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  1. #1
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    Automotive rust repair

    Any experts here? I'm going to DIY this repair, and either keep it for a few more years, or sell it and get a newer truck.

    This is a 2000 GMC Sierra pickup truck, with rust under both side rocker panels. The passenger side doesn't have any holes. Photos are of the driver's side, where there is a hole approx 2" x 14".

    I don't have a welder or any welding experience. Plan is to buy a pair of slip on rocker panels, cut away all the rust, grind and sand clean the edges, and prime / paint. I'll attach the new rockers with rivets and sealant, then spray can bedliner over them.

    Anyone have any tips or better ideas? I'm definitely DIYing this, as the truck isn't worth paying a body shop for the repair.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  2. #2
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    FWIW, most of the rest of the truck is in OK shape. There's surface rust on all of the frame, but no holes. Some rusty bits elsewhere, but small for the most part.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  3. #3
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    Automotive rust repair

    I got the same truck! Thatís a classic GMC problem, water collects down there from the 5th brake light not being sealed properly and rust starts from the inside. Anyways, your lucky your truck is white, most guys just sand, put rust neutraliser on it, a litlle putty to cover the holes, bit more sanding then spray white bed liner on the bottom pannel.
    Just fucking point it and shut up

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Any experts here? I'm going to DIY this repair, and either keep it for a few more years, or sell it and get a newer truck.

    This is a 2000 GMC Sierra pickup truck, with rust under both side rocker panels. The passenger side doesn't have any holes. Photos are of the driver's side, where there is a hole approx 2" x 14".

    I don't have a welder or any welding experience. Plan is to buy a pair of slip on rocker panels, cut away all the rust, grind and sand clean the edges, and prime / paint. I'll attach the new rockers with rivets and sealant, then spray can bedliner over them.

    Anyone have any tips or better ideas? I'm definitely DIYing this, as the truck isn't worth paying a body shop for the repair.
    don't bother just drive it avec rust

    whats a 19 yr old PU worth ?

    where else is there rust hiding out?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  5. #5
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    I think I'm going to have to put some metal in there to patch the hole. I don't know how bondo would hold in place.

    The hole wasn't that large until I noticed it was looking worse, last week, and started poking at it with a screwdriver. I pulled out the scraps and rusty sludge with just a screwdriver and pliers - I haven't started cutting anything yet. I'm going to wait for warmer weather to do the repair, but will gather parts and supplies now.

    Amazon has the cheapest cost for the outer rocker panels - $60 shipped, for both sides. The inner rockers and cab corners look OK on the truck. There's enough solid metal left on the outer rockers to rivet to.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    don't bother just drive it avec rust

    whats a 19 yr old PU worth ?

    where else is there rust hiding out?
    It's got some value, as a running 3/4- ton 4WD truck. I assume that value is lower with a big rust hole.

    I'm in Northern Nevada, where vehicles don't rust much, so this will stand out (in a bad way) when it comes time to sell.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  7. #7
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    The bondo with fiberglass will fill rust holes much better than regular bondo if you decide to go that route. I like the idea of riveting the new ones on, but I'd be cautious about sealing them to the old ones. If their is no where for water to drain at the bottom the new ones will just rust out too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    The bondo with fiberglass will fill rust holes much better than regular bondo if you decide to go that route. I like the idea of riveting the new ones on, but I'd be cautious about sealing them to the old ones. If their is no where for water to drain at the bottom the new ones will just rust out too.
    Thanks for the idea - I'll look into it. I hadn't considered bondo over fiberglass sheet, but that would probably work just fine here.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Thanks for the idea - I'll look into it. I hadn't considered bondo over fiberglass sheet, but that would probably work just fine here.
    I was talking about this stuff, bondo over glass sheet would probably work too.

    https://www.amazon.com/272-Bondo-Gla.../dp/B000VKZ3JM

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    It's got some value, as a running 3/4- ton 4WD truck. I assume that value is lower with a big rust hole.

    I'm in Northern Nevada, where vehicles don't rust much, so this will stand out (in a bad way) when it comes time to sell.
    well I don't see the point cuz its already rusted so unless there is a pretty good financial reason

    I would just sell it as is with the hole which makes no difference on the truck's operation

    OR are you gona be able to fix that so nobody knows there is a hole?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  11. #11
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    Thereís no winning. I have an 03 Sierra 3500 with the same problem , and 3 F150ís of various years around that time. The rivet/weld on rockers from JC Whitney are probably your best bet. Grinding, cutting, rust converter products and rustoleum type primer will all make it last a little longer. But itís a band aid for sure. Iíve tried bondo, fiberglass, even welding and bolting street signs, it will all only last so long. The rust is like a can of pringles.
    Ultimately, I wish I spent all that time making a little more money and just had a $300/month payment for a mostly rust free truck.

