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  1. #1

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Idiot question of the day. As you guys know, I have been on the hunt for a half decent early 90's w-body. Lumina Z34, Cutlass Coupe/Convertible etc etc. The cars are half decent but most have rotted out rocker panels. How hard are these to replace? Whats involved? And what do they usually cost?

    Thanks alot

    Jason

  2. #2

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Pretty hard, almost impossible for the DIY'er unless you're real good with a welder. The rockers are welded on and will need to be cut off and new pieces welded. Labor will be pretty high.

    I would recommend trying to find a more southern car.

  3. #3
    1990lumina's Avatar
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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat
    Pretty hard, almost impossible for the DIY'er unless you're real good with a welder. The rockers are welded on and will need to be cut off and new pieces welded. Labor will be pretty high.

    I would recommend trying to find a more southern car.


    If you are anything like me with a welder....you'll need to do a lot of grinding and whatnot...or just find a better condition car.
    They are out there...just gotta find 'em
    Jeff L. :: 2nd Canadian to win COTM The Preservation for POS W-bodies Canada Chapter
    2004 Acura TSX | 2.4L I4 iVTEC; 5 Speed Auto | 1 of Many Made In '04 | 89,XXXKM
    1990 Chevrolet Lumina Euro 3.1 | 3.1L 191ci 60 V6; 440T4 | 1 of 43,912 Made In '90 | 194,XXXKM
    1985 Mazda RX-7 S | 1.1L 70ci 12A Twin Rotor RE; 5spd | 1 of 63,105 Made in '85 | 130,XXXKM

  4. #4

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    The rockers are covered up on all the cars you named anyway.

    It's a pain in the ass nonetheless, but I guess it aint too bad. Mine were rusted through in quite a few spots on both sides.

    Basically...

    Sand and Rust Mort
    Fiberglass cloth/resin
    Plastic filler
    A bunch more sanding
    Glazing putty
    Filler primer
    Primer sealer
    Paint
    Clear

    Took me a few days to do both rockers, but it turned out nice, and it's held up great so far. Was considering welding on panels, but it would be too hard for me...I'd probobly warp the shit out of them, or melt em.







    Also took care of the typical rear 1/4 rust with the same method...



    I'd say... dont let that rust deter you from a good deal or an otherwise nice car, but if you can get one rust-free, DO IT!
    2003 sts<br />1996 camaro ss 6 speed<br />1966 442 4 speed

  5. #5
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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    I saw as hell hope my car doesn't look like that.

    I'm assuming that you need to weld new pieces in on the lower piece right?

    Tony.V
    1992 Lumina Z34 |3.4L 207ci DOHC 60 V6; Getrag 284|
    1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP |3.4L 207ci DOHC 60 V6; Hydra-Matic 4T60E|
    1999 Chrysler 300M |3.5L 214ci SOHC 60 V6; 42LE|

  6. #6

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Nope, just 3-4 layers of Bondo brand fiberglass cloth ( not mat ), soaked in resin.

    Shit's really strong. Trust me, I've kicked it a few times...
    2003 sts<br />1996 camaro ss 6 speed<br />1966 442 4 speed

  7. #7
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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5speedz34
    I saw as hell hope my car doesn't look like that.

    I'm assuming that you need to weld new pieces in on the lower piece right?
    seriously, im afraid to take off my trim peices

  8. #8

    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Jay I know how you like your cars to be in tip-top shape. You've owned some really nice w-bodies. Best thing WOULD be to find a more southern car, or one that's been kept in good shape. If it needs rockers, it probably has more rust and ultimatly needs a paintjob to be the kinda shape you are looking for.
    <br />[size=7pt]2003 Impala LS&nbsp; _&nbsp; Series II 3800 _ Completely stock with 5x,xxx miles[/size]<br />Leather and roof, clean as a whistle.<br />http://gmwbody.com

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    I had to do both of my rocker panels, they were completely rusted through , and even part of their support structure.
    I cut out EVERYTHING that was bad
    Then I used POR-15 on everything left..
    Next, I used spray in foam, so that when i laid the fiberglass, it had something to adhere to, it melted the foam a little , but not a lot.
    I did 5-6 layers... I went overboard for a reason. The rocker panels on a CS International have little studs that extend out from the body to mount the ground effects.
    Then I used some screw in type studs, they look like lag bolts on on side, and regular studs on the other.You have to drill a hole ahead of time to keep the fiberglass from cracking....

    After another layer or two of glass over the stud, do your body filler to get the area smooth, and prime/paint.

    If your wondering about the foam.... when you open the door, there is a vent panel that is screwed in right below the stud where your door locks against the body. take that out, and rip out the foam.

    Now you have rockers that are really strong , and won't rust.

  10. #10

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    I replaced mine with new GM rockers. The guy said I got the last 2 out of 6 in the country!

    Its kind of hard to see on these pics



    &#039;89 Cutlass Supreme 3.1 2dr,&nbsp; &#039;90 GMC 4X4<br />&#039;84 K5 BLAZER 4X4,&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &#039;86 Vette<br />&#039;97 Saturn 5spd<br />

  11. #11

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcrow
    I replaced mine with new GM rockers. The guy said I got the last 2 out of 6 in the country!

    Its kind of hard to see on these pics



    Thats some really good work.....

    Looks nice Jcrow...

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    What do you mean by spray in foam? Like that insulation shit?

    The person who did the rockers before me used that stuff and put aluminum tape over it. So when it would get warm outside, that foam would expand and push the tape outward...looked like hell.

    I tried to gouge all that shit out with a screwdriver before I glassed over it, so it wouldn't push my bodywork out when it got warm outside. Sounds like you had strong enough fiberglass that it wouldn't get pushed out though.
    2003 sts<br />1996 camaro ss 6 speed<br />1966 442 4 speed

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToroToro
    What do you mean by spray in foam? Like that insulation shit?

    The person who did the rockers before me used that stuff and put aluminum tape over it. So when it would get warm outside, that foam would expand and push the tape outward...looked like hell.

    I tried to gouge all that shit out with a screwdriver before I glassed over it, so it wouldn't push my bodywork out when it got warm outside. Sounds like you had strong enough fiberglass that it wouldn't get pushed out though.
    Yea the spray in shit... thats why you tear it out after the fiberglass sets. You don't wanna leave it in there. It's just there to hold the shape while you glass.

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    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    Oh, I gotcha now... pretty clever idea.

    I'm glad I still had plenty of solid metal to glass to, so I didn't really need to do that.
    2003 sts<br />1996 camaro ss 6 speed<br />1966 442 4 speed

  15. #15

    How hard to replace a rocker panel?

    You guys are crazy as hell??? They make a rocker that slips on and you can just rivit it if you want. I spot welded mine but rivit will hold up just as good.

    No bondo or fiberglass that will just bubble and fall off in a couple of years and defineatly not spray foam.. Gees.

    JC Whitney has them for $35. I talked to another guy from Smeal's (an auto body supplier here in PA) He has them for $42 so i'm sure they have them in your area just go to a junkyard thet sells new body parts.
    <br />[move]1995 Monte Carlo Z34 FOR SALE!!!<br />[/move]<br />2002 Bonneville SLE<br />1995 S10 Reg Cab <br />1996 S10 X Cab

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