Rocker panel real replacement vs slip over - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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This is the biggest concern and dillema I have with this car and why I removed the Ground effects to find and fix this as I barely spotted it thru the side skirt
It's really more important then anything I've posted about the car . It's a matter of certain rot and death of the structure if I
let it go then I may as well not even bother owning the car as Michigan weather will worsen it fast . I'm not sure how the structure is with a new rocker vs what I have shown in the pictures . It's the only rust area on the whole car anywhere .
So Is rocker panel replacement weld in hard and tedious? Any one attempted it on there own prior to a repaint or just to do it and are they're any good videos or illustrations specific for MN12 just where to cut the old one out ..what do people do about instance where it's somewhat further rotted past the rockers ...are these areas able to be patched in and salvaged with some creativity . I don't think I'm to bad I think is just rocker area only if anyone can confirm this with my photos... I know you have to find factory weld points to remove it and not cut to much stock out for the new one I heard . I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to saving money thinking about attempting it myself and Should this repair be over 1000$ at a shop ? I don't really want to go through that kind of money .
I just wonder how far you have to dig into things under the rocker by the drip edge underneath they sell slip overs but that seems janky!!
I've attached the photos of what's shot and it sorta is a bit by the lower door hinge but it's only barely surface there .
The rocker is bad in one spot and starting to bubble half way down.
Any tips would be appreciated
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20170627_211357972_1498612877598.jpg (4.87 MB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20170627_211413122_1498612956546.jpg (4.34 MB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20170627_211420182_1498613020558.jpg (4.58 MB, 12 views)

Last edited by 1991 5.0; 06-27-2017 at 08:28 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 08:29 PM
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While I haven't had to do any MN12-specific rust repair, I have done my fair share of panel replacement due to rot.



I would get to work on that right away...it's only going to get worse.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 09:19 PM
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That area is quite a pain to eliminate all the rust, and it is what is currently holding up my 91 Cougar build. That rust is beyond the rocker and into the hinge pillar. All the rusted metal will have to be cut out, and a patch panel will have to be made, since you can buy new rockers, but there are no new hinge pillars to be had. There are multiple layers of metal there, and there is a ton of expanding foam behind there, which contributes to the rust and will need to be completely removed. In order to gain access for this repair, the door and tender need to be removed, and depending how far up the rust goes, the dash may need to come out as well. So in short, unless you are a highly skilled and experienced body man, you can't fix this yourself, and yes, at a shop this repair will be well in excess of $1000.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
That area is quite a pain to eliminate all the rust, and it is what is currently holding up my 91 Cougar build. That rust is beyond the rocker and into the hinge pillar. All the rusted metal will have to be cut out, and a patch panel will have to be made, since you can buy new rockers, but there are no new hinge pillars to be had. There are multiple layers of metal there, and there is a ton of expanding foam behind there, which contributes to the rust and will need to be completely removed. In order to gain access for this repair, the door and tender need to be removed, and depending how far up the rust goes, the dash may need to come out as well. So in short, unless you are a highly skilled and experienced body man, you can't fix this yourself, and yes, at a shop this repair will be well in excess of $1000.
It's not any further then where the rocker lips end underNeath the car .
The issue is like u said in pic below the Hinge it is solid seemingly even at the rust area that seems to be only surface to me and not really up the hinge pillar it's not even to the lower hinge it's maybe inch up past the front of the rocker . I'm really pissed about this . I can't believe a Kentucky car has this issue . The pass side is fine it aggravates me to all hell to the point of just selling the car . I can't imagine spending 2000$+ or more just for that fix and thats not even the paint job that's quoted at ,6000$ restoration I wanted to do
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
That area is quite a pain to eliminate all the rust, and it is what is currently holding up my 91 Cougar build. That rust is beyond the rocker and into the hinge pillar. All the rusted metal will have to be cut out, and a patch panel will have to be made, since you can buy new rockers, but there are no new hinge pillars to be had. There are multiple layers of metal there, and there is a ton of expanding foam behind there, which contributes to the rust and will need to be completely removed. In order to gain access for this repair, the door and tender need to be removed, and depending how far up the rust goes, the dash may need to come out as well. So in short, unless you are a highly skilled and experienced body man, you can't fix this yourself, and yes, at a shop this repair will be well in excess of $1000.
What would you guess standard cost give or take to remove replace what you see that most shops would quote ..more then 2000$ to weld grind body fill and prime for me ?
Im at a loss I know it can be done and it should be done soon before I store it for winter months . You would agree to not let this car just rot right considering the year and rest of the cars shape
The underside is flawless just lots of undercoating and oil sling from minor leaks from various seals that's actually helped coat and spare rust . It hasn't seen snow ever as far as I know the rot there can't figure what caused it
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 09:58 PM
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I'm with you, my pride and joy cougar just developed a spot on the rear right rocker. It's still pretty small, but it was extremely disappointing nonetheless.
However, it was driven through several winters, and that's the only spot on the car with significant rust (I've been under several times with a fine tooth comb and have yet to spot any other trouble areas). What sucks even more is that the original paint is in great shape.

