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slip on rocker panels 98 Ex

joney

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1998 Explorer XLT
I have some LMC slip on rocker panels in my cart ready to buy (Shipping is more expensive than part cost!) Do you folks use LMC or do you have another source you like better? Removed my lower plastic trim, its function is apparently to hide rusted panels! Tried to learn welding years ago, NO aptitude, LOL. Probably going to have to fabricate a bit of the inner rocker too. Rivets (and adhesive, what do you use other than Construction Adhesive - a bit thick) Knew I was going to have to replace 1 rocker panel going in, but rust never sleeps!
 


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Pete Deering

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1995 xlt 4 door 4x4
I have some LMC slip on rocker panels in my cart ready to buy (Shipping is more expensive than part cost!) Do you folks use LMC or do you have another source you like better? Removed my lower plastic trim, its function is apparently to hide rusted panels! Tried to learn welding years ago, NO aptitude, LOL. Probably going to have to fabricate a bit of the inner rocker too. Rivets (and adhesive, what do you use other than Construction Adhesive - a bit thick) Knew I was going to have to replace 1 rocker panel going in, but rust never sleeps!
I brought steel rocket panel from rock auto. I could not believe they where steel, very inexpensive. Shipping was not bad either.( have not installed them) It cost me more in time and labor then the rocker I brought to fabricate them. The first time I fabricated rockers. You need to fabricate the inner rocker too. You will also need the door corner if you have a 4 door. I weld and have a few sheet metal machines. If the rockers from LMC truck is plastic, you can still uses adhesive; but if they are steel you can uses adhesive. Most body shop are using adhesive 3M makes,' body panel adhesive'. The up front cost is the applicator. Adhesive has been around for 20 years. The new cars now are mix metal. You can't weld to a aluminum with a arc or mig.
 




joney

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I brought steel rocket panel from rock auto. I could not believe they where steel, very inexpensive. Shipping was not bad either.( have not installed them) It cost me more in time and labor then the rocker I brought to fabricate them. The first time I fabricated rockers. You need to fabricate the inner rocker too. You will also need the door corner if you have a 4 door. I weld and have a few sheet metal machines. If the rockers from LMC truck is plastic, you can still uses adhesive; but if they are steel you can uses adhesive. Most body shop are using adhesive 3M makes,' body panel adhesive'. The up front cost is the applicator. Adhesive has been around for 20 years. The new cars now are mix metal. You can't weld to a aluminum with a arc or mig.
The LMC rockers are steel. So everything is steel to steel. I've done a lot of pop riveting on previous cars. Wonder if I should back up the adhesive with riveting. I went to Rock Auto online first...and saw NO rocker panels for sale! I'm not exactly clear on the exact shape of the inner panels yet. From looking through the threads here, nobody sells the inner panels. I used galvanized stove pipe (unrolled) on the previous cars, maybe I can find something a tad heavier and form it. Tough without a press brake but have managed it before. An in-law may have a press brake, he used to be a Ford mechanic and still works on trucks. Tried to attach a pic, also to put it in media, no luck.
 




Pete Deering

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The LMC rockers are steel. So everything is steel to steel. I've done a lot of pop riveting on previous cars. Wonder if I should back up the adhesive with riveting. I went to Rock Auto online first...and saw NO rocker panels for sale! I'm not exactly clear on the exact shape of the inner panels yet. From looking through the threads here, nobody sells the inner panels. I used galvanized stove pipe (unrolled) on the previous cars, maybe I can find something a tad heavier and form it. Tough without a press brake but have managed it before. An in-law may have a press brake, he used to be a Ford mechanic and still works on trucks. Tried to attach a pic, also to put it in media, no luck.
I happy I brought them. I also brought my radiator support from rock auto.
I purchase my sheet metal from a auto part store that also sells body supplies. I once found a sheet metal shop that sold me a 4x8 sheet. The guy ask what I was doing and he cut off a piece and bend it up for me.
Used only steel rivets too hold the rocker in place and used 3M body panel adhesive. The inner rocker are 90 degree piece of metal and I used a bead roller too strengthen the panel. I have a brake. You can uses angle iron or 2x4. The only thing with the rockers the hole for the side trim are not in the rocker. I uses a bud light 18 pack beer box, open it up, cut a 2 inch piece from it and tape it on the original rocker, and line it up with the front door seam for reference when realigning and punch holes in to mark the location of the trim clip. The trim clip do break, I pick some up at the junkyard. It took me some time to rebuilt the rocker.
 




