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Inner rocker panel - 1999 Explorer 2-door

Discussion in 'Body Work & Detailing' started by Doug N, June 11, 2018.

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    1. Doug N

      Doug N New Member

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      I'm doing some body work on my 1999 2-door Explorer. Both the outer and inner rocker panels are rusted out. I can find replacement outers just fine; however, the inners elude me. Some say "no big deal" because they don't add any structural support. Others speak of doors not fitting well without the inners. So, has anyone found a source for inner rocker panels for the 2-door body style? Or a substitute? Thanks. DugIn
       
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    3. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      There are none.
       
    4. Doug N

      Doug N New Member

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      Interesting. There were clearly two "layers" of material that were present when I removed what I did - the "outer", thin, painted one, and an underlying, thicker, unpainted and very rusty one. So, am I mistaken in that the two come as a joined unit? DugIn
       
    5. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      You can only get the outers. No one makes an aftermarket inner rocker. You need to fab up your own, or go without it.
       
    6. Doug N

      Doug N New Member

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      Understood. The rusted inners seemed to be curved to match the shape of the outers. However, could one "get by" with either square or rectangular tubing, or angle iron, inside the rocker panel cavity, and achieve the same support? DugIn
       
    7. MONMIX

      MONMIX I fix dents Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Whoever said the inners are non-structural and are no big deal are completely and totally uninformed.
       
    8. Doug N

      Doug N New Member

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      MONMIX: my concern exactly, so any suggestions as to what is best to do when the inners are rotted out and replacements aren't available? I've considered bolting on square steel tubing within the rocker panel cavity, and then hanging replacement rocker panels over them. Would this work? DugIn
       
    9. MONMIX

      MONMIX I fix dents Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      For a daily driver?

      Unitised body (which is what is sitting on the full frame ) is designed to act as a complete unit. That designs intent is to channel the energy you might experience in a collision and direct that energy around the passenger compartment at certain points and completely absorb the energy at other points. Everything works in conjunction with everything else. Making part A stronger than it is meant to be may be equally as detrimental as making part B weaker than it should be.
      Any altercations WILL affect the vehicle's ability to perform as designed in a collision. How much it will effect it, I can't answer. If I am taking my kids to school in this vehicle, that is not a chance I would be interested in taking. Personally.

      To answer your question, what is "best" would be sell it, trade it, scrap it. In my professional opinion, that is what is best. ( by definition )
      Otherwise you could attempt to recreate the size, shape and thickness of what used to be there and attempt to weld it in in the factory locations at the factory seams.

      Beyond that, bolting in tubing or channeling or what have you, just becomes shortcut taking, and risk. You can, and yes it is possible, and the results just might be fine, but then again they might not.

      Rust is an iceberg. You only see the tip. Whatever rust you see, cout on there being 3 times as much that you don't see. Finding something solid to bolt to or weld to would be an additional challenge.
       

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