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Discussion Starter #261
Roof Repair Continued

46061


This piece is actually a slight compound curve and I bent the patch close as I could at this point. I gambled that at least one corner of the patch would sit flush with the existing roof and I won that bet and that's where I started with tacking.

46062


To locate the trim stud hole I drew a slew of intersecting lines through the original hole and extended them outward as with the curves it's nearly impossible to use any other reference point. Once the side flush was tacked I crawled in and removed the magnets and used the little screwdriver to pry the edges of the patch till they were flush with the roof skin and continued tacking in this way.

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Tedious.

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Did a quick grind and found my centre for the trim hole and drilled that before I lost my reference lines.

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Did a first round grind flush and I had low spots.

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Since I can't bump them out from behind I got to use this guy.

46067


It's a spot welder and slide hammer rolled into one. You spot weld onto the area and use the slide hammer to bump the metal. Then twist and it comes off. "Rinse and repeat."

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I filled in some of the dimples from the puller with more weld and...

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No plastic filler required.

46070


tapped the hole for 8-32 and this patch is done.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #262
Roof Repair Continued

46071


This one is next.

46072


The patch was held in place by some Clecos. Now I did screw up and removed too much metal from the roof skin as the gap was a bit wide at the top.

46073


Fortunately the MIG welder and I have become really good friends over the years and can deal with that with no problems.

46074


First round of blending. I had a low spot in the lower section.

46075


I reworked it, but still had a dew low dimples, then I remembered why am I even bothering, first the vinyl top will hide slight imperfections anyway, and secondly I am going to try to lead that seam so I can just put a little lead in the low spotted area to calm the OCD.

46076


I had to resistance weld the flat section of the flange together so I used the Harbor Freight thingy. Damn this spot welder is heavy. I got lucky and it was an open box item and the checkout girl basically sold it to me for 50% off. It actually does the job.

46077


The only bit left was to install the peg for the trim.

46078


I bought the attachment for this machine that welds those on. I bought a bag of 100 of them and did some practicing.

46079


Did some experiments with scrap first. You can't adjust the current as it's fixed, but you can adjust the weld time. I think this machine puts out 3500 Amperes. I turned up the time and it just melted the little peg.

46080


2 is the magic number for this job.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #263
Roof Repair Continued

46081


I measured off the other side and installed the peg.

46082


This side is done, for the little pits elsewhere I just plan to lead those in and smooth out.

46083


Still have 18 million staple and nail holes to fill and grind.

46084


Damn it Ford... your pissing me off with this nonsense.:mad:

46085


I still have to do this side, but after tackling the other side I feel a bit more confident now. Don't get me wrong, this is truly the hideous side of the project and it will probably take a couple of long days to complete. Took me 10 bloody hours to do two small patches on the other side.

46086


I did just about patch all the staple and nail holes, have a couple to redo as this is not an easy area to on. At least the windscreen was big enough to stand up in and work. This rear window is very difficult to work on in the middle.

46087


That's it for now.

Until next time.

Cheers
 

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Oh this is really getting some great metal work done to it!

Saw a method from this man on a crazy different way of butt welding panels...


Really not a usable method in a case where you cannot access the backside. Otherwise you end up with scrap metal rattling around on the inside of your panel.

Anyways, I thought I'd share that since it might be a useful trick later on - but I'm really loving this project!
 

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Discussion Starter #268
More Roof Repair - just kill me now :rolleyes:

This is a long one. So I decided to tackle the welding in the patch panels on the swiss cheese side of the roof. This side made me apprehensive and I admit I procrastinated on it. Till now.

Just to recap.... yuck

46278


I thought about how best to tackle this. My main concern was cutting too much of the roof structure out at once and experiencing metal spring back from the initial stamping process. I decided to tackle the largest section first.

46279


This was round one of many on this hand formed piece of metal. Actually this piece of metal is from a donor galaxie roof skin. I wanted this to ensure it was the same thickness, material and temper in order to minimize any problems in butt welding this together.

But the best laid plans of mice and men......

Initially I had tried to form this using a spoon and exhaust pipe to form the roll over to the side.

46280


I had some success but the roll over wasn't smooth no matter how hard I tried. Now I have bought DVD's from master body craftsman to study and for the life of me I couldn't quite "get it". Now these extremely talented fellows do show how to build elaborate pieces using just a few basic tools. There is one fellow who made brass radiator shells of Rolls Royce quality using a rock and a tree branch. Ok I am being facetious but you get the idea.

After struggling with this for a couple of hours I gave in and bought one Harbor Freights finest....