Pete Deering

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I also used 3M seam sealer, I painted everything with can paint touch up paint.
 








J_C

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I'm not a bodywork guy so had a shop do mine around a dozen years ago, rocker panels and doglegs including fabbed inner rocker was $1662, by far the most expensive repair my '98 has needed. That was complete, painted and spraying some goop inside to slow rusting again. I don't know where they got the parts.

Funny thing is, it had 87K mi on it at the time and now at only ~105K it's rusting out again, but has been my go-to for use on salted winter roads to save anything else from rusting. I still wonder if the shop did a half-arsed job spraying the inside to rustproof it and that's why it's rusted already.

Rocker panels are supposed to be structural but if I were to DIY without welding, I'd think about using fiberglass instead of steel, maybe buy the steel ones, put a release agent on it, and lay the fiberglass onto the back of it to get it formed? Or not, as already stated I'm not a bodywork guy, but then again I do have a welder a stone's throw away, you might check Craigslist or make a post about welder wanted if you want to go that route. Heh, when I wanted to find the guy I've used in the recent past I just got on google maps and searched "welder near me" and this guy is 1000 feet away as the crow flies.
 




joney

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Post pictures of your repair
I have pics of the rusted area on my phone and my computer, tried to post them here and no luck.
 




Turdle

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I have pics of the rusted area on my phone and my computer, tried to post them here and no luck.
After attaching your photos, you will need to click the " insert image" , this will insert the image where the cursor is active in your post


Just found this

 




Pete Deering

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After attaching your photos, you will need to click the " insert image" , this will insert the image where the cursor is active in your post


Just found this

I purchase my radiator support from them, at the before the start of covid , waited over a year then I cancel the order paid in full 75% more than to rockauto. RockAuto started offer than, and received than within a week.
 




Pete Deering

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I'm not a bodywork guy so had a shop do mine around a dozen years ago, rocker panels and doglegs including fabbed inner rocker was $1662, by far the most expensive repair my '98 has needed. That was complete, painted and spraying some goop inside to slow rusting again. I don't know where they got the parts.

Funny thing is, it had 87K mi on it at the time and now at only ~105K it's rusting out again, but has been my go-to for use on salted winter roads to save anything else from rusting. I still wonder if the shop did a half-arsed job spraying the inside to rustproof it and that's why it's rusted already.

Rocker panels are supposed to be structural but if I were to DIY without welding, I'd think about using fiberglass instead of steel, maybe buy the steel ones, put a release agent on it, and lay the fiberglass onto the back of it to get it formed? Or not, as already stated I'm not a bodywork guy, but then again I do have a welder a stone's throw away, you might check Craigslist or make a post about welder wanted if you want to go that route. Heh, when I wanted to find the guy I've used in the recent past I just got on google maps and searched "welder near me" and this guy is 1000 feet away as the crow flies.
The rocker are not structural, they are just a cover. That why for some car are offer in plastic. Are explorer are on a frame.
 




J_C

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^ I think it really is a structural part of the cab, regardless of there being a frame. What's going to keep the floor pan adjacent to it from caving in if it's not there?
 




Pete Deering

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^ I think it really is a structural part of the cab, regardless of there being a frame. What's going to keep the floor pan adjacent to it from caving in if it's not there?
The floor is attached to the sheet metal at the door sill.
 




Mr. Alligator

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The rocker are not structural, they are just a cover. That why for some car are offer in plastic. Are explorer are on a frame.

