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Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61
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drosera88
Posted 2018-04-05 9:37 PM (#561205)
Subject: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61



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So I've gotten to the point where I think the next big step to take with my 61 Windoo is the replacement of the rockers which from what I can tell are mostly bondo. They will likely have to be completely cut out and replaced. I will also need to patch some holes in the floorboards that formed because I didn't realize water was leaking through the door seals into the carpet . Does anyone have any reccomendations on how to choose a good body shop for this? I've never actually used a body shop for anything before, so I don't really know if it's necessary to choose a shop that specializes in classic vehicles, or if any collision center can do the same job for less money with the same quality of workmanship. The only thing I really know is that I should steer clear of the discount chains like Maaco and Earl Shibe; I had a friend in high school who paid $99 for a bright red Maaco paint job on his silver Integra and within 6 months it was silver again!

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59 in Calif
Posted 2018-04-06 5:11 PM (#561227 - in reply to #561205)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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Having this done by a body shop is going to get REALLY expensive, if you can get one to agree to do it, which I doubt. Their bread and butter is in quick turn around fender benders. They don't want to get tied up in an extended time project. Replacing lower rockers is not that difficult, but is a bit time consuming. Ifyou know how to run a wire feed welder you are ahead of the game. If not you will need to learn. Again, its not that difficult but you will need to get accustomed to how it works. You can get one at Home Depot pretty reasonable. I would stay away from Harbor Freight. Find a local metal retailer and get a 4' x 10' sheet of 18 ga sheet metal. Not galvanized !! 16 ga is too heavy (hard to bend and form). 20 ga. is too light. Not strong enough for rockers, and welding burn thru will become a nightmare. Find a metal fabrication shop to bend the new metal to the contour of the original rockers. Try to find a small independent owner shop. As he will be more willing to work this sort of project into his schedule. If you can chip the bondo off, great. Otherwise put a real course rotary wire brush on your grinder and take it off. A word of caution,,,,,, If you are working in your garage cover up all of wife's appliances including hot water heater, if you value your nuts. This dust goes everywhere. The hardest part of this job is getting your mind wrapped the thought that you can do it. Once into it you will learn as you go. I did a 59 Dodge, front to rear and have a lot of pics to help along the way. Willing to help any way I can. Jerry
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drosera88
Posted 2018-04-06 6:32 PM (#561228 - in reply to #561227)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61



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59 in Calif - 2018-04-06 4:11 PM  Find a metal fabrication shop to bend the new metal to the contour of the original rockers.

I was actually just plannning to buy these. Is it better to have them fabricated? They're $29.99 a piece. 

https://www.c2cfabrication.com/products/1960-61-chrysler-300-outer-rocker-panel-2dr-lh



Edited by drosera88 2018-04-06 6:33 PM
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mikes2nd
Posted 2018-04-06 9:09 PM (#561234 - in reply to #561205)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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that's a horrible rocker but if you cant find anything its your only choice and it only has flat metal, no ends and it is anodized you must grind it off fully because its poisonous. Put a grinding disc on a grinder and make sure it all gone.

 

Schott doesn't sell them but maybe try. it says they only carry 55-59

 

Call black car and pray. http://www.blackcar-llc.com/mopar.html the guy on face book makes good stuff. I think those cars are even more rare than the 57-59 cars...



Edited by mikes2nd 2018-04-06 9:10 PM
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local2Ed
Posted 2018-04-07 8:42 AM (#561244 - in reply to #561234)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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mikes2nd - 2018-04-06 9:09 PM

that's a horrible rocker but if you cant find anything its your only choice and it only has flat metal, no ends and it is anodized you must grind it off fully because its poisonous. Put a grinding disc on a grinder and make sure it all gone.

 

Schott doesn't sell them but maybe try. it says they only carry 55-59

 

Call black car and pray. http://www.blackcar-llc.com/mopar.html the guy on face book makes good stuff. I think those cars are even more rare than the 57-59 cars...



Who/what is Schott?

How do you contact them?
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finsruskw
Posted 2018-04-07 11:13 AM (#561250 - in reply to #561205)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61



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$29.99 apiece

Think about that for a moment. You would be lucky to buy apiece of decent gage metal for that price large enough to make your own if you had the wherewithal to do that. Those things pictured have got to be paper thin for that price.
I'd be looking for a section of solid original floor pan pieces that may just include the rest of the areas you need.
In your area there should be a few.
I purchased a rust free 300D down your way and drove it home back in '92
I will be parting a 62 Chrysler 2 dr hardtop soon, there may be decant panels on that car, I'll have to check.
It came from southern, MO back in the 60's and has been sitting since.

I agree with Jerry. Body shops that do not appreciate these cars simply do not want to get involved. You need to be looking for a "restoration" shop that does this kind of work every day, and be prepared to sell the farm to pay for it as well.

