'92 Cavalier

I'm thinking of buying the above car and aside from some minor body work which I can fix myself the only thing wrong with it is a hole in the rocker
panel. Now I have no clue what this is or its use. Can soneone please shed some light on this for me?
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wrote:

the hole
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Are you referring to the hole or the rocker panel? The rocker panel is the piece under your doors - part of the car body. It is cosmetic (has exterier paint surface) and does add strength to the overall body. It is a common piece you see rusting out on rusty cars. Holes 'meant' to be there could be from aftermarket rustproofers.

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Well I guess the real question is will it lower the safety of the car?
I can certainly clean and fill it. And as far as I am aware the car did have a rust proofing done on it.

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I wouldn't loose any sleep over some rust holes in the rocker panel unless they are so big you can drive a truck into it (leading me to believe the rocker panel isn't the only thing rusted). Like I said, take a look around at some vehicles that pretty much have the whole rocker panel rotted away.
If the rest of car is a rust bucket, I would be concerned about the integrity, but localized rust areas/holes aren't going to let your car fold in two. There are a lot of structural 'members' within the unibody from the center tunnel to the pillars and roof. How big a hole are we talking?

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If it is a clean hole & there isn't rusting through in the area, keep the hole open (this will allowed trapped moisture to escape, preventing further corrosion). If you want to prevent further corrosion get the car oil sprayed.
With regards to lowering the safety.... In Europe rocker panel integrity (lower sill as some call it) is part of the routine safety inspection. Every other region has it's own values. If there is no requirement in your area.... ask at a Body Shop what they would do if it was their own car & base your decision up on that
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