1956 Chevrolet Belair Restoration — Part 13
After all of the rusted metal was removed, the next step was to start the repairs of the inner rocker and preparing the inner rocker and inner quarter panel for the replacement sheet metal. We welded in small metal patches as needed to repair the rust and also repaired areas that were torn up from removing the rusted panels. Before the new panels were welded on the inner rocker panel and inner quarter were then coated with Zero-Rust coating to prevent any further rust growth.
A new rocker panel from Danchuk is being fitted. It's a good idea to have the doors installed for this to make sure the door gaps are correct. Vise-grips can be used to hold the panels in place while fitting and welding. Small screws or Clecos can also be used in place of Vise-grips. The inside of the replacement rocker was also coated with rust preventive paint.
A new quarter patch panel was also fitted at the same time as the rocker panel. This let us set the door gaps as needed. We used the flange method to install the quarter patch. We flanged the metal on the car so that the new panel fit into the flange. The panel could also have been butted together and welded but for MIG welding we opted for the flange method.
Before the panels are welded on, the flanges of the panels must be prepared. Since we like to plug weld the flanges we drilled 5/16 holes in the flanges for our plug welds.
Here's the panel after it was all welded on and the welds ground down.
After the area was cleaned it was sprayed with epoxy primer to prevent it from rusting. Sometimes the humidity here in Kansas will rust metal overnight if left exposed. The side trim was pre-fit so we could drill the holes for the trim clips.