Had a trail accident and need info/advice on replacing entire roof (1 Viewer)

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Sep 28, 2005
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Well, it pains me to type this, but I had a bit of an accident on Saturday and it looks like my roof is going to need some surgery. It was the maiden trail voyage of my 97 FZJ80 after I had spent a few years pouring lots of blood and sweat into her (with LOTS of help from this forum) and now it looks like a lot more blood sweat and money will be needed all over again. It's certainly a huge blow to morale as I finally had her in a place I felt good about and had just had her painted less than a year ago. With all the money I've put into baselining and upgrading her, I am trying to avoid swapping bodies, and at this point am not considering chopping the top. I'm mainly looking for thoughts and advice at swapping the roof. I know I can locate a spare roof and I am searching for a body shop that is willing to do it at a reasonable cost. I'm curious if anyone has done this before and what advice do you have. Can it be done well enough to not cause problems down the line? Is it structurally sound? Any advice/ thoughts welcome. I'm pretty committed to restoring the damage back to factory if it isn't insanely expensive.

A bit of backstory if anyone is interested:

We were on a particularly tough section of trail (trail 16 at Windrock in TN) and what looked like the right line turned bad when a large rock slipped out from under my front driver tire and dropped it into a big hole. Honestly we really shouldn't have been on that trail that day, and I still had my sway bars connected since I thought we were keeping the wheeling pretty tame. It just goes to show the importance of being over prepared.

Thankfully It was a very slow roll so I believe I was spared from any real structural damage or body tweaking. Unfortunately though, the open sun roof got caught on a root ball that was sticking out from the embankment, essentially pinning the car to the ground. It took 3 winches, a few hours and some weird angles to free her without causing more damage.

As always, thanks in advance.

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ProjectsNMotion

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The damage really doesn't look that bad. I had my headliner and sunroof out recently, to install sound deadening, and the roof metal is very accessible once those are out of the way. I don't see why a competent body shop wouldn't be able to fix what's there. You shouldn't need to swap the entire roof.

This is a picture I took of the mostly bare underside of the roof

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Cheers
 
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:doh::( Ugly and unfortunate. I'd see about it getting fixed with bids from several shops. I don't see how 'reasonable cost" would be cheaper than a body swap for an entire roof, but a repair in the area of the sunroof might be possible.
 

YMT

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Does your driver door open and close correctly? Your windshield is intact, door frame appears to be good. Check all around the vehicle for any other damage beyond the initial point of impact- usually a crease or dimple on a door post or window frame across or diagonal from the impact (this is more relevant for high speed, but also could be from vehicle weight).

I would suggest not doing a roof swap, unless absolutely necessary, and your welding skills need to be advanced (as someone who's gone down that road).

From the pictures, the damage doesn't look too serious- unless pillars are bent/kinked, a body shop should be able to straighten most of that out easily. Would also be a good time to delete the sunroof.
 
Joined
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The damage really doesn't look that bad. I had my headliner and sunroof out recently, to install sound deadening, and the roof metal is very accessible once those are out of the way. I don't see why a competent body shop wouldn't be able to fix what's there. You shouldn't need to swap the entire roof.

This is a picture I took of the mostly bare underside of the roof

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Cheers

Thanks for that photo, I see what you're saying and I hope you're right. The damage came pretty close to the front windshield and actually popped it out a bit on the top left and a bit on the top right. The metal is pretty crumpled by the left side of the sunroof so I assumed it wasnt really workable. But hey, i'm not a body shop. Heres a couple more pics.

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Joined
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Messages
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Does your driver door open and close correctly? Your windshield is intact, door frame appears to be good. Check all around the vehicle for any other damage beyond the initial point of impact- usually a crease or dimple on a door post or window frame across or diagonal from the impact (this is more relevant for high speed, but also could be from vehicle weight).

I would suggest not doing a roof swap, unless absolutely necessary, and your welding skills need to be advanced (as someone who's gone down that road).

From the pictures, the damage doesn't look too serious- unless pillars are bent/kinked, a body shop should be able to straighten most of that out easily. Would also be a good time to delete the sunroof.

The driver door opens and closes. It gets caught a bit on the front fender and on the rain gutter, but nothing major. There is a slightly larger gap at the bottom of the door than at the top, but I think that its related to the damage that the door and front fender took as we pulled it out. The fender got pushed back into the door. The sunroof and all windows still open and closed amazingly.

No other damage that I can find anywhere on the vehicle that would indicate major structural damage. Everything else functions as it should. I am open to a sunroof delete/ paint the roof white scenario. Im planning to put a roof rack on anyways.
 

CenTXFJ60

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As someone mentioned above, you should delete the sunroof if you’re going to repair it. I’d be surprised if any body shop could get that 100% square again where the sunroof does not leak. Bigger challenge then is finding a non-sunroof headliner. And a roof swap is major, but can be done. I’ve cut up many 80’s and there is nothing too complicated about how they go together. I’ve seen a few threads on 60 series replacements and there may be some on 80’s. Good luck as that looks to be a really nice truck.
 
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Man I'm surprised you went straight to Trail 16 for it's maiden voyage...I wouldn't call that trail "tame wheeling" lol.

Yeah, so were a few other people on the trail lol. We weren't planning on it. We were planning on sticking to greens and blues. Honestly other than that one spot she did great though. Lockers helped for sure. I wouldn't do it again without a bigger lift and at least 35's though. I did get lots of "wow this thing is really nice" comments from people standing above it looking at the fresh leather interior.
 
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Just for fun here is the video of winching it free. All in all it took 3 winches and two snatch blocks to pull and spin the car to free it without causing lots more damage. I think we had the trail blocked for a good 2-3 hours. It took several people much smarter than me to work this one out and I'm thankful they were there to help.
 
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I know very little about body work but it appears fixable. Seems like it would be a good time to fully remove the sunroof as well. Good luck!
 

retrofive

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My vote would be to get some quotes to pound that out VS stitching in a donor. I think you would be surprised what a good shop could do with that. Could be wrong, but that would be the first route I would take. And also agree if your not in love with the sun roof (I glued my shut and wished it never had one to begin with).
 

flintknapper

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I don't see a complete roof replacement in that. But if you plan to keep the moonroof it can be sectioned in from a donor vehicle. Dents are easily fixed by any competent body shop but 'creases' are difficult and to be avoided if donor metal can be sectioned.

That is a particularly deceptive part of the trail and I suspect you aren't the first to end on your side there. Looks like a 4WD club would do well to spend an afternoon digging down that hump on the right side instead of building up the left side with loose rock.
 
Joined
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I don't see a complete roof replacement in that. But if you plan to keep the moonroof it can be sectioned in from a donor vehicle. Dents are easily fixed by any competent body shop but 'creases' are difficult and to be avoided if donor metal can be sectioned.

That is a particularly deceptive part of the trail and I suspect you aren't the first to end on your side there. Looks like a 4WD club would do well to spend an afternoon digging down that hump on the right side instead of building up the left side with loose rock.

Thanks @flintknapper. Im going to start contacting body shops and getting quotes. I know I can get roof sections if needed. BTW, my AC is still blowing nice and cold!
 
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I think welding in a new section might be favorable (or even the entire section over the front seats). That's a lot of wrinkled metal, and I just don't like that much bondo over such a large area. More likely to crack later.
I would be concerned about getting the a-pillars back in alignment. Since the top corners are bent, leaks are a legit concern after the repair.

Cut out that L section of wrinkled metal. Weld in donor. get the hardpoints bent back into alignment.
While you're up there, remove the rack and rails and fill those holes.
JMO
 

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