No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

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No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by LV2DRFT on November 28th 2011, 1:24 am

Well I have a decent size "gash" from an accident in my rocker panel. I want to prep it for my brightside painting. It's in the passenger rocker area ( underneath passenger door connecting to or part of the tub) on a jeep wrangler. Please refer to the picture at (sorry please decode I'm a new member)
i1097 *DOT* photobucket *DOT* com/albums/g353/LV2DRFT/photo-1 *DOT* jpg

I'm going to buy diamond plate "rock sliders" to cover it up, but I'd like to see how close to "normal" I can make it before painting, just so I feel better and in case any of it is still visible. The problem is I have no access to a welding machine. I can buy patch metal online. Someone told me that usind too thick of an are of bondo will cause the bondo to break and crack and mess things up. Then I heard you could take fiberglass and mix it with the bondo to avoid this problem. Or even cut up beer cans or steel wool. Also I read you can take a wire mesh and make a "sheet" to go over the hole with bondo filling the mesh. It all sounds like fixes that won't last long. Then I heard you can use some kind of adhesive to attach the patch metal instead of welding. Or even drill it in with sheet metal screws. So with all these options.. Which one would you suggest? My main concern is that the result is flush with the surrounding area and holds up decent. I'm going to cover it with another sheet of metal anyway (the rocker plate they have for jeeps) but don't want it to get loose cracked or rusted underneath and wreck the paint I put on. Any advice?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by retired plumber on December 1st 2011, 11:11 pm

There is a special "glue" that can be used in a nonstructural area and it works good. You will also need a flanging tool that recesses the parent metal the thickness of the patch panel resulting in a flush patch. I think I would go that route.
Mike
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by russosborne on December 28th 2011, 11:32 pm

Fusor is one brand of glue. I am torn between using that and trying to learn to weld myself. A bottle of gas and some wire for my mig would cost about the same as a couple of tubes of the glue and the applicator it needs.
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by LV2DRFT on January 13th 2012, 12:45 am

Perfect. I found some non-pneumatic flangers for as low as $17! I think I can afford this!

Now on to the next question...
Where can I buy some cheap sheet metal that would work for this? It is in a non structural area (rocker underneath passenger door). It only has to be thick enough to not bend and dent on its own from driving. Is this something I can just go to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy?

And I might as well ask this one too, since I'm obviously trying to go the cheap way on this...
What's the least expensive way to cut out my damaged metal? It looks like it's about 1/4 inch thick steel. Is there a drill bit I can just put onto my corded drill to slowly but surely cut my line? I have no tools other than a circular wood saw (which I'm obviously not going to use here) and a corded Ryobi drill. Again, time is not a concern, price is. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by retired plumber on January 13th 2012, 2:29 pm

You can get a metal cutting blade for your saw at any hardware store. As far as sheetmetal, I would suggest visiting a wrecking yard.
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by LV2DRFT on January 16th 2012, 4:36 am

I found some rocker covers on Ebay for $49. I can literally just screw them into the metal that's left on the rocker panel. I think I'll just take the easy way out and do that, but thanks for the help!
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by cac1967 on January 16th 2012, 8:54 pm

The screw's will just hold water and dirt behind the panel's, thus promoting more rust, the best way would to be to use a panel bonding adhesive if you have no access to a welder,just my 2 cents
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

Post by LV2DRFT on January 24th 2012, 12:54 pm

Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately I just ran out of money for the project. I spent most of it on needed parts. So I'm going with plan B now which is to spend as much time as I need trying to keep it from rusting. I'm going to have to paint the insides of the drill holes, then apply a little urethane caulk to the screws before the final installation, hopefully creating a rust barrier. Apparently that's what they used to do back in the day, takes more time but it's cheaper. I looked up body panel adhesive, and couldn't find anything for under $50, which is the price I'm paying for my cover up diamond plate anyway... redneck it is!

Thanks for the help though!
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Re: No welder, decent rocker panel hole, what to do?

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