Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » March 28th 2020, 6:49pm

My 05 LT AWD has this option and I want to get rid of them. What is under the cladding behind the drv/psg doors and sliding door? Will the removal of the door cladding reveal sheet metal as on the cargo van version? Thanks!
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby AstroWill » March 28th 2020, 7:28pm

It will definitely reveal sheet metal, and possibly some rust.

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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Rod's Trucks » March 28th 2020, 9:15pm

I have recently seen several posting about his subject, but they might be old ones. There was one taht showed the various clips/screws/adhesive tape etc. that you will need to contend with.
From what I understand, if you are currently, or the van was at some time, in the rust belt areas; you will likely find some surprises.
If you have a Pic' A Part local, it would be worth your time to spend some looking at the various bodies located there-in.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » March 31st 2020, 6:35pm

Roger that! As far as I know based on what the PO told me, my Astro has spent its entre life in the Tuscon and Mesa/Phoenix area until I took possession of it. It now resides with me in the SoCal/San Diego area. Assuming that I 'might' get lucky and only find surface rust under the side claddings, rocker claddings, and the trailing edge of the front wheel well arches...then all I have to do is sand off the rust, treat the metal, prime, and paint as needed before I install non-runningboard rocker panel urethane trim pieces. If I cannot find and harvest used and suitable non-runningboard rocker panel/wheel-arch pieces at the local JY, could one of you direct me to a reliable source that has reasonable prices? If I have to pay for new parts, then that's what I'll have to do. btw...the plan is to paint the entire body with bedliner 'paint' one day as soon as I'm done with all the body mods I have in mind; ie. wheel arch mods to fit the largest tire I can fit with the lift after the 4x4 mod, hole in the roof for the MaxxAir fan, and holes for solar panels and a cargo rack idea. Thanks!
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Rod's Trucks » March 31st 2020, 9:27pm

From the pic's I saw, I do not think there is any reason to replace the rocker panels (unless they are rusted beyond use) . I understand they are normal stock steel panels under the cladding, but I have not attempted to do mine yet, and have not looked a the JY examples, with that in mind. Others might add more info, or a link to the old posting and photos.
But, except for some screw holes and lots of adhesive, they underlying panels should be good to use( again, baring rust)
Take picturres!
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » March 31st 2020, 10:26pm

Yup...that's what I'm waiting for, pics, of those who have gone before me. I get that its just a 15yo van, but I'd like to have the replacement parts before hand to cover up areas I've pulled urethane off from if needed. I don't want to drive around in a hoopty lookin van if I can avoid it lol. I'll keep perusing the appropriate forums on this site in the meantime in search of. Maybe I'll eventually run into a thread that'll answer my questions and save me some bucks before I go buying parts willy nilly lol.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » March 31st 2020, 11:04pm

Test post of pic showing under the chassis inboard of the running board...hope it shows.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Rod's Trucks » March 31st 2020, 11:21pm

There are a lot of owners here, who would like to see that lack of rust!
Mine has spent it's whole life in Oregon and Washington, and looks much like that underneath. I hope to find no significant problems under the cladding.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Rod's Trucks » March 31st 2020, 11:23pm

There are a lot of owners here, who would like to see that lack of rust!
Mine has spent it's whole life in Oregon and Washington, and looks much like that underneath. I hope to find no significant problems under the cladding.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » March 31st 2020, 11:37pm

I hope so, too, Rod...I hope so. A little off topic, but how do I post my pics so that it doesn't come out sideways. (It did the same thing in my intro post...thanks!)
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Leeann_93 » April 1st 2020, 4:23pm

The forum software needs an update so it will read the picture metadata. But if you open your pic on your phone, hit edit, do *anything* to it (lighten, darken, straighten - anything at all) and save it, then upload, it'll be upright in both the preview and when you click on the photo.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » April 1st 2020, 4:59pm

Thanks leeann_93....I'll try it.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Rod's Trucks » April 1st 2020, 6:43pm

I do not find the rotated thumbnail picture to be a problem. If I want to look at a picture, I always click on the thumbnail, which opens the picture so I can see it on the full screen, and it nearly always comes up correctly.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » May 16th 2020, 7:55am

Could someone here provide me with the correct nomenclature and/or part number of the rocker panel cover and front wheel arch piece that I will need to make the sides of the van look like as uncluttered as a factory fresh cargo van? Thanks! ;)
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Wiley » May 16th 2020, 5:14pm

DaHonu wrote:Yup...that's what I'm waiting for, pics, of those who have gone before me. I get that its just a 15yo van, but I'd like to have the replacement parts before hand to cover up areas I've pulled urethane off from if needed. I don't want to drive around in a hoopty lookin van if I can avoid it lol. I'll keep perusing the appropriate forums on this site in the meantime in search of. Maybe I'll eventually run into a thread that'll answer my questions and save me some bucks before I go buying parts willy nilly lol.


The only issue is at the front gap, a little bondo to cover the screw holes and you can leave it as is. For that front gap, you can try and find fenders in a JY (which I have not) or you could cut and sand down the trim you remove and see if you can make that work. For now I went with the "hoopty lookin van" lol. Everything else looks fine/better with the trim off in my opinion. I used an Astro E400 thingy to remove the adhesive, as there was a lot left behind when I removed the panels. There are a couple screws to remove I believe, and then just use some heat to get the adhesive loose. As others said it will just depend on what you find underneath to determine if there is any real work to do.

