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How fa$$$t do want to go?
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The pre-15 models rusted because the foam prevented moisture escape out the drain holes. Many repairs done by body shops have had significant amounts of water pour out when drilling in from underneath or cutting into the panel from outside to make discovery on how far rust has migrated. On my 2013, I pulled out the rear seat and dug out all the foam and dissolved the rest with acetone. Then after a good neutral chemical flush, we dried with compressed air and sprayed the shit out of the entire cavity on both sides with Fluid Film. Just recently on my son's 2018 Hellcat, we did the same when brand new with the fluid film. At one point in the past we tried to contact the Brampton assembly plant to ask why they filled these areas with foam but, we never got an answer.
-John
Hey John. The body shop supervisor told me that the foam acted as a structural support between the lower quarter panel and body frame. The same method that is used (by some manufacturers) between the front bumper cover and actual steel bumper plate. He showed me a piece of block foam (looked like standard packing foam) that FORD uses in the front end of some of their models.
 

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Hey John. The body shop supervisor told me that the foam acted as a structural support between the lower quarter panel and body frame. The same method that is used (by some manufacturers) between the front bumper cover and actual steel bumper plate. He showed me a piece of block foam (looked like standard packing foam) that FORD uses in the front end of some of their models.
What would your body shop supervisor recommend for preventative measures to stop this problem while the car is new? Is removing the rear seat and digging out the foam a good idea? Will that somehow compromise something (more important than a little road noise)? I’m determined to protect my new Challenger from this Achilles heel of rust-through on the quarter panels.
 

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2016 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus
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The absolute best thing to do is to get a reliable daily driver and never drive in rain, snow and salt - especially snow and salt. That would be some great "piece of mind", at least is was for me.

I'd suggest eaving the foam in there, as digging around you'll possibly create damage the factory E-Coat and that will also allow rust to get a foothold faster. The first thing I did when I brought my factory ordered car home was to address this problem to the best of my ability after noticing things the factory did during the production process. At the time their was a video on Youtube that show the production process of injecting the rocker panel cavities with urethane expandable foam. The holes that the plastic rocker panel cladding attach to are the same holes that they injected the foam into. No sealant or gasket on the plastic rocker panel where they clip into the holes so you can imagine all the road wash, salt water and other junk that seeps in through those rocker cladding clips. I'll post up my solution when I have a chance sometime this weekend.

The picture below shows this clearly...you can see the rust concentration around each clip hole and that it flows down into and across the rocker panel area...
279655
 

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There is somewhere on this forum a person who removed the form, drilling holes from inside the car, using mineral spirits to dissolve the foam, and then plug it up. Lots of pictures. However, that was photobucket days I bet and they probably won't see the picture but the info and descriptions would be there.
 

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There is somewhere on this forum a person who removed the form, drilling holes from inside the car, using mineral spirits to dissolve the foam, and then plug it up. Lots of pictures. However, that was photobucket days I bet and they probably won't see the picture but the info and descriptions would be there.
Those were probably mine but, my photobucket days are gone. The actual chemical I used similar to acetone is no longer available as it was banned by the EPA due to high VOC's and its poisonous nature. However if you look at the above photo in the last reply, I cut a 2" diameter hole in that slanted part from inside and went to work. That chemical was so powerful that it was like gasoline poured into a foam cup. However, not the same type of foam. I got out 99.9% of the foam because I could see in there with my flexicamera. The addition of massive amounts of Fluid Film solved the problem for good. And as mentioned before, cured the 2018 Hellcat too.
-John
 

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I applied the RTV silicone in Oct. 2016 (after I picked up my R/T from the body shop). Still in place and still pliable. Best of all, going on five years and no signs of rust returning.
Thanks for the advice! I just applied the RTV sealant on both inner fender wells. My barebones R/T didn’t come with a jack (OR a spare tire), and nobody I could catch today had a jack that I could borrow to remove the rear wheels. No problem! I put on rubber gloves and got an old shirt to wipe up any excess sealant. Then I went to work, squeezing sealant onto my index finger and reaching under the fender well to fill the gap in between. When my fingers told me the gap was sealed, I double-checked all around the inner fender well using a flashlight and the reverse camera on my cell phone. On Monday afternoon I’m planning to stop by a couple of local body shops to ask how much they’d charge me to pop the plastic rocker covers loose, and then reinstall them after I fill the holes with sealant. A few pictures posted here suggested that’s another potential major water intrusion problem.
 

