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? Where To Buy Rocker Panel Replacement


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9 replies to this topic

#1 cole098

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 10:52 AM

SAY DOES ANY COMPANY SELL ROCKER PANEL REPLACEMENT PIECES... I HAD SOME SUBARU MECHANIC TELL ME ABOUT A YEAR AGO THAT SUBARU SELLs THEM>>> IS HE NUTS???

And I have never welded, but would like to buy one and try it.. What kind of welder should I get for a back yard mechanic... Will a cheap WAL-MART one for 80 bucks work good enough for fixing body panels and floor pans/rockers... Hell other than a hack saw what do you guys use to cut the metal out also???? Thanks again for the info in advance... And if I wanted to weld aluminum what kinda welder do I need??? :banghead: :confused: :headbang: :banana:

#2 thealleyboy

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 11:27 AM

Cole:

Mill's Supply carries them. Their # is 1-800-781-2700. Bill at ext 116 can fix you up.

Welding is best, but there are other ways to attach them with simple hand tools. I have done them successfuly with rivets. On the rockers, especially, its easy to disguise the attachement points. If you plan it out right, you'll only need to do a minimal amount of finishing work. Eastwood Supply carries a nice "dimpling" tool that'll allow you to rivet flush with the metal. You'll also need several pairs of vice grips to hold the panel in place while you install the rivets. If you go with rivets, use aluminum (not steel) since they will not rust.

Regardless of how you attach the new panel, you'll need some cutting tools to cut out the rusted areas, and a chisel to break spot welds. You'll want to do a good job of treating surface rust, and seal it well before installing the new panels. I like to use heavy oil based paints like Rustolem in areas that are not visible.

After the panel is on, you'll want to seal the seams all the way around to prevent moisture from collecting. I always hit the undercarriage side with rubberized undercoating to prevent new corrosion.

IMO, this is a good alternative if you dont have the $400-$600 to buy a good MIG welding outfit. I don't think a $100 Walmart welder will give you kind of the results you want.

good luck, John

#3 xenongod

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 03:07 PM

I thought about going the same route for repairing my rust damage when I first started to plan my Subaru's restoration...and then came to discover that cutting and welding would cost more than what I bought the car for and a lot more time consuming. So...what I did was this...using POR-15 rust treatment/paint and also their expoxy putty and mesh....plus some cosmetic items from JC Whitney...I got my wagon into nice looking shape after it was all done...and only cost me about 250 bucks for all the supplies. Check my website for pictures of before and after...and you too might change your mind about going the cutting and welding route...good luck :headbang:

#4 cole098

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 11:18 PM

Bump

#5 Hogsubie

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 09:25 AM

If you are looking for a reasonably priced welder check out Harbor Frieght. I post on Grassroots Motorsports message board as well and this topic comes up quite often. You can find it at www.grmotorsports.com and select the message board link.

I don't know what the model # is but alot of people seem to be happy with that particular welder for smaller jobs like body panel replacement.

Here's one thread in particular...
http://www.grmotorsp...ighlight=welder

edit...Sorry I just looked through that thread and realized they didn't really talk about the HF welder. Previous threads may have been on their old board as they just changed their message board as well. I'll try looking through the old board for info.

#6 Hogsubie

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 10:00 AM

I found a thread from the old board with more info...
http://pub52.ezboard...icID=7763.topic

Here's another one...
http://pub52.ezboard...icID=7664.topic

There are a few people still posting to the old board (I don't know why) but it's mostly trivial stuff. If you want to ask questions, I'd do it on the new board. Hope this helped.

Jason

#7 thealleyboy

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 04:42 PM

Jason:

I'm glad to hear the Harbor Frieght welders are getting some positive feedback.

As a rule, I NEVER reccommend cheap import tools, but I haven't really had any bad experiences with HF. I have ordered stuff from them mail order for years, and they recently opened a store here in Columbus recently so I've spent a lot of time checking out their stuff. They seem ok for tools you might use occasionally, but American-made professional grade tools are still best for your basic mechanic set.

One plus is that HP offers extended warrenties on certain tools (pneumatics, electrics, probably welders). Again, worth a look for tools you use occasionally. Personally, I plan to buy a Lincoln MIG cause I will be using it often.

John

#8 Hogsubie

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 05:10 PM

I'm going to try to get the most welder I can...it'll just depend on how much $ I've saved and how bad I want it. Let us know what you decide and how it performs.

#9 cole098

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for all the tips.. Joe

#10 ByTheSea

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 06:52 AM

My Chicago Electric Power Mig 150 came from Harbor Freight. It runs well but there are issues. I replaced the plastic hose liner with a steel liner meant for a Lincoln to get smooth feeding as the plastic liner kinks too easily. Also you'll never find correct tips or nozzles at a supply house. There are some replacement hose/gun units you can get meant for other machines that are supposed to bring the CE units up to decent spec. Lastly they don't always have a provision for reversing polarity. In many situations you need the gun to ground (aluminum and core wire especially) not the ground strap. If I knew what I know now I'd buy something more main stream like the Lincoln or Hobart just to make it easier for parts but I got mine in trade. Also a gas kit and lots of practice are critical for an amateur to get good welds. And those cheesy little hand held shields are for the birds. A good helmet is an amazing thing. My Auto Darkening came from Napa under $200 and is great as it frees up my other hand to hold work pieces. Beware the welders tan. It can be intense :madder:




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