Rocker Panels and Cab Corners Replacement Cost [DIY & Pro Install]
Rocker panels and cab corners are structural elements that make up the body of your vehicle. Most people will never have to worry about these parts, much less replace them.
However, if you’re restoring an older vehicle or repairing collision or rust damage, you may need to know about the cost to replace rocker panels and cab corners.
To replace all inner and outer rocker panels, it may cost anywhere from $700 to $4000+, depending on the vehicle. The panel can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $2000, plus the other materials and labor.
Replacing cab corners may cost between $1900-$2500, depending on the amount of labor.
Cost to Replace Rocker Panels
Rocker panels sometimes need to be replaced in older vehicles, as they may become damaged over time by rust and corrosion. In other cases, a collision may cause dents or bend the side panels of the vehicle.
Either way, if you need to replace rocker panels, it can be a costly job. The parts themselves are not cheap and may vary somewhat based on the cost of the metal.
Additionally, the rocker panel’s quality may increase or decrease your cost.
To have your rocker panels replaced by a professional auto body shop or garage, you should plan to spend between $1,000 – $4,000.
A big determinant of the total price is the amount of labor involved. Typically, the doors and other components need to be removed in order to replace the rocker panels, which can be a time-consuming process.
In addition, the job requires welding, which may be an added expense.
Cost Estimates for Replacing Rocker Panels
|Low-End Cost Estimate||$1,000|
|High-End Cost ||Estimate$4,100|
Parts for Replacing Rocker Panels
Rocker panels can either be slip-on or full panels (which must be welded onto the vehicle). Slip-on panels go over the top of the present rocker versus removing and replacing the full rocker panels.
The cost for the work as well as the quality and value are highly dependent on the quality of the panels used. Some slip-on rocker panels may be thinner and less durable than their full panel counterparts, which is something you should take into consideration.
However, welded rocker panels also have the possibility of breaking off if the welding job is insufficient.
Slip-on rocker panels are typically much less expensive than full rocker panels, both for the parts and installation. However, the make, model, and age of the vehicle will impact the price of either panel type.
|Rocker Panel Type||Average Cost|
|Slip-On Panels||$175 - $250|
|Full Panels||$250 - $350|
The type of panels you go with really depends on how extensive the damage is. If your present rockers have sustained heavy damage or are excessively rusted, the structure may not be strong enough to go with slip-on panels.
In these cases, it’s usually a better choice to just cut the old panels out and weld in the new full rocker panels.
However, if the fix is more cosmetic and your rocker panels just have minimal corrosion, slip-on replacement panels may be a good option. The installation cost will be much less and the turnaround time for the job will be shorter.
Labor Cost to Replace Rocker Panels
Much of the cost for this job is the labor charge. It can be very time-consuming to remove the doors and panels from a vehicle, cut away the old rocker panels, and do all the welding to install the new panels.
Some vehicles may even require removing carpet, seats, and other components to protect them from welding debris.
On average, it may take about 8 hours for each side to replace the inner and outer rocker panels. This means 16 hours of labor for the rockers alone.
That doesn’t count any additional time required for prep work or doing cosmetic repairs afterward, like sanding and painting your new panels to match the rest of the vehicle.
Most body shops charge between $75-$95 per hour, while dealerships typically charge up to $125 per hour for labor.
That means that to complete the rocker replacement at 8 hours per side, you would potentially be looking at a minimum of $1200-$1520 for labor at an independent body shop.
Labor Cost for Rocker Panel Replacement
|Low Range Estimate||$900 - $1,100|
|Mid-Range Estimate||$1,200 - $1,360|
|High-End Estimate||$1,800 - $2,500|
|Average Cost||$1,175 - $1,280|
Cost to Replace Your Own Rocker Panels
Some people choose to do their own rocker panel replacement, especially people who are rebuilding or restoring older vehicles. It’s possible to do this job yourself as long as you have the right tools and equipment.
In addition to the rocker panels themselves, here are some basic tools you should have for the job:
- Angle grinder ($40 – $140)
- Wire brush ($15 – $40)
- Welding machine ($100 – $3,000+)
- Rust inhibitor spray ($8 – $15)
To install slip-on rocker panels, you should also have these basic tools:
- Pry bar ($10 – $25)
- Hammer ($6 – $30)
- Electric or pneumatic drill ($40 – $200+)
- Fasteners or adhesive ($10 – $30)
These prices don’t include primer, paint, cleaning products, and any other common materials that you may need.
However, knowing the cost estimates helps you to understand what kinds of things you may be charged for even if you have the work done professionally.
Cost to Replace Cab Corners
Replacing the cab corners in a truck is a pretty big job, as it requires removing parts of the vehicle, cutting away the parts to be replaced, and welding the new cab corners on.
The parts for the job are not very expensive, but it is a labor-intensive project.
