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RUST!!!!!!!!!! UGH!

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Old 03-14-2014, 11:59 PM
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RUST!!!!!!!!!! UGH!

So, I knew I had a bit of rust popping last year before winter. I figured I'd wait till spring to take care of it. well it got bad quick! Tonite I started cutting out the rusted rear rocker panel by the rear drivers side door.

Here is what I started with!


First I removed the running boards. kinda looks like an E series van! BTW those are brand new stock size tires. they look teeny compared to the 285 BFG`s I had.


Then I drilled all the spot welds, I used a spot weld cutting bit.


Terrible what happens in the dark areas!


This is the backs side of the rocker panel!


The problem is they put a nice little drain about the size of a coat hanger back towards the dogleg (lower C pillar) at the bottom. Everything about the X is big you'd think they could`ve went a bit bigger on the drain so it doesn`t plug up . now I have to clean up all the rusty areas and coat/spray it with POR15. I have got a new outer rocker panel coming from Ford. they don`t offer the rear one any more X specific, so I ordered the front one and will have to cut it down to the right length. I work at a body shop and we decided instead of spot welding it back in and having to repaint and blend the rocker panel we are going to paint the new rocker first and then use a panel bonding adhesive (specific to automotive use) and basically glue it in. the adhesive is just as strong if not stronger than welding!

I also noticed on some of the newer Rangers that come into the shop there are windows cut into the bottom of the Rockers to keep crap from getting trapped inside and staying wet. I may cut some openings in my existing panels and the new panel to keep it clean and dry. not sure on this yet.

After this I have to get under it and clean the surface rust off the backside of the rockers and do the same rust preventative treatment.

Always something to do on the X!

I`ll get some pics up next week of the final repair.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:48 AM
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That sucks! I better check mine and spray some oil all up in there.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:29 AM
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I need to do the same thing on my 02 crew cab. I never thought of the panel adhesive bond. That's a heck of a good idea.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:16 PM
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Yikes that got ugly fast, thanks for posting the pics and the process you used to clean up the issue. Hopefully never need to do it, but now I know how.

One of the first things I did with the EX when I bought it was to pop all the rubber plugs on the body and doors and spray fluid film up in there to try prolong the life of my rig, seems to be working.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:06 PM
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I bought my X close to new, 2 years old with 17K miles. it was a vacation vehicle for the previous owners. I wish I would`ve sprayed the insides of everything back then! kicking my self for that one.

Today I just ground off all the rust and cleaned up everything the best I could. I did end up cutting some little windows in the bottom of the front rocker so I could get up in there and get rid of some rust up there. then I will use some rust converting paint and seal up the rust that is left.

The rocker on the passenger side shows no signs of external rust. so when I`m done with this side I will cut a small window in there and see what it looks like. hopefully I can catch the other side before it`s too late.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:45 PM
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Can you post a pic of exactly where the drain hole is? I figure if I drill it bigger now it might help in the long run.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:30 PM
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Here are some more pics.

I used the epoxy primer that attacks rust. it is a 2 part in an aerosol can that comes with a long flexible tube. I sprayed it down through the rocker all the way up to the A-pillar. I`ll give it a second coat tomorrow.


here I used some DOM 16. made for sealing off the rust. I was going to use POR15, but the 15 is used exclusively for rust, it will not adhere to bare metal. the DOM 16 is for rust and bare metal.


These are the cutouts (windows) I cut to access the front rocker. I was able to scrape out what rust was in there and also use them to spray the epoxy sealer. it will also allow for airflow which should help keep it dry! I`m going to put a similar cutout in the rear rocker when I get it.


This is the backside of the rockers. tomorrow I will coat it with the DOM16 and seal all the rust up. then I will coat that whole side with a good strong undercoating.


At least it`s going quick!
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jshalala View Post
Can you post a pic of exactly where the drain hole is? I figure if I drill it bigger now it might help in the long run.
The drain hole is not actually a hole it is more or less a formed opening in the metal. Here I stuck the coat hanger through it.


Here is a shot from the opening that you normally can`t see in when the rocker is there. you can see where the coat hanger comes up through. I`m sure this worked great for the first year or 2, after that I`m sure it plugged up.


You can see where I put a cutout to the left of the coat hanger to help this area drain. I shouldn`t plug up anymore.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for all the pics! I am for sure going to check mine out when I pull it out.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:03 PM
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Any more progress on this?
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:40 PM
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My Ex had rust in the same spot, but from the pics the rest of your truck looks very clean compared to mine. My solution to the rust back here was to just keep the door closed! Nice work, Reps sent!
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:09 AM
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Nice work 1 Excursion camper-- Reps to you. I am only about 1/2 hr away .. when can I drive down for mine to get some love too?
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:04 PM
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Sorry everyone. I`ve been busy all week. the shop finally painted my new rocker panel. I`ll be installing it tomorrow. I will get a couple more pics up later. I`ve been poking around the rocker on the other side of the X and it looks to be almost perfect. so I will be getting into that side after I get my rocker installed.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:35 PM
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Looks like I'll be checking drain holes this weekend...
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:45 PM
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What are you using for panel adhesive? I assume I can go into any auto body supply place and ask for it? I have seen others use it but never asked to get the details. I like the idea of no welding as you could paint and por15 or equivalent the inside of the rocker and not have to worry about welding it.
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