The Steps Involved in Installing a Chevrolet Rocker Panel
On a daily basis, your Chevrolet's rocker panel receives quite a lot of punishment from rugged usage to regular wear-and-tear. This is especially true of the later model releases of the Chevy. Rocker panels are particularly susceptible to corrosion from elemental conditions and inclement weather producing loads of rain or snow. Replacement of this panel is something anyone with a passing knowledge of automotive repair can do, but it's recommended that this DIY job isn't done only by yourself. Ask for or hire an assistant if not a crew of mechanics altogether. Also, get a welder.
What You'll Need
- Ear plugs
- Safety glasses
- Welding hood
- Welding gloves
- Electrode holder
- Welding machine
- Welding electrodes
- Replacement rocker panel
Step 1:Hold the replacement rocker panel up your Chevrolet to measure it up to the correct size. Use a permanent marker to mark your vehicle up along the edges of the new panel prior to starting the installation process.
Step 2:Use your cutoff wheel and grinder to cut along the lines made by your marker. Slice off the entire section that's marked off, from the top to bottom and sides. Don't forget to wear leather gloves before handling your grinder to metal as a safety precaution of sorts.
Step 3Use body clamps to clamp your rocker panel into place then the one doing the welding should don a welding mask and gloves for his own safety. The rocker panel is quite lightweight so only a few clamps are necessary.
Step 4:Weld the edges of the panel in order to join it to the vehicle's surface. Use tack welds to get the job done. Weld only one spot at a time while spacing each of them four inches apart until the whole panel has been welded correctly.
Step 5:Make sure to ad tack welds until the entire edge is welded correctly. The tack welding process is handy at preventing overheating surfaces, which could warp your car to uselessness. After welding, let the welds cool down for an hour or so.
Step 6:Grind the bumps on the welds down until you get a flat rocker panel surface. Don't overgrind to the point of destroying your work. Just make sure they're level with the rocker panel itself to avoid ruining the welds.
Step 7:Use a small amount of body filler along the welded line using a squeegee as an applicator. Wait for an hour to allow the filler to dry then sand it smooth with 180-grit sandpaper. Remember to sand the seam of the rocker panel to smoothness.
Step 8:This time, use 220-grit sandpaper to further sand the entire section, including the new rocket panel and the seam. Smoothen out the whole area enough to be paintable.
Step 9:Spray a coat of primer over the seam and the new panel to prepare it for the final few coats of paint finish. Hold the can 6-8 inches from the surface then let the whole thing dry for about half an hour.
Step 10:Spray three paint coats over the entire area. Wait five minutes after each coat. Keep them thin to avoid paint runs. Wait four to six hours before handling the area. After that, you should be done and end up with a beautiful new panel for your automobile.