Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 09 Aug 2016, 15:42

Anyone know roughly how many tubes of tigerseal it would take to bond the new roof down?

I'm just guessing really but I can only assume it's going to be somewhere in the region of 10 or so tubes.
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby bmouthboyo » 10 Aug 2016, 15:35

I think I only used about 2 from memory, although I don't think I did a great job and put too much pressure on the roof whilst setting and now 3 years on its kinda not adhered properly. Iv since read about on recommended ways to do it so will redo next year.

I am looking forward to see how you tackle this part. Looking great mate. :ok
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 10 Aug 2016, 21:17

Day 5... rain.

Fortunately I wasnt doing any roof work today, instead I decided to tackle the rot I found at the base of the windscreen.

It's been said many times before and I will reiterate the statement, if you think you don't have any rust around the screen then you're wrong.

I'd known for a long time that there was a hole at the bottom left of the screen (passenger side) although I didn't know how bad it was. I removed the screen for the work on the roof and immediately knew it was more than just a little perforation. The dash board had long since rotted away, it had been built up with bodge years ago, needed only picking off the bodge and filling back to some decent metal. I'll fix this up next time I remove it.

I attacked the window surround with the power file and this is what I uncovered.

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The power file is brilliant for this job. It allowed me to clean up the holes and shape some bits of the scrap window corners to fit.

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Made a piece for the filing in the sandwich...

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Then the upper slice of bread....

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Nailed that in then seamed it for good measure...

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Also there were a total of 5 holes to fill like this one. Totally invisible with the screen in place.

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This is what was at the other side, this one just looked like seam rash. Looks are deceiving.

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This one was next to it, sadly I don't have any "after" shots of these 2.

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Depending on the weather tomorrow I may carry on with the window or move on to the more pressing matter of putting the hitop back on.
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby Tobias13 » 15 Aug 2016, 15:39

great effort pal!!

going back to the RAMS did you use them to detach the roof under load or had you already removed the sealer?

I was reading a post on the Samba where a guy was putting a Westy high top on and he had quite a job removing the roof as it had a fold over metal strip buried beneath the sealant.
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 16 Aug 2016, 08:25

Tobias13 wrote:great effort pal!!

going back to the RAMS did you use them to detach the roof under load or had you already removed the sealer?

I was reading a post on the Samba where a guy was putting a Westy high top on and he had quite a job removing the roof as it had a fold over metal strip buried beneath the sealant.


There was no sealant holding the roof on, the sealant was there but the metal had disintegrated around it so it had no support. There was a little holding on front and rear but I just slid a hacksaw blade under the back and a wood saw(!) under the front, didn't take much to get it completely free.

As soon as I put a little pressure on with the rams it started to peel away anyway, so if I'd pushed hard enough it would have just come off.

Bearing in mind this is the vehicle I'd had up to about 90mph, I dread to think what would have happened if the little remaining sealant started to peel away.
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby Tobias13 » 16 Aug 2016, 12:29

can only imagine, one hell of a mess!!

nice technique, think it would probably tear a hole in the roof if sealed properly though!! :ok
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 16 Aug 2016, 20:39

Day 6 - Sun.

Today was my first day off work since thursday last week, woke up way too early but decided to take advantage of the very pleasant weather.

First thing to do was to finish sorting out the windscreen area, since I was booked in for 3pm to have a new screen fitted. started by mixing up some body filler and did a minor skim over the areas which I'd replaced, as the profile wasn't the same as it was and the seam at the left was sitting a little low.

I Allowed that to harden and shaped it with some 400 grit wet and dry then gave a few coats of primer, sanding back between coats.

After that had all set nicely I gave the worked area a couple of coats of paint mixed at about 40/60 paint/primer and proceeded to flat down the area below (directly above headlight grille) with some 1200 grit. After filling a few stone chips with knifing putty I flashed over the 2 areas with a watered down mix of about 20% paint, allowing each coat to dry.

