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Author Topic:   Inner rocker installation
Robert K
Gearhead

Posts: 497
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 11-11-2002 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone installed an inner rocker panel before ? I need to replace the entire inner rocker on my 67 convertible. I talked to a guy at a restoration shop who told me it was a royal pain to do. He said you have to actually remove the front torque box to install it. Anybody got any tips or advice on doing this (other than get rid of the car) ?

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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

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pony boy
Gearhead

Posts: 328
From: n.y. n.y.
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-13-2002 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pony boy   Click Here to Email pony boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's funny you should post this question,I'm in the process of replacing one of these on one of my convertibles right now.It's not an easy job but if you are ok at welding and take your time you can do it yourself. Mustang Monthly back in the 80's (when the magazine was decent)Had a nice three part article on doing this. Typically when your rails are bad so are your torque boxes and your floor pans. So chances are you'll have to remove the torque boxes anyway.Usually when you do this job you put in the rail,then the torque box,lastly the floor pans.I'd be more then happy to give you my two cents if you decide to do it. As far as the car being worth it,that's up to you,Ask yourself these questions,is it a desirable car,how bad is the car overall beside the rails,Is this a car you want to hang onto for a while.Good luck with whatever you decide to do. P.S. remember if you do it, take your time this is one of those jobs that if you mess it up you can wreck the car.Later

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kcode
Gearhead

Posts: 2559
From: alvaton,ky,usa Suburb of Bowling Green, M&M #79, MCA #29208
Registered: Jun 99

posted 11-13-2002 10:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcode   Click Here to Email kcode     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert,
I agree with it not being the easiest job in the world. My advice is to let a professional do it. On a convertible the inner rocker rails are the only high strength structural pieces that tie the front of the car to the backend. I had a guy from Sparta do Becks 66 convt.

Mike

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Robert K
Gearhead

Posts: 497
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 11-14-2002 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the input guys. After talking to a restoration shop several times, several other people and researching this on the web, I've decided to tackle it myself. I realize that it is an integral part of the support structure and that it will be a pain to do. I have been studying it for about a week now and I'm confident I can do it. I've already got the car apart and supported at 8 different points underneath. It seems of all the people I talked to about doing this, they were split 50/50 on whether they would do this themselves.
Pony boy, check out this website !

http://bellsouthpwp.net/n/y/nylhtak/


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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

[This message has been edited by Robert K (edited 11-14-2002).]

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pony boy
Gearhead

Posts: 328
From: n.y. n.y.
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-14-2002 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pony boy   Click Here to Email pony boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cool site,I'll have to spend an hour or so checking it out. Good luck on the job,Let me know if I can assist you.I've seen some shops mess this job up big time,That's why I like doing it myself I take my time and if I mess it up I get to kick my own a..LOL.A few bits of advice,Leave your top frame on and latched shut,Leave your doors on (they are your alignment tools)unless you have braces to put in in their place.Also you should support the car at suspension points and then you jack the car additionally at different points to move the body if you need to.Typically the best place to jack it to move the body is under the plate which bolts across the tunnel between the two lower seat boxes.Do yourself a favor and spread the body a bit if it's pretty sagged before you start.I've seen this not done and people end up with a car that is structurally sound (after everything has been replaced)but they can't open and close the doors properly.Good luck.

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Robert K
Gearhead

Posts: 497
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 11-14-2002 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ponyboy,
Thanks for the tips. I've got supports under the rear axle, the engine support brace, the plate across the tunnel, and one on each corner of the frame rails. The doors are on the car. I didn't think having the top up and latched would provide much support but I can certainly do that too. I'm going to put an additional support under the middle of the outer rocker panel to completely eliminate the chance of sagging.
You said to support the car at suspension points. By that do you mean under the leaf springs or where they attach to the frame rail ? Should I also put supports under the lower control arms so the wheels aren't hanging freely ? It seems to me that ideally you'd want the car resting in the same configuration as it would be sitting on the ground.


