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Rocker panel questions and other questions

SwaintaN

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How well do yall think just bondoing the rocker panels back together would do? its cheaper for me to bondo them, then find a body worker who can cut and weld new panels in place..

next question, is fiberglass stronger then bondo?

can you use fiberglass instead of bondo on our 1st gen metal bodies

thanks in advance!
 


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BrianDye

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I wouldnt do either, bondo isnt like a "glue" and neither is fiberglass, my buddies doing a bunch of bodywork using bondo on some spots, and the heavy spots using fiberglass.


I would suggest somehow bolting the panels down, or using JB weld or something strong like that, then maybe bondo over the bolts to make it all smooth.
 




coppe

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if you are trying to save some $$ i would at least have someone do several weld spots or tacks, and then grind them a bit, and then use fiberglass to cover the gaps, work it a bit and then use bondo to smooth the surface (or maybe even skip the fiberglass). If you only use bondo the vibrations and metal flex that might happen will crack that unions for sure, and preping the surface to ensure metal adhesión and weight support of the new piece, well........ But I don´t know if only using glass would work. I also remember a thread in which someone used some sort of liquid nail adhesive, but i think it was for a flat smooth surface over another one with a little imperfection and then just bondoed all the edges. hope this helps.
 




BrianDye

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Yea, i suggest coppes method....haha!
 




SwaintaN

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lol let me rephrase that.. i saw how i worded it.. they are rusted.. and rusted bad, i was gonna cut the rust out, sand the metal around it down to bare metal, and bondo/fiberglass where all the rust was/is but i didnt know if that would be safe where its at or i should try to save the money for new panels, then have it cut and welded into place


living in ohio is hell with rust!
 




BrianDye

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I bet you Michigans worse!

I literally have NO rockers, and the rust is eating me from the bottom up!!!
But yea id suggest buying NEW rockers, dont waste your time trying to fab up your own, it might save you a tiny bit, but its well worth a new set, plus they'd look better :p:
 




SwaintaN

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i was just afraid its gonna cost me out the *** to have someone cut old out, weld new in.. painting.. i can do that.. so i dont have to pay for that part...
 








MONMIX

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*oh sweet jesus*

First off bondo is a brand name, not a product.

Second body filler ( the correct name) has near zero adhesive properties. Using that to bond a pannel is the equilivant to using chewing gum.

A rocker pannel is a STRUCTURAL pannel and MUST be welded completely and correctly to maintain structural and safety integrity.
No bolts, no screws, no adhesives, will serve the same purpose and function as a quality weld.
 




vroomzoomboom

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monmix, i don't want to step on your toes, but i want to ask you this. the stuff that you used to shave your gate holes, can that not be use AS WELL as welding. i remeber 3M did some seminar a few years back about that stuff (i can't even remeber what it was called). what they said was you must weld any spot welds, but if it used on overlapping panels (say between the big and small 1/4 windows on a sport) that it would be ok? just asking that's all. don't worry, i am a bigger fan of welding then gluing!
 




SwaintaN

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im not wanting to "glue" im trying to think of a better way to explain what i was gonna do... (now im just saving the money for the panels to be put in place)

what i was wanting to do is like a patch job, but for the whole area. shave of rust etc, put mesh in, then fill with body filler, just like a patch job.
 




corkey

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patching is not good,, do it right the first time, and you won't have to do it again, i know it costs more, but it will be right,,
my rockers are a bit soft , but if i do them, i will get them welded, as that is not only the bottom of the door frame, but like somebody said , it is structural too, ,
 




SwaintaN

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yeah after firstfew post.. ill end up having them done, i had a link (lost it) that i could order the 4dr rocker panels from for cheap.. but the cutting and welding is what is gonna cost me out the :eek:
 




Anime

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As mentioned, Bondo/body filler is just cosmetic stuff for filling in cracks and gaps, it won't hold much. Now filberglass, I've used both the short strand and long strand stuff to hold things that welding won't (fiberglass roll pans, tailwings, etc.) and never had a problem. If you're sure to fiberglass bare material to bare material (not the surface finish or paint), and do it right, it will be quite strong.

That said, I wouldn't do it on the rockers unless you're building a show truck and doing something flashy.

On a 4 door, you're better off just hacking off the rockers and either just welding in a flat plate to the bottom, or welding in a long section of 1/8" 2x4 rectangular steel. It's not necessary to do it by the book and remove everything to weld in a replacement rocker panel unless you just have to have the stock look and can't stand anything else.

You could always go out and buy a $200-300 welder and use it for this and other body repair projects to save the dough on paying someone to do the work.
 




SwaintaN

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lol i tried my hand at welding.. it was a joke! haha... it dont have to be the stock look, bu i know its bad, i took off the plastic pieces, and just saw rust everywhere ugh.
 




vroomzoomboom

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SwaintaN

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only problem with not doing stock.. is i have to be showed the way... all i know how is stock (if that makes sense) been taught so much not to deviate from stock its not funny.... that is why i liked the lift kit.. it was all stock holes etc... haha
 




MONMIX

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monmix, i don't want to step on your toes, but i want to ask you this. the stuff that you used to shave your gate holes, can that not be use AS WELL as welding. i remeber 3M did some seminar a few years back about that stuff (i can't even remeber what it was called). what they said was you must weld any spot welds, but if it used on overlapping panels (say between the big and small 1/4 windows on a sport) that it would be ok? just asking that's all. don't worry, i am a bigger fan of welding then gluing!

dura-mix.

So far every thing I have heard on dura mix is that it is not intended for pilars and rockers. They say ok on core supports but I wont do that.
Roofs, door skins and quarter pannels is all I will trust dura-mix on personally.
 




SwaintaN

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On a 4 door, you're better off just hacking off the rockers and either just welding in a flat plate to the bottom, or welding in a long section of 1/8" 2x4 rectangular steel. It's not necessary to do it by the book and remove everything to weld in a replacement rocker panel unless you just have to have the stock look and can't stand anything else.

any one have pics or a thread on the forum somewhere?
 


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Anime

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Not too many pics of Explorers with the job done. Theres a writeup with pics of LD50's stock rocker panel repair stickied in this forum.

This will give you some idea of what it is to replace the rocker with rectangular or plate steel, though:

http://www.broncoholics.com/support/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1416

It's pretty easy with a reciprocating saw, hacksaw, grinder, welder, and basic tools. Takes a heck of a lot of time, even more if you want to do it right, but it's worth it if you plan on keeping your Explorer around for a long time.
 




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