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Old 08-28-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
legger
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Exclamation Rotting Rocker Panels

Looking at a e30 with a good body and low mileage powertrain, only problem is the passenger side rocker is a mess.

How difficult, or expensive a fix is this, and will this mess with certifiaction?

Probably using it as a parts car, but I may Daily Drive it for a bit...I race e30's and I think it would be slick to daily drive one for the winter...

Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:31 AM   #2
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a new aftermarket fender is about $80-100 + paint.

or you can get a bodyshop to cut and weld some metal in, get a quote.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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its a 2 door, and it runs along the whole side of the passenger into the rear fender...front isnt that bad surprisingly.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:44 AM   #4
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i had a hole in my rocker panel
maybe about 4 inches tall and 9 inches wide

autopia quoted me 1100 with 200 off cuz of max bimmer, so 900
just to get a tiny piece of metal welded in.

ya..right. fixed it myself (with rivets, sheet metal, and putty) for 40$ or less
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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This is almost the whole length of the car, at least between the two fenders anyways.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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If it's rotting there, chances are it's rotting other places, look closer.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:42 PM   #7
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I have found patch panels, I think the place is called cross canada, from what I remember they aren't that expensive, but the labour to install is what's gonna get you. Also, as SamE30e said, there is probably rust elsewhere if your rockers are that bad. I'm pretty sure that rockers on these cars are structural members as they are unibodies, so fixing large holes with rivets, sheetmetal and bondo will *maybe* get you by a safety if they don't notice it, but its not the most safe fix.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:19 PM   #8
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if your going to fix it and its as big a piece rotting away as you say, make sure the structure of the car isn't messed since the pinch weld along the bottom of the rocker is a major part of the structural integrity of a subframe car such as the e30

Steve
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:27 PM   #9
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Hey Jason.
The rocker is totally non structural from the outside. Take a look at the unibody frame rail and see if that is rotting.
I own the rustiest E30 race car in the world and my body panels are separated from the car. They are just sheet metal, just like the rocker. They can be replaced.
My rails are not the greatest but as you know, you can weld to the inner rocker/floor and really strengthen up the chassis with the roll cage. That's where the structure is, and the weld along the bottom of the rocker....

If it were me, I would consider filling the rocker with expandable foam and then shave it. I would get some thin gauge body metal, and find a pal with a bender for the right angles. Make a curve after you have bent it. Tack weld, add some seam sealer and spray bomb it.

For safeties, the holes cannot permit exhaust to enter the car - it's that simple.

If a mechanic differs on that opinion, tell him to show us all where it says a simple body fix cannot pass a safety. There are a lot of swiss cheese autos on the road, and patching can be simple - but it doesn't have to be ugly.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gato Liso View Post
i had a hole in my rocker panel
maybe about 4 inches tall and 9 inches wide

autopia quoted me 1100 with 200 off cuz of max bimmer, so 900
just to get a tiny piece of metal welded in.

ya..right. fixed it myself (with rivets, sheet metal, and putty) for 40$ or less
Not to rain on your parade, but you could tell that you fixed yours for less than 40 bucks, I mean props to tackling it yourself but it was far from perfect.

Also don't do Racer-x's method either. Just more problems down the road with all the foam in there.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BMW BMXer View Post
Not to rain on your parade, but you could tell that you fixed yours for less than 40 bucks, I mean props to tackling it yourself but it was far from perfect.

Also don't do Racer-x's method either. Just more problems down the road with all the foam in there.
well duhh
perfection wasn't even in question. getting it done to pass safety is all i cared for, and i wasnt gonna pya 9 bills for that no way in hell

especially when i have my uncle (who has my car now) that can do evrything autopia can
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:55 AM   #12
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Well as long as it was temporary.

Rust honestly stresses me out, and it bothers me when people don't address it/see it as a serious issue. Its cancer!
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:06 AM   #13
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rocker panels on e30 are easy to fix - cut out outer skin - clean inside and weld the patches (with primer on the inside of the patch as well) and then fiberglass it to make it look nice.
welding is not that hard and with prices of flux core welders it is more economical than going to the bodyshop for 20+ daily driver.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:39 AM   #14
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Well as long as it was temporary.

Rust honestly stresses me out, and it bothers me when people don't address it/see it as a serious issue. Its cancer!
QFT!
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:54 PM   #15
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Not to rain on your parade, but you could tell that you fixed yours for less than 40 bucks, I mean props to tackling it yourself but it was far from perfect.

Also don't do Racer-x's method either. Just more problems down the road with all the foam in there.
Read his post. Read it AGAIN. Understand WHAT HE IS ASKING FOR!!!!!

Just because you are rust-a-phobic, that's your little quirk. Pretty funny actually. Do you wash the bottom of your car, repaint it, and then rust proof everything twice a year?
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