Rocker panels protect the Ford F50 from rusting and prevent damage to its door frame.
How to Replace Rocker Panels on a Ford F150? In general, you can replace welded rocker panels on Ford F150 with the removal of doors and rusted patches. First, clean it and apply a layer of corrosion-resistant spray. Next, fix the new rocker panel and perform welding. Finally, apply a layer of paint and reinstall the door.
The avoidance of rusted edges can generate future problems, and the broken parts of the damaged rocker panel shreds on the roads.
How to Replace Rocker Panels on a Ford F150?
Here is a stepwise guide to replace the welded rocker panels on a Ford F150. Many people find this process confusing, so I have divided it into easy steps.
Purchase new rocker panel
Purchase a new rocker panel for your Ford F150. Observe the structure and size of your previous rocker panel.
Take dimensions of the door frame surface.
Select a tool according to the mass and dimensions of preexisting tools.
For example, if the Ford F150 comprises the welded rocker panels then, purchase the same devices. However, you cannot install a sliding rocker panel in welding sections.
The process becomes impossible for a non-professional person. The mechanics cost a lot on such activities and prefer the convenient ways to the tricky replacement procedures.
Adjust and observe
Open its door and access the area of the old frame. Adjust the new device on this section to test its fixing ability.
The observation allows the reduction of time and money consumption. In case of errors, you can replace this product with another design. It can protect against money loss, and you can avoid restrictions.
Human negligence can lead to various errors. First, read the manual and understand the right direction of the product.
The adjustment test is also essential to make a proper layout of the replacement process. Finally, make a point on a paper to perform the process without any problem.
Elevate the Ford F150
You cannot perform the process without elevating the Ford truck. Use lifting jacks in this process and move the truck upwards.
Adjust the supporting blocks under the door frame section of the truck. The elevating condition of the structure provides a complete vision of the panel section.
The flexing of the door frame is not suitable. Instead, adjust a brace underneath this section. It restricts the free flexing of the doorframe and keeps it intact.
The process becomes efficient after the adjustment of such tools. Therefore, always perform such steps before cutting and removing damaged parts.
Detach its door
The removal of the door is necessary during such procedures. You cannot perform it with the presence of these structures.
They hinder the process and make it challenging with their constant movements. In addition, the rocker panels do not fit accurately in the door frame in the presence of doors.
The detachment of the door is a tricky method and asks for professional help to avoid any door damages. First, remove the screws and bolts from the frame.
Take the help of a friend and keep it aside. Never harm the door during such procedures because of their use in the future. Removal of other parts is also advisable in such producers.
Clean the rusted frames
The rusted door frames and outer area require cleaning. You cannot remove this material manually. Always use an angle grinder to remove the rust.
Make sure you can access the metal portion from all sides, and it allows proper cleaning of rust. In addition, the cutting and replacement become convenient due to vast exposure.
The corrosion can cover the sides up to 2 – 3 inches. Use the tool and remove every patch of rust. Next, remove the paint from the external surface.
It provides a clear vision of underneath rust. Clean every part because it can lead to future errors.
Remove its damaged parts.
The cutting and detachment of the damaged panel become smooth after the visibility of the rusted surface. The removal of the rocker panel also gets convenient for the performer.
Use the rotational cutting wheels to cut the rocker panels from sides and corners. Never leave any rusted end because it can also affect the new device.
Never touch the sharp ends after cuttings. These have dangerous edges that can harm the user.
Wear protective gloves and shred them with the wheel cutter after some time.
Mark the spots on the old patches
Use a non-permanent marker and draw spots on the old patches. The removal of rusted matter and damaged rock panels provide blurry points.
They are enough to make a template and complete layout to install the new device conveniently. Draw the spot on every part for the excellent fixing of the new device. Take the new panel in front of this section.
Trim the edges and corners according to dawn spots. Perform this activity with patience because the step is time-consuming.
Clean and grease the surface
Use a lint-free piece of fabric and clean the surface, and never leave any patch of rust with the trimmer. Instead, use a wire brush and detach the fixed patch of corrosion.
Take waxing material or grease on the fiber-free piece of cloth. Rub the fabric on the surface to make t even and stable.
It allows the free-flowing of rocker panels to provide quick installations. In addition, the layers of waxing material provide control of future rusting.
Apply the rusting removal sprays for appropriate control of the surface.
Install New Rocker Panel on Ford F150
Use trim to remove the sharp edge that can interrupt the adjustment process.
Make it equal to the size of the door frame and fix it.
Few errors occur at this stage due to inaccurate dimensions. Leave portions for the welding spots.
Start the fixing from one edge and perform it with care. Never trim the big pieces with the trimmer because they are sharp tools.
Welding the rocker panel with the door frame
The step involves welding the rocker panel with its door frame. Next, bring the door near the rocker panel and observe the distance between them.
Take the support of a person during such observational activities.
These have thin metal sheets, and they cannot survive high heat levels. The expert guidelines are beneficial in such procedures.
Keep the movement gentle and never push the welding machine in the metal sheet.
Apply paint and reinstall the door
The last step is finishing and painting the panels. Finally, trim them with sandpaper for a smooth surface.
It allows the free-flowing of paint and makes the rocker panel appealing. You can also ask a professional painter for smooth coverage.
The paint protects from rusting in the future. You can also apply the rocker panel gravel that is resistant to corrosive properties.
It can protect the edges and corners from the harmful effects of rusting. In addition, you can apply the same paint on the whole truck for an even appearance.
Leave it for at least 3 to 6 hours to let it dry. Then, reinstall the door back in its original state and add connecting tools.
Observe the adjustment of rocker panels with the door. Move the Ford door at least 3 to 4 times to check the fixing.
Why would you replace the Rocker Panels on Ford F150?
The replacement of rocker panels is necessary due to surface damages. The edges shreds due to corrosion and rusting.
The damaged parts cannot provide enough protection. In addition, it also affects the doorframe and surrounding structures.
They decrease the door appeal in the damaged conditions. But, unfortunately, the rusting can spread in the whole frame.
The welding joints lose the efficiency to stay in position. In addition, the repairing cost of the door enhances, and it is not suitable for an owner.
How much does it cost to replace it?
The average cost to replace the rocker panel of the Ford F150 is up to $900 to $3900. It depends on the tool and labor cost during such procedures.
The average cost of an angle grinder is around $25 to $38. The price of a wire brush is up to $8 to $25, and the welding machine is around $150 to $350.
The protective gloves cost up to $8 to $15. The average price of a tool kit is around $450 to $750.