Swapping a rusty roof for a good one

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cruiser_guy

cruiser_guy

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I'm going to be cutting the rusty roof off the FJ55 we're restoring and welding on a rust free roof which we have. Where is the best place to make the break and how do we reattach the roof to maintain structural integrity? We have access to a MIG welder with gas if we need it. Is that the prefered method or should we be doing it some other way?
 
woody

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easiest will be at the pillars at the windshield and sides, but not sure on the rear. Basically, you want a spot where you can create a clean location for the filler required to smooth things after...

Unfortuately, my bodywork consists of Rustoleum and a bigger hammer, so more knowledgeable advice should be followed....lol
 
toddslater

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Certainly not a project for the faint at heart....here is my 02... :beer: :beer:

You say you already have the new roof...I don't know where the cuts were made but certainly you don't want to over cut your existing. After you have dropped the headliner out, it should be a little more evident of how and where the factory attached it.

A couple of tools that will help ease in removal of the old top would include an air chisel, cut off wheel, and a little specialty hole saw thing that neatly drills out the spot welds.

If it were me I'd try to seam it where the factory did...unfortunately I don't know where that is on a 55, but as I mentioned it should become fairly evident once the headliner and trim bits are removed. Definitely use the mig welding the new one back on.
 
cruiser_guy

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The way it works is the '55's up here in the north rust from the bottom up. The ones from down south rust from the top down. We've got a rusty '55 from up here and a clean body (except the roof) from California so we can cut the roof where ever is easiest/best as the roof is still on both trucks. That way we have a clean top and bottom :D.
I have the tool to drill out the spot welds. It's a slick tool and makes rewelding easy as well. Spot welds are all near the gutter or down at the bottom of the door pillars (not an easy place to do any body filler should it be necessary).
 
toddslater

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The ones up at the gutter shouldn't be to awful to float out with bondo and IIRC from my 62 (at least on the inside of the pillars they just used a paintable SEM seam sealer type stuff on it.
 
Lucy_FJ55

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My '70 FJ55 has a similar roof-rust problem and I have toyed with many options...I am hoping to get away with cutting the sides/roof edges out and replacing them ( I do not have another roof). Let us all know how the process goes. I would love to see some pics and hear some advice as you tackle this common problem. Thanks and good luck!
 
cruiser_guy

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We're taking pic's of the restoration process as we move along. They are photographic pic's so you'll all need to wait till the film is done and I can scan them in though.
Lucy_FJ55, you must be in the south somewhere. The roofs up here are all good but the lower bodies are shot. The '76 from here has a hole in the floor that you can crawl through!! Any holes in the one from California I've fixed with a few peices of metal not more that 1 or 2 square feet total (other than the roof of course)!
 
cruiser_guy

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Anyone else have advice? There must be a bodyman out there somewhere. I'm getting close and this is a big step in the restoration. I just finished the last small rust holes in the remainder of the body today. I'm going to work on the doors over the next few days and then I'll be moving on the roof!
 

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