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Z71Hibster

Bondo for rocker panel rust?

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I have an 05 Silverado and there is no rust anywhere on the vehicle except some very noticeable rust on the rocker panels. Now I don’t live in a rust prone area so I just need to get it fixed and move on, I got quoted $3-4k for new rocker panels at body shops in my area and that is way too much to justify just fixing some rust. I’m probably just gonna go the bondo route, from what I hear it works just fine. I’m not expecting the best I just want to stop it from spreading and make it less noticeable. I don’t trust myself with doing it and was wondering if body shops do work with bondo or if I would have to find a specific person. Thankyou for your input

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Bondo has come a long way over the years and if done right is very strong and will last. If you dont want to put much into the truck than Bondo is an good repair material. Take some time, prep it right and bondo away. If done wrong you will hold water and only make for more rust later in the life of the truck, but I dont see modern trucks lasting as long as the trucks built in the 50-60-70s or at least not as many people buying them to resort. Good luck 

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57 minutes ago, Mikebtte said:

Bondo has come a long way over the years and if done right is very strong and will last. If you dont want to put much into the truck than Bondo is an good repair material. Take some time, prep it right and bondo away. If done wrong you will hold water and only make for more rust later in the life of the truck, but I dont see modern trucks lasting as long as the trucks built in the 50-60-70s or at least not as many people buying them to resort. Good luck 

Very true, and I have always heard of bondo in a negative aspect but honestly if it works then I have no problem with it. And I know exactly what you mean about the older trucks, I daily drove an 85 C10 with a 400sbc in it for 4 years and it was in mint condition, no rust anywhere. I still have it just this is my new daily, do you know if body shops are willing to do bondo repair or is it something that I have to do myself? Because I’d rather have someone more experienced do it

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10 minutes ago, Z71Hibster said:

Very true, and I have always heard of bondo in a negative aspect but honestly if it works then I have no problem with it. And I know exactly what you mean about the older trucks, I daily drove an 85 C10 with a 400sbc in it for 4 years and it was in mint condition, no rust anywhere. I still have it just this is my new daily, do you know if body shops are willing to do bondo repair or is it something that I have to do myself? Because I’d rather have someone more experienced do it

I would call drive around and get some quotes. Reputable shops will not touch it but some other shops will do the work.

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Ive researched this to death and back.

 

One thing you absolutely should not do is just cover up the rust.  You have to remedy it first by grinding it away or cutting it. 

Then you have to coat and protect the exposed metal to keep it from surface rusting immediately.   
 

After that, you have a variety of options to get your rockers looking good.  You can go for OEM rocker panel, spot weld it in, and then use bondo to transition the new piece back to the existing body.  Sand, paintto match, etc etc


You can also go cheaper rocker panel slip covers but they will require more work to make look OEM.

 

Panel Adhesive is a realistic option.  In lieu of welding.  Welding is most traditional way and approved method.  Some people are using panel adhesive with pop rivets.  

 

You could also use a plastic cover to hide the defected rocker (only after Rust remedy performed). This has the downside of allowing rust to spread un noticed.   Should the rust spread really far now you are in a word of eyesore hurt.

 

Regardless of what you do, expect rust to continue.  I did some pretty weak rust rehab on my rocker and cab corner and really the rust has not spread very much.  Thats even with a huge gaping hole where water and dirt splash into constantly.

 

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55 minutes ago, greatmizzou said:

Ive researched this to death and back.

 

One thing you absolutely should not do is just cover up the rust.  You have to remedy it first by grinding it away or cutting it. 

Then you have to coat and protect the exposed metal to keep it from surface rusting immediately.   
 

After that, you have a variety of options to get your rockers looking good.  You can go for OEM rocker panel, spot weld it in, and then use bondo to transition the new piece back to the existing body.  Sand, paintto match, etc etc


You can also go cheaper rocker panel slip covers but they will require more work to make look OEM.

 

Panel Adhesive is a realistic option.  In lieu of welding.  Welding is most traditional way and approved method.  Some people are using panel adhesive with pop rivets.  

 

You could also use a plastic cover to hide the defected rocker (only after Rust remedy performed). This has the downside of allowing rust to spread un noticed.   Should the rust spread really far now you are in a word of eyesore hurt.

 

Regardless of what you do, expect rust to continue.  I did some pretty weak rust rehab on my rocker and cab corner and really the rust has not spread very much.  Thats even with a huge gaping hole where water and dirt splash into constantly.

 

Great info! I personally am horrible at anything body work, my knowledge is contained to under the hood. But I am going to go to a few body shops and mention what you said and see if any of them are willing, I hate this freaking rust but not enough to drop 3k. Hopefully somebody is willing to do it because I definitely don’t trust myself 😂 

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Have bondo'd beat ups for a few decades.
- clean, cut, sand back to clean stable material
- rust neutralizer to convert pits you missed
- bridge the hole. (Metal tack weld, fiberglass, etc
- bondo, sand
- paint

I was 50/50 in my early days as if way worried about removing too much metal. But the rework lesson . . .

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I had the same issue on my 06 Silverado and I was quoted the same by numerous body shops. When I questioned each one as to reason why it’s so expensive, they all said the same, that those trucks were notorious for rusting rockers. Water gets on the inside & they rust from the inside out. Once you see it, the rocker needs to be replaced.
You can Bondo it but it’s only a matter of time before the bubbles start again.

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