I FINALLY got my first rocker welded in tonight. It's been a project 5 years in the making. I posted pics of my rocker removal on my old website somewhere around this time in 2003! I am glad I took the time to figure it all out and do it right. There were lots of measurements that needed to be correct and it's always better to back off and think before you fuse two pieces of metal together forever.
Here is the play by play: I called up my wife's Uncle Scott to see if he could help me out for a couple hours. I needed an extra set of hands, but I also needed an extra brain to help think through the challenges. Scott and I have done construction projects, brake jobs and weird projects together over the years, so I knew he was on the same wavelength... The stars were aligned and he didn't have any hockey games or dance recitals with the kids so he was able to help...
I put the skin in years ago (see my old website at the bottom of the blog) so I knew it was in the right spot. We fit up the stiffener after I had butchered up the top and bottom tabs to fit around the dents in the rocker skin. I tacked the two ends and the middle of the stiffener while the body was down on the pans. Then we lifted the back end and put a brick under the place where the rear seat touches the tranny tunnel. This gave enough clearance to set the inner rocker in place. We clamped the inner rocker in place, then pulled out the brick and set the car back down on the pans. I clamped the bottom edge of the rocker together and everthing lined up and looked perfect (seriously, less than a 1/16 of an inch off.) Since everything was good, I unclamped the inner rocker and we lifted the body back up... I pulled out the brick and we set the car back down. I then welded the bottom lip of the stiffener to the skin (see pic, then I laid down inside the car and welded the top lip to the skin (easier said than done.) Once the stiffener was solid, we picked the car back up and reinserted the brick, fit the inner rocker, then set the car back down again. We realized we needed to poke holes at the bottom of the skin for the plug welds, so we picked the car up again, removed the inner rocker and poked holes every inch and a half (yes we measured them so they'd be uniform.) Then we put the inner rocker back in, clamped it and lowered the body. I filled all the plug welds on the top lip (see pic). We then had a couple beers and I still haven't wiped the smile off my face!!!
I will fill in the plug welds on the bottom lip of the rocker this weekend, then mount the driver's side door to make sure the gaps are correct.