Sill Replacement - Chapter 1
Probably one of the most common problem areas is the rear sill. A collection area for road dirt, salt and water thrown up by the rear tires and collected in body structure. Kicked around what to do about a sill replacement for a long time. Thought about after market, etc. Thought about a rough 2x2 tubing structure, etc.
I'm now thinking I'm going to clean, patch and use the original horns, and try to fabricate the main sill structure and 18ga cover as close to original as I can get. I've examined the original horns and realized they were factory welded to the main structure. I'm thinking of joining a local "tech shop" with access to a bunch of machinery (brake, mill, blast cabinet, etc.) and trying to use as much of the original (inside brackets, nuts, horns) with new cold roll 14ga/18ga for the main structure.
Will probably take me forever just to patch the horns.
Trying to nail down the rear sill channel dimensions - mine is mostly rust and full of Bondo/glass from the PO, so it's hard to get good measurements. Hopefully these are close.
Not sure the dims are real critical and the edges are sort of soft angled and not a sharp 90 - see attached. Note it's off-center to the main piece.
I’m not knowledgeable or experienced and mine is the only sill I’ve had my hands on. But I think it is all stock (78) and I’ve gotten to know it much better lately. Part of the reason I'm throwing the drawings up is to at least try to cover 78. CCOT for example lists a good number of sills for various years, I assume they're all different. Hole patterns, spare tire mounts, etc. are different for sure. I also think soft top/hard top (for the same year) are not exactly the same. And of course - newer than 78 is a completely different sill.
It’s almost like Toyota designed this area to trap moisture in that 14/18 ga sandwich over time and rot itself away. Seems like the one area that is always shot on an old 40. The design could probably be modified and improved. I’m just trying to get this one close to stock. I will try to cleanup/patch the curved ends and weld them to the 14 ga piece you’re making at the original factory seams. There are 4 support brackets welded in the 14 ga piece – I’ll probably try to pull and weld the originals into your replacement piece.
I looked around after market for a good while but worried about quality, fit, etc. I think the dimple is also on the 14 ga – completely rotted away on mine so it’s hard to tell. See the attached – hopefully it makes sense.
Channels made up to my drawings by Kevin Steinhauer in Canada. Credit to the "Sheet Metal Master" Kevin for the following 3 photos.
"I am using a 0.551/0.709 double V Wilson bottom die with a 40302 Wilson top goose punch and an 100 ton Amada 10' CNC press (though it only takes 8 ton to bend it). The indent was made on a 60 year old 20 ton press with a quick hand made tool." - Kevin
Finally got some blasting done at a local powder coat guy, that should help get me moving on the patch work. Getting the old salvageable sill parts together/patched for the new channels.
The old sill brackets (below) will also be cleaned and welded up along with the original horns (above).