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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

[This message has been edited by Robert K (edited 11-14-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Robert K (edited 11-14-2002).]

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pony boy
Gearhead

Posts: 328
From: n.y. n.y.
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-14-2002 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pony boy   Click Here to Email pony boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keeping the top clipped suppossedly helps keep things from shifting,I always leave mine clipped shut,I'm not really sure if it makes a big difference or not.In terms of where to support the car,I put the rear on jack stands and the front wheels on ramps,Like you said so the car seems like it is sitting on the ground,I also face the ramps so the sloped side is towards the front of the car so it's not in my way.Great site by the way,The guy does a nice job.Later

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Robert K
Gearhead

Posts: 497
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 11-14-2002 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Only problem with putting the ramps on the front wheels is that I was going to remove the wheel of the side I was working on to make it easier to get to the torque box. I think I might put my ramps on the rear wheels and support the front with jack stands. What I noticed about putting the stands under the frame rails is that the weight of the rest of the car (either rear-end or engine) tends to flex the body down on both ends which is why I also put supports under the engine and rear-axle.

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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 5629
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-14-2002 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Try to get your car level all the way around. Keeping the door on is good as you can make sure that CRITICAL gap between door and 1/4 panel is not less than 1/8 or more than 3/16.Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOUR HINGES ARE TIGHT!! I Welded thinwall tubing diagonally across door openings(flattening ends) and another across the width just forward of window cranks. trim off, of course. This was done after leveling. I removed the striker on the jamb so as to keep from shutting door latch. If you haven't got a sawzall with variable speed, try to get one. I had a guy come with a large torch and he cut it out carefully, along with torque box. I still had quite a bit of trimming and smoothing off. Had to assure him there would be NO mud, grease or GAS TANK! Front fenders off. He did one side at a time! When it came time to put the inner rocker in, used a large mover's cinching strap (with 2x4's on 1/4's so they didn't get crushed} and cinched up the car so that the flanges touched. It does spread a little-enough to throw sh*t in the game if it's not taken care of. Also, had the welder cut it tight through the rear torque box so the inner rocker didn't have any lateral play. With torque box out the rail can be pounded into place. Go slow. It is not rocket science LOL! just common sense. If you can weld you can do it. Don't be surprised if you find some additional areas that need attention. Good luck, man!

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 5629
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-14-2002 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 2x4's and strap was to pull the rockers in, not the 1/4's!! Hello!!

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Robert K
Gearhead

Posts: 497
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 02-17-2003 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ok after several months break from working on the car, I now have the torque box floor pan and part of the inner rocker removed. The inner rocker is made of two pieces of steel. One flat and one box shaped. I have the outer (box shaped) piece removed from the car and have noticed that other than some surface rust, the flat piece is in very good shape. I have the complete new rocker and was wondering about my options.

1. remove the remaing flat piece and install the complete new inner rocker as was the original design.
2. leave the flat piece in and install the complete inner rocker over it.
3. remove the flat piece from the new inner rocker and install just the new box shaped piece.

My thoughts are that I don't want to compromise the integrity of the car anymore than I have to and I certainly don't want to remove any more metal than I have to. I was wondering if option #2 wouldn't be best and easiest.
What are your thoughts ?

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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 5629
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-17-2003 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Going out in left field and say leave it in. Make sure it is treated for rust, the flange area smooth, so that the new rail butts up tight, and weld it in. Car will actually have a bit more strength. While not kosher, according to a purist or whatever, there is no reason to make more work. Make sure the back of you new inner rocker is painted, also. The 65 I did had too much rust on that piece so had to remove it. How's the rail and box on the other side?

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Robert K
Gearhead

Posts: 497
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 02-17-2003 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mellowyellow
I'm leaning that way. I just can't bring myself to remove a good piece of metal from the car. I was extremely careful in removing the rusted section and the remaining flat section is super straight. Although I really don't like having two flat pieces of steel welded together, I was already planning to coat both sides with a good rust preventive primer. The outer rocker is solid.

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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

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