If you have seen the rocker panels of your car rusting, then it’s time to change them. Rocker panels are beneath the doors of your car and are likely to be corroded, rusted, and damaged because of their position as they are exposed to murky water, mud, etc.
They are an important component of your car but also vulnerable. They are present at the bottom of your car doors and prevent them from folding in half during an accident. If the rocker panels of your car are rusting and don’t pay attention to them, the rust is likely to spread to other parts of the car.
This may cause a serious safety risk to you and your car. The rust won’t stop unless you took some measure to stop it. It is essential to replace rocker panels when they are rusting to prevent the car from big damage.
What is a Rocker Panel?
The Rocker panel is the part of the panel of the car’s structural body which is present below the doors just between the front and back wheel. These panels are made of strong metal and are an integral part of your car’s body. They connect the front and back of your car. These panels are prevent your car from folding during an accident.
How Rocker Panels are damaged?
Rocker panels are an important component of the body of a car. They are a vulnerable part of the body. They are damaged because of their exposure to rocks, water, mud, etc. The collision with the rocks on the road can cause damage to the paint of the rocker panels, which in turn can start rusting. Similarly, car accidents can result in damage to the rocker panel.
Driving on an unpaved road with small rocks and puddles of water can also be the reason for their corrosion. As the paint is chipped away, the metal is exposed to direct water, sunlight, abrasive chemicals on the road, mud, rocks, etc. which results in the rusting of the metal on the rocker panel.
Why is it Important to Replace the Damaged Rocker Panels of Your Car?
No matter whatever the reason is for the damage of the rocker panels of your car, it is extremely important that you change them for the safety of your car, you, and other vehicles. A weak rocker panel gives weak support to the body of the car.
Your car is like a capsule, in which the rocker panels from the bottom of the capsule. These panels prevent your car from being folded in half in an accident. If they are damaged or rusted, this imposes a serious threat to the safety of your car.
Once the rocker panel starts rusting, the rust can spread to other parts of the car, hence damaging them. Because the rusty areas of the panels absorb more water and can cause more rust. So whenever you see any rust, corrosion, damage to them; replace them immediately and be safe from any security risk.
What are the Types of Replacement Rocker Panels?
The two types of replacement rocker panels are slip-on rocker panels and welded rocker panels. The type you use to replace your rocker panel depends on how corroded, damaged, and rusted they are.
Slip-on Rocker panel:
The first type is Slip-on rocker panels. They are the best to use when the rocker panels of your car are not rusted or damaged at the upper and bottom edges. If the damage is anywhere but on the edges, use these rocker panels. The figure and shape of your car rocker panel are not damaged. There is no need to weld them in the car.
They can be replaced using an adhesive material. They are not easy for a beginner to replace but as you move on you become more adept in it. So if you are looking for an option to replace rocker panels without welding, this is the best option for you.
Welded rocker panel:
The second option is the Welded rocker panels. They are used when all the rocker panels of your car are rusted and damaged. In that case, you have to cut off the whole panel and replace it with a new one. This rocker panel is welded into the car.
What are the Tools Required to Replace the Rocker Panel?
There are certain tools you need to have if you are thinking of replacing the rocker panels. The tools need to replace are
- Adhesive material or glue
- Wire brush
- Electric drill
- Angle grinder for grinding the edges
- Anti-rust agent or rust inhibitor
- Leather palm gloves
These are the basic tools you need to replace rocker panels. Leather gloves are to protect your hands from bruising. An adhesive material is to attach the rocker panel to your car. Hammer is to break off the rusty parts. The angle grinder makes the edges smooth. The electric drill is used to make the holes in the rocker panel. The anti-rust agent is to be applied so that rust cannot spread easily.
How Much Time does it take to replace a Rocker Panel?
It takes approximately 8 hours to change a rocker panel on either side of the car. In the beginning, it will take you more time to replace them but as time passes and your practice, you will need less time to replace them.
What is the Step-To-Step Procedure for Changing the Rocker Panel?
Now comes the most important part of the article. Let us tell you about the procedure of changing the rocker panel of your car. It will not seem easy to you if you are going to change your rocker panel for the first time. We will guide you step by step so that you understand it easily.
Once you read the steps, you will understand the procedure easily and be able to change them yourself. If you own a car and use it regularly, rocker panels will be rusting often. So it will be better for you to learn to change them yourself. Whenever you feel the need, do it yourself.
Let’s get started.
- Step 1: Detach and Remove the Old Metal
The first and foremost step is to remove the old metal from your old rocker panel. Use an angle grinder to cut away the old affected parts. You have to cut away sufficient parts so that the new rocker panel fits in.
- Step 2: Remove the Rust and Chipping Paint
Now see at the remaining parts under the door and remove all the rusty ones. Use a hammer to do so. Scrap away all the paint that is chipping and peeling off. Make sure to remove all of the affected parts.
- Step 3: Make the Edges Clean by Grinding
After removing the rusty parts, make all the edges smooth so that the new panel fits in well. Sand away all the rust on the edges by using the angle grinder.
- Step 4: Use Anti Rust Agent
Apply an anti-rust agent on all the parts to stop the rust from spreading. It will protect the remaining parts of the panel. Always apply a rust inhibitor before painting the panel. This will increase the life of the rocker panel.
- Step 5: Mark the Hole in the Panel
Mark the holes spaced uniformly. This depends on the shape of the rocker panel. Generally, every two inches of a hole is okay.
- Step 6: Drill the Holes with the help of the Electric Drill
Now it’s time to drill the holes you marked. Make sure to drill the holes exactly where you would like to place your rocker panel. Have another person hold the rocker panels so you can drill the holes precisely.
- Step 7: Make the Edges of the Holes Smooth by using an Angle grinder
Use the angle grinder to make the edges on the back of the hole smooth. In this way, the bulging metal won’t come in the way of mounting a new rocker panel, and it will fit nicely.
- Step 8: Mount the Slip-On Rocker Panel
Apply adhesive material on the panel and mount it on the car. Stuff it in the holes one by one. Start from the middle to the edges.
And you are done. Your rocker panels are now happily replaced. Learning to change them yourself is not difficult. Now you have an expert at your hand. Whenever you feel the need of changing them, go ahead and change them yourself. You also watch this video for more explanation:
In this article, we have guided you on how to replace the rocker panels without welding. If the rocker panels of your car are rusted but there is no issue with their shape and figure then you can easily replace them without welding. This may seem difficult in the beginning, but as you move on, you become more adept at it. So learn it and do it yourself!