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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a '69 XR7 with a really decent body, but the vinyl top had been replaced and was thoroughly rotted. Underneath it was a fair amount of surface rust and several pits and holes. I have taken it down to metal and have MIG welded the holes, neutralized the rust, and am getting ready to start filling the pits and refinishing the roof. I won't be putting a vinyl top back on because the Albuquerque sun will simply destroy it.

The problem I need to solve first, however, is that the roof is flimsy in a few spots. I think this is due to some dents in the roof that goofed up the structure. With a bit of pressure, the roof flops down and then pops back up. I'd like to reinforce or stiffen it so that I don't have problems after it is painted. This is not a big time restoration so I'm not motivated to replace the roof. I just need it a bit stiffer.

I've considered using a couple layers of fiberglass on the bottom, tack welding some reinforcing pieces of sheet metal, and simply applying a layer of Dynamat.

Any suggestions/ideas/mockery would be appreciated! :smoke:
 

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Sounds like a OIL CANNING issue again.

If there is no headliner i say take a torch and heat shrink the metal.1 of our fellow members here went thru this with his trunklid recently.

thanks
Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good video. I'll probably try that out. As for the Viagra... didn't help the roof. Is that what it's really for?

Thanks all for the advice.

Mike...
 

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Thats a good idea, but I would be scared to try it on an area as big as a roof without some experience. Applying that much heat could be a disaster if you dont have experience in this sort of thing!
 

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Try a heat gun instead of a torch. Use a rag in ice water. It's the quick change from heat to cold that shrinks it back up, not just heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input. I am trying two methods. I found a metal shrinking disk, which is essentially a stainless steel disk for my grinder. The other method involves using a propane torch. In both cases I am heating up a small area and quenching it with cold water to shrink the metal.

I have had some success, but it is challenging. Dale in Indy -- you are probably right, but I really want to learn how to do this so I will keep working it.

As I work an area and eliminate the oil canning, another area will get floppy or start oil canning. If I work the metal with a body hammer, it moves around some more.

I am getting close so I will keep at it. Ultimately I will be lining the bottom of the roof with fiberglass. Fortunately this is not a serious restoration, but more of a rescue so my son and I can build him a car. Show quality is not required (thank god, I'm going to run out of money and/or time).

Someday I'll post pictures of the finished and painted body.
 

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I admire your attitude. Not a lot of people would tackle that kind of repair on their own not having ever done it before. I hope it works out good for you.
 

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I agree - that's a lot of surface area to fight. I hope you conquer it and let us know how it turns out! That might be a 2-3 man job heating and cooling a larger are very quickly...? I gotta feeling you'll chase your tail doing it in sections..? Dry ice might be another option but I'd try everything else first. Good luck!
 

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If you are looking for a cheat, not a correct fix, there is an option I have seen. I have seen some of the local body shop guys use panel adhesive to glue strips of sheet metal to the backside of the offending panel, this will usually create enough stiffness to stop the oil can issue. I am not condoning this as a practice, but it does work and will keep a novice metal man from making a total wreck out of their roof. As previously stated, if you want it done right then you need one of those old salty cigar hanging out of their mouth body men who have stretched and shrunk more metal than I ever will! Good luck either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll probably end up doing some sort of "cheat". I'll work it until the soft areas are isolated and reasonably small. My current plan is to line the roof underside with fiberglass and Dynamat. But not until the major oil canning is eliminated.

I am having a good time learning how to do bodywork. I've done just about everything else mechanically on a car, so this is simply the next challenge to tackle. Maybe next I'll try upholstery... or not.
 
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