  12. #12
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    Friend with a mig welder. Seriously.

    Otherwise, it's a lot of effort for a fix that won't last.

  13. #13
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    Serious question: why would welding in a repair panel be more rust resistant than riveting? In either case, I have to grind /sand away all the existing rust, paint, seal, etc.

    I looked into the bondo repair option. Looks like I could patch it with fiberglass cloth + bondo, but the fiberglass-impregnated bondo alone can only fill holes up to 1/2-inch, so I can't use only that. I'll take a closer look at what needs to be repaired and see if it looks like I could use bondo filler over fiberglass patches. It might be difficult to sand down everything to do that, because the lower edge of the rocker seam has ripples (looks like a series of pinch welds but I think it's just a corrugated type stamp to strengthen the edge).
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  14. #14
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    Because rivets, sheet metal screws, clip fasteners, etc. by their nature, are holding overlapping pieces of metal together. That's going to turn into a rust sandwich. And the vibration of driving will eventually work them loose.

    If you do go the fiberglass route, your number one challenge is going to be getting it 100% sealed.

  15. #15
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    I'm going to go with bondo, because at Walmart today, a gigantic tub of "bondo hair long strand reinforced filler" was on clearance for $9. Also picked up two quart cans of brush on Rustoleum bedliner for $5 apiece. The long strand bondo apparently can fill up to 1" holes without any backing material. I'm guessing that I'll need some fiberglass cloth or screen mesh to support the bondo until it cures fully, but I think it'll work.

    The plan : Grind, sand, treat for rust, bondo, sand level, and bedliner.

    Will update with pics whenever I get around to doing the work.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  16. #16
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    Sounds like a decent plan to me. If you keep the rig long enough it may bubble back through eventually, but the more time you spend on prep the better.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    The bondo with fiberglass will fill rust holes much better than regular bondo if you decide to go that route. I like the idea of riveting the new ones on, but I'd be cautious about sealing them to the old ones. If their is no where for water to drain at the bottom the new ones will just rust out too.
    One brand is called Duraglass that I have used. Has fiberglass fibers as you say mixed in with the bondo material. Still added the hardener to the stuff and worked it similar to bondo... Need to probably consider the fact that most of the time the corners of the rocker panels is where you put the jack to change a tire. so you want to consider welding the new rocker panels, not just some pop rivets. Also consider one of the rust elimination chemicals out there also.

  18. #18
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    putty and paint! make it what it ain't!
    Scientists now have decisive molecular evidence that humans and chimpanzees once had a common momma and that this lineage had previously split from monkeys.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RShea View Post
    One brand is called Duraglass that I have used. Has fiberglass fibers as you say mixed in with the bondo material. Still added the hardener to the stuff and worked it similar to bondo... Need to probably consider the fact that most of the time the corners of the rocker panels is where you put the jack to change a tire. so you want to consider welding the new rocker panels, not just some pop rivets. Also consider one of the rust elimination chemicals out there also.
    I've used POR-15 before to stop rust, and I like it - still have some around so will use it again this time. Didn't use any on the rust areas shown in the photos, unfortunately...

    This is on a body on frame pickup truck, so the rocker panel is mostly just cosmetic (no jacking on the body panels). The rust isn't near the cab corners or the body mounts.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  20. #20
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    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  21. #21
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    I'm liking this idea for ya.

    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooley12 View Post
    If I need to replace the whole outer rocker panels, I'm probably going with these:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...7Z9GO6HA&psc=1

    I think I'll be able to cut away the rust, treat, bondo, prime, and bedliner. I don't think I'll need the whole rocker panel skin, but if it turns out to be worse once I cut into it, I have that option later.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooley12 View Post
    I'm liking this idea for ya.

    That's solidly in the category of not gonna happen... Expanding foam will trap moisture.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  24. #24
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    Shoulda bought that TruCoat!


  25. #25
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    A lot of the solution is dependent on your location. When I was living in the NE rust belt nothing short of major surgery would last more than a year or two. One winter on a white car. Here in the PNW I've have the same NYS salt wheel well rust bubbles that I had on my Outback for six years with no growth. Are there a lot of rust free 20 year old daily drivers where you are or rust buckets?
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

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