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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched the internet, but didn't find anything that helped. My fiancee's WJ hasn't been driven for over a year now it's been down due to some mechanical problems. We are trying to get it up and running again, and today I noticed some rust on the pavement under the passenger side rear. I reached under and pulled a decent amount of rust out of the section of frame under the rear passenger door. We both are bummed about this, since we really need the vehicle, and it's got some good options that she really likes. Is there some way to repair this problem? I tried to find some aftermarket frame repair items that could be welded in place, but so far I haven't had any luck.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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frame rust...

I also have an 04 with what sounds like the same issue you're having.Only 132k for mileage actually goes better than my other 04 with 201k.Rockers are shot.The rust is getting into the structure and the only thing that I've found are outer rocker sheet metal,nothing to back it.Good luck on finding the silver bullet.
 

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Serious rust is only solved by cutting then welding in new metal.
Are you able to do that type of work yourself? (or maybe willing to buy the tools and to learn?)
If you have a local metal shop, you can normally find someone that can due repairs. Though the finish body work and painting might be up to you.

Have you looked at some of the jeep repairs on youtube for examples of what's needed. And have you checked over at jeep forums dot com yet? They also have weld, fab, repair, topics over there.

Can you post pictures of the trouble area? (worth a thousand words and all that)


I'm taking a guess that the problem is in the rocker panel.
Surprisingly I couldn't find a decent ZJ/WJ repair video I liked.
So I've substituted a mustang repair that is very similar to the task.

general rocker panel repairs
youtube.com/watch?v=kgCjC78KUBM


basic repairs with some tube steel...
jeepforum.com/forum/f310/rocker-panel-repair-2x6-steel-tube-3176673/


replacement rockers
c2cfabrication.com/search?q=jeep+grand-cherokee+2004+Rocker%20Panel

(disclaimer, I love welding and do my own repairs)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been scouring the internet for the inner rockers. Lots of those for other vehicles, even the Cherokee. I guess I could fab something, I'm just not so good at fabricating. I have a welder, just never used it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks PlazJ. New to welding and fabrication, but with no replacement parts available, I guess it's the only way to go.
 

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I did a bit of hunting and I'm also surprised no one seem to offer inners for WJ. WJ's seem to be in a similar category to a couple of other old cars I've worked on... in need of replacement panels, but not old or valuable enough for someone to repop replacements. For those cases I fabbed my own panels.

What I see some doing is cutting out the old rockers and support boxes, welding up a 2x5 or 2x6 tube with new boxes in their place as "sliders". Definitely stronger than the original, but not a preferred method if you really want to stay factory look.

On the other hand if you're not worried about that, then a tube rocker seems to be a good budget option if you really want to keep the jeep without trying to fab factory looking replacements.

youtube search for zj or wj slider rocker

I remember waaaaay back when you couldn't get panels or rockers for old mustangs, now they're everywhere. Someday in the future it may be the same for ZJ/WJ.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I've done several searches for repair panels. I can find the outer rockers, fender repair panels, etc, but no inner rockers, frame repair items, or anything like that. Plenty of things for Wranglers, and maybe some newer Grand Cherokees, but the pool WJ is currently left out. I've never even attempted to do any welding or fabrication, but looks like I don't have any choice if I want to get the Jeep back on the road.
 

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I'll lend a bit of encouragement and say even the best started at the same beginning and decided to learn more and do better. The skill comes with doing. If you've gone out and got a welder, that says you're already serious about learning.

Cutting with an angle grinder... the easy part. Take it in steps. No need to hack off huge parts to start. You can start small and start getting a feel how to go the larger job.

Welding.... do you have gas, or flux core?
Get some scrap metal and practice on that first. I started with chunks of cheap stuff from the junk yard like bits of frame and bashed up fenders no one would want. What ever looked unwanted and probably cheap to buy. There's plenty of youtube welding tips for newbies to help you out. practice, practice... trying out different feed speeds and voltage settings to match metal thicknesses.

Same goes for the cutting if you've not done much of that. Practice with the angle grinder on the scrap stuff. Cut it up... weld it back together.

Last and most important... safety, safety, safety!
Good jack stands, nothing moves unless you want it to.
Clean metal surfaces! Wire brush, grind... whatever it takes to get good clean bare metal before you weld. Once clean, don't wipe it with anything. Hitting chemicals, paints, galvanized coatings and oils with welding temperatures can cause harm. Freon and brake cleaner can even kill.

Google welding safety tips if you haven't already.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a flux core welder. I guess I need to step it up a bit. She's been without her Jeep long enough. I still have to get a new fuel tank skid plate, which I have found out ain't cheap. Strangely enough, the new ones from Dorman are cheaper than any used ones. I don't look forward to that job.
 
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