Best way to fill roof rack holes?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by e9999, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    OK, there have been several threads on how to fill good nutserts with finish washers or rosettes or whatever they are called. Good way to handle the good nutserts from the outside...

    But now, what about plain holes? I have access to the underside of the roof (yea!) and will end up with some removed nutserts. What's the best way to do these holes? Of course, I could put new nutserts back in if I can find a tool. But is there a better approach? A round head stainless steel bolt over a rubber washer on the outside with a lock nut on the inside? I'd rather not take the headliner off again so it has to be secure, and the rubber gasket if any better not shrink or crack in a couple of years...
    Rivets?
    Metal screw from the outside?
    Anchor?

    what?

    E
  2. Rich

    Rich

    Messages:
    1,805
    Take it to a body man and get the holes welded up, ground flush, and repainted.
  3. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    whoah!
    that sounds a bit drastic. Permanent, sure, but that's gotta be expensive, no?
    Are you a perfectionist or do you think the bolt and washer solution is not durable enough?

    E
  4. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    If I do go the bolt way, how about gluing the nut on the roof underside, that way I could maybe retighten things later as necessary? That possible? What kind of glue?

    Or some sort of teethed washer/nut?

    E
  5. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    Welded/painted would be the best solution but was above my budget

    I put in low profile head 1/4 fasteners with fender washers and nuts, installed wet with sealer, on the front row try to keep the length below 3/4" as to clear the sunroof glass as it travels underneath rear is less of a concern

    Just had a thought, wonder if you could get to the front row by removing the glass portion of the sunroof and reaching in between the roof and headliner front the front? Would be a lot easier than removing the headliner and sunroof pan like I did
  6. Riley

    Riley

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    Since you have the headliner off, I'd at least go talk to a good body shop about welding metal over the holes and grinding and painting. What can it hurt to ask?

    On my 60 I had some rust around the roof rack (surprise surprise). My rust doctor said it would be pretty easy to fix if we took off the headliner (but that was too much hassle). So I just left the rust there and sold it a year later.

    Point is that I think the bodyshop guys need to get at the back side (for some reason I don't understand now) and since it's open now, you should at least consult a good bodyman. Also you will be able to get around to the back of the weld and clean the flux off and POR-15 it too. I guess that's why he wanted access but I can't recall.

    Otherwise I'd just use nutserts and the stainless hardware.
  7. Rich

    Rich

    Messages:
    1,805
    Regarding welding & repainting, aren't you already on the hook for rust removal and repainting? I'd be surprised if the welding alone would cost all that much. Drive it by a couple of body shops. Estimates are free.

    My goal would be to ensure that whatever repair is done is the very last work required for the problem.
  8. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    all good point guys, I may go to a body shop and ask but if it's too much $ I'm back to bolts and stuff...
    E
  9. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that I may be able to remove the last screw on the front corners. It's frozen but the 'sert is not spinning yet on that one. I may go gingerly with Kroil again etc and see if it will unfreeze. If it starts spinning I'm on the hook for the pan or perhaps with your suggestion. How long would it take to remove the sunroof pan?

    RT, you didn't use rubber washers then? just sealer?

    E
  10. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

    Messages:
    8,783
    I don't know what size holes you're talking about, but at some of the big box hardware stores (Home Despot, etc), they sell various sizes of plastic plugs. I've used some on vehicle bodies before. In fact, I used touch up paint on the plugs so when I installed them you couldn't see them from, oh 30 feet (heh). But I held them in with silicone and they were fine for years (get the silicone that won't promote rust when in contact with metal), yet I could pry them out to reinstall the items I removed. This was a set of running boards and integrated mudflaps. Worked well and for your app the nice part is you only need access the outside of the roof for future maintanance (resealing it, etc). Because who knows - you might one day want to use a couple of those holes for adding roof lights like mine, or if you got a roof tent that has power outlets and reading lights.

    On my 80, I also have a bracket screwed directly to the roof with four stainless screws. I've again used silicone to seal them with no leaks. At the 10 year mark, I pulled the bracket off just out of curiousity and resealed them for another 10 years. Worked a treat.

    DougM
  11. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    hmm.... interesting notion. Hole is probably 1/4" or so. Do they have stainless metal screws that big? Might distort the roof though.
    I did investigate HD and similar stores once for plastic plugs and did not see anything that looked close to suitable for waterproof hole plugging. Must be the silicone that worked for you then? Plastic plugs in the roof seem a little flimsy though. Might pop off if you get raked by branches and stuff?

    oh, and what's that about rust-inducing silicone?

    E

  12. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    yes interested in that also :confused:

    after the nusert comes out the holes are somewhere between 1/4" and 5/16", I used 1/4" fasteners

    nope no rubber washers just sealer
  13. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Having the headliner out is a requirement to do any welding job (IIRC the shops billed the removal and install as 3hrs using whatever quoting system body shops use) - so, it's worth the ask. I would guess something in the $500+ range to do the job...

    One thing to consider is marine bedding compound that is used to waterproof many fasteners - you just need to find one that works on steel.

    Cheers, Hugh
  14. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    To take the vehicle to the shop and have the headliner R&Red and the holes welded and the roof re-finished will be well over 1000 dollars. Likely close to 1500
  15. Scamper

    Scamper

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    E-

    Since you already have the headliner out, can't you just put some fiberglass matt on the inside of the roof, then fill from above with filler? Not going to be super strong, but it will be cosmetically good and the matt doesn't take up any significant space.
  16. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    I already have the headliner off. How long would it take to remove the sunroof pan? The glass?

    E
  17. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    Tom, that is true. Would good material adhere strongly enough to last many years? (Roof can get hot in the desert, could also flex?)

    E
  18. RavenTai

    RavenTai

    Messages:
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    the galss of the roof is not bad, two trim strips, 6 nuts, amke sure you note where the shims are for reinstalition, see the FSM for details

    the pan is a bit more work
  19. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    OK, thanks. Did look at the FSM. The pan/housing does look like a bigger job indeed. What are we talking about there? 2 or 3 hours? Any risk of misalignment or damage? I may avoid having to do that (see nutsert thread). I hope...


    E
  20. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    well, the more I think about this job, the more I'd like to do something that involves only the outside (nutsert, anchors, plugs, something...)
    I don't think I want to take this headliner ever again. It was scary to move this thing around, I tell you, after CDan quoted $1,300 for it...

    E

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