Stock Roof Rack Mount Cleanup

jaymar

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So, I've never done body work and don't know what I'm looking at here. Hoping the brain trust can maybe identify what the PO did here, and say whether his work is actually coming apart or just looks bad. I don't know what the black stuff is, and I don't know why it also runs up the A pillars and across the front of the roofline. I have not removed the headliner. The only leak I know of is at the top of the windshield, more or less under that large bubble rust patch. (More pix in second post.)

I assume the next step is to wire brush the mounting points and the bubble rust until I can see better--but what should I have on-hand to quick-patch things (in case of rain, for example) prior to a permanent fix?

And what are the permanent fix options? I know I've seen a thread or two on this, but my search terms aren't finding them...

Thanks for any help!


Front Left A.jpg


Front Left B.jpg

Front Right A.jpg

Front Right B.jpg

Rear Left A.jpg

Rear Left B.jpg

Rear Right A.jpg

Rear Right B.jpg

Black Stuff on Front of Roof.jpg

Black Stuff on Front of Roof B.jpg
 
Last edited:

jaymar

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So, I've never done body work and don't know what I'm looking at here. Hoping the brain trust can maybe identify what the PO did here, and say whether his work is actually coming apart or just looks bad. I don't know what the black stuff is, and I don't know why it also runs up the A pillars and across the front of the roofline. I have not removed the headliner. The only leak I know of is at the top of the windshield, more or less under that large bubble rust patch. (More pix in second post.)

I assume the next step is to wire brush the mounting points and the bubble rust until I can see better--but what should I have on-hand to quick-patch things (in case of rain, for example) prior to a permanent fix?

And what are the permanent fix options? I know I've seen a thread or two on this, but my search terms aren't finding them...

Thanks for any help!


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A few more pix for perspective...

Bubble Rust Over Windshield.jpg

Bubble Rust on A Pillar.jpg

Front Left Two-Shot.jpg

Front Right Two-Shot.jpg

Rear Left Two-Shot.jpg

Rear Right Two-Shot.jpg

Rear Right C.jpg
 
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That's got a weird texture to it. Maybe the PO applied something like Rustoleum with a foam brush? That was all the rage on the Internet a few years ago: thin Rustoleum with mineral spirits, roll it on, and hope for the best.

My guess on the roof rack hole area is that they used spray primer. Primer isn't impervious to water. Moisture gets through and rust starts. My wild guess from looking at the pictures is that you're looking at rust staining coming through body filler.

The right way to do it would be to take a sander to those rusty/primed areas, take it down to bare metal, and see what you're looking at. You'd then do any metal repair you need, grind it smooth-ish, ideally seal it with epoxy sealer, then Bondo (professional body filler really is easier to work with though!), rough sand to shape, high-build urethane primer, sand smooth, another epoxy sealer coat, then topcoat.

For an emergency "it's going to rain" situation, maybe use a spray can of acrylic lacquer. Plain ol' Rustoleum would probably be fine, too, but the lacquer should dry faster.

Assuming that lumpy black stuff above the windshield is something like Rustoleum, you should be able to dissolve it with acetone or lacquer thinner on a rag. Maybe it's something like POR15, which (I think) is a moisture-cured urethane, and it may not be as easily removed with solvent. However, my understanding is that POR15 and the like aren't very UV resistant, in which case I wouldn't expect it to still be so dark.

By the way, it's a bit hard to tell, but it looks like they painted right up to the edge of the windshield gasket. The cheap trick for quick paintjobs is to push cord under the windshield gasket. This will raise it enough that you can mask it off and still get paint just under the edge of the gasket. When the paint has cured, you pull the tape and pull out the cord. Makes for a nice finish without pulling the windshield.
 

jaymar

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That's got a weird texture to it. Maybe the PO applied something like Rustoleum with a foam brush? That was all the rage on the Internet a few years ago: thin Rustoleum with mineral spirits, roll it on, and hope for the best.

My guess on the roof rack hole area is that they used spray primer. Primer isn't impervious to water. Moisture gets through and rust starts. My wild guess from looking at the pictures is that you're looking at rust staining coming through body filler.

The right way to do it would be to take a sander to those rusty/primed areas, take it down to bare metal, and see what you're looking at. You'd then do any metal repair you need, grind it smooth-ish, ideally seal it with epoxy sealer, then Bondo (professional body filler really is easier to work with though!), rough sand to shape, high-build urethane primer, sand smooth, another epoxy sealer coat, then topcoat.

For an emergency "it's going to rain" situation, maybe use a spray can of acrylic lacquer. Plain ol' Rustoleum would probably be fine, too, but the lacquer should dry faster.

