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Thread: Have to replace rocker panel. All i have is an arc welder.

  1. #1
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    Have to replace rocker panel. All i have is an arc welder.

    Hi, i have a blaze that has been sitting for a little over two years now with no time to work on it since some redneck tboned it.:mad: It's been sitting at the parents house and it has to get out of there soon, so i need to replace the rocker with a quickness, but i don't have a mig, and can't afford one right now.

    What i do have is a 70 amp arc welder. It has a high/low switch where high is ~70 amp, and low is 50-55 i believe. A guy i know has a mig and he told me that if i cut out the old rocker, prep the new one, and get it tacked in place that he'll finish it off with his mig.

    I'm pretty new to welding, but i practice when i can on the "new" rocker since i have about 7-8" that not gonna be used. I'm *somewhat* comfortable placeing small spot welds on the thin metal and would like some advice on if it will be ok to use my welder to get the new rocker mounted so my friend can finish it.

    I really don't want to mess my truck up, and it needs to get done very soon. The truck's an 87 and was in showroom condition till it got hit, now after sittin outside it's starting to rust.:(

    I was gonna try to get started on it tommorow, if the weather permits. Thanks for any help.


    EDIT: Forgot to ask. If it is ok to use the arc, what electrodes should i use?
    Last edited by chuey_316; 05-27-2007 at 12:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    Got started on cutting the smashed rocer out today. Got it just about all done, then my air compressor motor siezed.:mad: Now i'm gonna have to use my little 1 gallon tank to finish the cutout and cut the replacement to fit.

    Still looking for tips/advice on spot welding the replacement in with my arc.

    On a side note, I was happy to see that after sitting unattended for over 2 years, the blaze still started right up and drove beautifully.:D

  3. #3
    Registered User nacho's Avatar
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    tack about every 3 to 4 inches and im not sure on the arc welder im still new to welding also or just get the guy to tack it all in for you after you get it in place??
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  4. #4
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    He's a metal worker and originaly, he was going to do it all from cutting the rocker out, to matching the replacement up, and welding it in. It's just that right now he just doesn't have the time, so i have to get as much of it done as possible.

    He's swamped with work right now, and his father in law (my uncle) is dying and him and my cousin are trying to get a trip planned that my uncle has been wanting to take for a long time. I figure that's much more important than my truck, now matter how much of a time crunch i'm under.

    Thanks for the reply. I know to space out my welds to prevent warping. I'm most concerned with what type of electrode to run so that it's strong, and has less chance of blowing through. As stated in the 1st post, the welder is 50-55 amps on low, and 70ish on high, so i think if i have the right electrode and be careful, i may be ok. I hope.

    The compressor is fixed now, so i'm gonna try to finish cutting the rest of the old rocker out and mocking up the replacemnt today after work.

    It's the whole fitting of the new panel that has me a little worried right now, cus with the way the damage was, it had to be cut at different angles.

  5. #5
    Smash it 4.3 zach's Avatar
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    I would try and find the smallest 6010 electrode possible. < 1/16" if you can. I have stick welded some 22 ga. before but sheetmetal isnt easy and your probably going to want to do some practicing on the pieces you cut out. Also can you take some pictures of what you have to work with? how are you fitting up the new panel? If the new rocker is like the old and spot welds on a flange that would make it alot easier than welding a bunch of butt welds. Even if you are butting panels up together see if you can't bend a flange onto one of the panels so they will overlap and be easier to weld.
    06 ccsb 2/5 drop, SS 20's, 370, L92 Heads, LT's/ORY, 237/242 .603/609 112, 2pc. driveshaft, 4l80e, 3500 stall, 12.8 @ 106

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  6. #6
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    The electrodes that i have in the garage are 6013. I have some 1/16, 5/64, and 3/32. Would the 1/16 be ok with a 6013?

    I also made sure to leave about a 1/2 inch extra on all sides so that it will overlap. Got some more cutting done on the replacement rocker, but the comp. locked up again. It's the overload that is sticking. Got it goin again but decided to call it a day.

    No pics, but i can try to describe how i cut it. I cut from the front of the rocker to about 3/4 of the way back right behind the lip on the inside of the truck where the carpet ends. Then straight up & down at the rear end of the cut, and i left the curved part of the front of the old rocker. I also left the bracket that goes from the center of the rocker to the seat belt mount, and a peice of the inside of the old rocker at the front hanging to weld the new one to as well.

    I hoped to get the ends of the new rocker to basically sit over the edges of where i cut, and blend it in the best i can. Maybe grind it down and spead a little bondo if need be.
    Last edited by chuey_316; 05-28-2007 at 07:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Smash it 4.3 zach's Avatar
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    my experience with 6013 is very limited but really any rod should do fine given the correct heat, material prep, and weldor.
    06 ccsb 2/5 drop, SS 20's, 370, L92 Heads, LT's/ORY, 237/242 .603/609 112, 2pc. driveshaft, 4l80e, 3500 stall, 12.8 @ 106

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    Got hung up haveing to work on my day off, and have to do the same this weekend so it still is not finished. I do have a question though.

    I got this replacement from a local junk yard, before i knew how much an oem replacement cost. The bastards charged me $80.00:mad: The replacement has already had some cutting started to begin to match up. Would it be better to just go ahead and proceed, or buy the entire replacement from here http://raybuck.com/wsm/i-10725_rocke..._82-94_lh.html and replace it that way.

    Basiclly i'm looking for the least amount of work, while keeping the repair as unnoticable as possible. It looks like there are spot welds that can be drilled out to remove the old rcker completly. Is this right? $42 isn't that bad, especially if it is a better option to fixing this.

  9. #9
    Smash it 4.3 zach's Avatar
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    its hard to say without seeing what you have to work with. But the picture in the link looks like it'd be fairy straight forward and much easier to weld (spot welds) since you will be stick welding it.

    when you drill your old spot welds don't drill through both layers unless you can weld from the back side.
    06 ccsb 2/5 drop, SS 20's, 370, L92 Heads, LT's/ORY, 237/242 .603/609 112, 2pc. driveshaft, 4l80e, 3500 stall, 12.8 @ 106

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  10. #10
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    Ok, the replacement is cut and preped, and everything fits pretty much flush. I abandoned the idea of overlaping the panels, cus it looked bad. It wouldn't have been noticable from a short distance, but i'd have to look at it everyday.

    I attemped a couple spot welds with the arc. Not gonna happen.lol Although i can lay some ok spots, i just don't have the experience yet to attemp it on my truck. My buddy with the mig stopped by and said that it looks great and it shouldn't be a problem to weld, but he has to find the time to get to it.

    I got to thinking about it, and after reading a couple post here, i was wondering something. Could i just use some cold weld epoxy to attach the panel? It'd be on the underside of the panel, between the floor and rocker, and then fill in the cuts with it. Would this hold strong like a weld?

    I read about people using it to attach filler panels rather than welding. If i can do this and not have to woory about it falling off or rusting to hell, then i'll just use it so i can get this done quicker. the replacement is ground down to metal now, as well as the edges of the original. The weather here is crappy latley with rain and i'd like to be done as soon as possible.

    So cold weld epoxy or no? Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Any opinions on the cold weld epoxies? It's raining like hell here right now, so i can't get to it this moment, but i'm getting another door hopefully in the next few days and i need to know if this stuff is good to use for this.

    i know that alot of newer cars use the stuff instead of regular welds, but i just don't want to get the wrong stuff and have it fall off while i'm washing the roof of my truck.:eek:

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