Yep. I did not like my plastic “tupperware” or my rusty rocker panels. So obtained 1/8 inch(?) thick steel 2x4s from a metal shop, and had a welder snap a line on the rockers just above the rust line, cut out the rusty rockers, and weld in the steel 2x4s on each side. The welder believes that the truck could be jacked up by the 2x4s, and that they could also serve as sliders. They are incredibly strong! Very Road Warrior.

18F9845B-C2BE-4690-ADF5-CB793B5580CC.jpeg D0DEF1F3-CD4A-4CB5-8F65-98383AB89246.jpeg
 




J_C

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The floor is attached to the sheet metal at the door sill.

That does not change the fact that a formed, welded on piece of metal that runs that span, becomes a structural reinforcement even if not the primary one. That some other vehicle doesn't have any benefit from that due to having a clipped on piece of plastic instead, does not change what it does in this (different) design.

That doesn't mean the truck is going to bend in two from everyday use without it, but give the rest some rust, some loads, or a side collision, and it's there doing something, not just a mere cover.

This is not a view I share alone. rocker panels structural - Google Search
 




joney

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Lots of good advice and replies, thanks! Will be a bit of a compromise, this year anyway. Running out of good weather so will be consulting locally about the possibility of welding. For sure, stopping rust in its tracks is in order, would like to get the sheet metal to approximate the strength of the original set up. As the frame and attached members seem in much better shape rust-wise, I'm hopeful about the viability of this project fix.
 




CDW6212R

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Best of luck with rocker repairs, those are complicated bent/sandwiched body parts, all spot welded together with seam sealer around them.

FYI, the seam sealer is what lets go over time, it hardens and cracks eventually, which allows moisture in, underneath, into the body seams. Surface rust is all fixable unless it eat through, while the seam rust is impossible to kill without dismantling the vehicle there.

Here's my 1999 front clip cut apart, note the inside sandwiched sheet metal they are made of;

Projectthread115.jpg Projectthread116.jpg
 

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joney

Elite Explorer
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City, State
Eau Claire WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT
Best of luck with rocker repairs, those are complicated bent/sandwiched body parts, all spot welded together with seam sealer around them.

FYI, the seam sealer is what lets go over time, it hardens and cracks eventually, which allows moisture in, underneath, into the body seams. Surface rust is all fixable unless it eat through, while the seam rust is impossible to kill without dismantling the vehicle there.

Here's my 1999 front clip cut apart, note the inside sandwiched sheet metal they are made of;

View attachment 343146 View attachment 343147
Yes! I will have to do the attachment with steel rivets over the body adhesive - What I don't have a picture of, is how the inner panel looks (when it's not rusted out). Is there any chance you could post a pic of your inner panel on the truck? Unless what pics you have posted, show it - don't know where the rocker ends and the inner panel starts. I will have to make one from sheet metal. No opportunity to get a welded repair. Any surface rust will then be scraped down, rust converter applied. Not sure if a paint coating over the rust converter is in order, or just Fluid Film. (I have to re-order that Fluid Film, USPS never delivered(although they claim it was) and the email form to claim lost package doesn't work, oh well) Thanks !
 




Pete Deering

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Yes! I will have to do the attachment with steel rivets over the body adhesive - What I don't have a picture of, is how the inner panel looks (when it's not rusted out). Is there any chance you could post a pic of your inner panel on the truck? Unless what pics you have posted, show it - don't know where the rocker ends and the inner panel starts. I will have to make one from sheet metal. No opportunity to get a welded repair. Any surface rust will then be scraped down, rust converter applied. Not sure if a paint coating over the rust converter is in order, or just Fluid Film. (I have to re-order that Fluid Film, USPS never delivered(although they claim it was) and the email form to claim lost package doesn't work, oh well) Thanks !
The inner panel come down from the floor panel and stops at the bottom of the outer rocker panel about 1/8 " below and you bolt inside and outside panels together. This edge has holes in it so you can attach the bottom edge of the trim piece to it, with plastic push pins.

DSC00617.JPG DSC00618.JPG
 


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Pete Deering

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The blue is a cardboard template, that I used to shape a pattern for the new metal. It right after the front fender. I do not have running board, just trim.
 




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