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'63-'66 rocker panels-should they be curved?

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  • '63-'66 rocker panels-should they be curved?

    Were the original rocker panels curved? I got a set of reproduction rocker panels from Classic Enterprises for my '63 station wagon (Wagonaire to most of you). Although I've had to re-make a lot of the floors and sills, I think I got the mounting points in the right places at the front, center, and rear door posts. If I line up the new rocker panel on the front and center posts, there is about a 1" gap at the back post. I'd need to bend the thing in to get it to fit, but there is too much metal to bend. I'll have to cut a couple of V notches and reweld it to curve it. I guess I could make one big notch near the center door post, because I haven't made the rear sill yet. Is this the normal thing with these rockers?

    Also, how do I attach them to the door sills? The factory must have assembled things in a different order using spot welding. Even though I have a pinch-type spot welder, there is no way to get it to put the rockers on the sills. Do I use rivets? Do I drill a bunch of 3/8" holes and plug weld it?

    [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com
    Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.

    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

  • #2
    I can't speak about the curve, I just put a pair from Classic on my 55 President State Sedan and they were straight, and the door sills were straight. Mine had originally been spot welded, but the rust was so bad I only had to chisel about half a dozen spot welds off. (I did have to fabricate about 16 inches total of new floor sill edge) I pop riveted mine on, Matthew spot welded his, I guess its up to you.

    [img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Avatar1.jpg[/img=left]
    Tom Bredehoft
    '53 Commander Coupe
    '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
    (Under Construction 452 hrs.)
    '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
    All Indiana built cars

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    • #3
      C-K is definitely curved, not sure about other bodies. I believe that they were spot welded on, inside the weatherstrip channel.

      nate

      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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      • #4
        I'm thinking that it should be curved, and CE's panels are straight. I know Stephen Cade tried to talk my uncle out of buying them for the Sky Hawk, but look for NOS instead. Well, he bought the CE panels, and they had the correct curve and fit like a glove. Maybe they've not gotten the Lark-type ones to fit right. (yet?)

        I know that when we took the old panels off, my uncle and I took turns drilling/chiseling spot welds. The car's body is rock solid (originally from Oklahoma), and there were lots and lots of spot welds still doing their job. [xx(]

        Before:


        After:


        Matthew Burnette
        Hazlehurst, GA

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        • #5
          Yes the rocker panels are definitely curved. Looking down from the top, the exterior face is convex towards the outside. Probably by about an inch. I think the edge of the flange on the floor edge is curved too. I do know if you put a straightedge along the edge of the floor, it will be flush with front of the front door and rear of the rear door, but inset about an inch from face of the doors at the "B" pillar.

          I just took the driver's side rocker panel off the dark green Lark I'm parting out. It's pretty crusty, but I hope to be able to patch it up and use it on the tan Wagonaire. Same length. I could have a look at it tomorrow, and see how the curve is developed. I used a cutoff wheel to zip through what was left of the floor, so the rocker panel should not have suffered any distortion in the course of being removed.

          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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          • #6
            Gary,

            I think that I may still have a NOS one (left?) I picked up with some parts from Roger Penn. Do you want me to check?

            Gary

            Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful" and real Studebaker horsepower lives

            See pictures here: http://community.webshots.com/user/GuidoSalvage

            Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

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