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Old 09-24-2012, 12:58 PM
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Poor design black plastic trim

Parked my car on drive way exposed to evening sun for two hours, may be 85 F day, the lower black plastic rocker panel popped out from the body. This is very poor design for a $50k car. Anyone have a solution to fix this?
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:36 PM
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Check out this thread... cracks on both rocker panels


They started out as cracks, now the replacement rockers bow... This is one of a few threads about the issue, my trim guy finally fixed mine on my R/T with velcro after the 4th set of warranty replacements in 6 months.

When I bought my SRT two weeks ago I just took it in and had him pre-emptively velcro it. It works great, have had no issues with the adhesive letting go in the Arizona sun.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the pointer. Looks like this is a well known problem from the beginning and Dodge never fixed that. My panel popped out and the last time I looked at it did not see any cracks. I might need to look more carefully. I will take it off this weekend to do some investigation and low tech engineering to fix it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:32 PM
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The cracks are not so common anymore since they changed the rocker panel material...

The area about 1 foot in front of the rear tire is the usual bow spot, there is supposed to be a small molded plastic clip there that clips into a hole in the body but once it starts to bow the clip won't stay in.

The trim guy at my dealer uses about a 6 inch length of 1 inch wide industrial velcro and sticks one side to the body where the bow was occuring and the other side opposite it on the rocker panel. Once it's done and you press the two halves of the velcro together, the bow disappears and up to now has never come back.

Our theory is the velcro allows it enough lateral flex to expand with temperature, but the velcro is strong enough to prevent it from bowing out. We thought there might be some issue with the adhesive and temperature, but my R/T had no problems from June until I traded it in two weeks ago through several months of 112 degree plus air temps and a 2000 mile trip to Oklahoma and back.

I had a star case opened on my R/T after my fourth replacement set and the trim guy and I came up with the velcro idea to try to keep me from having to go back every month for new panels. Since then he has applied it to all the Challengers on their lot (brand new ones sitting in the Arizona sun, bowing out with zero miles on them...) and none of the cars on the lot have the problem now.

Sounds kinda hokey, but I'm good with any solution that works and keeps my $50k car from looking bad because of a $40 piece of plastic.

Hopefully, Dodge will come up with a real fix. Until then, velcro it is.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:32 PM
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Rocker Panel Issue

I have a 2012 Challenger and have the same issue. The dealer thought I was crazy because when I brought the car in, the panel was back in place. I informed him that when it sits in the sun, it pops out. I took pictures and let showed him. The service tech even yanked and could not make it bow. Anyhow, after many discussions, they are ordering another pair. I doubt this will fix it as it appears to be a design flaw. When I go back to the dealer, I will mention the Velcro idea. I love the car but there are some issues.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:15 PM
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Thanks again. My driver side panel popped off the clips at the front of the rear tire and also behind the front wheel. So looks like I need to take it off, clean it and do the velcro trick. I suppose it does not matter which side gets the velcro hooks.

Dodge could have done this for a $50k car.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 72to12Challenger View Post
Thanks again. My driver side panel popped off the clips at the front of the rear tire and also behind the front wheel. So looks like I need to take it off, clean it and do the velcro trick. I suppose it does not matter which side gets the velcro hooks.

Dodge could have done this for a $50k car.
You're welcome, and I agree...

I'm pretty sure he put the loops on the body side but I'm not 100% sure of that. I would go and check, but I've tried pulling on the rocker after it was "velcro'd up" and I can't pull it off with the amount of force I am willing to use... I am not sure it would even really make a difference.

I should also note that this was done with new panels, my panels that had already warped retained the bow after they were removed. You may want to go down and get the panels replaced under warranty first before you "modify" them...

Last edited by Havoc51; 09-24-2012 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:37 PM
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Rocker Panel Issue

I attached a photo of the panel one the sun hits it. At certain times, it is bowed a good 1 inch.
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Poor design black plastic trim-image.jpg  
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:52 PM
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Yup, that's it exactly. If you look in about the center of the bow you'll see the little molded clip that's supposed to hold the panel on...

Counting my original set that cracked, I went through 5 sets of panels in 7 months before the velcro trick.

They should not give you any hassle at all about replacing the panels under warranty, my Service Adviser played dumb initially but the Trim Tech was intimately familiar with the problem.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:15 PM
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Mine was warping on both sides about 1/4 way back from the front. I used a little silicone and a clamp....let it dry for 24 hrs and so far so good.
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