Once the cab corners are replaced, the new areas will need to be painted, which will also increase the cost. Painting a vehicle requires sanding and priming, along with multiple coats of paint.
This requires time, materials, and space in the garage, which you’ll have to pay for.
Replacing cab corners typically costs between $700 and $2,500. Many people report spending around $1,200 for this repair.
The type of vehicle that you have, including the make, model, and year, will all influence the bottom line cost for the work.
The cab corners themselves are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased for $120 or less, but the bodywork and labor costs are what make the job so pricey.
Average Cost for Cab Corner Replacement
|Low-End Cost Estimate||$850 - $1050|
|Mid-Range Cost Estimate||$1250 - $1700|
|High-End Cost Estimate||$2400 - $3000+|
|Average Cost Estimate||$1175 - $1225|
Cab corners are fairly inexpensive themselves, but they are much more costly to install. According to Carparts.com, most cab corners cost between $10 and $120. Parts Cost for Replacing Cab Corners
Of course, this amount can vary based on the material and quality of the cab corners and your vehicle specifications.
Cab corners may be made from metal alloys or stainless steel. Both types are susceptible to rust damage, holes, or physical damage from collisions or road debris that flies up off the ground.
Small areas of minimal damage may be repaired by removing rust and corrosion, sanding the area down, and applying a patch panel. However, severe damage, excessive rust, or broken cab corners need to be replaced.
Labor Cost for Replacing Cab Corners
The bulk of the expense for replacing cab corners is due to the labor involved. Typically, the bed box must be removed to do the job right. This is a process all on its own and will add some time to your labor cost.
The service technician will then cut out the damaged cab corners and grind down any additional rust and corrosion.
Any paint also has to be sanded off and the metal needs to be sanded down for a good weld. The tech will then carefully weld the new pieces onto the vehicle, sand everything down, and prime and paint as needed.
On average, you should expect to pay around $80-$85 per hour for labor when you take your car to the body shop.
Estimated Labor Cost for Cab Corner Replacement
|Minimum Cost Estimate||$600|
|Average Cost Estimate||$950|
|High Cost Estimate||$2,000|
Replacing Rocker Panels and Cab Corners
Because the process is similar for both jobs, many people opt to have their rocker panels and cab corners replaced at the same time.
Doing both jobs together can help save on labor costs and make it easier to match paint and fix multiple rust-damaged areas at once.
Some vehicles need more extensive labor to prepare for the replacement, especially some older model trucks. For example, one shop quoted $2500 for a 1972 Chevrolet truck, with part of the labor cost going toward removing the gas tank from the vehicle.
To replace both the rocker panels and cab corners typically costs between $1,500 and $4,000. Most people pay around $2500 for a basic replacement using good quality parts.
To do both of these replacements, the truck must be largely disassembled, which takes a lot of time and manpower. Once the job is done, the vehicle must be reassembled, detailed, and any stripped or lost nuts, bolts, and seals must be replaced.
Sometimes, glass repairs or electrical wiring repairs must also be done to get the vehicle back to normal working order.
All these details may increase the total cost of the job. The amount of cosmetic bodywork (like paint, scratch and chip repairs, etc.) can also significantly increase the total.
Other Things to Consider
Oftentimes, people replace their rocker panels and cab corners due to rust damage. However, it’s important to remember that most shops do not guarantee their work against further rust.
Rust removal is almost never guaranteed, as there’s no way to know how much additional rust is present once the surface layer is removed.
You should consider whether replacing or repairing damage to your rocker panels and cab corners is due to cosmetic preferences or structural damage that may impact the integrity of the vehicle.
Minor cosmetic damage may not be worth the high cost of replacing these components, while severe damage or breakage may be more essential.
One way that you can combat the issue of recurring rust is to treat the area with anti-rust products.
Another consideration is the possibility of inconsistency between the existing body and the new replacement parts, either in color or alignment. When new components are welded onto the vehicle, they very rarely match perfectly.
Having a skilled, reputable professional do the work can help to minimize the visibility of these inconsistencies and help you get more value from the repair cost.
It may be possible to patch or repair damage to a small area, but this process typically still requires welding.
Unless you have a welding machine and are able to do the work yourself, the cost to have a professional do the repair is usually not worth it when compared to the cost to replace it altogether.
The Bottom Line
Replacing rocker panels and cab corners can be an expensive repair job for your vehicle, but it may be worth it for damage to the structural frame. Repairing some holes and rust damage can also help improve the resale value of the truck.
Most people should expect to pay between $2000 and $4000 to replace their rocker panels and cab corners. The cost may be reduced by only replacing one or the other, but both jobs are very labor-intensive, so it often makes sense to do both at the same time.
The best thing to do is shop around and get multiple estimates. Some body shops may match labor costs from their competitors if you have a written estimate.
Ultimately, it’s up to each person to weigh the cost and benefits for doing this type of work to their vehicle and make the best decision for their specific situation.