by Honorio Madriaga (Madgyver)

Materials needed; 2 - 4' pieces of 1/2" schedule 40 black pipe

Tools needed; Jigsaw and/or Sawzall w/ metal blades, light mig welder for panels, 4 1/2' grinder, bodywork or ball peen hammer, Visegrip C-clamps.

Here is my solution to rusty rocker panels. With a Bosch jigsaw and a Sawzall in hand I dove into it. I made a mark 1 1/4" down from the bottom of the doorline opening front to rear wheelwell. Cut off most of it with the jigsaw and the double layered panels with the sawzall. The inside portion was cut off about 4" from the bottom of the floor pan.

I plan on building rock rails that will mount to the frame and not the body so I want something to stiffen the edge of the panel as it becomes flimsy after cutting the rockers off. I used about 4' of 1/2" schedule 40 pipe and tucked it up under the edge. Rear flare cutouts may vary from rig to rig so cut off access end of pipe to what suits you. (note; you'll need to cut a notch in the bottom of the door striker post where it enters the rear wheelwell just enough to fit the 1/2" pipe into. I used a grinder to do the job.) With the pipe all the way to the front door hinge post I secured it with Visegrip C-clamps and stitch welded it every 6' on the floor portion of the panel. Do not weld to the 1 1/4" rocker panel lip that was left after the cut! Finish tack welding where you think it needs it. I used a Lincoln WeldPak 100 for the job, It's great for small jobs. Now for the fun part, Get out your body hammer, a light ball peen hammer will do. And start working the lip around pipe tapping lightly with the hammer along its length. Do this gradually and you'll come out with a nice rounded edge. Now all you need is to paint and there you have it. It almost looks factory. You can fill in the seam where the rocker meets the rear fender but that's up to you. Now you can bring your existing flare up higher to match the rocker height. Rub rails will come next and that will be attached to the frame.

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