Rocker panel crack
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    Junior Member fredl's Avatar
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    Rocker panel crack

    Anybody replaced a Aperture panel on a c7?

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    This is, sorry to say, one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult panel to replace on a C7.

    Reason: When the car is built, this panel is the first one put on the car, and unlike the rest, it is literally glued on. I saw one dealer who cracked one on a brand new car, first take off the door, then the front and rear fenders, then get out the chisel and hammer.

    If there is any way, for this panel can easily be fixed with the current sheet metal composite panel equivalent of bondo, the panel can be repaired as opposed to being replaced, this option will save, in labor, way in excess of hundreds of dollars, perhaps in excess of $500+.

    Once properly fixed with the modern bondo, and this can easily be done by a competent body shop, sanded and repainted, you will never notice it has been done.
    John

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    Member triplekg's Avatar
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    nasty miserable replacement - repair it if at all possible
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    Here is a picture for all who want to see what GM calls the aperture panel (what we call "rocker panels").

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    Last edited by elegant; 03-10-2016 at 10:10 PM.
    jsvette and cutnout like this.
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    Senior Member jagamajajaran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elegant View Post
    This is, sorry to say, one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult panel to replace on a C7.

    Reason: When the car is built, this panel is the first one put on the car, and unlike the rest, it is literally glued on. I saw one dealer who cracked one on a brand new car, first take off the door, then the front and rear fenders, then get out the chisel and hammer.

    If there is any way, for this panel can easily be fixed with the current sheet metal composite panel equivalent of bondo, the panel can be repaired as opposed to being replaced, this option will save, in labor, way in excess of hundreds of dollars, perhaps in excess of $500+.

    Once properly fixed with the modern bondo, and this can easily be done by a competent body shop, sanded and repainted, you will never notice it has been done.
    I believe the seats have to come out too so you can pull up the carpet and get to the inside parts of the panel. A repair shop manual I recently saw showed this to be a 13 hour labor charge! Ouch!
    elegant likes this.
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    That makes sense Jeremy. Thanks. Had not even thought of that, but based on the above picture, can see why they too need to be removed.
    John

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    Senior Member C7Man's Avatar
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    I feel sick just reading this. It's not even my car. Hope you get the results you're looking for with minimal $$$ pain.

    Gus
    2015 Stingray Coupe — AW, 2LT, 7M, Black Interior, NPP Exhaust, NAV/PDR, 5 Spoke 18/19 Black Wheels, Visible Carbon Fiber Roof, Carbon Flash Painted Spoiler (w/white mirrors), Carbon Flash Emblems, Gorilla Black Lug Nuts, Painted Stinger, MGW Shifter, RPI Design Side Skirts, "Spice Black" Powder Coated Wheels

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    Senior Member U.S. Marine's Avatar
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    fredl, welcome aboard, what's the story behind the crack, any pictures. It may help out a fellow member if it was to happen to them. Hope you get your C7 masterpiece back to 120%.

    SF
    Rick
    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7 Masterpiece, Torch Red, Jet Black Interior. Delivered to our home on 2 March 2014 from MacMulkin Chevrolet, Nashua, NH.
    Options: 2LT Package, 6-Speed Automatic Transmission, Chrome Wheels, Performance Exhaust, Navigation, Transparent Roof, Red Brake Calipers, Battery Protection.
    Mods: FormulaOne Performance Tint, CQuartz Sealant, XPEL Ultimate Protection Film (Hood, Front Fenders, Bumper, Mirrors, Headlights, Door Handle Cups, Door Seals), RPI Jack Pucks, WeatherTech Floor Liners.

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    Senior Member Jerry U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elegant View Post
    This is, sorry to say, one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult panel to replace on a C7.
    Reason: When the car is built, this panel is the first one put on the car, and unlike the rest, it is literally glued on. I saw one dealer who cracked one on a brand new car, first take off the door, then the front and rear fenders, then get out the chisel and hammer.
    If there is any way, for this panel can easily be fixed with the current sheet metal composite panel equivalent of bondo, the panel can be repaired as opposed to being replaced, this option will save, in labor, way in excess of hundreds of dollars, perhaps in excess of $500+.
    Once properly fixed with the modern bondo, and this can easily be done by a competent body shop, sanded and repainted, you will never notice it has been done.
    Agree the proper Bondo for composites (like bumpers) is no doubt the best solution!

