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Your Rocker Panel worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Always a headache: the sill plate Sills always are a main headache in older cars. Their awkward location in the bodywork accelerates the particularly destructive effect of corrosion on them. In most cars, completely corroded sills are synonymous to a write-off. However, with a bit of expertise, skill and the right spare parts, this damage can easily be repaired. Exposed to the elements The sills are components of the car's bodywork parallel to the bottom side of the door. Depending on the car model they have a carrier function, or cover a carrier element situated underneath. Car sills are hollow metal tubes, tightly welded. Their closed construction causes the main problem in these parts: penetrating moisture causes them to rust from the inside out. Rust destroys an important carrier component of the car, compromising its entire stability. Rust bubbles are therefore a reason for denial of a MOT sticker. Furthermore, sills are in immediate proximity to the road, where grit is being hurled against the bodywork by the tyres, wearing off underseal and paint. This provides corrosion with another point of attack from the outside. Particularly in winter, the spread of sill corrosion is extensive with aggressive salt water as an additional stimulating element. Car sill plate defects In addition to the described defects due to corrosion, this component suffers from faulty treatment: unfortunately the defined contact points for positioning the lifting jack are not yet common knowledge. A wrongly positioned jack can cause extensive damage to the sill within seconds, pressing and denting it. This damage is MOT relevant and not be accepted. Regularly, damaged sills are a combination of both: damage caused by faulty placement of the jack accelerates corrosion, leading to extensive deterioration. Repairing a car sill plate Despite its important function, a corroded sill plate does not condemn the car to the scrapheap. With a bit of skill and practice a defective sill can be repaired without a problem, although sufficient knowledge about welding of plating on cars is required. It is possible for laymen to adequately prepare these works to enable a welding professional to work quicker and cheaper. Prior to welding, the entire damaged area must be made accessible with help of an angle grinder with a brush attachment. Rust, paint and especially underseal must be removed until the bare plating is visible. This is a cumbersome job, for which a welder will ask a lot of money. You can however save the expense by taking it upon yourself. Particularly elegant, though considerably more expensive are blasting methods, though blasting requires a professional hand. If you have insufficient knowledge about the allowed amount of pressure or the right blasting material, you run the risk of damaging the entire bodywork. Many a vintage car has been turned into dust in a sand-blasting chamber by unprofessional handling. Pieces or entire sheets? MOT inspectors check car sills minutely. Generally, for repair welding the rule of welding as little as possible applies. Too much patchwork considerably compromises the stability of the car and a MOT sticker could be denied. Therefore, original metal plating for sill repair is always the optimal solution. Perfect thickness and fit with original parts We exclusively offer OEM spare parts in our shop. Although it is not particularly difficult to press metal plating into the desired shape, the right alloy, thickness and size are only guaranteed in products of certified quality. A cheap and thin sill plate can develop holes during welding. We only sell sill plates with the right quality and size, which are perfect for the repair of your car. Nevertheless, you should not forget to protect the welded plate against new corrosion with cavity sealant and underseal!