The resultant finish is reasonable, not quite a mirror finish but will respond well to a top coat and buffing.

(Disregard the streaks, these were left by the windscreen fitter and have been cleaned)
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So at 3.30pm I found myself looking at the bus, then looking at the high top, then looking at the bunk rails, then looking at the grinder, then looking at the welder.

After doing this for about 5 minutes, I tooled up, donned the PPE and attacked the roof.

Took about 10 minutes to cut out the panel, I first cut from C to D pillars, then from B to C, then from left to right front and back. I'd left a 6" area connected at the top of the C-pillar which allowed me to take the weight with my head then cut out these 2 areas. because I was working on my own it was a little awkward to manoeuvre the roof section off and into the garden, but I managed to drag it off and out of the way.

I rebuilt the 'Roll-bar'/bunk rails, welding to the outer skin at the top and just above the curtain rail inside, then placing the upside down 'U' shaped section back where I'd cut it off originally. It fitted pretty much exactly onto where I'd removed it, so fortunately nothing had flexed or bent too much during the whole process.

I called in help again to get the high-top back into place, exactly the opposite process to the removal and all went smoothly...

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Was getting late so I wrapped up for the night, but not before fitting some metal brackets I've made, which will allow me to bolt through the fibreglass to A) secure it and B) eventually mount an awning at some point.

Will get some more photo's tomorrow showing brackets etc.

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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby evilnoodle » 16 Aug 2016, 21:47

Blimey...you make it all sound so easy :shock:
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 17 Aug 2016, 20:17

evilnoodle wrote:Blimey...you make it all sound so easy :shock:


I wouldn't say it's easy, not by any stretch of the imagination, but having the correct tools, equipment and chemicals at your disposal makes it less of a dread-filled task. You also need the tekkers to just hit stuff with hammers and cut holes without worrying too much about it.

And so...

Day 7 - sun.

First things first, get the roof lifted for better access to the front. Brute force and a wooden support required.

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This allowed me to get into the brackets to weld them in properly, I'd only welded in the tops of the supports last night...

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Front bracket before I welded up the bottom edge.

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And the rear...

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Once they were nailed in I dropped the roof back down and slid it forward, which allowed me to strip off all this crap...

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Once that was done I was able to slide it back into its final position, at which point I decided to pin it into place using bolts through the aforementioned brackets. This posed a new problem though, which was finding a hole in a piece of metal through 5mm of fibreglass.

There's probably a million ways to do this, however this is the method I came up with.

This is a magnetic kids toy that's been sticking to the freezer for a couple of years.

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It contains a couple of really strong neyodimium magnets, this one is about 6mm in diameter.

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It fits perfectly inside of the 8mm nut that I fitted to the brackets. This coupled with some iron fillings from all of the cutting and grinding I've been doing gives this indicator which shows pretty much perfectly where the hole is on the other side.

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I drilled the holes and they matched up well :ok

The final step was to lift the roof back up and lay a bead of Tiger Seal around the perimeter of the roof where the high top sits. After lowering back down I pinned it with bolts used some pieces of wood wedged in the gutter to press the the high top against the metal work. While the bead started to set I set about putting some more tiger seal in to provide slightly more structural support.

I was very suprised how far the tiger seal went. I used a total of 4 tubes and that was being quite liberal with the application.

A word of warning, don't engage beast-mode when using poundlands finest top quality mastic guns, they can't put up with the abuse!

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That's all for today, and almost all for this story. The roof is in place, sealed, bonded and hopefully watertight.

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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 21 Aug 2016, 21:34

So then.

The roof is firmly in place and I've just completed a 300 mile run to Edinburgh and back.

After driving up to the Mrs's parents in Alnwick on friday in the pouring rain I decided to check to see if there had been any leaks. Not expecting to find anything, I was disappointed and annoyed to find water along both sides where the Hi-top meets the metal roof, about an Inch deep at the back end when I was parked facing upwards on an incline.

