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What would you prefer, replacing a damaged door panel for big bucks or installing a more affordable rocker panel that not only protects your vehicle from debris, but also enhances its style? Rocker panels are easy to install, and once they're on your vehicle, you'll be better protected from pebbles, rocks, oil, tar and other debris that ruin your paintwork. Aftermarket panels are crafted from the sturdiest materials, so you can use them for a very long time. Some are made from ABS plastic while others are molded from high-grade stainless steel. When choosing panels for your car, truck, jeep or SUV, look for ones that don't require drilling. The great thing about these panels is that they not only protect your investment but also improve your vehicle's appearance. In fact, adding panels is an essential part of any body customization work simply because they complete the cool, new look of the vehicle. To get your hands on the finest rocker panel in the industry, turn to us here at Auto Parts Warehouse where we stock over 550,000 heavy-duty aftermarket auto parts and accessories. Where else can you get our Price Match Guarantee, which means if you find a cheaper panel out there, we'll match its price for you? Go ahead and order new rocker panels today and close the door to the prospect of paying huge repair bills for a broken door panel.
Selecting the Right Rocker Panel
Whether replacement or restoration, a rocker panel rounds out your ride in a really reliably simple kind of way. Sometime finding the right one can be downright rough and rumble. This little guide makes the selection process so much simpler and gives you just the facts.
A lot of people, excited with a restoration job or just raring to get their old, worn one replaced tend to forget the simplest of all rules to follow: get one that is specific to your car's year, make, and model. There is no such thing as a Universal, one-rocker-fits-all panel.
If you're looking to fix up an older car, and you don't have a rocker panel to reference-or even a manual-your best bet is to shop online. This option has become far more convenient with the ability to match parts based on the specifics of your vehicle.
The key here is simple: be very exacting when it comes to matching. True, you could cut an over-sized one down, but it really is smarter and more affordable-in terms of money and time-to get one that is correct from the get-go.
There are two general categories of materials that rocker panels come in, either one has their own perks and downers. The first group is comprised of the classy metallic panels-these look gorgeous and glimmer when the sunlight catches on them as you open the door. The downside is that they get slippery after a good downpour!
Rubberized rocker panels make up the second group. They are not as pretty to look at, they're far less durable, but they do pull amazing double duty. Apart from providing the requisite support for your door, they also give your shoes a firm surface to grip when you enter or exit your ride. Ultimately, it pretty much comes down to preference.
What's the point, after all, of having a safety feature whose look doesn't match or compliment your style? So long as the fit is right-you cannot compromise on that-how it looks and feels is all up to you.
Replacing Your Rocker Panels
Rocker panels are central in any restoration job-that's why they sell so well! It's not just older cars that can benefit from "rocking" it, however. Even newer automobiles out today can benefit from a refurbishing-these parts tend to get scraped and scratched a lot! With this guide and a couple of tools, you should be able to change one out yourself within one to two hours. That will certainly save on time and labor costs for any restoration or refurbishing project you might want to undertake!
Difficulty level: Moderate
Stuff you'll need:
- New rocker panel
- Owner's manual
- Torch cutter or cutting disc
- Metal inert gas welder
- Drill with metal-cutting bits
- Wrench set
- Metal grinder
- Locking pliers or clamps
Step 1: Before everything else, disengage your battery and commence work at least 30 minutes after.
Step 2: Detach the fender-referring to your vehicle's owner's manual to determine number and positions of attached bolts.
Step 3: Cut off the rocker panel that you want to replace by attacking the old weld point one at a time.
Step 4: Grind off as much as the old rocker panel as you can-constantly try to fit the new panel to cross reference.
*NOTE* Take as much time as you need on that last step and avoid leaving even the tiniest bumps that can contribute to making your new rocker panel skewed!
Step 5: Position the new rocker panel in place, and temporarily secure with clamps or locking pliers.
Step 6: Weld the new rocker panel into place, referring to the guide holes in the panel itself and the older welds as well.
Step 7: Carefully grind off the excess metal from the welding-do this very slow to avoid damaging the rocker panel.
- Keep safe all the time: wear the requisite goggles, gloves, and closed shoes.
- Always park on a flat and level surface-this way, there's no danger of being run over by your own ride while you work!