46281


Even though it's a cheap Chinesium thing, 15 minutes I was done and it smoothed out the roll over really nicely. Next was to cut a big scary part out of the roof.

46282


46283


So I cleaned the metal innards and used weld through primer.

46284


46285


46286


So I thought I was doing good, but even going slow and taking my time with short welds produced distortion and warping. Moving on...

46287


Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #269
More Roof Repair - Continued

46288


46289


The lower corner piece proved to be really challenging due to the curves involved. I had to make a steel die to form the window inlay in.

46290

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It's not pretty but it will work.

46292


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Now this part I found really interesting.

46295


There's an inner rounded back up piece to that seems to catch any water that leaks past the metal pieces in the corner then funnels that down onto another small tray with a funneled stamping that allows the water to pour on the outer wheel house.

46296


This is like the game of Mousetrap I used to play as a kid. This is borderline crazy in a car. Now here's a radical idea Ford, why not make the window area actually seal?

It's bad enough there's hardly any protective coatings on the inner structures of these cars and the space between the outer wing/fender and the outer wheel house usually accumulates dirt, dust and debris that holds moisture. Now add a drain/gutter purposely adding water to that and it's no wonder why 99.9% of these cars have rusted rear wheel arches. <shaking head>

46297


continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #270
More Roof Repair - Continued

46298


46299


46300


I worked on the weld seems for seemingly days, using the spot welder dent puller, hammer, dolly and shrinking discs.

I needed a break from this side, I had enough and decided to finish the other side. So now the excursion into leading begins.

Originally I found this video from Eastwood Eastwood Leading Video and tried this method. The problem I had is after using baking soda and rinsing after the lead wasn't adhering well in some areas. So I had to redo this with some other kind of method.

Another school of thought is that instead of tinning first, then neutralizing the acid with baking soda, then add lead, was to tin, wipe the excess off then lead the poopers out of are, file/sand then neutralized anything afterwards with baking soda and rinse. I tried this method and it worked.

Of course I had my concerns about leaving trapped acid under the lead, but when I melted out the original Ford lead, the flux was still there in the seam so even Ford tinning, leaded, sanded, then most likely wiped to neutralize then sent the car down the painting line. So if Ford did and it lasted 50+ years, then so shall I.

Now I did find another really good video Trev's Blog on Lead Loading on leading and incorporated his ideas with the Eastwoods approach and came up with a process that seems to work.

46301


The lower seam is leaded and I filled in a bunch of rust pits in this section as well.

46302


I removed this portion of the Ford original leading. As you can see there is a little corrosion from the left over flux, but it's superficial and wire brushes right off.

46303


46304


Now it doesn't have to be plate glass smooth for the roof as it's getting the vinyl top and it will hide some minor sins. The amount of time this takes an rookie ameteur like me is staggering. So I crown thee drivers side done!

46305


Obviously you want to keep the particles of lead as large as possible to keep from getting airborne so I used a large bastard body file modified as noted in Trev's Blog (linked above) and 80 grit sandpaper on a Dura Block and sanded hard and slow.

A couple of notes about leading from what I've learned. First, using a propane torch is a poor idea. You really want a low heat pillow like flame for paddling the lead, especially on a vertical surface. My propane torch was a bear to use because of the concentrated heat in the middle of the flame. I did order that torch attachment from Eastwoods leading video to use on the passenger side. Hopefully it's as good as the video promotes. We'll see.

Secondly, to fill in rust pits, they have to be really clean. Even a wire brush is iffy. So I used my dremel with a tiny point like rotary file and cleaned out the pits like a dentist removes decay from a tooth. That worked a treat the tinning and lead adhered and filled really nicely.

The last and most important part of leading. When you discover you did not put enough down and when you add more to one spot the adjacent spots dish inwards and you find yourself chasing your tail. Easy peasy, don't use a torch for small areas. I used a 300 watt Weller soldering gun. Simply brush on your tinning solution just in the area that needs a bit of lead, use the soldering iron to get the lead stick hot and partially melted to the soldering iron tip then lightly press on the area of missing lead, let the tinning solution clean and let the lead on the soldering iron transfer to the area you need. Lightly and I do mean lightly keep adding and building up. Let the heat of the molten solder on the tip heat the area on the car you need to add to. Any more heating and you risk creating low spots around where you added.

My little trick may not be brilliant nor fast, but it does work.

I still have to do rework to the steel on the passenger side then lead. But at least it's a darn site better off now.

Now about vinyl tops or in this case looks more like a toupee.

