Mark Simpson

Rocker Panel Removal

Mark Simpson
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Duration:   12  mins

When restoring Classic Cars often we all have to deal with rest and the ravages of rust. Even southern cars are not immune to this cancer that infects our cars as rust prevention was not a big concern with auto manufacturers until more recent years. Every car has its unique areas that are prone to rust but many share some areas that are rust magnets.

The rocker panels are one of those areas that rust is drawn to. The rocker panels are that boxed area beneath your doors between the from and rear tires. It is designed to provide strength to the body and some degree of side impact protection. On unibody cars the rocker panel also serves as an integral part of the body’s stiffness and torsional rigidity.

For our demonstration we’ve decided to focus on making a rocker panel replacement on a frame-on vehicle, as extra precautions are needed to support the body when removing the rocker panels on unibody cars. Our subject for this demonstration is our shop truck and while many may not consider it a classic…yet the process is very similar for older cars as well.

We join Master Metal Fabricator, Gary Simpson in the shop where he describes the tools and safety precautions needed to begin the rocker panel removal process. He admits, having the car elevated goes a long way toward ease of rocker panel removal, if you don’t have a lift it’s a good idea to support your classic on jack stands before you begin. Safety glasses, leather work gloves and even full face shields will ensure your safety.

Simpson also mentions, it’s a good practice to disconnect the battery when servicing the rocker panels. First the doors will be open for extended periods and will drain down the battery and there is always the potential of accidentally shorting out a wire during the rocker panel removal process.

Follow along as Gary takes us step-by-step through the Rocker Panel Removal process, and describes his plan during the process and the reason behind the selection of the tools he uses to get the job done and get our shop truck back on the road.

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