What's funny is that if you look up the type of foam they pump into chassis cavities, it's not supposed to absorb moisture. Yet, here we are.
Maybe you could take the fender off and see exactly how much rust is in that area? Try scraping some of it off or tapping it with a screwdriver to see how deep it is.

I'll be making a post detailing my repair on my rocker soon, once I get the guts to dig in. Professional repair is way out of the question for me, but I can't just watch it get bigger.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 11:04 PM
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Look at the build thread linked in my signature to see what you will be getting into it you take this apart to try to fix ite. Know that my car has been down for years trying to get all the rust repaired, and know that my front rockers and hinge pillars had no visible rust when the fenders and doors were installed, and yet I had to fabricate a whole new lower hinge pillar on the driver's side, and replace multiple sections of the passenger's side. If this particular car is important or has sentimental value, go ahead and fix it, but if any Tbird will do, find another shell to start with, and this time get one from the southwest. Kentucky is easier on cars than Michigan, but Kentucky is mighty close to Ohio, so I wouldn't expect a 25 year old Kentucky car to be rust free.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 01:18 AM
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I've said it before, you want a totally guaranteed rust free MN12, you want a native car from the south west, but not so far west that it's near the Pacific. Humidity and Rain water alone can do this much damage, and it probably didn't help that car had ground effects for probably 25 years, sadly this is what I expected when you were asking about pulling them. I'm not saying they cause it, but it gets horribly out of control under them after it starts for some reason. I've never seen a base/Sport/LX rockers as badly rotted out as SCs up here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by V22 View Post
I'm with you, my pride and joy cougar just developed a spot on the rear right rocker. It's still pretty small, but it was extremely disappointing nonetheless.
However, it was driven through several winters, and that's the only spot on the car with significant rust (I've been under several times with a fine tooth comb and have yet to spot any other trouble areas). What sucks even more is that the original paint is in great shape.

What's funny is that if you look up the type of foam they pump into chassis cavities, it's not supposed to absorb moisture. Yet, here we are.
Maybe you could take the fender off and see exactly how much rust is in that area? Try scraping some of it off or tapping it with a screwdriver to see how deep it is.

I'll be making a post detailing my repair on my rocker soon, once I get the guts to dig in. Professional repair is way out of the question for me, but I can't just watch it get bigger.
Even if the foam didn't absorb moisture it still creates crevices and gaps for the water that inevitably gets in to pool up and create "hot spots". The rear of the rockers are especially prone to it since the foam was injected through the frame rail holes, towards the front, and these holes are exposed all the way from the rails to the outer rockers, right in front of the rear tires. The sunroof drains into them too if you have one. Simply put the rockers on these were/are ticking time bombs. Ford somewhat lessened the severity in 93 when they switched from selective galvanization of sheetmetal to full, but they never stopped stuffing them with foam and using inadequate drains.

That's another thing! There are drain holes punched into the backs of the rockers along the bottoms. If no one has noticed it's understandable, they're TINY go ahead and look for them some time(if they're still there lol). They're maybe 1/16" tall, 1/8" wide, in a half moon shape, so they can clog very easily, including on undercoating and "rustproofing" methods such as Ziebart, where they liberally apply a thick clumpy coating at random inside the panels with a wand, plugging those holes from the inside and leaving even more random low spots and crevices for the moisture that still gets in to stay.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 09:31 AM
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When I had the back interior out of my Cougar I noticed some surface rust on the inside of the rear rockers, below the rear speakers. Where the rust was it was covered by this gray padding which was stuffed into the bottom of the rocker. I assume it was sound deadening material. When I removed it it was complete saturated and had some rust stains on it. I was able to just pull out the padding; clean up the rust and coat it. Was surprised to find it because you wont find rust anywhere on my Cougar. I still have them in the garage, they have a sticker with a Ford part number on them.
Don't know it it's in my head or not but it seems like the wheel noise is a bit louder in the back since I took it out. But I would rather that then have a big wet sponge inside my rockers.

