Replacing the rocker panels was done in conjunction with floor panel reolacement. The fenders must be removed as they hide the ends of the rockers. My plan was to support the body and replace the floors and rockers while still attaced to the frame. The driver's side was done in that manner. I purchased a spot weld cutter hoping to carefully cut the welds holding everything together and saving panels along the way. The spot weld cutter worked but it is slow. Some welds were cut with the cutter but most were ground away with a 3 inch air powered abrasive wheel cutter. I found this tool invaluable. It will grind away a spot weld and cut a panel.
The intersections between the inner sill and the "A" post, the "B" post, and the side kick panel all required extensive repair. This made things go that much slower as a lot of fabrication was required. Picking away at this in my spare time took well over a month. The passenger side would be different as it would be done with the body off the frame.
The drivers's side floor and sills turned out quite well. A trained eye could easily spot the replacement but for a daily driver the job was done and done nicely. The only drawback was the amount of time required! I thought it would actually be faster to to take the body off the frame, replace the floors and sills and reinstall the body on the frame. In actuality the time might be comparable but the opportunities for additional repairs delayed it by turning it into a frame off project.
With the body seperated from the frame, without floors and sills, there is no connection between the front of the car and the back. Now's the chance to make a stretch limo. To stabilize the body and retain the proper relationship I welded an angle iron bridge into the door frame. The body mounting bolts were removed and the body jacked up about four feet from the floor. The frame, still on it's wheels, was rolled out of the way. Floor and sill replacement was much quicker. The alignment held quite well. While the body was elevated, the bottom was given a couple more coats of paint. I never ever want to drive this car in the rain again.
Here you can see that the inner and outer sills have been plug welded every couple of inches. The seam along the drive shaft tunnel has been stitch welded. Still a lot of cleaning to do before the interior is ready for paint.