View Full Version : Rusty Roof Repair

05-21-10, 12:12 AM
I finally selected a '67 Fleetwood to call my own, and I'm lining people up to handle work I can't. The car runs and drives well, and the single biggest issue is that the vinyl top was destroyed and trapping water, resulting in rust on the roof. The top has been fully removed, and the bulk of the rust is just harmless surface rust, but at the base of the roof is actual perforation that needs to be repaired.

Anyone have any thoughts on the best way to tackle this? Cutting and welding seems really invasive for an essentially non-structural, non-exposed area of the car, so I'm thinking about getting rid of the rot, treating the entire top with a rust encapsulator (POR15 or Eastwood, etc.) then just using bondo or fiberglass to patch the hole. It'll be re-vinyl'ed once the work is done...

Any thoughts/suggestions on a good approach? Thanks in advance!

05-21-10, 01:12 AM
Hmm, well since its gonna be re-vynaled you could do whatever you wanted since it wont show. like you said. I think bondo or fiberglass would do the job, cuz if you cut a section out and weld in a new section I would think that you'd have to remove whatever interior material thats on the the other side of the roof because you might cut into it or burn it when you weld the new piece in..

05-21-10, 01:48 AM
My '69 has the same issues as your '67. It all depends on how particular you are about the car. No matter what you do, you'll want to cut out all the rusted areas. How you repair them is up to you. I'm personally welding in fresh metal, just 'cause that's the kind of guy I am. Fiberglass could be an OK choice. Bondo, not so crazy about it. No matter what you do, it needn't be pretty, since it's getting covered with the vinyl. Even Fisher Body wasn't too concerned about making everything under there nice and smooth. The factory panel seam work under the vinyl top is truely atrocious.

05-21-10, 08:01 AM
Fiberglass should do you just fine. As 77cdv said, I'd put a metal patch but you would need to be careful for the interior so a fiberglass job should suffice

05-21-10, 01:22 PM
I'm really leaning towards fiberglass, since it would very easy to handle and set. I don't want to do a metal patch since the interior is in pretty nice shape (used, but intact) and taking it apart is a little more than I want to deal with right now. I'm trying to get the car to presentable relatively quickly so I can get around in it, get a sense of what it needs before I end up spending money on a total basket case. ;) I know it needs a couple rear body mounts repaired (rust) and I expect that won't be cheap - unfortunately welding is something I can't do.

05-22-10, 10:35 PM
I'm not sure where you're located but there is also wire spray welding which seems like a possible alternative for the damage you have.
google "rustbusters and/or rustbusterllc"

Rustbusters has a number of locations using their equipment.

Basically they blast off the rust and spray the rust damaged area with liquid galvanized metal, some type of zinc alloy I presume.

One of the projects on a related website "rustbusterllc" is filling the kind of pinholes you're talking about.

Haven't used it so I can't vouch for it, but I'd research it if I were you. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

(sorry site won't let me post the correct links)

05-23-10, 01:25 PM
Just be aware that if you don't cut the rust out, it will come back. No matter what is on top of it. Of course, this can take years, so decide how long you are going to keep the car, and plan your repair accordingly.

05-23-10, 11:49 PM
Any rust should be cut out and new metal butt-welded in. Bondo holds water. Fibreglass would also trap water between the metal and the glass. A butt weld will not trap water. Even a piece of metal attached with flanges will trap water. The weld doesn't have to be perfect if you are going to cover the roof with new padding and vinyl. But I really think it would be much easier to rust proof an all metal roof then some combo of metal, bondo and fibreglass.