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Unread 06-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
95knight
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Waukesha, WI
Posts: 492
Fixing Rust in the front Rockers

Okay so I'm gonna keep my Jeep till it has 250+k miles so i figured i might as well fix the rust that i have starting. So the rust is right behind the front wheels in the rockers. So my problem is A) i live in Wisconsin and B) when the PO got in a minor accident they replaced the fender and hood, but not the fender liner and what was left of it just trapped all of the mud and snow in the rocker.

So my idea to attack this is somewhat simple
1: Put it up on stands
2: Pull the wheel fender liner and anything in the way
3: Get all the rocks and garbage out somehow
4: Use a wire wheel on a drill and wire brush to get loose rust out
5: Some rust remover/reformer to cure the rest of the rust
6: use rusty metal primer to prepare the surfaces
7: roll on bedliner all over in there to seal it off
8: reinstall old/new (new if too badly broken) and seal them off with bredliner to prevent snow mud and everything from getting back in
9: Check it all to make sure nothing is getting
10: install new brakes and put wheels back on

So that all sounds so simple but will take a while and be a pain i believe so well see how this goes this week.

Any advice you may have would be great to know!

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Unread 06-10-2013, 07:06 AM   #2
ejschultz
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Crown Point, Indiana
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That seems like it'd be a good idea, but rolling on bed liner inside the rocker is going to be next to impossible. You're better off getting some POR-15 or something similar and spraying it in as best as you can. Also, getting all the crap out of the rockers is rather difficult too. I'm having this issue currently with only my passenger side rocker. I pulled the cladding on that side yesterday because it didn't look quite right where it screwed in at the front. I managed to find a nice rust hole starting. I did my best to clean it out, used a wire wheel to break off all the loose rust, then coated it with a Rustoleum branded rust inhibitor spray. Hopefully I did enough to slow it or even stop it from spreading and getting worse. The fender liner wasn't lined up properly (because of me) and I think that's why that side rusted and the other side didn't. The other option is to cut out your rockers completely and weld in some box tubing for sliders. I may be doing that if I didn't stop the rust.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 07:17 AM   #3
95knight
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Waukesha, WI
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Well I dont know how or if ill be able to roll it on or brush but ill just have to try and do my best toncover it after i spray it. Ya im trying to keep it from getting worse
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Unread 06-10-2013, 07:22 AM   #4
ejschultz
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Crown Point, Indiana
Posts: 3,123
Rust makes me want to sell my ZJ. I hate rust. In my eyes, it's like the end of a car's life. Engine swaps, tranny swaps, whatever swaps are all easy compared to stopping rust. Once it starts, it's damn near impossible to stop it.
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97 ZJ - 5.2L, 242, 4" IRO lift w/short arms & adj. TBs, JKS Discos/BPEs, DT3000s, Aussie'd 44A, sliders, OEM skids/hooks/hitch, 31" Duratracs on 15x8s
14 JKU Sport S - Stock
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Unread 06-10-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
L_Kilkenny
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: , Iowa
Posts: 111
Have a thread started on here for rust repair on our ZJ. Thread started and parts bought is as far as it's gotten as of yet. But I can give you a couple ideas from other projects I've done.

- Don't trust your wire wheel to get all the rust gone that needs gone. Tin snips and grinders are required. You wire wheel will get some of the extremely rotten metal gone but you need to remove A LOT more than you think.

- Good news is that will leave you with some mighty big wholes, probably a lot of em. Clean out as best you can and spray the crap outta every thing you can inside the rocker with a good rust converter. I've heard great things about por-15 but never used it but just about any rust converter your local store has is better than nothing. After that cover it with about anything. Bed liner would be OK but then again a thick coat of plain jane Rustolium is also better than nothing.

- Now put on your new rockers. Tons of options here. I bought mine off fleebay, you can also use sheet metal to form your own. You can do it right and weld it but for a couple reasons I'm just gonna rivit everything back together. Reasons? I don't plan on keeping this ZJ forever, it's something to make it look better on the short term, it is to remove and protect the existing from more rot and mine will be covered by the plastic cladding so finish on the new rockers is largely a mute point. Top that off I don't have a mig.

- I use construction adhesive (Think Liquid Nails or Vulcum) between old and new. Might not eliminate but helps keep moisture and dirt out.

Now if I was gonna keep this rig around long term I'd skip rocker repair and fab up some rock sliders to replace them all together.
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