Assuming that lumpy black stuff above the windshield is something like Rustoleum, you should be able to dissolve it with acetone or lacquer thinner on a rag. Maybe it's something like POR15, which (I think) is a moisture-cured urethane, and it may not be as easily removed with solvent. However, my understanding is that POR15 and the like aren't very UV resistant, in which case I wouldn't expect it to still be so dark.

By the way, it's a bit hard to tell, but it looks like they painted right up to the edge of the windshield gasket. The cheap trick for quick paintjobs is to push cord under the windshield gasket. This will raise it enough that you can mask it off and still get paint just under the edge of the gasket. When the paint has cured, you pull the tape and pull out the cord. Makes for a nice finish without pulling the windshield.
Nice windshield tip... I'm thinking the lumpy spots--photos 1 (roof) and 2 (DS A pillar) in second post--are bubble rust, and he just ran that black stuff right over it. The windshield leak is more or less under that first lump/bubble rust spot. If I sand that down and there's a hole straight through, AND it borders the windshield gasket, I assume I'm looking at a patch weld situation with a piece from another Cruiser roof?

And if you're right that the rust is coming UP, then I gotta pull the headliner anyway and see if it's going down too, yes? Or that depends on what I see after sanding the top?
 
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If I sand that down and there's a hole straight through, AND it borders the windshield gasket, I assume I'm looking at a patch weld situation with a piece from another Cruiser roof?

I'm no expert, but I think you should be able to do repairs by shaping sheet metal. Check out Fitzy's Fabrication on YouTube for some idea of what's involved.

Welding in a cut panel from another Cruiser can bring a whole host of headaches with weld distortions and whatnot, so the hand-formed sheet metal option might not be any more work.

I gotta pull the headliner anyway and see if it's going down too, yes?

If you've got a '95+ with the hard headliner, sure, do that first. That will at least tell you if you're in for something like Trypo:

 

jaymar

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I'm no expert, but I think you should be able to do repairs by shaping sheet metal. Check out Fitzy's Fabrication on YouTube for some idea of what's involved.

Welding in a cut panel from another Cruiser can bring a whole host of headaches with weld distortions and whatnot, so the hand-formed sheet metal option might not be any more work.



If you've got a '95+ with the hard headliner, sure, do that first. That will at least tell you if you're in for something like Trypo:

Recommended composition and grits for sanding this stuff down?
 
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Recommended composition and grits for sanding this stuff down?
If you've got an electric angle grinder, you might want to start with a stripping disc (4-1/2 in. Polycarbide Abrasive Wheel - https://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/grinding-cutting-wheels/wire-abrasive-wheels-brushes/4-1-2-half-inch-nylon-abrasive-wheel-94017.html). That should strip off the paint, body filler, and surface rust without digging into the metal too much.

You prep sheet metal for body filler using 36 grit, but you probably don't want to use that right off the bat as a beginner, especially since you don't know what's hiding under there yet.

Kevin Tetz's videos for Eastwood are really good:

 
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Trev's Blog is another good one, he has a playlist on bodywork. My 97 had some rusty riv-nuts on the roof rack. I ended up very carefully cutting off the bolts and then using the stripping wheel and some 120 grit paper sanded off as much rust as I could get to, applied some rust reformer, let that dry then painted it with some flat black rustoleum. Then put some A/C aluminum tape over the holes and put flat black over that. it's been two years and the aluminum tape is holding up fine. Until such time as I drop the headliner, and clean up the underside as well.
 

jaymar

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If you've got an electric angle grinder, you might want to start with a stripping disc (4-1/2 in. Polycarbide Abrasive Wheel - https://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/grinding-cutting-wheels/wire-abrasive-wheels-brushes/4-1-2-half-inch-nylon-abrasive-wheel-94017.html). That should strip off the paint, body filler, and surface rust without digging into the metal too much.

You prep sheet metal for body filler using 36 grit, but you probably don't want to use that right off the bat as a beginner, especially since you don't know what's hiding under there yet.

Kevin Tetz's videos for Eastwood are really good:


The tool he's using here. He calls it an orbital sander--but I don't find that long-shaft, standoff design when searching "orbital sander" or "angle grinder." Looks more like an angle grinder, though. So what exactly is that?
 

lumbee1

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This might be a great time to do some gudenuf patching and paint the roof white like I did. I had to address some nasty rust under the factory roof rack and patch the holes. I used several cans of Rustoleum professional matte white paint. It's not the best paint job since I did it under a canopy in the rain but it has lasted several years. DO not use matte. Mold, mildew, and algae grow on matte paint. I will be redoing the white with gloss next time.
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