46306


I was just laying this top I bought a while back out on the car to see how things look. Here's where I possibly went wrong. I ordered this top from a catalogue some time back, whilst the seams, window area and roof area seems to be well done and laid out the material itself looks like some cheap crap you'd buy at Walmarts Arts and Crafts centre.

46307


I did more research and found that a vinyl supplier named Haartz supplies a great deal of OEM's with tops for luxury car roofs and convertibles. If OEM's are willing to use this supplier it's probably a safe bet they make something that will last. So I ordered another top from Kee Auto Top and they use Haartz vinyl. So it'll be an interesting to see the comparison when it arrives.

At least I'm getting really close to finishing this roof.

Cheers
 

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Your work looks like a professional did it. I would be scared to tackle that! If there was padding it would not even matter about the smoothness or the metal. Which is what Ford did with Continental Mark III. They made the vinyl roof standard and extra cost for a painted roof. It saved them on labor to get the joints paint worthy.

Haartz is the type I got here 1971-72 Ford Galaxie & LTD Convertible Tops and Convertible Top Parts for the LTD top I have yet to install.

Action
 

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👏 (that’s the closest emoji I could find for clapping) impressive work! I’ve never tried leading, so good for you for learning a new skill.
 

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Discussion Starter #273
Your work looks like a professional did it. I would be scared to tackle that! If there was padding it would not even matter about the smoothness or the metal. Which is what Ford did with Continental Mark III. They made the vinyl roof standard and extra cost for a painted roof. It saved them on labor to get the joints paint worthy.

Haartz is the type I got here 1971-72 Ford Galaxie & LTD Convertible Tops and Convertible Top Parts for the LTD top I have yet to install.

Action
Hello Action,

Thank you for the kind words. I still don't know what I'm doing, but the drivers side looks good enough to me :). It will be interesting to see the difference in tops when the Kee Tops version arrives.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #274
👏 (that’s the closest emoji I could find for clapping) impressive work! I’ve never tried leading, so good for you for learning a new skill.
Hello Onceler,

Thank you for the kind words. The hardest part in learning something new on your own is weeding through all the information and sometimes misinformation out there. And by out there it doesn't mean if it's the internet in general or another person specifically.

I have no problem using a good grade polymer filler on the rest of the car but the roof makes me nervous, hence the lead and avoiding plastic fillers. Because it's getting a black vinyl top and we live in the Southwest, when the car sits outside in the summer time that roof will roast. Then cool down to very cool temps in the evening. The question becomes how many times can plastic and steel expand at different rates before they separate.

Referring to a real life example of our 1996 Chevrolet once again, obviously they didn't use lead when constructing this car, GM used a plastic filler on the roof where the rear wing/quarter meet. That started cracking and separating around 15 years of age. My better half and I both had '96 Impala SS's at the time and they both experienced it. I sold mine off a few years ago and honestly do not miss the car at all.

With that my biggest worry is having plastic filler shrink over time and separate from the steel and paint leading to eventually trapping moisture under the vinyl and we're back to square one again with rust and holes.

Cheers
 

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What about the metal fillers? I've seen TV shows where they have used "Kitty Hair" fillers in place of leading and others where they used metal filler in place of leading. Of course, everything looks good at the end the program.
 

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Discussion Starter #276
Hello 70XL,

So from what I've read about the metal fillers is that it's still a catalyzing polymer base just with bits of reinforcement added to it. Again it begs the question of how long can it realistically last in extreme temperature cycling. In a realistic view however I think these polymer fillers would just fine as long as they weren't applied to thick in areas. Metal work should be easily within 1/16" of the final shape before any filler is used as the thicker the filler the more tension and the propensity to separate from the parent metal. This falls back on the roof to rear quarter seam where it's quite deep. The metallic bond between the steel and the lead/tin mix is obviously really strong as it lasted 50+ years. Whereas the covalent bond between the factory polymer filler and primer on the mid 90's General Motors cars failed about 15 years into the cars life because of the depth of filler used.

On a slight tangent, now obviously a great deal of the 1990's era American cars were really substandard due to corner cutting from internal matters such as unions requiring more money as a result quality of materials, R&D and manufacturing really suffered, so maybe they thought the car will not be around after several years anyway (normal attrition) so who cares how badly they were built.

It's a whole lot easier to fix the GM cars roof when there is no vinyl covering over it :)

This is a scenario I do not want to occur on the LTD's roof. At this point, nothing would please me more than never having to revisit this roof again.

Plus there is one more advantage to leading, you can still bump (hammer and dolly) the metal and not affect it. Try that will a polymer filler and it's sure to crack or separate.

Cheers
 
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