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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up my car from the bodyshop after having a rocker panel reinstalled after I slid into a cone at the track. The repair was $546 and that was only because I didn't have to spend $1100 on ordering a whole new rocker panel that then needed painting. It took two weeks to get new clips in because no one in the whole US had them in stock.

These panels are known to come off easily with a small bit of impact. I think @Good-Win Racing has mentioned it in the past. I barely clipped a cone with the nose of my car and it slid under and ripped the rocker panel right off.

I had my body shop reinforce the panels as explained in the bulletin below. I feel confident it will take a much more substantial impact now. If you plan on tracking or autocrossing your car I highly recommend you make this cheap and easy mod now before you end up paying more later.

Global MX-5 Cup Car Technical Service Bulletin #3-22-17B

 

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The MX5 has a tech bulletin about screwing self tapping screws from the bottom side into the chassis...it's a great fix and Mazda is doing it at the dealerships. I knocked my rocker off when I nailed a cone with the front tire and was able to get it fastened back on no prob. I even broke off 2 of the 10 green clips, but it still fits fine. I posted pics on one of the Facebook pages.
 

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To reattach, I pulled all of the green tabs out of the body, then put them in place on the rocker. I slid the bottom gray tabs into place and rolled the rockers upward and pushed the green tabs into the body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The MX5 has a tech bulletin about screwing self tapping screws from the bottom side into the chassis...it's a great fix and Mazda is doing it at the dealerships. I knocked my rocker off when I nailed a cone with the front tire and was able to get it fastened back on no prob. I even broke off 2 of the 10 green clips, but it still fits fine. I posted pics on one of the Facebook pages.


To reattach, I pulled all of the green tabs out of the body, then put them in place on the rocker. I slid the bottom gray tabs into place and rolled the rockers upward and pushed the green tabs into the body.


Unfortunately mine wasn't so easy. I had some things that broke and had to be refabricated on the bottom side. You'll notice it if you crawl under the car. We also could not salvage all the clips. I'm happy with the job the body shop did. The owner is a racer also and just happened to show up at the track shortly after I did the damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I noticed the top edge ones did not have a reference point other then in the general area of the TSB.

Just uneasy about screwing into sheet metal, I guess about the long term rust potential. But probably less chance of that than breaking it off with a cone.

I never thought I’d hit a cone but in a split second it happens.
 

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This procedure is essentially mandatory even if you’re not autocrossing. I had one broken retainer and two that popped out of the rocker itself. Feel much better with (3) stainless steel screws and fender washers in place on each side.

75662


75663


75664
 

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I understand this is now an ancient thread, but I wanted to add some details which may help others. My solution was to order/use this hardware:
Packing materials Font Material property Wood Packaging and labeling

In my case, I added three of these screws/washers per side. There are 5 clips, but two of them have minimal clearance for installing screws. I predrilled 7/64 holes before installing these screws. It will go through plastic and then relatively significant sheet metal, so take your time and use high-quality bits and tap lubricant such as "tap magic". I jacked up each side with a floor jack as shown below. Example installed screw:

Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Fixture Rectangle Bumper

Front of the side skirt with two screws (and the jack).
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Fixture

Rear of the side skirt
Automotive parking light Tire Automotive tail & brake light Automotive lighting Automotive tire
 

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One design "feature" I don't like is the routing of rhe brake lines, and how exposed and vulnerable they are at the end of the sill/rocker panel - just waiting to get crushed by a carelessly placed jack :oops:
 

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For the sake of discussion, wouldn’t it be better for the rocker panel to come off (break the clips) rather than having it solidly mounted with screws and risk damage to the panel?

I don’t know, as I haven’t really followed this discussion/problems. Maybe a damned if you do, damned if you don’t, situation?
 

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How do I pull the green tabs out of the body without breaking them?
They make trim tools that can help - rounded but thin and wide fork that slips around the base and presses in on the tabs.

If you don't have, want to get, I've found 2 hotel room cards or similar work if used from both sides, just tougher to slip under.

Cheap replacements should be back in stock at most mazdas - they were out of stock for a while:
Green clips: D10E-51-SJ3 should be <$1 each.
 
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