I find that by leaving my van looking like it will never run again people hardly even notice the rocker panel area.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » May 17th 2020, 1:14am

Good info, Wiley. My plan is to do a two-tone Raptor exterior (black from the cladding line downwards and desert sand coyote brown dirt moose turd tanned cow pie something or the other :lol: above that...yah...I know....so freekin original :? but a good aesthetic formula is a good aesthetic formula, right?, so perfect bodywork will not be as necessary as the but prep work for the raptor coats to take. Hell I just might even leave some of the minor dings on it to give it some character...we'll see. I hope I can find that trailing piece for the front wheel arches at my local JY...or if any of you have what I need, please feel free to solicit me to make a purchase. If you're in SoCal, that's even better! :dance:
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Wiley » May 17th 2020, 3:54am

Im literally torn to leaving my van as is, which I love, vs the typical desert tan raptor liner. 50/50 split. Going to spray it on the underside of the body and see what I think, bought some black for the test. Let us know your opinions if you go that route.

Oh I forgot since I am leaving the bumper cover off it looks pretty good in the rear, but that might look weird with the cover, I took them off ages ago and do not remember what was going on back there exactly.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » May 17th 2020, 5:25am

Thanks for the detailed pics, Wiley...so THAT'S what it looks like under there :think: The collective had warned me what might lurk under the side claddings...a questionable and non-functional stylistic effort that promotes rust imho (no offense to those who love their claddings). If I cant find the wheel arch extensions (and I'm assuming that's what they're called), maybe take a side cutter to the local JY and hunt down wheel arches from boogered up fenders, harvest said section of wheel arches, and fit and attach them to the trailing edge of the front wheel well arches.

Sure, its a bit of work but it might be worth the effort. And since LOTS aren't going to be stock on my van, it doesn't really matter as long as it is functional and aesthetically appropriate. Again...the metal fab and finish doesn't have to be butt-nekkid smooth...it just needs to be sound and prepped to take the Raptor coatings.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby Rod's Trucks » May 19th 2020, 7:48am

After seeing pictures of DaHonu's New Mexico/Arizona rust-free van, and all the talk and reading the stories of others; I decided to jump in an see what mine would looked like, after removing the cladding.
I had noticed a couple of weeks ago, that one section dripped water for a day after getting it's semi-annual wash down; and some of it was rather brown. I also found a couple of sections that were beginning to separate from the body, and the piece under the passenger door was noticeably loose.
I began by trying to see what had come loose under the passenger door, and that cladding piece nearly fell off as I touched it, except for the screws in the wheel arch. With some of the adhesive sections being quite loose, some screws and clips missing, the rest of the lower section came off too easily also. I was committed!
That probably explains some of the water and dirt retention. I also found a couple of cracks in the lower sections that I had not seen previously.
All in all, I was very pleased with what I found, or didn't find, under the panels. I feel very lucky to have no problem areas.
I was surprised to find quite a bit of sand and dirt under most sections; and MUD under others; but no RUST, except on the metal rail added to attach the cladding under the door. The rail was very badly rusted (it almost broke into two pieces as I was removing it), but the body panels were just fine. There was no more rust than the diameter of the screw heads around the screw holes. A tiny not of sanding, some Bondo and some touch up paint, and they will be just fine. Then a coating of 'Chip Guard', and they will disappear.
My van came from the Oregon/Washington (state) area, having never been registered out of those two states during it's entire 20+ years, so I did not expect much in the way of rust. But, so many of the pictures I've seen show the damage so many of you have found, and I wanted to see just what I would be faced with.
Pictures coming soon!
I have ordered the 3M adhesive stripping wheel to help remove the tape residue.
My van was a 'Rebuilt Title' ( Branded) courtesy of the State of Washington. That was many years ago, and two owners prior to me purchasing the van. Under the Rt front lower cladding, I did I did find a moderately wrinkled section at the front of the rocker panel, and some 'Bondo' that was never finished or painted; along with evidence of where the new paint and the original paint was blended. The rear of the top has some 'interesting' ripples in the sheet metal also, so that may also have been part of the earlier 'Total'. For the pittance I paid for this van, I am very pleased and expect to get a lot of use from it.
Yes, I took pictures!
They will appear as the project moves forward.
Also, the last of the needed parts for the basic two inch lift arrived...more fun.
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Re: Factory installed body cladding/running board removal

Postby DaHonu [OP] » May 19th 2020, 12:38pm

That's great news for you, Rod :dance: I hope I will be as lucky when I do mine. I'm pretty sure my van got moderately crunch on the left front area. The paint on the underside of the hood is a metallic blue-ish tint, probably a JY harvest to keep the costs of the repairs down. I saw some chip-sized paint peel on the radiator support core and metal wrinkle. The right headlight looks newer. Some areas of the cladding are already separating from the body on their own. Maybe if I run it at 88mph for 88 minutes it'll strip off on its own and reveal what the past of the sheet metal looked like before its future with the claddings...see what I did I there? :shock:

I look forward to your pics.
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