new roof [Archive] - Classic Cougar Forums

: new roof

September 29th, 2009, 11:50 AM
I got up to Kansas and got me a new roof for the '70. The old one is sooo shot...BIG time rust. Anyway, any advice or tricks to getting the new roof on just right and the old roof off without any, or too much, drama? Hoping this won't be a pooch screw on my part. I got to get this right!!

September 29th, 2009, 12:04 PM
What is your approach?

Slice the roof off at the pillars or just the roof skin? I have seen it done both ways. Doing a skin is the least invasive.

Probably depends on if you have extensive rust low down in the sail panels.

Good luck. Have fun.

September 29th, 2009, 12:42 PM
I need to do the roof on my 69, so keep us updated....

September 29th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Sorry, should have given more info. My entire roof is bad...including sail panels right down to the top of the quarter panels. Actually, think of where the vinyl roof would be and that is where it is severely rusted to. So I got a roof that includes the entire sail panels and right down to the "filler panel". The rear window opening is all there. Just trying to do this right as I will have no second chance!!

September 30th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Measure twice - cut once! ;>) Since it's a 70 there is a natural seam right off the trunk gap - it's leaded together. You could try to keep it intact but make good measurements on old and new before you start cutting moving, just in case it splits on you. (glass opening) Sounds like you would want to use almost the whole thing and come just shy of the body/fender line then? Should be a good place to "hide" your welds since it's kind of a natural lip anyway. You will want to weld cross braces inside before you cut cut it initially to hold the shape after you remove it. You also want to overlap the new one and draw around where it needs to be cut for final fit. i.e. cut it smaller and then figure out final cut.

Cougar Bill
September 30th, 2009, 02:31 PM
I have a 70 shell that was "returned" to me after a deal fell through. I'm in Denver Co. (Golden) and have a very nice 70 Std shell. It would also be great for an Eliminator... So if your interested (or someone else) just e-mail me directly at

[email protected]

The e-mail is cougar_bill... seem the hot link underlines the whole thing!

Thanks, Bill

September 30th, 2009, 10:16 PM
That's a BIG job,....if you have not done it before! The roof is a major structural component! The body is going to flex, twist and buckle, if you don't take certain precautions. You may find yourself wondering why the doors don't fit after the new roof is on. If you're going to skin it,... skin away, but if you cut the entire roof off, multiple support points will need to be established. Several (approx. 8) tight shimed axle stands and interior support bracing with 1" bar stock would be a start . A 1/4" shift one direction could cause some serious headaches and it will shift without supports. I think skinning as much as possible and patching structural items as needed would be the way to go. Just some advice from someone who has learned these things the hard way!

October 1st, 2009, 09:11 AM
I'd take cougar Bill up on his offer....much less time effort that way...your time is better spent on assembly in my opinion. Best of both worlds.

October 1st, 2009, 10:34 AM
My moron bother in law cut the roof off his 65 Falcon did not put any bracing on the car when he got finished with a nice welding job he reinstated the doors the car collapsed in the center and the doors would not fix I am talking a inch out the car never got finished so Bracing and more Bracing and lots of measuring.

October 1st, 2009, 08:20 PM
Sounds like I got a lot to think about. I am friends with a professional welder. He knows all about structural support, etc. I will go over all of this with him. Then I will think some more. I've been a moron enough times in 47 years. Don't really want to be again.

October 2nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
LOL - haven't we all! Good luck!

October 13th, 2009, 03:15 PM
Anyone have any details on the structural support aspect of this project or at least a link to a previous post that discusses it in detail or some other reference I can read in order to do this correctly? I have searched these forums and I have also done extensive google research but can't seem to find any exact details as to the structural support aspect of this job.

I was ready to start prepping my car for a roof transplant (an experienced welder - not a bodyman mind you - is handling the replacement) and I was under the impression I just needed to support the frame with stands but I was not aware of the detail involved. I do not believe skinning is an option for me given the amount of corrosion on the roof.

I asked my professor (not a body guy either) who indicated that I needed to weld frame extensions to the subframe. But now it appears I will need to have the right combination of both multiple support points and interior support bracing just to start as per 67.5 XR7's post. Anyone take on this endeavor that can provide a detailed explanation of the exact amount of structural support/bracing I will need to perform this job properly? I can't afford to take this to a professional and I have been sitting on this project for a while as I cannot find steady work for the last year and a half and would really like to get this done in order to sell the car in order to stop paying for the parking space.



October 13th, 2009, 04:49 PM
i would think welding x braces in the door openings or welding 1/8 x 1 straps to the inside of the doors and putting a x brace from side to side BEFORE you cut off the top.measure the front and rear glass openings.good luck

October 13th, 2009, 07:47 PM
Jayarees, There are several things that need to be looked at before a complete roof removal is attempted. First, has the car ever been in a front or rearend accident, if so the roof may be loaded,....which means bent, or twisted from an impact. Second, how are the doors fitting,..gaps correct at approx. 1/4 inch. Front fenders and hood in good alignment? Third, are there any areas of floor pan or frame rail rust through, which could cause an area to be weak? If all these areas are good, my next step would be, you'll love this,....pull all of the interior, pull motor and TRANSMISSION, and remove the rearend and leafs. This is to remove stresses off of the body. Then weld the doors closed from the inside with some strap or plate, previously suggested. Now go visit a modular home dealer and purchase some short, screw type stands to support and tightly adjust the shell on. Tack in a couple of cross(X) braces, diag. throught the interior to prevent twisting. You are a Sawsall and a MIG welder and a drill, die grinder, spot weld cutter, snips, body tools ect.... away from having a new roof. Remember, cut everything long and trim as you go. Personally,.. if this is not a rare cat, I would,.. media blast then fiber hair the hell out of the roof, smooth it out, seal and paint, then install a new vinyl top. All depends on how much good metal you have to work with.

October 13th, 2009, 07:52 PM
The rebody sounds like a good plan but if you decide to tackle the roof I'd start with connecting the sub-frame rails. It's a good improvement and will certainly help keep everything lined up. Might as well take advantage of a bad situation and turn it into something good.

October 14th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Thanks for all the opinions.

October 19th, 2009, 12:21 PM
I am a new member and have a question. I recently bought a 68 XR7 (302/2v) with factory air and cruise. The top is in bad shape (rusted under the vinyl) and needs to be reskinned. Am I better off getting a complete roof off a donor car or simply having the roof reskinned? There is some rust damage around the bottom of the rear window. Also does anyone offer a roof skin for the 68 model?

October 19th, 2009, 01:04 PM
Smag60, nobody makes a roof skin, you will have to find a donor car.
Luckily, there is a guy not too far away that parts cougars regularly........

October 19th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Thanks Woodsnake, I'll contact them soon.