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Dazed and Confused
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Gents -

the battle with the impala continues. As I posted in my journal, I've finished rebuilding the drivers side cowl section and over the weekend removed the rocker reinforcement piece (runs along the undersize of the rocker to the wheelhouse) and I found some pretty extesive rust along the bottom 12" or so of the outer rocker.

So my problem now is, do I just section the outer rocker and replace whats needed OR, replace the entire rocker panel. The thought of total separting the front and rear sections of the car (maybe its just me) makes me REALLY nervous.

The problem with sectioning the rocker and replacing only what needs to be replaced is, I don't have access to the back of the rocker due to the "mystery piece" that sits betwen the inner and outer rockers. Because of this, I can't hammer/dolly the weld out to stretch the metal back out after welding.

Relacing the entire rocker is probably easier in terms of bodywork afterwards, but probably more technically challenging due to having to separate the front/back sections of the shell and having to rebuild the inner structure again.

So I'm at a crossroads as to which direction I should go. I'd love to hear from you guys who have done this work and if you have pics of the procedure that you wouldn't mind sharing...

Any help/assistance or guidance is greatly appreciated!!
 

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I would replace the whole thing. I am not sure what you mean by seperate the whole front and rear of the car. Normally rockers are spotwelded in, so you drill all the spot welds along the pinchweld, inside jamb area, in wheelwell area. There may also be a seam where the quarter and rocker panel meet. You could replace the bottom 12 inch, but that one long weld and I think replacing the whole thing would be the way to go. Not sure on the impala, as I've never worked on that car, but think it wouldn't be too much different from others. Replacing the whole thing, you can treat the back of the new piece while its off, and the spots that will be spot welded too, grind off those spots and spray weld through primer. You can use the old rocker as a guide for drilling new holes for spotwelding if you want factory spacing and location. The mustang I worked on actually had some spot welds where it folded under the bottom of the quarterpanel I believe If I remember correctly, but they could be gotten at by removing the interior panel. I had to cut out and replace the bottom of the quarter in that area, so once I did that it was then easy to get at and I didn't need to worry about reaching them from inside.
 

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Dazed and Confused
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109 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Kenseth17 -

what I mean by separating the front and back halves of the shell is probably not the correct way to describe it. The inner rocker is currently cut out, whats left is the outer rocker and a secondary reinforcment piece (sits between inner and outer).

Once the outer rocker is completely removed, there is nothing connecting the "A" pillar to the "B" pillar other than my bracing. The shell is still on the frame and I've got the pillars braced to each other and the brace then connects to the windshield post creating a triangle.

I'm mostly concerned that the shell (which has no floors) will twist with so much of the rocker support removed and I'll have trouble getting the gaps to line up later...

thanks for the reponse!

Joe
 

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okay, now I understand a little better. I thought the whole bottom of the outer rocker was rusted, rather then the front half, and I didn't realize you had all that cut out. I think most guys take it a step at a time, replace the rockers and then tackle the floors once those are in. Not sure what to do in your situation, def take measurements and cross measurements. Do you have the replacement pieces already? At any rate replacing only the front section outer 12" if the rest is good is a little more doable then what I was thinking originally, the whole bottom part of the rocker its length. I would think you would need to weld some back into place before cutting anymore or add more reinforcement to take place of the cutout inner and outer rocker, but at any rate being bumped back up, maybe someone will have better suggestions for you on where to procede from here, or if you should add more reinforcement somewhere before cutting the outer. Maybe you could somehow get the cutout inner area all cleaned up and the inner rocker into place and floor in and then finish removing what is needed to replace the outer last spotwelding that to the new inner. I am at a loss here not having done that big of a job, so hopefully someone can tell you best how to procede, Like I said I think most replace a little at a time so they have something to help position the new pieces in place instead of the whole shebang at once and are not taking a bunch away all the support at once. I think I probably would have removed the outer first, replaced the inner and outer then tackled the floor with the new inner and outer rocker in place. Someone with a lot of experience in this area will hopefully reply.
 
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