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Sunroof transplant?


Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

Sure it rains here alot but I've been thinking about trying to add a sunroof to my Fjord '76. If I were to find a donor car (w/ sunroof), does anyone know how much of the roof would need to be transplanted? Would it be possible to use only the horizontal roof structure, essentially cutting out only the metal surrounding the sunroof mechanism? Or would the transplant involve cutting the A, B, and C pillars?

Has anyone done or heard of this being done? I'm at the stage now (rough shell) that I might consider doing it, if possible.

Thanks

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Guest Anonymous

Before I found a better shell that already had a sunroof. I picked up an entire roof from the local salvage and my plans were to cut it about mid point on the pillars and swap the entire roof. I researched and found a couple sites that detailed the swap, one I think is listed in the links here at faq.

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Guest Anonymous

If you have ever seen pillars of ANY car, there are several layers of metal involved for the structure, its not hollow. If you were to graft new ones on, you would only be able to weld the outermost pieces, loosing much of the strength of the car.

I would strongly suggest cutting a section of roof. Easiest way to do this is make a template and trace it on both sides, then cut the car side small and get ready to grind. You'll want a grinder and a tig welder for the install.

Good luck, it's a big project, I considered it on a past car of mine but decided its easier to just get the shell :) If you do it, take lots of pictures!

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Guest Anonymous

The best way to do it is to transplant just the roof skin along with the underlying support structure that is specific to a sunroof car.

Removing the skin is not difficult, all you have to do is drill out a ton of welds in the driprail and make four small cuts through the skin at the top of the four corner pillars. Once you prep the donor roof skin to go onto your car there is really only one way it will fit as the arcs in the corners will make it line up perfectly, its almost an interference fit.

I have done a few like this on both coupes and 02's and although it takes a while to do, there is really almost no way to screw it up because the basic structure of the roof remains in the car. I did fabricate door opening braces to hold the car in position, but if you work quickly and leave the doors on and latched, you could probably get away without bracing the car.

Regarding the other ways of doing this, I would strongly recommend against cutting out the roof opening and welding that to the existing roof--you will be doing so much welding and body work you will get sick of it. Its a relatively flat area, which means heat warpage galore...

I also recommend against cutting all the pillars, because this means you have a lot of measuring to do so the glass seals properly, plus it is not a good idea to have all of those cuts straight through the pillars, it creates weak spot.

I have some pix of this somewhere...

Matt McGinn

SportsCar Restoration

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Guest Anonymous

While it might not be quite as strong as a non-cut pillar, it's easy to slide some tubing in the pillar, leaving enough exposed to go into the upper half of the pillar still attached to the roof. This acts as both reinforcement and a guide for installing the new roof. This way you can put the roof on and check for all the glass clearance and make adjustments as necessary.

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Guest Anonymous

they ARE just shells (at least thru 1974) No extra metal nowhere, nohow...

which made me add a roll bar not long after I started tracking my first car.

Now, the steel on an 02 is pretty high strength- which means, when it's welded, the temper will go out of the steel and you'll have a soft spot. So reinforcement sounds like a good idea.

While you're there, take a couple of inches outa the pillars! Then you can have the first lowboy '02!

Toby

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