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I am replacing rocker boxes

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by '72brett, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. '72brett

    '72brett 1/2 ton status

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    hey guys, I am replacing rocker boxes and I need to know what to do (I could prolly find it in the "CANCER SUPPORT GROUP" but there are so many posts, I couldnt find it quickly) I have been told to use 3" box steel to replace the old rusted out rockers. After looking under my rocker panels, I have no idea on where to hook it up. PLEASE if somone has done the 3" box steel or anything else to fix the "sag in the middle" problem, please post a reply to this, or PM me. Any picture would help greatly too, if u like, u can email pictures to: buehler85@hotmail.com (plz put subject as K5 BLAZER, or else I might delete it along with my million junk mails I get a day)
     
  2. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I have a guy in our 4x4 club www.norcalbigdawgs.net that made his own rocker boxes. His online name is Kidjethro. He is here too so PM him. Only thing is he is not fist gen but second gen. THe concept should be the same. Oh and he used steel diamond plate to "box" up his tube frame....
    Good Luck
     
  3. '72brett

    '72brett 1/2 ton status

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    i have a second Gen behind the barn that i looked at, it is pretty much a whole new design under there, so i dont thnk that would help me. I need some pics of 1st gen, or ideas, ANYHTING, i want to take my top off, but I hve to put 2 jacks uner it whe I put the top back on, that all just take too much time and I would like to get these boxes on this weekend.
     
  4. TONYP

    TONYP 1/2 ton status

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    i'm building sliders for mine...going to cut the rocker out just below the door (foot step) jam, 3 X 3 tube will cut 3" deep into the rocker and about 2-3/4" up from the bottom...
     
  5. SHINTON

    SHINTON 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, here is my understanding of what you have/want to accomplish. Your current rocker boxes are 'gone' rusted out or beyond help.

    You will see where the rocker box was 'welded' to the underside of the cab/body all underneath the door. I would cut any remaining box out of the way and weld the new support along where the old box was attached.

    The original rocker box actually had dimisions of say 8" deep, 12" wide by about 3 feet long? (Approx) Some of the guys have fabricated a new box to replace the old one with the same diminsions, using 'sheet' metal of approp thickness. This BOX is actually what helps to keep your body from folding in...

    So if that is the issue you will have to either custom build a box OR perhaps build one out of TUBING, but the 'box' essentially needs to be welded all along the body in the same places current/original box was. (Obviously do this with the hard top on/body where you want it to be.)

    NOW...rocker boxes are really a little diff from rocker rails, etc.

    What most folks are thinking of (the 3x3 concept) is the rocker 'panel' that starts at the lip of the door and curls around and bolts/welded to the rocker BOX. MANY of the harder core guys are simply cutting out the rocker PANEL from wheel well to wheel well, starting at the lip of the door and welding in a 3x3 tube the whole length to replace the PANEL. (The rocker box would still be behind this tubing in theory)

    SO...two different issues...Rocker BOX and Rocker PANEL, I guess you need to clarify which is needing to be replaced or both?

    I hope this helps....Sam
     
  6. '72brett

    '72brett 1/2 ton status

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    I am replacing the rocker BOXES, my panels are just fine. the boxer are what gives the strength, and that is what I need to fix.... I have no ridgidity the way ti is now.
     
  7. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    could make a ladder structure

    I agree. You cannot replace a rocker box with a single 3X3.

    You could probably use two 3X3 square tubes that run sort of parallel (there is a slight angle) from front wheel well to rear wheel well. And then weld cross pieces (perhaps 3X3 stubs) between the two long 3X3s. I think this would be a very strong replacement rocker box. Certainly much stronger than any replacement box that I have seen fabricated for 1st gens.

    It would be relatively easy to weld the new box (really a ladder structure) along both sides of the box (rocker panel and the inner body piece). BUT the challenge is too properly connect/weld the new box at the front wheel well and rear wheel well areas. This is where I am not sure what I will do this Spring (was a winter project /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif ) I'd have to look at the OEM box, but I don't think the 3X3 tubes, by themselves, will allow you to connect at the front wheel well area. I think you will need to use bent steel plate to curve up towards the firewall (following the floor pan to the lip). Now I've confusing myself. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  8. '72brett

    '72brett 1/2 ton status

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    Re: could make a ladder structure

    Yea, that ladder concept sounds great. my passemger side box is pretty much intact yet (rust throught the bottom) and I can use that as a guide for making new ones.
     
  9. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: could make a ladder structure

    Keep in mind that the sort of replacement box I described would be considerably heavier than the original. It may be considerably stronger, but I'm not sure how to compare strength for a sheet metal box to a heavy gauge ladder. If it is stronger, then it could introduce new stress points elsewhere in the body.

    BTW, I think the inner and outer height dimensions of the rocker box are different. So it may be difficult to use the same size steel tube on each side. For example, you may need 3X3 on the inside, and 2X2 on the outside.
     
  10. '72brett

    '72brett 1/2 ton status

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    Re: could make a ladder structure

    good point. I know a guy who live 2hrs away from here that did the 3X3 steel for his boxes, I suppose I will have to road trip down and take a look.
     
  11. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: could make a ladder structure

    if you make the road trip, please takes pictures and post them. ditto for when you fabricate your own boxes. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. '72brett

    '72brett 1/2 ton status

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    Re: could make a ladder structure

    OK, when I do, I will get pics, I got a shiny new digi cam for christmas. I used it to get neat pics and install with measurements of my old style F-150 mirrors on my '72
     

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