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Unread 06-28-2013, 11:25 PM   #1
Candymancan
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,780
Rocker panel rust !! gah

So I guess our 4.0 finally has rust in a spot I cant do anything about... I've been sanding down the body due to pealing paint over the years and painting over once I got to bare metal to protect the body from rust.. but while changing the oil today I noticed the 3 metal plates that are tacked together where the plastic cladding meets on the clips on the bottom of the rocker panels is rusted really badly..

I never saw this before.. Its almost like water was sitting in there. The drivers side is fine no rust inside the rocker panels.. The passenger looks ok on the outside when I pulled the cladding off.. Its painted no rust.. but when I stuck my fingers in the holes and pushed down rusty metal was breaking and its pretty bad inside from what I can feel. If I push on the outside where it looks ok.. ican hear metal crackling lol.. so yar is getting bad on the rocker panel...

Sooo is there anything I can do to keep this from spreading to the floor boards and eventually the frame rails ? Maybe I can take a rotary saw and cut the rocker panel open to get a better look inside and see how bad/far its spreading ? I dunno.. This Jeep has over 200k on it now, and the tranny and engine and everything are mechanicly sound.. The underside is starting to get specs of rust everywhere.. very very minor we were going to get a underbody coating to help that but damn.. this rocker panel thing sucks.

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Unread 06-29-2013, 07:46 AM   #2
um7267
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honestly, you cant beat rust only delay it. with that said the only way i know to get rid of it for a short while is to weld new metal in to the panels that are the worst.
also using body filler after the new is welded sand and paint, it should work for a few years
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Unread 06-29-2013, 09:01 AM   #3
sebian
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Rockauto and A1 Auto both sell replacement rocker panels. They do need to be cut off and welded back on, as well as painted and such. They seem to run about $120 per side. Or you could go the way of fabbing rock sliders, which would probably cost a bit more. Me personally, I am planning to just replace the rockers with new rockers, and then spray them with something like rhino-liner.
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Unread 06-29-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
Candymancan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by um7267 View Post
honestly, you cant beat rust only delay it. with that said the only way i know to get rid of it for a short while is to weld new metal in to the panels that are the worst.
also using body filler after the new is welded sand and paint, it should work for a few years


That's what a lot of people say but honestly i don't believe that is true.. Im pretty sure if you cut out the bad sections and then some extra and form new sheet metal and tack it on and like you said use body filler and paint it all inside and outside it will be fine..

How do you suppose body shops do it to old cars ? I just don't like that saying once it rusts its done.. You can always fix it somehow..

Im going to try using my cut out wheel saw and cut a section out and see how far inside its rusting and cut off the bad sections and paint it all and get a cheap welder from harborfrieght and tack in new metal
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Unread 06-29-2013, 11:13 PM   #5
ZJNewbi3
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My worst spot is the bottom 2" on the fender on the passengers side...i got a buddy who welds so maybe ill have him come over and do his magic or buy a new $32 fender from RockAuto...but id imagine it'd be hard to match the black factory paint
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Unread 06-30-2013, 04:06 AM   #6
Candymancan
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If you saw my 4.0 you would know I personally don't care about paint lols.. Our 4.0 has like 4 different colors on it.. First the top sheet metal body between the windows and the roof rack were peeling paint and clear coat.. then it started rusting the size of my forarm.. and spots from front to back.. I sanded it all down and painted over it with rustolium primer and a dull army green flat paint my wanted.. Then the roof started to rust in small spots so I sanded all that down and primed it and painted it a dark green my mom wanted... (lols) then the hood started to rust so I sanded that down and painted it with the factory color but that didn't match at all... So all together the Jeep is painted 4 different colors now lol..

The 4.0 is deff a looker.. One of those fugly cars you see driving down the road... But it runs fantastic and I wouldn't trade it for anything.. So yea if I cut this rocker out at least in the sections its rusting ill just paint it with the left over "matching" paint I have or something... I dunno.. I am kinda looking forward to doing this project.. I just need to save up money for a good cut out saw the $25 harbor freight one I had is pretty decent but I don't think itll do that great on the rockers guess I could try tho.. And I'll need to buy a welder from harborfreight too.. They aren't that expensive actually. I was thinking of getting this one.. $100... that's pretty good, and the reviews for it are pretty good too, people use it for body sheet metal and exhaust pipes.. So if it can do that ill be happy.. I haven't welded before in my life so I should probly watch some how to video's and do a lot of practicing lol.


http://www.harborfreight.com/90-amp-...ODQ5NCJ9%0D%0A
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Unread 03-05-2014, 06:32 PM   #7
jbreck
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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I bought several body parts from c2cfabrication.com. I've replaced my rockers on my 97 zj and several body parts on my cj5. I like their stuff because is 18 gauge.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 12:40 AM   #8
spacecadet9
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Jbreck said:"parts from c2cfabrication.com. I've replaced my rockers on my 97 zj "
How much of the rocker panel do the c2c panels cover? Their photo isn't large enough to tell. The replacements at Raybuck.com appear to cover both horizontal and vertical, but their $112, about 4x c2c's price.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:37 AM   #9
gomes512
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It will keep spreading unless you cut it out and replace with new sheet. But that also presents problems as a piss poor job will just start forming rust again on the new sheet and areas you cut.

Best bet is to stop it with a grease/oil. I've found that products such as CorrosionXHD work very well for applications such as this. It's essentially lanolin grease cut with mineral spirits.

I removed the black step trim pieces on the top of the rockers (right underneath the doors). Each has 4-6 holes, those holes go down to the inside of the rocker panels. I just sprayed a bunch of that mix in each hole trying to coat the inside of the rockers as much as possible. The ends, by the wheel wells, will be inaccessible so you'll have to drill some holes into the rockers and then spray into them. I just sealed the holes back up with rubber bungs.

I regret not doing this way earlier in the vehicles life... live and learn.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 04:33 PM   #10
jbreck
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spacecadet9 - I looked at raybuck.com and theirs does seem to go up under the door alot further. Its been about 2 years since I put them in. The C2C panels maybe go an inch back toward the door from what I remember. Guess it just depends on how bad your rust is. Mine was only rusted in the lower portions where the dirt and **** sat.
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