I work in automotive. You would be surprised what people who live up north think a rust free car is. Where I live as long and there aren't visible holes in the body people think it's in good shape. You look underneath some of these "not rusty" cars and you question if it's still safe to drive on the road.

IMO... putting money into a car with rockers rusted out that bad is a waste. If it's to that point just enjoy it as is until it gets worse. Look for something else to turn into a build. Unless you have some attachment to it like some else above said.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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When I had the back interior out of my Cougar I noticed some surface rust on the inside of the rear rockers, below the rear speakers. Where the rust was it was covered by this gray padding which was stuffed into the bottom of the rocker. I assume it was sound deadening material. When I removed it it was complete saturated and had some rust stains on it. I was able to just pull out the padding; clean up the rust and coat it. Was surprised to find it because you wont find rust anywhere on my Cougar. I still have them in the garage, they have a sticker with a Ford part number on them.
Don't know it it's in my head or not but it seems like the wheel noise is a bit louder in the back since I took it out. But I would rather that then have a big wet sponge inside my rockers.

I work in automotive. You would be surprised what people who live up north think a rust free car is. Where I live as long and there aren't visible holes in the body people think it's in good shape. You look underneath some of these "not rusty" cars and you question if it's still safe to drive on the road.

IMO... putting money into a car with rockers rusted out that bad is a waste. If it's to that point just enjoy it as is until it gets worse. Look for something else to turn into a build. Unless you have some attachment to it like some else above said.
We're the fox bodys prone to same issues in that gen ... And seems like they aren't as involved with panel replacement from the ones I've seen even garaged in Michigan them same areas aren't like they are on tbirds
I may sell it and grab a mustang as much as I hate to be involved in the foxbody grouoy thing you see everywhere
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 10:04 AM
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They're plenty of rust free MN12's around still. You can't really beat Foxbody for their aftermarket. But yeah then you are one of those guys with a foxbody

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 11:13 AM
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The cloth sound deadener padding below the rear speakers is definitely a contributor as well, there is very little paint coverage inside there to to boot and no drainage at all. You should also yank the wind guards under the front fenders, they're made from that same recycled cloth material and extend all the way to the bottom of the fender.


Foxbody Tbird's seem less prone to rocker rust than MN12s but more prone to floor and frame rail rust.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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They're plenty of rust free MN12's around still. You can't really beat Foxbody for their aftermarket. But yeah then you are one of those guys with a foxbody
I'll conclude what I'm going to do maybe I'll attempt my own version of repair once fender door is off and really see what is bad and how much ... If not I'll mud the area sand do a paint job touch up and resinstall the ground effects or maybe just sell it... Ultimately I think if I ever get another it's going to Be a 97 4.6L
I like the newer interior style over 89-93
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 01:17 PM
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I've said it before, you want a totally guaranteed rust free MN12, you want a native car from the south west, but not so far west that it's near the Pacific. Humidity and Rain water alone can do this much damage, and it probably didn't help that car had ground effects for probably 25 years, sadly this is what I expected when you were asking about pulling them. I'm not saying they cause it, but it gets horribly out of control under them after it starts for some reason. I've never seen a base/Sport/LX rockers as badly rotted out as SCs up here.
Unless a car lives <1 mi from the coast and is subject to salty damp fog nightly, rust is not really an issue you see in CA. I've spent plenty of time looking at/under cars shopping for cars for friends or even in junkyards. For example, you'll see rust on cars in Pacifica (which is right on the coast) but this isn't an issue if you are looking at cars from anywhere else in the bay area (even those that spend most of their lives in street parked in SF for example).

I've never had to dealt with the rusted stuck suspension bits that you guys in the central/east mention as being the bane of any suspension swap.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 01:29 PM
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