Good luck!!

Edited by finsruskw 2018-04-07 11:16 AM
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mikes2nd
Posted 2018-04-07 3:32 PM (#561257 - in reply to #561205)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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schott is a local akron place that makes the best rockers but they don't ship to "non dealers". I can buy em and ship.

they have 55-59 rockers for all our cars, extended rockers even for wagons (2 door and 4 door wagons).

They used to carry a lot for our cars but no longer, next time im down there I will ask if they still have the stampings.



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drosera88
Posted 2018-04-07 9:55 PM (#561262 - in reply to #561250)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61



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finsruskw - 2018-04-07 10:13 AM $29.99 apiece Think about that for a moment. You would be lucky to buy apiece of decent gage metal for that price large enough to make your own if you had the wherewithal to do that. Those things pictured have got to be paper thin for that price. I'd be looking for a section of solid original floor pan pieces that may just include the rest of the areas you need. In your area there should be a few. I purchased a rust free 300D down your way and drove it home back in '92 I will be parting a 62 Chrysler 2 dr hardtop soon, there may be decant panels on that car, I'll have to check. It came from southern, MO back in the 60's and has been sitting since. I agree with Jerry. Body shops that do not appreciate these cars simply do not want to get involved. You need to be looking for a "restoration" shop that does this kind of work every day, and be prepared to sell the farm to pay for it as well. Good luck!!

I didn't think anything of the low price because I've never bought body parts before. I'll definitely make a trip to John's Salvage Company in Seguin and see if he has any 60-62 Chryslers/Desotos sitting around with good rocker panels. I kinda wish I had been looking for rockers while I was on vacation since I went by both 'Big M' and DVAP while I was away! Does anyone know if the any of the 60-62 Dodge and Plymouth rockers will work too? 

Also, let me know if you do get around to parting that 62 and what price you are looking for, as that is definitely a good replacement for mine and if they are good will save me a lot of searching. 

mikes2nd - 2018-04-07 2:32 PM schott is a local akron place that makes the best rockers but they don't ship to "non dealers". I can buy em and ship. they have 55-59 rockers for all our cars, extended rockers even for wagons (2 door and 4 door wagons). They used to carry a lot for our cars but no longer, next time im down there I will ask if they still have the stampings.

This would be amazing. If they do, let me know. New panels would definitely be preferrable to old ones! 

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59 in Calif
Posted 2018-04-08 10:47 AM (#561274 - in reply to #561228)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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I found having a local Fab shop form the lower rockers and the inner rockers extremely beneficial. As I could pick them up the next day and if they needed to be tweeked a bit more the shop was willing to help me . Verses waiting X amount time to be delivered, only to find what was ordered wouldn't work and the metal ga. too light. It has to be welded back in place anyway, so there is every reason to start with proper ga. and contour. A sheet of 18 ga. is not very expensive. The Fab shop can cut it to the size needed and form it as needed. There will be extra sheet metal left over and you will be thankful for it as you will find various places to use it. The Fab shop rates were very reasonable and on occasion didn't charge me for something small. So the next time I came in I brought him a 6 pack. If I was to do this project again I would do it exactly the same way. Jerry
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2018-04-08 2:42 PM (#561277 - in reply to #561274)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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59 in Calif - 2018-04-08 10:47 AM

I found having a local Fab shop form the lower rockers and the inner rockers extremely beneficial. As I could pick them up the next day and if they needed to be tweeked a bit more the shop was willing to help me . Verses waiting X amount time to be delivered, only to find what was ordered wouldn't work and the metal ga. too light. It has to be welded back in place anyway, so there is every reason to start with proper ga. and contour. A sheet of 18 ga. is not very expensive. The Fab shop can cut it to the size needed and form it as needed. There will be extra sheet metal left over and you will be thankful for it as you will find various places to use it. The Fab shop rates were very reasonable and on occasion didn't charge me for something small. So the next time I came in I brought him a 6 pack. If I was to do this project again I would do it exactly the same way. Jerry


The rockers on a 61 are more like 12 ga. not 18 ga. Not at all easy to make!

Greg
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59 in Calif
Posted 2018-04-08 3:46 PM (#561279 - in reply to #561205)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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12 ga. ?? That's pretty heavy, .104 thickness That's better yet ! Will make welding a lot easier and a Fab shop can still form it. It could be the unibody cars used heavier metal for the lower rockers but I think 12 ga is stretching it a bit. I have a 65 New Yorker, didn't have to do anything with the lower rockers, ( sand & paint ). The rest of the sheet metal appeared to be 18 ga. Jerry
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ronbo97
Posted 2018-04-08 7:07 PM (#561284 - in reply to #561279)
Subject: Re: Rocker Replacement Advice for my 61


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I don't doubt that the rockers are 12 ga, as Greg said. They are part of the structural integrity of the unibody.

Ron

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