Step down rocker fix

Step down rockers seem to like to rust out.  The factory stuffed some sound deadening steel wool looking stuff inside the sheet metal frame rail.  So a lot of times you will look behind the outer sheet metal and find it's rusted through in the structural part.  This car was to be driven and the owner liked the patina look.  But he wanted the car to be structurally sound.  He asked me to not restore every detail.  Just make it whole again.  With these, I adjust the door first.  Once the door is right and opening and closing like it should, then I support the body just ahead and behind the repair.  My "control" reference is the door opening and closing correctly.  Now I can start cutting.  Make sure through the entire process that door stays right!  If it moves, something needs to be addressed.    


  • bent metalbent metal Posts: 1,560Senior Contributor
    More of this car.  I think the silver one was a different car.  I liked the green and purple one, it was a little hot rod that looked to have no remorse.  
  • bent metalbent metal Posts: 1,560Senior Contributor
    Now we get into the tricky stuff. The 1954's.  In '54 they welded the rockers on.  I have had people bring me stuff and say, "Just weld up the pin holes."  I have to explain to them that we are only seeing the worst of the rust.  The rust is coming from the inside.  What we are seeing is where the rust has gone all of the way through when we see pin holes.  The rest of the panel is rusted half way through, or worse, all along the inside of the panel, where we can't see.  Did a little repair under the step plate and into the A-pillar to get warmed up. :) Notice the factory drain in the floor.
  • bent metalbent metal Posts: 1,560Senior Contributor
    Line up the door first.Cut out new rocker, some shaping required.Patterns and templates before any cutting on the car.A little worse once you really start to get into it.I cut loose the rocker and pulled it down.  Notice it's rusted from the inside.  Also, see the steel wool looking stuff inside the frame rail, still there, and the focal point of the rust in the sheet metal frame.  Below, primed inside before it gets welded shut.
  • bent metalbent metal Posts: 1,560Senior Contributor
    This is all of the stuff cut out.  He had an earlier door on the car, until he could find a good '54 door.
  • cchancelcchancel Posts: 75Member
    This is great stuff! Please keep it coming.
  • bent metalbent metal Posts: 1,560Senior Contributor
    I have done some patch panels for cars too.  Although it's better to have the car when making these, especially since the skirts fit so tight in the wheel opening in 1954.  The new panels should be fit to the body as you go along.  But, that's not always possible.  So these were made in house and sent to the car.  I forgot to take pictures of the rockers. 
  • RichieRichie Posts: 979Senior Contributor
    Bent Metal = Genius
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 327Member
    bit of skill there my man. And a heap of time.

    Rocker panels. 49 Super four door. Do you make these with the the same profile that includes the  high and low bumps/curves?
    See the ones above are very nicely formed and rolled plain ones.

    My 49 dosnt have the wool stuff. and seems to be no residue of it in the rails either. Was a heap of stones/gravel but no wire wool. Kinda doubt the factory would not do it for export models as such areas are the same as American models and effects nothing when converted to RHD. Maybe the dude whos job it was just skipped my frame.

  • bent metalbent metal Posts: 1,560Senior Contributor
    I have made "patch panels" for the step down rocker panels, with the beads included. 1948-'53.  However, I repurposed those dies into something else a long time ago.  But I could make them again.  If I remember right those beads are actually not parallel once you take a good look and start measuring them.  So they need to be installed individually of each other.  I didn't make rockers for the '48-53 because you can still find them, and like you said, it takes a lot of time to fabricate these things from scratch.  Could be done though.  The '54's are welded on from the factory and tend to rust out.  So the guys with '54's are kinda' stuck unless they can get new panels they can weld in.
  • pistonfarmerpistonfarmer Posts: 73Member
    so you are able to make the pieces for the 54's currently?
  • RL ChiltonRL Chilton Posts: 5,131Administrator, Moderator
    bm- There's no reason to go anywhere else. If I ever get around to doing another car and it needs serious bodywork, I'm just going to bring it to you and say, "Call me when you're done." Awesome work on those rockers.
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