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Discussion Starter #1
any tricks or watch-out-for's?

would it be better to disassemble the donor roof and reconstruct it onto the patient Ranchero, or would it be easier to cut and reweld the pillars?

the inner structure on mine is rusted out also, i was hoping to just reskin it but that would be neglecting a serious hidden rust issue. i'm wondering if the body is going to fold up any when i take out the rusted drivers side inner stamping... but then again, if it was going to it would've by now? and i still need to take a better look at the pass side inner, probably the same.

i have the old skin off except for the pinch weld around the perimiter, and the transplant roof should be on it's way by now. i also have a spotweld cutter on the way.
 

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Do you mean you have a TAKE-OFF roof assembly coming? If so, I would remove the actual roof panel and needed supports and weld them in as factory assembly (of course the rest of the metal would be blasted to rid it completely of rust).

The windshield pillars are actually part of the door hinge pillars and (IMO) it would be easier to lose measurements cutting the pillars rather that cutting the spot welds, separating and re-welding the needed parts of the roof.

The left sail panel, is it too gone to patch or do you have to replace that also?

Do you have a Shop Manual giving measurement specs? How about a parts illustration showing how the roof is assembled?

OH!

Forgot as usual. The windshield supports have inner/outer sections and would be a pain to weld properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
there's a quarter sized hole just about dead center that i think was bondo'd over and started to leak, and the quarter/dime holes at the roof quarter seam. then there are the unknown number of pinholes and seeping pits that started showing themselves as i got to grinding in my search for metal

yeah, because of the layered construction i'm leaning away from doing a clean pilar cut, there'd be no way to re-attach some places. i've got that driver side rusted panel out already and will probably remove the same pass side panel too. that's pretty much what i figured from the get-go, to carefully de-construct the donor roof and rebuild it in place

the sail panel itself is ok but the offset lap seam allowance at the top of the sail that the roof overlays and gets tacked to is cheesed. i'm wondering if i can cut off the rust perforated area and tack fresh metal onto the quarter sail edge to make the lap connection to the roof? if that doesn't take, maybe i can use that area from the donor and make my own seem below the factory's

i'm not an autobody man but i'm no stranger to sheetmetal, in indutrial HVAC a hammer mark or 10 isn't a deal breaker! i don't have unrealistic goals for the end result, i just don't want the darn thing to come flying off on the highway if we ever get to that point, and i'd like it to keep the outside out and the inside in at least as long as the rest of the car... which might not be all that long

i have the factory manual set but the Body volume doesn't go into much detail about actual body assembly/construction/measurements that i saw, it seems to mostly pick up from the point that you have a body and goes from there to glass/seals and trim/retainer hardware/locations. i'll take another look at it in the daytime when i'm not so tired
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i decided that it'd actually be MUCH easier to weld the pillars than to de and re-struct the entire roof. i mean the new one's already put together, it'd be a shame to take it apart! i'm just crossin my fingers because i took some rough measurements and the new roof looks to be 1/4" wider at a couple points on the inner sail panels... but my cuts are a little above where i measured. Aaah, what's a 1/4" between roofs?

yeah, the A pillars are 2 halves assembled but basically it just makes a funny shapped tube. i figger it'll weld fine with some bevelling, it's gonna kinda hafta...



it's not the first roof i cut off but it is the first one i'm gonna try to put back on (man i hope i don't screw this up, man i hope i don't screw this up, man i hope i don't screw this up...)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
a few more pics after very little tweeking

drivers side outer sail panel, i guess 5 model years and probably a different assy plant is too much to ask for a perfect contour match? maybe the roof rail will cover it but i'll try to get it closer



drivers side bed sail panel



drivers side A pillar

 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks, there's a whole lotta unkown from my welds on down!

i'm even sweatin the bondo... how bad can it go, right? gotta be better than it was
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
update: still workin on it. i got my best guy schmeerin the polyester fill but i gotta keep an eye on him... he likes to take shortcuts. we made some booger patches and tacked them onto the lower quarter, had to make a patch for the inner drop-down too. then we tacked a flex strip around the wheel arch and the bondo started to fly

 

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Discussion Starter #18
the quarters are roughed but need some tweeking, both doors were rotted some underneath & the front corner of the drivers got folded under somehow... now we're chewin on the fenders. they're both crispy rusted toast inside the hood & there's no budget for rust free replacements. i couldn't believe it, a CL ad for FREE 79 fenders 1/2 hour away, i was all over it. picked them up this morning at 5 & the guy through in the complete header panel no extra charge! not that i can use it but i know those turn signals are usually in demand, & if a guy needs the turn signals he might need the complete header?









the complete fenders aren't of much use but the sections inside the hood are gonna make some nice prefabricated patch panels. i'm gonna incorporate the 72 mount bolt to the firewall and the 79 inner support bracket so they'll be twice as strong as either was stock. the 72 mount bracket to the cowl side stays too.

today i also welded up the holes for the FORD letters on the 72 header panel & it's roughed & primed too... still gotta get lickin on the headlight buckets, gravel pan, fender extensions, hood & tailgate.

what's the easie$t way to dechrome or prepare a bumper for paint?
 

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Something you may want to consider if doing this again - patch or replacement panels are rapidly becoming old-school, especially with replacement panels unavailable for some models or body areas. The newer fad is to plasma-spray new metal onto the old, rebuilding the panel in metal. This not only avoids cutting, realignment and welding issues, but retains the original metal everywhere and does not require finding parts that often get bent-up on shipping anyway.

For filling holes, they simply place a flexible copper sheet behind the hole (such as the ones in your roof) and spray like paint. The molten metal from the plasma gun creates a whole new metal skin and the copper is removed. Done! I watched a pro do a whole car ('70 'Cuda) that had holes everywhere like yours. Took him about an hour to prep the holes, 30 to prep backup panels, and 45 to hit each hole. A little dressing-up with a wheel (the sprayed surface is like coarse sandpaper) and it's ready for primer. No welding, bondo, figerglass... just metal. Awesome. And the car was ready for primer by lunch.

Note the pic below is not the car I saw, but another company on the 'net (RustBusters.com)

David

 

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Something you may want to consider if doing this again - patch or replacement panels are rapidly becoming old-school, especially with replacement panels unavailable for some models or body areas. The newer fad is to plasma-spray new metal onto the old, rebuilding the panel in metal. This not only avoids cutting, realignment and welding issues, but retains the original metal everywhere and does not require finding parts that often get bent-up on shipping anyway.
For filling holes, they simply place a flexible copper sheet behind the hole (such as the ones in your roof) and spray like paint. The molten metal from the plasma gun creates a whole new metal skin and the copper is removed. Done! I watched a pro do a whole car ('70 'Cuda) that had holes everywhere like yours. Took him about an hour to prep the holes, 30 to prep backup panels, and 45 to hit each hole. A little dressing-up with a wheel (the sprayed surface is like coarse sandpaper) and it's ready for primer. No welding, bondo, figerglass... just metal. Awesome. And the car was ready for primer by lunch.
Note the pic below is not the car I saw, but another company on the 'net (RustBusters.com)

David
any links to sites on this? Looks very interesting.
 
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