1970 FJ40 top repair advice sought?

Joined
Mar 6, 2019
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HI,

My top was damaged years ago. Both the steel gutter and fiberglass are damaged. It was much worse but I can not do much better with the fiberglass top attached to the gutter. If I separate them is think I can make a perfect looking repair on the fiberglass and the gutter. What are the dangers of damage from disassembly? There are a gillion rivets to remove, who has new rivets and a rivets tool? The a rubber gasket between the fiberglass and the gutter? Chances of reuse?

Scot

top.JPG
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
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Pocatello, Idaho
I'm doing the same thing right now but dont have any comments because i have never done this before. So I'm in the same spot you are and have the same questions.
I did drill out ALL of the rivits and there was no gasket so I'm looking at soom kind of replacement. I will be watching!!!
 

royal cake

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Same here- will be embarking on this shortly. I think with damage there's not much else to do than take the gutter off? You may find rust in there that needs replair as well.
I've seen other posts where folks get the rivets from Cool Cruisers - looks like they also have gutters if yours is beyond repair.
Someone can correct me on this but I didn't think there was a gasket between the gutter and the fiberglass. I do see folks using epoxy or some other sealant when they put them back on. I may do that as well; but a little scared of the permanency. If I get something wrong I'm sure taking it off would be near impossible without damage. But again I have not done this before.
 

Skreddy

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How far are you willing to go? I know it may be an annoyance to look at but if that’s it, I’d leave it as is.
To fix it would be separate the top cap from the hardtop sides (you can likely reuse the seal between these if not damaged, city racer has them new). You will likely break off some bolts in the hardtop sides that will require drill and tap at a minimum. Grind out and weld in new nuts if tapping doesn’t work.
Separating gutter from cap is grind/drill out all rivets, chisel apart, maybe grinding out the filler that’s in the gutter in the process. Gutter probably has rust so how bad that is will depend on what you do there. Will need to rerivet the cap and gutter, then seam sealer in the gutter, then repaint the cap. New headliner while you’re at it? Is your top now too pretty for the rest of the cruiser? Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Overall it’s not a hard job, just time consuming and depending on your location/weather/skill set, maybe not a job worth tackling if just for visual improvement.

All that said: you can totally do it! I made a rivet squeezer and have a ton of rivets and a good seam sealer gun. You could borrow the tools for cost of shipping if you end up tackling this.
 
Joined
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earth
Thanks for the insights,

The fiberglass in the gutter has a hole. That was slathered in silicone seal. The top was stored indoors for 30 years in California. The rust is superficial. The red metal part below the gutter does not align with the red cross piece the door hinges on. It bothers me. If i am going to make a huge mess then I will fake the repair. I will be repainting the white top and red lower parts. I have no headliner.

Weather? I am near Monterey California. I can work outside most days in the winter. If the weather gets bad I can tarp the vehicle outside and work on the top inside. Unfortunately I don't have room to keep both inside.

I guess my question is about how clean the gutter will likely come off the fiberglass. If it will look bad and have lots of disassembly damage then I will not go there. If It is doable I can make it look perfect, which is nice.
 

Skreddy

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It comes clean apart. From the factory, as far as I can tell, The fiberglass cap is set on the primed gutter, it’s riveted together (no sealer between cap and gutte), then a seam sealer type material is poured into the gutter and over the fiberglass lip. Then the whole assembly is painted.
The rivets are a small size, when I did mine I went the next size bigger (1/8”?, 3/16”?) so I could drill out the holes slightly. You should be able to see if there’s any rust in the interior gutter channel.

Pics for a visual representation of reassembly.

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I had to separate the fiberglass top from the gutter. I learned too late that there is a special tool to round over the exposed underside of the rivets. I wish I had used one. I used the following product to seal the revert heads and the fiberglass top to the gutter (in the gutter). 3M 08307 Self-Leveling Seam Sealer Cartridge - 200 ml
I used two tubes.

There are little cut-outs in the edge of the gutter to allow water to drain. Tape those off to keep the sealer from running out. If you use this product remember it is self-leveling. It is very important that your gutter is level when you use this stuff otherwise the sealer will be thin in one section and run over someplace else.
Plan to leave it sit undisturbed for several days for the sealer to cure.


 
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@jvincig01 just did this and did this write up. There are numerous other cap repair threads to be found as well.
 

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