. She just got those parts and the shipping to here was only $37 dollars for everything!!

If I had not been able to do that, here are the following parts that I ordered. and the 5 vendors I used for pricing. (I wont name the vendors out of respect)
Inner rocker extension,
Outer Rocker
Both Pillars
Footwell
Restoration Grade Floor Pan (which is awesome and well worth the $30 extra as compared to just the regular floor pan).
both front and rear floor braces.


So, I put that into my shopping cart at 5 different vendors and the lowest shipping cost for all those parts was $245. ( Keep in mind all the parts total were only $205)

The highest shipping charge for all those parts was $376 .

Like I said in my earlier post. I understand the vendors have to make money and nothing is free, I completely understand why the shipping charges are that high. But I will say that it is crazy ridiculous. I order a lot of parts and I have never experienced shipping prices like this, specially for these parts which are incredibly light and the longest piece being 53 inches long and about 8" wide.

To bring it in perspective, I ordered a complete 4" lift kit last year for my truck. New front and rear springs, shocks and all the hardware and I only had to pay $130 dollars to ship. All those parts came in 1 box and it was super super heavy and way longer than even the longest part I just ordered, which was the inner rocker.

Again, I cant say this enough I appreciate all the vendors and its my fault that I live in the most beautiful state in the country ( Not bias or anything LOL) I just really wish with some of the vendors, would be willing to work something out, so I could use them for my parts and send the the substantial amount of money I will continue to spend in parts to them. I would much rather use the smaller vendors than the BOX stores. I have no problem paying a little extra in shipping. But I cant justify paying twice the amount of what the product cost. There is a couple vendors on here that all my money for parts would go to if we could only work something out. But Again, I get it and it is what it is.

I hope nobody takes offense, its not the vendors fault I live in Alaska, everyone needs to make money and I hope each and everyone of them is profitable and are able to continue providing great products for our trucks. If any of you would be willing to drop the shipping just a little bit, you would make more in the long run with the volume of parts I order, and I know it's not just me!! Most Alaskans will pay shipping, we are use to that and live with it. that's all I got :0) everyone stay safe.
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:26 PM   #12
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

That's great, Good work. Same feeling I had after my first time rebuilding the engine and it started up!
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:41 PM   #13
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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That's great, Good work. Same feeling I had after my first time rebuilding the engine and it started up!
That gives me hope then!! I would like to pull the engine next winter so I can repaint it and change a couple things! I have started to visualize the process already, but I have never done it so I am a little nervous.

I did pull my transfer case this winter, rebuilt it and painted it, there was a guy on YouTube that goes through the entire process start to finish. It was so well made, without that I would have struggled with a couple of the steps!
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:42 PM   #14
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

Yup, what gets me is vendors who won’t ship via usps. Put it in a flat rate box and it will ship anywhere in the US for the same low price (including Alaska). Other vendors say they won’t ship to AK. WTH, AK is one of the 50 states!
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:37 PM   #15
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

Super work! I would like to know two things if you don't mind:

1. An interior photo of the kick panel replacement. Along with the usual stuff, both mine need replacing up and into the vent openings. I dread that most. Inner and outer rockers as well as a bit of floor on each side. All my cab supports are solid.

2. Who is Ray Buck you ordered your pieces from? I am guessing the guy in Pennsylvania?

Thanks in advance and again, great work.
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:41 PM   #16
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

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Super work! I would like to know two things if you don't mind:

1. An interior photo of the kick panel replacement. Along with the usual stuff, both mine need replacing up and into the vent openings. I dread that most. Inner and outer rockers as well as a bit of floor on each side. All my cab supports are solid.

2. Who is Ray Buck you ordered your pieces from? I am guessing the guy in Pennsylvania?

Thanks in advance and again, great work.
1) The kick panel gave me the most trouble. The kick panel is tied into what seems like everything. There were 2 issues for me. 1st I had to cut up about 7 inches on the old panel so I could easily keep taking my inner and outer rocker out for fitment purposes. When I went to finally fit the kick panel after everything else was fitted I had just over 1 inch layover to work with on the new panel. I was able to scribe from the outside and get a good fit to butt weld everything in place. 2nd, the kick panel has a lip that sits on top of the inner rocker, it is also spot welded to the back side or the A pillar. Mine had 6 spot welds that I had to cut out and it was tricky, but very doable if you take your time. I will try to explain it in the attached pictures. I will take more pictures for you when I get home so you can see just what the finished product looks like. All is well.

2) https://raybuck.com
I just ordered online. They have every part I needed and the prices were good. But I will say if you live in the lower 48, I would have ordered from GMCPauls or Manes. They both have excellent products and I don't think there shipping is bad "if you live anywhere but ALASKA or ANTARTICA LMAO!! I believe they both use the thicker gauge metal for all there parts and they have excellent reviews.

Ray Buck was awesome too, and the only reason I would have gone with another vendor is because the other vendors are smaller and they were both very friendly with me when I spoke to each of them. They tried to help but couldn't and that's ok.

The only thing I disliked about Ray Buck is that, from the time I ordered it took 3 weeks for them to ship. If you go to there website it clearly states that because of COVID and supplier issues it is taking 2-3 weeks for sheet metal parts. But again they were great for my truck and every piece fit awesome. The floor pan I got is the restoration grade floor pan. It is different and a lot better. Good luck on your project you will do just fine. Shoot me a private message with any questions and I would be glad to help any way I can. I am doing all this same work I did in this post to the drivers side when I fly home on the 29th, but this time I feel a lot better lol.
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Last edited by conoco; 04-14-2021 at 11:48 PM. Reason: spelling errors
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:42 PM   #17
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Re: Rocker replaced (finally) 1st time attempt

last picture for the kick panel. i will take some of the interior when I get home. Hope this helps!
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