You are watching: Ford f150 rocker panels and rust repair
So I scoured the internet in my search on how to fix this notorious problem and couldn”t find much of anything. So, I decided to watch as many Youtube videos (on other vehicles) as I could and find the parts to do this myself. Since I couldn”t find much of anything I thought I would put how I did it here in hopes someone else will find it. Full disclosure here, I am NOT a professional body guy and this may not suit all of your needs but with my 2011 FX4 SCREW that has 230,000 miles I thought I might get myself another 3-5 years out of this.I did not and could not do a complete replacement like the pros would like to do as it was going to run around $3000. I found SLIP ON ROCKERS here. I then decided to go with POR 15 as my rust preventer of choice. I used the metal prep (EXTREMELY important on the new rockers as well as any non rusted areas you intend to use POR15), Rust preventer, top coat, then finally the bed liner. One quart of each was all I needed. I used the spray can of the top coat. It is important to follow the directions on this stuff to a “T”! I did not get ALL the pictures along the way but here is what I did get:Cut away all of the old rust!! Make sure and not cut too much as you need something to rivet (I used rivets in this case rather than welding):
Here is the rocker panel. I had to cut some of it off as it would normally go all the way up the door into the step (before and after shown). I needed it to just go up to where the plastic clips are located to hold the weatherstrips. Also you will need to use the metal prep on these panels as the POR15 needs something to attach to:
Painted with POR15 rust preventer:
After loose rust is ground away and metal is prepped, I coated the all surfaces I could reach with the rust preventer:
View attachment 151977I did not have a helper but one would be great for this step. After measuring and cutting the panels in the previous steps, line up the panels and drill holes for your rivets. I went every 2-3 inches for a secure fit:
This was the easy part. I do not have pictures of the mess that ensued from here but you can see at the top right of the pictures the gap that is/was the rusted cab corner. Now, don”t tell the professional what I did here and if you are going to knock me for this, stop reading now; I simply built up the corner with bondo. Lots of layers of bondo. Will it hold up over time? I don”t know but it worked great for me.After:
Not pictured is the seam you get just above the rivets. I used the same bondo to fill the seam and sanded the seam over the rivets. I can attach better pictures later. The spot where I chose to cut and rivet is right where the weather strip is so it will hide most imperfections. Also, I used the bedliner to cover up any other imperfections.Once I had the seams sanded and ready for top coat, I used an 80 grit flap wheel on my angle grinder to sand down to the bare metal. This is the REAL point of no return as you no longer have paint!! Once sanded, again it is extremely important to use the metal prep here so your preventer will grab to the metal.
I used the top coat in the pictures above because I was not quite sure on the bedliner. I don”t think I needed it. However, if you do NOT use the bedliner you will need the top coat as POR 15 will fade in UV light so a top coat is necessary. Here is the final product:
View attachment 152000So how do we prep for future “damage”? Well, the body guy I spoke too said it probably wouldn”t be a bad idea to drill some holes underneath to actually allow water to escape. I didn”t do that (yet) and I did remove all of the stupid tape that Ford put on there from the factory as most of it was gone or damaged already. I used a wire brush to remove rust and loose dirt around the holes in the frame and used a 3m Flashing tape to cover them back up. This stuff is STICKY AS HELL. It is thin so I doubled it up on all the holes. After it was all said and done I sprayed the exposed rivets and the back of the frame with the top coat.
And that was just one side……..It was quite the undertaking and I don”t think I want to do it again but I think it looks GREAT and hopefully will hold up for several more years. I hope this helps someone else if you decide to tackle this project.