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Rocker Panels

Discussion in 'Repairs, Maintenance, Help' started by ChryslerTC1986, May 20, 2020.

  1. ChryslerTC1986

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    So my 1986 Town and Country has some rust holes and flaky material at the rocker panels and near the wheel wells. I live in a state that has relatively strict inspection laws in place (Vermont). I am worried (but not confirmed by a tech or shop) that I will fail inspection because of the rust. The largest is likely the size of an orange and no rust is actually visible from the curb nor does any of it look like it would be an issue of an entering passenger's ankle.

    Despite my pre-meditated concern about if I will pass inspection. If they would require that this get fixed, what would be the best path of least resistance (seeing how finding replacement rockers which are OEM would be a hassle). I have only ever used bondo and aluminum tape on an old Corolla sh!tbox I use to own as I do not know how to weld.

    Any suggestions? Fab shop?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I can post pictures of the areas of concern once it is daytime
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Rocker panels are a structural part of the car. The best repair is welding in new metal.
     
  3. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
    Level III Supporter

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    I would get some suggestions and estimates from body and collision shops. Patch panels, welding and refinishing may be an expensive proposition. It may exceed the value of the vehicle?
    If you ask the appraiser "What would you do if it was your car?", you will likely get a candid, honest reply and it may give you an idea of repair actions to consider. Best of luck with this.
     
  4. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

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    Best bet would be try to find a Southern or Western K car that either has a blown engine or has possibly been rolled. The rocker panel area on these cars is the major structure front to rear with the reinforcement up the center completing the package. I would remove the sill trim and pull the carpet back and look for rusted areas there.

    This is what my friend did for mine, he bought a 1988 Reliant 4 dr to get the needed floor parts to fix it. My rocker areas and center were all solid, it was just the floors were gone.
     
  5. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

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    I found a rust repair shop in RI that reworked my Daytona. It had EXTENSIVE damage to the rockers and wheelwells, and it was $3200 and 3 weeks to strip out the interior, cut away the rust lines of both inner and outer rockers, fab all new panels and coat with a rust inhibitor.

    One thing you can be sure of, the rust is greater than what you see.

    Small holes can be patched with sheet metal, epoxy and rivets. But if you have several and they're large, best to have a pro weld it.
     
    ChryslerTC1986, Doug D and valiant67 like this.
  6. KOG

    KOG KOG

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    There is no way you can afford to repair an 86 for less than 4 or 5 time what it's worth. Check the list of vehicles I own. I'm familiar with what you have. The later models with a 3.3 are much better vehicles than any 86. And far less expensive than repairing what you have. Go shopping.
     

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