    Just a note to those who are wondering if they should buy jack pads!
    Got my C7 in October 2013. GM requested I bring it back to have the differential fluid level checked. I had jack pads as I did for my C6 and when I brought the car in for service asked the gal who schedules maintenance to be sure they use my 4 jack pads that I left on the passenger seat.
    Knew her from my C6 and was always impressed with her knowledge. She said, "Don't worry I will be sure they use our drive on alignment rack and not our center post lifts," (of which they have ~12 versus one drive on alignment rack.) She continued and said, "We just cracked a Vette rocker panel and had to repair it!"
    She also brought me into the repair bay, introduced me to the recently C7 trained Vette mechanic who let me watch as he checked the fluid level (it was fine.)
    I have NOT had to bring my C7 back to the dealer since, I do my own oil changes etc. If I do bring it to the car dealer or a tire shop, I will emphasize the need to use my four, 2 inch high jack pads (needed to clear my carbon fiber side skirts.)
    In fact wish I had purchased the Reverse Logic jack pads that can be temporarily bolted in place so I don't have to "hope" the mechanic will follow my request to install mine! FWIW
    Last edited by Jerry U; 03-11-2016 at 06:16 AM.
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    Senior Member C7Man's Avatar
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    Good info. Thanks, Jerry U.
    2015 Stingray Coupe — AW, 2LT, 7M, Black Interior, NPP Exhaust, NAV/PDR, 5 Spoke 18/19 Black Wheels, Visible Carbon Fiber Roof, Carbon Flash Painted Spoiler (w/white mirrors), Carbon Flash Emblems, Gorilla Black Lug Nuts, Painted Stinger, MGW Shifter, RPI Design Side Skirts, "Spice Black" Powder Coated Wheels

    ••• SOLD •••• 20MARCH2017

    Ordered 12/23/14, Produced 3/5/15, Shipped 3/11/15, Dealer 3/13/15, Drove 140 miles home from Dealer 29March2015. It was a beautiful day!

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    Junior Member fredl's Avatar
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    Happened pulling into a parking lot in Flagstaff AZ. A dip then an elevated sidewalk. Problem was I didn't see the curb on other side of sidewalk.
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    Junior Member fredl's Avatar
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    Happened pulling into parking lot in Flagstaff AZ. I live in Missouri. A dip and then an elevated sidewalk. Problem was I didn't see the curb on other side of sidewalk. Body shop estimate was about 2700.00 including both right side tires. I drove 1200 miles on that tire.

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    Senior Member U.S. Marine's Avatar
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    Fred, that is a nasty hit and a serious bite on your sidewall. That's one place on our C7 I worry about hitting something in the road other than the oil pan.

    SF
    Rick
    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7 Masterpiece, Torch Red, Jet Black Interior. Delivered to our home on 2 March 2014 from MacMulkin Chevrolet, Nashua, NH.
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    Mods: FormulaOne Performance Tint, CQuartz Sealant, XPEL Ultimate Protection Film (Hood, Front Fenders, Bumper, Mirrors, Headlights, Door Handle Cups, Door Seals), RPI Jack Pucks, WeatherTech Floor Liners.

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    Was the body shop estimate for a replacement panel? If so, with two brand new tires, that is a fair price. If it was for a replacement panel, personally (and all know what a fanatic I am about keeping my Corvette pristine), would get an estimate for a panel repair --for looking at just your one picture, it does not seem to need to be replaced. If it is for a repair of the existing panel and two tires, their price is high IMO. And if that body shop says, we can not repair it, would be taking it to at least another two to confirm that it is not repairable.
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    Senior Member rdslon01's Avatar
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    The structural integrity is still there for that part. It just looks bad. I don't see any reason why this cannot be repaired. I would do as elegant suggests and get estimates for repairing it.
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