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Dogwood

Rusting rocker panels: Death knell?

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Dogwood

My '08 Ford Expedition rocker panels are showing significant rust.   Only has 100K miles and runs great with minimal frame rust but I'm concerned these will present a serious safety issue. 

 

Fix it, sell it , or ride it? 

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topdog1961

If every truck around here with rusty rocker panels were taken off the road, there wouldn’t be many left. Rocker panels in and of themselves are not a structural/safety concern, and are often the first parts to show rust. That said, rust is insidious, it will spread, and any repair is just temporary lipstick on a pig. I’d keep driving it as is, but closely monitor brake lines, suspension components etc for rust issues that will be a safety concern. 

 

My buddy has been in bodywork for 40 years. He says all trucks are drilled and plugged behind the rocker panels and it’s easy to spray in rust inhibitors. He says for a few bucks the truck companies could stop rocker panel rust. He advises if you have a newer truck to have this done. 

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Mike da Carpenter

Get a set of slip on rocker panels and cover it up for a while longer.  Did that to the Boys’ truck last year and I was impressed how simple it was when I was done.

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gunsrus

Just try and find any Body Shop that will attempt to repair rust , NONE . Most , if not all don't even have sheet metal in their shops . 

The days of it being a real "trade" are over . Most shops deal only with insurance , that for the most part is remove and replace .

I remember a local Body Shop when younger and just getting into cars . spent hours there watching them cut metal , bang out dents , level with "lead" and later "bondo" . 

Had more than a few Jeeps growing up and earlier in life , easy to find someone to have them fixed . Later , not so much . 

That being said there are after market companies that will sell lower part rocker panels . Body Shop cuts out the rust and welds the new rockers in place and re finishes . They do work , they do look great but try and find someone to do it is the problem . 

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Brad Eden

That’s a fine vehicle up here in Maine.

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dogrunner

Got a buddy that has a 02- F150 it was doing the same thing, he had a local guy fix it going on 2 years now. It looked really good for a cheap price, I told him to sell it and get something newer. He didn't, I bet by this year it will be showing back up soon. 

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Clueless1

I've gotten 2-3 F150's fixed.  I'll probably get this current one (2014) fixed at some point as well.  In the "salt states" I just consider it part of owning a vehicle anymore. 

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chilly460

As stated, most body shops won't do rust repair.  One, it's almost impossible to estimate correctly until you dig into it, as there will be hidden issues the deeper you dig.  Two, it's very difficult to fully eradicate, and the repairs simply don't last as long as OEM sheetmetal and welds.  

 

That said, rocker replacement is basically just drilling out spot welds and refitting the replacement piece if available, so if you can find a body guy that does work on the side, it's not that big a repair, it doesn't take the filler and sanding work that external panels require.  I'd get it fixed, as any rust holes are allowing salt/etc are probably able to lay up inside the rocker and start rotting the floor, etc.  

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Dogwood

Pics . First 2 are the rockers.


Others of the frame and suspension components. To my eye the corrosion in these areas is not too bad for a 12 yo salt state rig. 
 

The White Whale

 

Lastly corresponding door sills.

631E95F6-DB96-41E8-946C-78198D1D8749.jpeg

E2C5FD42-8805-49B3-89E0-335C2C5DAC82.jpeg

4A178DE5-C8AC-40BD-9176-8E0E8426D5DF.jpeg

70DC8925-76AC-4F6D-9F20-25B32C39E015.jpeg

5C5714A0-6349-4585-9578-79DF6E31722B.jpeg

1C7DAF5B-5039-4537-9AD3-3B7799FB02B6.jpeg

image.jpg

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Clueless1

I'd have 'my guy' put it on the rack and go over the frame with me.  Mileage and what I use it for are considerations as well.  I tend to fix something that I'm going to beat the snot out of.  That frame to me looks good.  Not saying there isn't some spot that would change my mind. 

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WI Outdoor Nut

They only way to really take care of it is to have the rusted ones cut out, new metal welded on, and the painted.  I was looking at doing this to a 2012 F150 that had rust not quite as bad as yours.  My cost would be in the $2500-3000 range.  And with all that being said, it is still a band-aide.  If you have salt in your area, it will still rust.  I traded it for a new Aluminum body ford.  Hopefully this will cure that issue. 

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C.J.L.

If you like it, fix it.  I replaced them on a 1978 Mercedes 450 SL back it the day.  Cut them out and weld in new (used).  Ace welding did it.  

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Birdcountry70

  When I  went through  trade school to become an auto body tech and painter our teacher jokingly told us the only way to get rid of rust for good was to sell it.  While that's  somewhat true, rocker panels are replaceable but while the parts are not expensive the procedure is very labor intensive. If a vehicle  that new has rusty rockers I would be afraid that after forking over big bucks for that repair the quarter panels etc would soon start showing the same problem. That said, I live where vehicles don't rust for decades if at all. I've never replaced them on anything less than  40 years old. 

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garyRI
4 hours ago, Mike da Carpenter said:

Get a set of slip on rocker panels and cover it up for a while longer.  Did that to the Boys’ truck last year and I was impressed how simple it was when I was done.

Covering rusty metal with other metal might make it worse

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garyRI
2 hours ago, Dogwood said:

Pics . First 2 are the rockers.


Others of the frame and suspension components. To my eye the corrosion in these areas is not too bad for a 12 yo salt state rig. 
 

The White Whale

 

Lastly corresponding door sills.

631E95F6-DB96-41E8-946C-78198D1D8749.jpeg

E2C5FD42-8805-49B3-89E0-335C2C5DAC82.jpeg

4A178DE5-C8AC-40BD-9176-8E0E8426D5DF.jpeg

70DC8925-76AC-4F6D-9F20-25B32C39E015.jpeg

5C5714A0-6349-4585-9578-79DF6E31722B.jpeg

1C7DAF5B-5039-4537-9AD3-3B7799FB02B6.jpeg

image.jpg

The frame looks fine but I'd call what you have on the rockers "rot" not rust.

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