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1975 Sedan Deville
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi - just wondering if anyone on the forum has any experience with repairing rust on Cadillacs caused by padded vinyl tops? Also if anyone has done that, did you then replace the vinyl top, or just paint the roof.
 

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77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
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10,022 Posts
I had this done while restoring my 69 Fleetwood. Unfortunately, the shop didn't do the lower backlight channel very well, and it leaks into the trunk when it rains. So, at some point, I'll have to have the top taken up, the window popped out, and have it done right. All on the still to do list. You should know that even without the vinyl top, the lower backlight channel on pre-1977 cars tend to trap dirt and water and rust out anyway, so the vinyl top makes little difference.
 

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1975 Sedan Deville
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Interesting that they rust even without the vinyl. Was it an expensive fix?
 

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77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
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10,022 Posts
You can probably get the rust fixed and paint done for about $3000. SMS can supply a new premade vinyl top that's correct for your car for about $450.
 

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1970 Eldorado.
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4,023 Posts
I would do it right. Replace or remove the vinyl top and get it painted well.
 

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1977 Eldorado, 1973 Sedan DeVille
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52 Posts
Finding the right person / outfit to do the job is a challenge. My 77 Eldorado suffers from this as well. It is now always garaged and never driven in the rain so I retarded the rust rust growth problem.
 

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'73 Coupe, 67 Coupe
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19 Posts
Hi I just joined the forum. I have been a Cadillac fan / owner for many years and have owned my bodyshop for over 30 years. I am currently rebuilding my '73 Coupe that was heavily rusted under the vinyl top. ( among many other areas) I'll post some pics soon.
 

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'73 Coupe, 67 Coupe
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19 Posts
Here's a before / after pic of the sail panel on my 73 coupe. I removed the glass and blasted it first. It was actually rusted through in some spots, so I cut that aqrea out and welded in a patch, then leaded over the weld. I also dug out the caulk they used in the 1/4 to roof joint and leaded that. The rest of the pitting is clean after blasting and I treated it with phosphate prep and will skim over with filler before priming. The rear window ledge is really bad and I think I will build a new bottom ledge that is slightly taller and move the window up a bit and flush mount it without moldings since I'm deleting all side moldings. fust roof.jpg php3Sn4NcAM.jpg
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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7,958 Posts
I assume you are leaving it bare on to too.
I have an almost unhealthy attraction to that sail panel body line on bare-top 71-73's!:drool2:
 

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1975 Sedan Deville
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
If you can make my roof look similar to yours, of course, all expenses paid no problem.
 

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'73 Coupe, 67 Coupe
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19 Posts
Surely there are still some old school metal men down under? The sail panel isn't really a complicated shape by no means if there is any perforation after blasting it. Cut it out, tack new metal in and lead over it. Or if you can't find somebody that knows how to lead as long as they get it welded solid just use regular filler and you're good to go. I just lead my patches to make sure they are sealed air and moisture tight so I don't have to do it again down the road. Love to come to Australia sometime, but tough to get away and even tougher to bring my metal shaping equipment as carry on lol.
 

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1970 Eldorado.
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4,023 Posts
Surely there are still some old school metal men down under? The sail panel isn't really a complicated shape by no means if there is any perforation after blasting it. Cut it out, tack new metal in and lead over it. Or if you can't find somebody that knows how to lead as long as they get it welded solid just use regular filler and you're good to go. I just lead my patches to make sure they are sealed air and moisture tight so I don't have to do it again down the road. Love to come to Australia sometime, but tough to get away and even tougher to bring my metal shaping equipment as carry on lol.
Would've been a cool photo-session :highfive:
 

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'73 Coupe, 67 Coupe
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19 Posts
Got my back glass are ready for lead. I raised the flange and closed up the gap so the glass will be flush mounted like the newer cars and did away with the moisture trapping moldings I tacked 5/16" nuts across the bottom to help locate the new flange phprlSiZoAM.jpg
 

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'73 Coupe, 67 Coupe
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19 Posts
php0pJH4NAM.jpg This is the side flange going up the sail panel. It's raised approx. 1/4inch so glass will be flush with body. I will add a small filler strip along the edge to close the gap.
 

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'73 Coupe, 67 Coupe
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19 Posts
Got my rear window area ready for leading. phprlSiZoAM.jpg I tacked some 5/16" nuts along the bottom flange to position the new raised flange to keep the glass flush like newer cars and eliminate the deep flange and moldings that trap water.
 
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