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Replacing rusted out rocker panel

  #1  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:34 PM
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Replacing rusted out rocker panel

After years of neglecting to deal with rust on the drivers side front door of my '07 Sport that had emanated from a body shop's terrible job replacing the outer skin after a hit-and-run accident, I watched a YouTube video on DIY repair and thought I should finally do something about it. Upon further inspection though I noticed additional damage at the rear of the rocker panel as well which prompted me to remove the trim to get a better look. It was a horrific scene and after removing a majority of the disintegrated parts and grinding most of the surface rust off, this is the result:








Replacing the entire door is fairly easy ($60 from a local junkyard that has 3 in stock), but the rocker panel is another story. The only body shop I could find that would entertain my desire to fix it is quoting me $1200+ just for the part alone, which is probably more than what the entire vehicle is worth. Buying the part new from HondaPartsNow or a similar site is less than $400 though, and for a fraction of that I could also try removing it from said donor vehicles at a junkyard. I understand there will be welding involved as well, but I have a friend that can help with that.

The only question I really have now is trying to figure out what "body style" my car is. When searching for the parts online there are two options:


Does anyone have a clue on how to determine this without resorting to grinding down paint to see where the weld lines are? With the naked eye it's impossible to see because the entire side of the vehicle appears to be one piece, even though it obviously isn't.

And yes... I understand how naive I must be to think I can pull this off myself. My last resort will be to simply remove more of the rust and cover with rust reformer and some sort of awful reconstruction of the missing back portion that will allow the trim to attach to something.
 
  #2  
Old 06-25-2019, 12:34 PM
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Perhaps pulling the door opening weatherstripping and forlding carpet would let you see the panels connecting point?
And when old style did change to plasma style?
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-2019, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by xtsquintx View Post
After years of neglecting to deal with rust on the drivers side front door of my '07 Sport that had emanated from a body shop's terrible job replacing the outer skin after a hit-and-run accident, I watched a YouTube video on DIY repair and thought I should finally do something about it. Upon further inspection though I noticed additional damage at the rear of the rocker panel as well which prompted me to remove the trim to get a better look. It was a horrific scene and after removing a majority of the disintegrated parts and grinding most of the surface rust off, this is the result:








Replacing the entire door is fairly easy ($60 from a local junkyard that has 3 in stock), but the rocker panel is another story. The only body shop I could find that would entertain my desire to fix it is quoting me $1200+ just for the part alone, which is probably more than what the entire vehicle is worth. Buying the part new from HondaPartsNow or a similar site is less than $400 though, and for a fraction of that I could also try removing it from said donor vehicles at a junkyard. I understand there will be welding involved as well, but I have a friend that can help with that.

The only question I really have now is trying to figure out what "body style" my car is. When searching for the parts online there are two options:


Does anyone have a clue on how to determine this without resorting to grinding down paint to see where the weld lines are? With the naked eye it's impossible to see because the entire side of the vehicle appears to be one piece, even though it obviously isn't.

And yes... I understand how naive I must be to think I can pull this off myself. My last resort will be to simply remove more of the rust and cover with rust reformer and some sort of awful reconstruction of the missing back portion that will allow the trim to attach to something.
Yes, the entire side aperture of the car is one piece. The body side outer has the reinforcements welded into it. Then the whole side aperture is welded to the underbody (framed) with the roof bows installed to hold it all together. Next the roof is welded on. OEM replacement panels are cut from the whole outer body or skin. Most cars are built on an approximately 45 second cycle time. It would take too long to weld many separate body panels together and then finish them.

At the 8 second mark you will see the body side outer having reinforcements welded in. Auto assembly is pretty universal. Most if not all manufactures use the same techniques. In the video the Chrysler 200 is having the roof laser brazed on and then the seam ground. More in line with what you would see from a european import. The Honda roof is spot welded to the roof bows. Those spot welds are hidden by the rubber strip that separates the roof from the side aperture. Much less expensive way of doing things.



At the 51 second mark you will see the Jeep being "framed" where the side aperture is welded to the underbody


My 438 robots, 56 production employees, 6 team leaders and 12 maintenance employees built 600 Dodge Dart bodies per shift each day. Again it's pretty universal.


Hope all this helps?
 

Last edited by Rob H; 06-25-2019 at 11:48 PM.
  #4  
Old 06-27-2019, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob H View Post
Hope all this helps?
Thanks for all this background info. Very interesting stuff.
 
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