Jeep Cherokee Rocker Panel Replacement

Jeep Cherokee Rocker Panel Replacement

The rocker panels are the essential structural part of your Jeep Cherokee. They connect the rear and front of the vehicle and protect you in case of a collision. It is located under the doors on each side of the Jeep Cherokee between the rear and front wheels.

Over time, the rust will build up on the rocker panel, which can create an obstacle to its functionality, and all the load of your vehicle will distribute on the door and other parts of the car, which isn’t a good sign for your Jeep Cherokee.

Replacement is necessary for such a condition. So, in the article, I will provide an in-depth guide regarding Jeep Cherokee rocker panel replacement.

Can You Replace The Rocker Panel On A Jeep Cherokee?

If you are a beginner and don’t have enough mechanical knowledge, you should avoid doing the process yourself. The reason is that you need to correctly measure the old and new rocker panels and cut them properly, which isn’t easy. Also, it is a time-consuming task that requires more patience. 

However, if you have the correct replacement rocker panels of the Jeep Cherokee and the proper tools, you can replace them. But you need to have the experience to do this.

Jeep Cherokee Rocker Panel Replacement Process

If you want to replace your Jeep Cherokee rocker panel, follow the below step-by-step process to replace the rocker panel. Also, you should leave some time when doing the task as it is time-consuming. 

Remove The Old Metal

First, you need to remove your vehicle’s front and back doors. Then, you need to cut down the old rocker completely but do proper measurements before cutting the old metal. For this, use an angle grinder to remove the rocker and make enough room to install the new rocker panel. 

After cutting the rocker, remove the rear fender. To remove the fender, you need to untie the bolt using a quarter socket underneath it. Then pull it by providing little pressure, and it will be apart from the vehicle.

Clean The Rust

After removing the old rocker panel, you will notice rust in your vehicle’s inner parts. You need to take a wire brush to remove as much rust as possible. Then, you can use a rust-proof spray on the rusty area.

Measure And Cut The New Rocker

Now correctly measure the new rocker panel and mark it accordingly to your previous cut. Don’t forget to measure it twice to ensure a proper cut. Also, make a notch according to the drain hole position to ensure proper drainage. 

Weld The New Rocker Panel

After cutting the new panel, you should put it on the vehicle. You can use three or four small handles to keep it in place before welding. Now, tack welds around the new rocker panel with the car. After welding, take a flap disc and grind down the welds to make them smooth.

After properly smoothing the rocker panel, you must use paint to match it with your Jeep color combination. First, use a base color. Then, use a body glue or body filler to seal if any gap remains on the structure. After everything is set correctly, you must use the same vehicle color on the rocker panel.


Can You Drive Without A Rocker Panel?

Though you can drive your Jeep Cherokee without a rocker panel, it isn’t recommended. The rocker panel is the structural part of your Jeep Cherokee. It keeps the bottom outside edge of the vehicle from sagging and directly connects with the A, B, and C pillars. 
If you drive the car without a rocker panel, the loads and forces now have to be supported by the roof, doors and door glass which can cause serious vehicle malfunction.

Is It Worth Replacing Jeep Cherokee Rocker Panels?

Replacing the Jeep Cherokee rocker panels is worth repairing as it will prolong the lifespan of your Jeep Cherokee. The panel will not rust easily until a couple of thousand miles have passed, preventing significant damage from rust. Also, you don’t need to take pressure on frequent repairs after replacing the rocker panel

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Rocker Panels In A Jeep Cherokee?

The rocker panel will cost you around $50 to $250, depending on your vehicle year and the rest for the equipment. If you want to do the rocker panels process all on your own, you don’t need to spend more than $500.
However, you need to expect $1000 to $4000 if you want to do this from a repair cost. The cost includes all expenses like removing the doors and polishing after installation.

How Long Does It Take To Replace Rocker Panels On A Jeep Cherokee?

The rocker panel replacement is a lengthy process. You should spend around 16 hours removing both sides of the panels and replacing them. For each panel, you need to spend about 8 hours. So, you should have patience and time on your hand when replacing the parts.

Final Words

Rocker panels are your Jeep Cherokee’s essential structural parts. If it rusted, you need to repair or replace it. If you don’t want to fix it frequently, then replacement is an ideal option to prolong your vehicle’s lifespan. So, I hope the above guide will help you to know the step-by-step process of how you can replace the Jeep Cherokee rocker panel.

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