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You would think that FCA would of addressed this problem on the drawing board...but I guess it wasn't a high priority or a potential problem years later...:confused:
 
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2016 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus
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You would think that FCA would of addressed this problem on the drawing board...but I guess it wasn't a high priority or a potential problem years later...:confused:
They also shortend the rust warranty so that the majority would fall outside the active period for claims. Still, some got lucky - good for them I say!
 

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Thanks for the advice! I just applied the RTV sealant on both inner fender wells. My barebones R/T didn’t come with a jack (OR a spare tire), and nobody I could catch today had a jack that I could borrow to remove the rear wheels. No problem! I put on rubber gloves and got an old shirt to wipe up any excess sealant. Then I went to work, squeezing sealant onto my index finger and reaching under the fender well to fill the gap in between. When my fingers told me the gap was sealed, I double-checked all around the inner fender well using a flashlight and the reverse camera on my cell phone. On Monday afternoon I’m planning to stop by a couple of local body shops to ask how much they’d charge me to pop the plastic rocker covers loose, and then reinstall them after I fill the holes with sealant. A few pictures posted here suggested that’s another potential major water intrusion problem.
They pull right off without special tools and then pop them back on with your palm.
 

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On 2015 and up cars they aren't that easy to pull off at all due to the redesigned attachment method. I know, because I've actually taken both of mine off and replaced them with a new pair on my 2016 after it arrived new. The front and rear clips are "clocked" in opposite directions making it nearly impossible to slide them out for and aft to release either the front most one or the last one on the rear in front of the rear fender. You have to use a hair dryer to soften the plastic clip and then, using patience, you should be able to wiggle on or the other off. The photo's below show the method I chose to prevent water infiltration and possible rust formation.

Also, back when I ordered replacement rocker covers new in 2016, the prices have more than doubled. I paid $133 for a pair ordered through my dealer for mine back then and that was with tax and everything. Go through a dealer and they eat the freight. Here are some photos that might interest anyone removing and sealing off the openings where they clip into the body of the car to prevent water from getting into the foam via all the clip slots cut into the cars body.

Before starting any of this work, tape off the body just above the rockers and using nylon pry tools carefully work the clips out. Be careful...the sheetmetal is very thin down there and bendable if you get too rough by prying too hard. You'll need to pull out the cover enough so you see the clips and then, using a slender screw driver (or other sturdy, thin tool), press down on the top of the clip release while pulling it out. You have to be patient as they don't come out easily.
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One of the clips worked out of the socket. See all the foam? No sealant at all...water pours in those!
280024


Once I got the plastic cladding I proceeded to take care of this factory design flaw myself with 3M Strip Calc in double layers around each clip hole in the sheet metal and also across the entire length of each plastic rocker cover (and around each of the individual clips mounts on the plastic rocker itsefl) to totally seal out water infiltration. Putting sealant on the plastic clad piece and the cars sheetmetal makes for a sandwich that ensures you seal it properly. For the lower clips way down, just above the rocker rail, I used some gray RV Sealant in a ribbon form that i got from my work.

Some say remove the foam, but you'll likely cause damage to the E-Coat trying to pick out the foam, you'll never get it all out, plus you'll lose all the factory engineered stability that the foam provides structurally to the sheet metal.
280025


The photo below shows how the gray RV ribbon sealant is applied for the lower clips down by the rocker rails...
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Example of how you need to place the Strip Calk around the body clip inserts...
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These photo's show how I placed the Strip Calk on the plastic rocker cladding cover to match up with that placed around the sheetmetal clip holes...
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Once you reinstall the sealed rocker covers you also need to finger-form or neatly spread Strip Caulk on a few strategic areas at the top of the cover. Wherever it looks like water may seep into cracks is where you need to focus.
280031
 

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2016 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus
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When I painted my car tutone ,I removed the rocker covers and packed all the holes in the sheet metal for the clips with wheel bearing grease. Lots of grease to keep any water out.
 

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When I painted my car tutone ,I removed the rocker covers and packed all the holes in the sheet metal for the clips with wheel bearing grease. Lots of grease to keep any water out.
That makes great sense since that grease so thick. Ought to last the life of the car I'd think.
 

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That makes great sense since that grease so thick. Ought to last the life of the car I'd think.
I also painted all the foam and surrounding sheet metal around the holes with oil based enamel, brushed on . Oil based enamel takes at least 24 hours to dry before applying the grease. Most people would not want to wait that long, but I was doing some kustom work and I was in no hurry.
 
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