FJ40 Rocker Panel Brackets

The rocker support brackets ...

Inside Seam

My 78’s driver-side rocker bracket.

 

Patch shelf

Inside shelf repair...

 

Patch from under

From down under ...

 
Patch inside

Patch in place with rough tacks ...

 

homemade bracket

Hacksaw/hammer/vise/file 16 GA replacement brackets for inside the rocker panel. Kicked around patchng the old brackets but they were pretty toasted and I don't have a sand blaster, etc. etc.

 

bracket in

bracket going in ...

Looking at the passenger-side rocker and I think I decided to pull the running board steps (or whatever they're called) and clean everything up as much as possible. Everything seems in pretty good shape but I can feel lumps of rust swelling the bracket areas.

passenger rocker

 

Looks like original factory primer under the steps.

running board

 

Unused clips/flaps (green circle) don't seem to have been usedtheld anything in the past?
Attached Images

clips

 

More details ... can almost make out the swelling rust/bracket areas (green circles).

front rocker

running detail

 

That is the gas vapor line, runs in front of the tank, and then uses the clips going forward toward the engine (see photo).

gas vapor

 

Way better than the driver's side was, but this rust is already eating it's way up into the rocker. Would no doubt have worked it's way out through any new paint in a few years...

rear passenger

 

When I got the truck in 2008 I needed to pull the trans cover at one point to address a broken wire on the overdrive switch. With everything pulled off the floor I decided to do a quick and dirty POR15 to keep the rusted areas from growing. Cleaned everything, treated the rust (MetalReady) and covered with POR and some color-matched Ace stuff. At the same time, I examined the inside of the rocker channels through the "port" holes and only found a little surface rust in the seams. Cleaned them out, treated the insides and sealed the areas with POR and some of those long wire handles with the paint ball dauber on the end. Those black paint runs you can see in some of the current bracket photos are run-out from that project. I think (hope) those areas will be solid for a long time. But I'll try to replace any bad stuff around the brackets or any other areas that are more than surface rust.

 

Pulled the running board and broke 2 bolts in the process. Couldn't get heat on the underside mount because of the rubber, etc.

broken bolts

 

Middle bracket (passenger side) looks better but rust is still eating it's way up into the rocker floor.

middle bracket

 

One way I've managed to get to some of those hard to reach, goober factory welds is with a carbide burr and die grinder. Good for getting into spots the angle grinder can't get to and eats the weld blob away.

carbide 1

carbide 2

 

Broke the same bolt on the driver's side running board.

driver running board

 

Decided to use Heli-coil inserts instead of fighting the old bolts out. Probably makes for a stronger thread anyway. These seem to be M10 X 1.25 for OEM hardware.

heli coil 1

heli coil 2

 

Balance of 14 GA brackets for the rockers.

balance brackets

Looked at buying a small Grizzly bench brake but in the end just more hammer and vise.
These are just roughed-in - need a little more file/hammer work. Should have made all 4 at the same time

 

16 GA. or 14 GA.? In earlier drawings I showed the material thickness for these brackets at 16 GA. That thickness was based on the first one I pulled, driver’s side rear, which was pretty toasted. The only clean areas I could mic were .060 max. Assuming 16 GA. comes in around .0598 I made that bracket and 1/2 bracket from 16 GA. These (the balance of 3 from both sides) seem markedly heavier than that, measuring in at .065 and up. Cold-roll sheet coming in all over the place, (the “14 GA” I just bought measures .069 - .006 inch under the .0747 that 14 GA is listed at) I made these a little heavier.

thickness

So these 3 brackets are .004 thicker than the material (.065) that was put in at the factory.

 

In process on a rough support jig out of plywood for use with the Bosch saw that will just clamp to the rockers. This gives the sheet metal support (cuts down the vibration) and gives the blade the right distance so it's not banging into the inside rocker wall, etc.

saw fixture

Making more and more cuts with this saw and a fine tooth blade for steel these days. Anything to get away from the angle grinder/cut-off disc. Cuts are faster, colder and seem more accurate.

cutting out bad

Cutting out the bad stuff..

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