Porsche door repaired and followed by an Opel in need of a new roof

At last, the panel is ready to fit. In Image 1 the panel is hold in place with help of welding clamps. The clamps are converted for fitting roof panels, se Image 2. When looking closer at Image 1 the new flange can be seen. Careful fitment makes the welded flange impossible to discover.

Image 1 Welding of the new panel and the folding flange at the Porsche door.
Image 2 Welding clamps, to the right a modified one.

Image 3 shows the new panels carefully welded in place and the welding seams lead filled. The door is now ready to be handed over to the paint shop. During the trip back to the workshop the door will also pass the sign makers shop. Pictures from the door decoration come later.

Image 3 After welding and lead filling the door is ready for the paint shop.

During the 80´s and 90´s many cars were converted with a glass sunroof of enthusiastic owners. Often, after a few years, when the car was sold to a new owner and the sunroof had begun to leak, the new owner was less happy with the conversion. One solution in that situation was to fit a new roof, usually from a wreck and bought at the scrap yard.

To a beginning the pillars was cut and the roof carefully fit in and welded to the car. But, often the new and the old roofs vary slightly. Cars are more individual than one might think. The result could in many cases have been better and the roof changing method was modified.

That means that the replacement roof was put up and down on the work bench and the normally hidden under skin structures, see Image 5, was carefully removed by grinding,layer by layer. During that period the spindle for worn down cutting discs was developed, see Chapter 5 in the book and Image 5. A real money saving equipment! Later, during the spring, the spindle can be bought from our shop.

The car here is an early Opel Rally Kadett, Image 4, with a slightly damaged roof. When the owner found a NOS roof in Germany he decided that a new roof was the best solution.Image 5 shows the construction with beams under the roof panel or skin and how they together create the drain channel. Note the sealant in the channel and the continuous welding of the roof panel to the under laying structure. Continuous welding means that the same kind of welding which join the fuel tank parts together has been used. The traces after the rolls in the welding machine can be seen in later pictures.

Image 4 Opel Rally Kadett.
Image 5 Cross section of the longitudinal edge of the roof. Resistance welding points are marked with arrows.

Note that the welding of the roof panel to the reinforcement structure is continuous. In image 5:

1. Drain channel
2. Outer roof panel
3. Beam
4. Anti drum board
5. Sealant
6. Space, appr. 10 mm, for the welding electrode

Image 6 Worn super thin cutting discs together with the special spindle was often used during the work with removing the old roof panel.

Before the work with removing the roof panel started the whole car was covered, Image 7. With the car protected the work with removal the old roof panel began. At the front and rear ends the removal was done with the air hammer and a chisel, Image 8, and in the drain channel with a cutting disc adapted to an air grinding machine, Image 9. The work was done very carefully to avoid damage of the edge of the drain channel or the under laying structures.

Image 7 During the removal of the roof panel the car was protected.
Image 8 The air hammer and a chisel was used to cut away the front and rear ends of the roof.
Image 9 Cutting discs and an air grinding machine was used for careful removal along the edges of the roof.

At the front and rear ends of the roof the residues of the welding flange was removed with a pair of pliers, Image 10, and the residues from the welding points were grinded away. 

Image 10 Residues from the welding flanges was removed with a plier.

To be continued….

Panel Beating Doctor Bengt Blad

At this point in my life when I was about three quarters through the medical schooI I discovered the English wheel and the Eckold machine, and, one thing leading to another - no more time for med school.

More about the book

This book, with around 1,500 pages of reader-friendly text and about as many illustrations, is a summary of 40 years of working with vintage, collectors' and racing cars.