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Roberts280Z

Rocker panel - replace all, or just what is needed?

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I bought a Tabco rocker panel, thinking originally that I would just replace the whole thing.  But now I'm thinking I'll have less work, and do a better job, if I just replace the sections that need it (sill area), using the Tabco part as donor.

  20180602_162817.thumb.jpg.a653dd10a5335a05606b6bdc3e96e75c.jpg

Thanks in advance

 

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Is that all the rust there is, just on the top? Have you checked other areas inside the rocker to see if there is other rust? If that's all there is, I would just bend up some sheet metal to patch with and sell the rocker. The top of mine is kinda wavy, really not a great piece.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Roberts280Z said:

Thanks for that.  Yeah, the rocker bottom looks good.  If I hadn't already bought the panel, I would just make some patches like you say.  I'm new to this kind of work, and sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious to me.

Do you have welding and fab experience? I wouldn't consider replacing the rocker to be easy, probably not a good first job, but doable if you're smart. Look really hard at the inside of the rocker, especially at the front and rear, you might find something that is not visible from the outside, or from a quick inspection. Additionally, if you do go through with a full rocker replacement, be aware that the replacement panel, due to how it is formed and what I imagine is a less than perfect die, tends to have a split at the crease in the rocker where the front fender meets the rocker, and this will need to be welded up.

 

Tabco panels aren't very good, so as a general rule of thumb, if you don't need to use it, don't.

Edited by rturbo 930

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Ha!  My welding and fab experience has been gained solely from this Datsun!  So far I've fab'ed and welded in patches for the top fronts of both front fenders, and a couple of other places, and welded in the driver's side floor and rail.  I think I'll just continue with the passenger side floor while I ponder more on the rocker.  I'm not in any big hurry - I've been at it on this car for over a year, and I just retired totally a couple of months ago so I have even more time now.  This Z might not be worth restoring, but I bought it new in '76, and feel guilty about letting it turn to crap.

 

It is a bit concerning that the tim.d photos don't show much worse damage in the rocker sill area than mine.  I'll cut away more of the sill with the initial thought that I can just patch that area, which will also give me a better look at what's beneath.  But so far what I see looks good.  BTW thanks tim.d for those photos - I've seen plenty of floor pan videos and photos, but hadn't seen your rocker photos before.

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