I can't see that it would be leaking in through the tigerseal, as it seems to have a good grip on everything.

Could it just be condensation? It was a very muggy night and there were 2 of us in the bus, fans not on, only airflow was forced through the vents from tonking down the A1 at 70.

Only other source I can think of is where the fibreglass is damaged on the outside, there's some areas where the 'gelcoat' is missing (damaged when I was removing the body filler which had been put into the gutter to try and seal it previously) and it's down to the fibres inside. Perhaps it's wicking through the fibres and finding it's way inside'?

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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby Tobias13 » 22 Aug 2016, 13:06

I know how you feel with skeleton guns, got me a 'heavy duty' one for £3 of the flea bay, one squeeze with sikaflex and bye bye gun!!

on the water side, when I ripped out my interior last year I exposed the fibreglass high top, when I used to go in the van thereafter it would be a matter of minutes before moisture was on the underside. obviously this would depend on the weather also. it was this that taught me the importance of insulation.

I have recently worked on a T5 hightop and that was even worse for condensation.

I had water puddles in similar places and mine turned out to be some damaged sealant, an inch sounds a lot for condensation but hard to comment due to the weather conditions etc.
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby bobby-gg » 23 Aug 2016, 09:16

I love neyodimium magnets, use them for everything, I pull them out of any hard drives I find, keep them in a tuperwear box in the garage to keep them clean and ready for use.

Ideal for holding panels together before tacking in position, holding memos up and best of all, place one or two in a small tuperwear box and use it to sweep up the work bench of all the metal filings and grinding dust, place over the bin and pull the magnet away from the box and all the crap falls into the bin
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby evilnoodle » 23 Aug 2016, 19:30

davegsm82 wrote:After driving up to the Mrs's parents in Alnwick on friday in the pouring rain I decided to check to see if there had been any leaks. Not expecting to find anything, I was disappointed and annoyed to find water along both sides where the Hi-top meets the metal roof, about an Inch deep at the back end when I was parked facing upwards on an incline.


Ouch. How frustrating after all the work you have done. It sounds a bit much for condensation. Hope you get it sorted :ok
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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 23 Aug 2016, 22:34

bobby-gg wrote:I love neyodimium magnets, use them for everything, I pull them out of any hard drives I find, keep them in a tuperwear box in the garage to keep them clean and ready for use.

Ideal for holding panels together before tacking in position, holding memos up and best of all, place one or two in a small tuperwear box and use it to sweep up the work bench of all the metal filings and grinding dust, place over the bin and pull the magnet away from the box and all the crap falls into the bin


They're great. Incredibly powerful.

This is that tiny one holding a big-ol' 22mm spanner to the roll bar.

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evilnoodle wrote:
Ouch. How frustrating after all the work you have done. It sounds a bit much for condensation. Hope you get it sorted :ok


Argh, yea it's incredibly annoying. Although not in vain, since the metalwork is now fixed. It just means there's the possibility that I'll have to remove the High-top again, which in fairness is NOT as horrendous as it sounds.

I think I need to concentrate on sealing up the damaged areas, there are some big patches of gelcoat missing, I don't know about the properties of fibreglass so I am only assuming that it's not really sealed when the gelcoat is missing.

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Re: Getting to grips with a rotten roof (Pic heavy)

Postby davegsm82 » 25 Aug 2016, 11:03

It's been raining overnight here and this morning I've checked the bus, there's a little water pooled in one area maybe an inch long and a quarter inch deep.

Upon inspection the bottom edge of the roof lining carpet had a drop of water on it, but the carpet itself was dry, so I peeled the carpet back and it's dry underneath. Very confusing.

The point at which the carpet is wet, is directly underneath a 'bend' in the moulded in gutter on the Hi-top so I suspect it's where the water is sitting.

More investigation required.

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