Without the presence of air and water, you and I would rarely have to deal with rusted metal. Unfortunately, we really can't control one of those elements-oxygen-so even in the driest of climates, at some point there will be moisture in the air in one form or another. The majority of electrochemical deterioration of metal is caused by Mother Nature's two most prominent elements, but rust can also be caused and/or affected by other things, such as salt and acids. But no matter what, how, or why, once the process has begun, it doesn't stop until it's been treated, or there's simply no more metal to consume.

Ideally, you not only want to address any rust-effected areas on your car, you also need to stop the corrosion and prevent any further damage. Depending on the severity, this can be something as simple as a chemical treatment-which is what we'd all prefer having to deal with-or it can translate into complete sheetmetal replacement. As the cars we build keep getting older, we're starting to see a lot more cases of having to perform major metal repair-even on vehicles that were restored or rebuilt not too long ago (most due to existing rust not being properly addressed).

Fortunately, when the severity of rust dictates panel replacement, more often than not, our great resources are there to help in the form of die-stamped or fabricated replacement sheetmetal. From complete floorpans to doorskins, quarter-panels, and probably one of the most replaced portions of '40-50s cars-rocker panels. When it comes to early Chevys, help is but a phone call or click away.

Both Chevs of the 40's and EMS offer volumes of replacement part applications for the '37-54 Chevrolet passenger cars-in OE and "street rod" options. While something as seemingly simple as a floorboard section could be repaired with a piece of appropriate-sized sheetmetal, unless you're just replacing a small flat piece, it takes a lot of work (and the right tools) to recreate what GM did decades ago. Rather than recreating the wheel, save yourself the time and effort-spend a little bit more and get a quality replacement.

My '47 Chevy Fleetline turned out to become a poster child for sheetmetal replacement. In the beginning, it was assumed we'd just have to replace the passenger side rocker panel and the tail pan section. As things progressed (or should I say digressed?), the list kept getting longer: inner trunk floor, front and rear floorpans, inner wheelwells, inner/outer passenger door bottom, etc. And there will probably be more added to the list before we get any primer sprayed on. But thanks to the above-mentioned companies, we've been able to address all of the situations accordingly.

The "we" I've been referring to is more Jimenez Brothers Customs (JBC) than me. From the onset of finishing my surrendered attempt at replacing the left side rocker to fabricating a complete new subfloor to accommodate the chassis C-notch, they've attacked and conquered each and every area heavily affected by rust-and will continue to do so (regardless of how much they hate me for it) until the Fleetline's ready for paint. For this month, we'll address the issue that started this whole "mess" in the first place: the rocker panel.

SOURCE
Chevs of the 40s
1605 NE 112th Street
Vancouver
WA  98686
877-735-0587
www.chevsofthe40s.com
EMS Automotive Products
Cleveland
OH
http://www.emsautomotive.com
HTP America Inc.
3200 Nordic Road
Arlington Heights
IL  60005
800-872-9353
www.htpweld.com
Ingersoll Rand
N/A
CA
www.irtools.com
JBC
Riverside
CA
www.jbc-socal.com
Autotwirler
Gosport
IN
www.autotwirler.com