View Full Version : Body mechanics: rust

08-12-2004, 04:00 PM
After having spent 11 years in the snow/saltbelt, the rocker panels & possibly other areas in close proximity on my SC are in poor condition.

I located a website which vends body parts for Thunderbirds and SCs. They have a diagram there which shows every individual body panel which makes up the car.

Before finding this information, I assumed that due to unibody construction, proper rust repair on these vehicles was impossible because most body panels were one piece. However, the diagram implies that it is possible to repair individually damaged body panels without hackwork.

Therefore, I would like to learn from those who may know in basic terms how the body panels are joined on our car, what must be done to disassemble & seperate them for repair, and most importantly a rough expectation for the cost from an average body shop for the labor involved in replacing rocker panels and similar surrounding small panels. The floorboard, quarter panels, and other large panels are all completely intact.

If you can offer help with this, it is appreciated!

08-12-2004, 05:29 PM
I ordered some rocker panels from fordparts.com and they arrived from DHL with many small dents in them and one of the brackets was completely bent over. I talked to fordparts.com (from Tacoma, WA) and they told me that it was the sole responsibility of the shipper (DHL) to reimberse me for the damage and replace the panels. After two months of waiting, and filing a claim with DHL, they notified me that they could not accept liability and I have been stranded with two damaged rocker panels. In addition, I haven't been able to find a ford dealer that carries the panels and I also talked to a company in Texas, and they refuse to ship any sheet metal (including rocker panels) because of precisely what happened to me with the other company. Bottom Line is that I am going to get someone to repair the panels and put them on my car.

Brian in VA

08-12-2004, 07:58 PM
i would just get a welder and some sheet metal and fix the bad spots where the hole is get a hammer and beat it in a bit so when you patch it it will still be low enough you can fill it with duraglas, after you get all done and painted i coat the bottom and inside my doors with old motor oil i try to do it every couple years its great for slowing rust

08-12-2004, 10:16 PM
The new way of repairing unibody cars is glue. You can buy the glue at most autobody paint stores but the gun that mixes it is expensive. Great thing about the glue is no rust if done properly. Since there is no heat you arnt burning the paint off of the back of the panel like in welding. Its just as strong as welding and stronger than the factory spot welds.

08-15-2004, 04:16 AM
BKB, so am I to understand that this glue replaces the normal welding? That sounds interesting..

I could get an estimate for labor from my local shop, however I would like to seek the knowledge of others here first as a shop mechanic could take advantage of my lack of body knowledge.

Thanks for the replies so far, and again for future assistance..

08-15-2004, 10:09 AM
No welding is needed. Eastwood sells the stuff you can look on there site or call them. Like i said it works great because you dont burn the paint off the back side like welding does. That is why patch panels used to rust out in a few years, you burn the paint and galvanized coating of the metal when you weld. And on panels that you cant get to the back side to paint like rockers you now have exposed metal that you cant paint. With the glue it covers all the exposed metal and seals it. And yes it is stronger then factory welds since its used all the way around unlike factory spot welds. In my area most shops DO NOT WELD anything, to much liability with all the electronics on todays cars.

08-15-2004, 02:14 PM
Very informative, thanks again!

So it sounds like the factory partially bypassed this problem by only spot welding..

It seems wise then to check whether my local shops use this method in place of welding to ensure a reliable repair.

08-18-2004, 08:05 PM
^ ........