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Old 09-27-2008, 01:16 AM
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Rust question...again

Seems the more I dig, the more rust I find.

So, the latest problem I found is rust that started on the exterior (lower door sill area, hidden under a trim layer), ate through the metal, and now the inside surface of the metal is rusted (lots of rust flakes inside the cavity) along with the outside surface. I guess water/moisture got in through the rust holes and rusted the inside. This area is all contained from the elements, i.e. it's like a rectangular "tube" of sorts. If I seal up the outside, I do not believe there's any way for water to get inside.

In an ideal world, I know the best advice would be to cut out all the rust and replace with new metal. The problem is I can manage cutting out the rusted areas (the areas with holes) and replacing that, but it looks like the entire inside surfaces has at least surface rust, if not worse. I can't manage to cut it all out. That is WAY beyond my skill level. I hate to say it but I've gotten to the point where I just need to get this done and move on. If I need to redo it later, that's fine. I need to find an easier project for my skill level.

So, I guess what I'm asking is, besides cutting out all the metal and replacing, what's the next best option? The door sill is, if you can imagine, a rectangular steel section, about 2x3" or so.

Note: I sprayed rattle can paint over the sanded bare metal (and the rusty areas) because I won't be able to work on it for a week or so and I didn't want it to rust even more.
Thanks, Scot

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Last edited by ScotY; 09-27-2008 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:56 AM
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That area, from what I can tell is the rocker of the vehicle. Not sure what vehicle it is, but if it is a unibody vehicle, that is very important as it is a structural member. Even if it isn't a unibody vehicle, it will cause problems with the door fit. That area needs to be fixed properly, or you are definately wasting your time.

Aaron
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:43 AM
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It's not structural and, fortunately, the upper area near where the door meets up to it is sturdy.

I guess my question is if rust exists on the backside of the metal and this side is not exposed to the elements, what should I do about it? I obviously have some cutting and patching to do, but you wouldn't cut out the sturdy areas if there's rust on the backside? I know, ideally you would, but I can't get patch panels so replacing it all will be tough. I need the next best options.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:41 AM
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if it was mine i would cut out the rusted sections, spray in some rust coating like a por15 and weld on the new patch metal. yes the rust may work its way back through in time but its better than opening up and replaceing most of the rocker panel.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:51 PM
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[QUOTE=ScotY]It's not structural and, fortunately, the upper area near where the door meets up to it is sturdy.

QUOTE]

WOW.... That is a relief, since they are structural to some extent on most all vehicles.

As far as repair, anything short of replacing damaged metal is about equal to painting over rotted roof rafters in your house.

Aaron
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:50 PM
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You know how I know it's not structural? Because I've seen similar vehicles totally rotted out and they still drive down the street just fine. Just kidding, I'm no mechanic and I don't know for sure, but I do know that at least it's not a unibody.

I searched and searched and finally found what I think are aftermarket rockers! So, that's good news. The bad news is it's on ebay, but better that than nothing.

Hopefully, it's not too hard to cut out and replace.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:29 PM
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you might think that water can't get into those rocker panels, but water can get in, and evidently just laid in the panels rotting the metal.

The water didn't have anyway of draining, so it just laid in the panel.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:16 AM
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Actually, most rocker panels have drains for the water to get out. If you look at the photo, just below and between the holes, there is a buldge at the joint area. That is likely a drain at the joint. Most vehicles have them that way.

Aaron
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