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  • Rocker Panels

    I'm replacing the inner and outer rocker panels on my 57 Hawk. Each has a seam at the bottom that mates with the bottom seam of the hog trough. I was going to plug weld the pieces together (I don't have a spot welder).

    Any suggestions for sealing the seams? I assume that's where the rust came from in the first place.

    Gallivan
    57 Golden Hawk

  • #2
    Non-hardening seam sealer, PPG. Also used on the roof drip rails. It seals better and lasts longer than the hardening type, the factory used.

    quote:Originally posted by Gallivan

    I'm replacing the inner and outer rocker panels on my 57 Hawk. Each has a seam at the bottom that mates with the bottom seam of the hog trough. I was going to plug weld the pieces together (I don't have a spot welder).

    Any suggestions for sealing the seams? I assume that's where the rust came from in the first place.

    Gallivan
    57 Golden Hawk
    StudeRich
    Studebakers Northwest
    Ferndale, WA
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      The rust came from the water, salt, and debris that entered the hog troughs from areas other than the seam that you are talking about. Posibily the antennae hole in the cowl. Could have came from when your floor developed its first rust hole and then let more and more water in to the hog area and successfully allowed the damage to escalate. The floors rust from the outside in and also the inside out. There are a few places where it could have came from. Don't seal the seams up. Make sure that where the metal pieces, {at the flange I believe you are talking of}are flat to each other. Once completed, drill some holes through the top of your threshold and shoot some clean oil in the areas between each hog trough piece. Between the rocker and first inner piece,then next inner piece. Holes dont have to be very large in diameter. Just big enough to maneuver the very tip of an oil squirt can 360 degrees. Keep your car out of the rain and snow. Water can also enter from the rear 1/4 window sills and make it down into the hogs. Water can also enter the trunk from the rear window area as well. I know this as I completely rebuilt the hogs on a 63. Just a little bit different than yours but still the same animal. It will only seep oil for a short time so lay some cardboard or whatever under the area to absorb the excess. If you feel like it, service this area once in a while. Some folks shoot undercoating in there also. I prefer the oil. Make sure you stabilize the door opening area before cutting all the rusty pieces away. I'm talking of the cowl door hinge area and also the hunk of body that the door striker mounts too. As far as making the welds without a spot welder, try this. Wherever you plan on making the welds, Clamp and drill for a sheet metal screw on each side of a hole that you will make with a spot weld drill. Fill the recessed area with brass or weld. I prefer brass so as if you mess up you can get them back apart easily.. Clean the excess brass with a die grinder and carbide burr. If you need more info call me at 304-723-5253. There are others who can advise you as well. You don't have to be a brain surgeon but precision will yield great results. Take your time. Use a tape measure. Don't screw it up. Your car is worth more money when done properly. jimmijim
      sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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      • #4
        Hey, thanks- I feel better knowing I'm not the only one to deal with rust on these things! I had read before about bracing the door opening, so I did do that before ripping out any metal.
        I had bought the Rust Converter system from Eastwood- it's got some flexible extensions on a sprayer, so per your suggestion JJ, I cut a hole in the hog troughs and spayed around really good- also inside the rear 1/4 below the window.
        I'm ready to start closing up the rockers and floor now (I'm just working on the passenger side). Like you said, I'm taking my time- I don't want to see any rust coming back for quite a long time.
        If there's any other bodywork novices reading this thread, a really good book I found is: "How to Restore Classic Car Bodywork" by Martin Thaddeus. He's English, so some of the terminology is different (sill instead of rocker panel, etc.), but he deals with a lot of the same rust problems in the same areas as Studes- sills, floors, door pillars. He also shows how to form your own repair patches.
        I had a customer today whose wife had owned 2 Studes before she got married, and still looks for them every time she's at a car show!

        Gallivan
        57 Golden Hawk
        Gallivan
        57 Golden Hawk
        Golden, CO

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