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Average cost to replace a rocker panel??

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348AMX View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr/13/2011 at 2:05pm
After restoring the dash and center console of my 68 AMX 3 years ago, I decided to tackle the rest of the interior last summer and removed the seats, Carpet the factory black matting off the floor boards, the headliner all the trim around the windshield and rear window, rear sail panels, etc etc. I left the dash and steering wheel.

I discovered that the rear floor boards had been repaired once before and they look great. The front floor boards have a few holes one on the drivers side about 2" in diameter and the passenger has a hole along the seam where it welds to the rocker panel, other than that the floor boards are good.

The major prior repair I discovered was done to the drivers side rocker panel. An aprox 18" section had been cut out due to rust I assume and a piece of thick gauge sheet metal formed over and riveted to the rocker.


After I saw that I felt it was unacceptable and could compromise the strength of the unibody and started looking for a replacement. Luckily I found a VERY nice rust free factory drivers side complete rocker panel to replace the entire panel.

    So the plan is to buy a driver and passnger repro floor board and cut sections out of that and replace the rusted sections of the factory floor boards. It does not look necessary to replace the entire floor boards on either side since there is 85% shiny non rusted surface there.

   For the drivers side rocker panel I figure to remove the entire original and weld in the replacement. How much would a body shop charge on average to do these repairs????   There is a body shop right at the end of my street so it would be VERY convenient to have it done and I will get an est from them...but I would like to get some averages from you guys that have done it what would be a fair price for this work. Thanks!
John

Edited by 348AMX - Apr/13/2011 at 2:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72AMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/13/2011 at 2:28pm
Well, you can buy replacement rocker panels; both inner and outer, so it's just a matter of getting a shop quote to see what they would charge you to cut out the old and weld in the new. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brownspirit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/13/2011 at 2:29pm
Could you get some pics, you will probably have trouble getting a quote from a body shop, as rust is deceiving and unpredictable. There is a guy in conn. that has an amx and runs a restoration shop specializing in metal repairs and fabrication, I will try to dig up his email if you like.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 348AMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/15/2011 at 11:55pm
I'll post up some pics tomorrow. I won't need repro rocker parts since the Rocker Panel I got off ebay is off a yellow 69' california car and is 100% rust free...and it is the entire inner/outer structure front to back so this is basically a factory original rust free used replcement that should be able to be welded in after my entire original damaged rocker is removed as one piece itself. Assuming there isnt any other rust I don't see why it would take someone very long to do it.
Ideally I'd like to pay someone to do it in my garage, lots of room..I doubt the guy in CT is going to be willing to do that. The body shop down the street might. I'd be removing the front fender and door myself; the front fender needs a dent fixed anyway.

I have C stripes on my car and they line up perfect from front fender to door and rear of door to rear 1/4 so the rocker seems to be sound enough to keep the car straight but who knows what happens when driving around how much flexing could be going on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigbad69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/16/2011 at 9:23am
You're probably better off getting the work done in a shop rather than your garage. The shop will have all the proper equipment to do the job. You're right about the floors and rockers being structural and when you remove them to replace, the whole body structure is weakened. Without the proper equipment to ensure the gar is straight, it's not difficult to weld in the new parts wrong.

Certainly a good body man could do it in your garage with excellent results, but why risk it? Get it done where the guy is most comfortable and has all the tools right where he needs them.

As for price, get a few quotes. That should tell you what it will cost. Personally, I would stay away from mass production collision shops. They tend to be set up for crash repairs done quick with decent results. Major rust repair is generally not their forte. Talk to some shops honestly about what you want done and what your expectations are. A good shop will want to go over the car thoroughly before giving you a price. If you get a shop quickly telling you they can do it for $X without inspecting the car, they will likely exceed the estimate, or they will cut corners to keep to the estimate.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/16/2011 at 2:36pm
Figure $5000.00 & up, if you can even find someone that will touch it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote target Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/16/2011 at 6:36pm
I think we need more information and a photo. The rocker is made up of an inner, center, and outer rocker. If the damage is just to one section regardless of it being 18 inches long if the rest is sound I would not replace it all, only the damage. I think it would be stronger than replacing all of it, and actually be a better repair for less money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stonedblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/16/2011 at 7:53pm
This is a pic of the partial inner rocker replacrment I did on my Javelin. I also replaced the P/S floor pan. I'm not a body tech and did this in my 2 car garage. I had 72 hours from teardown to primer. I would guess a well equipt shop & tech could do it in a bit less time. As stated by target, I'd only replace the damaged area, not the whole length. Good luck, sorry I can't give you more price info..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 348AMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/16/2011 at 10:58pm
Originally posted by stonedblue stonedblue wrote:

This is a pic of the partial inner rocker replacrment I did on my Javelin. I also replaced the P/S floor pan. I'm not a body tech and did this in my 2 carĀ garage. I had 72 hours from teardown to primer. I would guess a well equipt shop & tech could do it in a bit less time. As stated by target, I'd only replace the damaged area, not the whole length. Good luck, sorry I can't give you more price info..


Your repair looks GREAT! That is the length of the section that a previous owner had replaced inside the car/floorboard side, but all they did was bend a piece of sheetmetal in the shape of the cut out section and riveted it in place and it is wavy looking with dips and bumps. Very shoddy repair. From the hump where the seat is the rest of the rocker looks good, but that is on the OUTSIDE. I can reach my hand partially into the vent hole and feel that a good section of the "center" structure of the rocker assembly is rotted away/gone. I can feel where it picks back up again but it feels rusty. The outer isnt rotted. Didnt have a chance to take pics today. From the seat back it is solid. The passenger side rocker is very solid.

My floor boards are not as rusted as those in that pic.

If it were going to cost $5000. YIKES! I'll just take a welding class at UTI and fix it myself ha ha ha.

Edited by 348AMX - Apr/18/2011 at 1:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stonedblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/16/2011 at 11:36pm
The center piece has large holes stamped in it. Are you sure you aren't feeling one of those holes? May be no way to know till the cutting starts.Don't know how handy you are, but, I never had a welding or autobody class. The mig I used is a harbor frieght $99.00 unit. I learned the hard way to use quality replacement parts from an AMC vendor. If you decide to give it a go on your own, there are a few good threads here to help, and I'll help anyway I can. I have about $500.00 in this job, floor pan, inner rocker, new acc carpet, new nonstock headliner cloth, primer/paint/undercoat, and cut/weld supplies.
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