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Thread: "Might as well"

  1. #1
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    Default "Might as well"

    Not really a "How to" post, more of a "this is what happens when you decide you -might as well-" fix something right. It's quite long with lots of pics, but I would've damn near killed to find something this in depth before I started on it.

    This was my baby until I decided I wanted to go racing, a 1972 GMC Jimmy. I bought her from a buddy who had just pulled it from a barn. It still had 1976 plates on it. Someone pulled the drivetrain after 4 years of use and left her to die. Long story short, I sold it to my brother and painted it '79 Winnebago tan for him. It was factory paint when I started, and he didn't want to take the time to do the small amount of rust repair right (good call on his part), so I bondo'd the few spots that needed attention. Two years later, it was still sitting in pieces so I bought it back. I wanted to do it right, so I spent two years doing the metal work (100% metal, no bondo or putty) you see here. It was my very first attempt at panel/patch replacement so cut me some slack. I didn't take enough pics for a super thorough article, but I think it's still pretty informative, tells the story well, and most importantly, is in order start to finish. The spots that were showing rust were small enough that I couldn't put my finger in them. Here we go...

    These two are after I went "screw driver digging" to see how bad it really was.

    Note the bracing before cutting anything, to keep things square.







    I had to dissect slowly because I had no idea how/the order this was put together.





    Hand fabricated rocker box cover


    Last edited by Gtdhw; 09-26-2011 at 03:11 AM.
    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  2. #2
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    I primed, painted, then under coated every thing before welding back in.





    Butt welded seem.



    I can't believe I didn't take any pics of the lower pillar replacement...



    After methodically removing the front section of the rocker....

    A lot of pondering/staring before making these cuts.

    Had to remove enough floor to get to the newly found, rotten floor board support.
    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  3. #3
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    This little guy is the key to EVERYTHING when it comes to fit.



    New floor support fitment.








    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  4. #4
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    On to the floorboard.



    Under side of floor panel.







    Fitment of lower, inner kick panel.

    Making sure things still fit correctly every step of the way.
    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  5. #5
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    Patch panel needed.







    It's amazing how many pieces meet here.



    When butt welding, you want a gap that is at least as wide as the material thickness you're working with.

    Back side of inner rocker.

    100% across the top, plugged along the bottom.

    On to the lower, front pillar.
    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  6. #6
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    Had to add an extension piece. Would be hidden by the weatherstrip, but I wanted it better.








    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  7. #7
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    I needed a break from the rockers. On to the vent boxes. They really didn't need cut open, but what the heck, I'm here, why not clean em out.



    Undercoated.







    Well, that's done. Alright, back to the rockers.

    Very happy with door fit so far.




    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  8. #8
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    This is why I needed a break. I tried 4 different sets of aftermarket rockers with zero success. They simply did not fit if I kept everything the same as when it came off. I finally ponied up the cash for GM rockers. They fit perfect........except for this HUGE gap!

    Oh well, make-it-fit time.

    Welded & dressed. I like it.



    Inner rocker under coated.

    All the spots to be welded were taped up, then removed for a clean weld. I don't like weld through primer.





    All welded up.


    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  9. #9
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    I used a 3/8" punch and a hammer to mimmik the factory spot weld look. I think it turned out really well, especially along the lower rocker lip.









    Time to protect it. PRIMER ONLY. NO BONDO OR PUTTY.








    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  10. #10
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    Project "rockers might-as-well" complete.

    Exact same thing done do the drivers side.

    Great fitment there too.


    So there you have it. A very clean, original, vehicle that only had "a few small spots". Beware of the "might-as-well".
    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.


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