Rocker Panels are the significant parts of your vehicle, it provides sustainable support to body structure, and it is the only part of your vehicle that connects the front and backside of your vehicle.
Normally, the rocker panels are located below the vehicle’s doors and between the wheels.
Considering its importance, it is important that you keep the rocker panels in good shape.
Besides giving structural support to the vehicle, rocker panels also add safety for the user; whenever you enter or exit from the vehicle, you can use it for assistance.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Replacing Rocker Panels: A Step-by-Step Guide
- 0.2 Step 1: Assess the Damage
- 0.3 Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Materials
- 0.4 Step 3: Prepare Your Work Area
- 0.5 Step 4: Removing the Damaged Panels
- 0.6 Step 5: Treating Rust
- 0.7 Step 6: Priming and Painting
- 0.8 Step 7: Installing the Replacement Panels
- 1 FAQs
- 1.0.1 How do I prevent rocker panel rust in the first place?
- 1.0.2 Can I use a different type of paint?
- 1.0.3 Is welding necessary for rocker panel replacement?
- 1.0.4 How long does this process take?
- 1.0.5 Can I replace rocker panels by myself?
- 1.0.6 What if I discover more rust damage during the process?
- 2 Conclusion
Why does It need To Be Replaced?
Due to their location, they are exposed and often not cleaned or washed, which eventually turns out in drastic corrosion and decomposition.
Off-road driving and parking lot accidents are also the reasons which highly affects the rocker panels. Ultimately it becomes dangerous as it can fall at any time, therefore replacing it is the only reliable option.
So if your vehicle has got rusting, erosion, or damaged rocker panels, you should replace it as soon as you can.
Replacing rocker panels from the automobile workshops will cost you a lot of money and will also take much time. Plus, repairing it will not last long. Why not replace it yourself?
Yes, you can do the rocker panel replacement if you follow the steps and use the appropriate tools and gears. Having an experience is an advantage, but even if you are going to do it for the first time, this article is going to cover this for you.
Just read it till the end, and you will have sufficient knowledge to replace rocker panels on your own. It will not only extend the life of your vehicle but will also keep you safe.
Replacing Rocker Panels: A Step-by-Step Guide
Let’s delve into the process of replacing rocker panels without welding. This step-by-step guide will ensure you can complete the task confidently and effectively.
Step 1: Assess the Damage
Before you dive into the replacement process, it’s crucial to assess the extent of the damage. This initial evaluation will guide you in deciding whether you need to replace the entire rocker panel or if a patch-up job will suffice.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Materials
For a smooth rocker panel replacement, make sure you have the following tools and materials ready:
- Safety glasses to protect your eyes.
- Gloves for hand protection.
- Jack stands to secure your vehicle safely.
- A hydraulic jack for lifting the car.
- Replacement rocker panels, which you can purchase for your specific make and model.
- An angle grinder for cutting out the damaged panels.
- Rust converter to treat any remaining rust.
- Rustproof paint to protect against future rust.
- Primer for preparing the metal surface.
- Automotive paint to match your vehicle’s color.
Having these items at hand is essential for a successful rocker panel replacement project.
Step 3: Prepare Your Work Area
Safety is paramount during this process. To create a safe workspace, follow these tips:
- Work in a well-ventilated area with plenty of fresh air.
- Ensure proper lighting to see your work clearly.
- Always wear your safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris.
- Use gloves to safeguard your hands.
By adhering to these safety guidelines, you can minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
Step 4: Removing the Damaged Panels
- Start by securely lifting your vehicle using the hydraulic jack.
- To provide extra stability, place jack stands under the vehicle.
- Use an angle grinder to carefully cut out the rusted rocker panels. Take your time to ensure precision.
- Once the damaged sections are removed, clean the exposed area to prepare it for treatment.
Step 5: Treating Rust
Rust can be persistent and may still be present on the vehicle’s frame after cutting out the damaged panels. To address this, use a rust converter:
- Apply the rust converter to any remaining rust following the product’s instructions.
- Let it dry according to the recommended time frame.
Treating rust is vital because it prevents further corrosion and ensures the longevity of the repair.
Step 6: Priming and Painting
Now it’s time to give your vehicle’s new panels a fresh and protective coat:
- Apply primer to the exposed metal surface. This will help the paint adhere properly.
- Once the primer has dried, you can proceed to paint the area with automotive paint that matches your vehicle’s color.
- Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
By following these steps, you’ll not only restore your vehicle’s aesthetics but also ensure long-lasting protection against rust.
Step 7: Installing the Replacement Panels
Now that you’ve prepped the area, it’s time to fit the new rocker panels in place:
- Position the replacement panels carefully, ensuring a precise fit.
- Secure them using the appropriate screws or bolts, following your vehicle’s specifications.
With this final step, you’ll have successfully replaced your rocker panels without the need for welding.
How do I prevent rocker panel rust in the first place?
Rocker panel rust is a common issue, but there are steps you can take to prevent it:
- Regularly wash your vehicle, particularly in the winter when salt is used on roads. This removes corrosive elements.
- Keep your vehicle’s underside clean by using a high-pressure hose.
- Apply a rust inhibitor to provide an extra layer of protection against rust.
Can I use a different type of paint?
While there are various types of paint available, it’s best to use automotive paint that matches your vehicle’s color. This type of paint offers superior durability and protection, ensuring a long-lasting finish.
Is welding necessary for rocker panel replacement?
No, welding is not necessary for rocker panel replacement. The steps outlined in this guide provide a non-welding alternative that is both effective and accessible to most car owners.
How long does this process take?
The time required for rocker panel replacement can vary depending on the extent of the damage and your level of experience. However, with the right tools and preparation, you can typically complete this project in a day.
Can I replace rocker panels by myself?
Yes, replacing rocker panels is a DIY project that can be accomplished by a dedicated car owner. With the proper tools, materials, and safety precautions, you can successfully complete the task.
What if I discover more rust damage during the process?
If you encounter additional rust damage while working on the rocker panels, it’s essential to address it promptly. Ignoring rust issues can lead to more extensive and costly repairs in the future.
Replacing rocker panels without welding might seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it’s a project you can complete confidently. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can restore your vehicle’s aesthetics, prevent rust, and ensure its structural integrity. Regular maintenance and timely repairs go a long way in preserving your vehicle’s overall health.
In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just looking to save on repair costs, replacing rocker panels without welding is a manageable project that can help your vehicle look and perform its best.