Re: Cancer (rust) of the rocker panels

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Posted by Igore ( on 11:00:09 01/04/13

In Reply to: Cancer (rust) of the rocker panels posted by Peter

If you live where there is a winter, or near the ocean, rust is a given eventually. I live in Minnesota and rust is a given here.

It's called cancer for a reason. The only way to cure it once it starts is to cut the area out and replace it with welded or glued in metal.

Your panel is already gone if you can poke your finger through it. The paint may stick things together for a little while, but don't count on it.

Any body panel you apply over the top of the area will only trap additional moisture and speed up the process. Trying to patch the spot with filler will have similar results.

As for structural integrity, the rust doesn't help, but on a body on frame vehicle it usually takes major gaps to seriously compromise the body structure.

Occasionaly I still see one of those old Chevy mini vans with the plastic body running around. They were ugly when they were new, but they still look like they just came out of the showroom 20 years later. Too bad that trend never took off.

The best way to cure rust is to prevent it. Well maintained rustproofing systems seem to help some in cases like yours. Being meticuluous about fixing chips prevents it from going from the outside in. Running boards and mud flaps help a lot to prevent snow buggers from forming on the surface and underneath the truck. Some people are starting to coat the bottom half of the truck with bed liner to ward off chips from the outside.

Assuming you live in the rust belt, having a 13 year old untreated truck with just the first rust holes poking through is exceptionally good.

Good luck.

: 2000 K1500 Suburban (NBS)
: I have rust working its way from the inside out on both left and right rocker panels right in front of the rear wheels. It still looks decent but it is bubbled and I took a poke at one side and put a finger through it. I know it will get worse regardless of what I do since I can't easily get to the inside surface to the sand off the rust. As long as I don't break the surface, it won't look too bad for a little longer since the paint "appears" intact. I know that as soon as I start trying to improve things, it will look crappy. I don't have welding or metal shaping skills so DIY metalwork is out of the question.
: I found some body panels that you place with adhesive tape over the rocker panels. I know they won't do anything structural or even slow down the cancer but it might keep the truck looking decent for a little while longer. I also have OEM running boards if that matters.
: Any ideas? I was hoping for another 5-7 years out of this truck. Will rusting out rocker panels affect the structural integrity? I am hoping not since it is a body-on-frame design.
: Any thoughts?

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