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Old 12-07-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
Sidneyaks
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Default Roof panel swapout

I've been reading the forums, making heavy use of the search button, and have a pretty good idea of what to do...

Remove the headliner, remove the glass (front and back), unbolt the roof panel, and cut through the sealant. Failure to remove the glass would most likely result in breaking the windows due to tugging on the sunroof. So my question is, how exactly does one remove the sealant? The only idea I have is something like a cheese wire, but of course much thicker.

My idea is to make a sunroof that covers almost the entire roof of the car (leaving a metal margin on all four sides, and covering the support bar in the middle with headliner material), similar to what Scion tc's have, except without the opening and closing. The reason I want to be able to remove the roof is that I would like to do all the fabrication on a roof that I would have no problem if I say, were to destroy it.

My plan is pretty simple. Grab a test subject from a junkyard, form a piece of acrylic to it with a heat gun. Cut out a hole in the middle of the roof and slap some universal trim on the cut edges, and do my damndest to seal the acrylic to what would eventually be the inside of the roof. Once I'm confident that the roof panel is sealed, I'd go ahead and put it on my car. I figure the entire panel could be painted black and acrylic could be tinted.

Something I did think of though is that acrylic is not auto glass, and has a tendancy to brake into large shards. If there's some formable alternative I'd love to hear about it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roof panel swapout

Anything is possible, but to go thru all that trouble I don't know , when I worked in paint repair in car final, at the plant, the glass didn't survive course we had new glass at hand, but cutting thru the urethane of a 10 yr old car will be a witch (sorry), U can get what the call piano wire from a auto body supplier and make a wire saw so to speak but getting the wire thru, a witch, short of heating a thin rod and poking a hole in it, front glass is lamenated, will crack and slivers will get everywhere, back is tempered and if it breaks 1000's of lil glass cubes everywhere.

then i have to cut thru the urethane holding the roof on, the 6 nuts that r there are for holding roof til urethane cures and it goes the entire perimeter, air knife with a sharp blade will work. think idea is better in ur head than on ur car just my 2 cents
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roof panel swapout

Acrylic sounds better then duct tape. One guy on sixthsphere thought duct tape was a good idea

Plastic spatula attached to a reciprocating saw is what the glass guy used on the 1/4 window to swap it from 1 car to another for me. Took all of 15 min and the guy made $100
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Roof panel swapout

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Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Plastic spatula attached to a reciprocating saw is what the glass guy used on the 1/4 window to swap it from 1 car to another for me. Took all of 15 min and the guy made $100
You're paying about $20 for his time and tools, and $80 for him knowing exactly what the !@#k he's doing. A bargain IMO as if I'd been doing it, likely it would have taken most of the day and probably broken the glass anyway.

My $.02 cheap.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Roof panel swapout

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You're paying about $20 for his time and tools, and $80 for him knowing exactly what the !@#k he's doing.
Classic example of the 80/20 rule....
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Roof panel swapout

For the most part, I'm not to worried about the glass of the donor car, I just need to know how to get the roof off without bending the metal. If I ever do do this (I realllllly like the TC top, and think that it would work really well an a 3rd gen sl), I would have a professional shop remove and re-install my windows.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Roof panel swapout

Just cut a hole in your roof and rivet a piece of lexan to it using the roof metal that is left as your mating surface. Dunno if I'd put the lexan on top of the roof or mount it from underneath but seems easy enough either way. Lexan will be lighter than acrylic and is much more flexible so it might be safer in a car accident. Probably need some support pieces to hold the shape because I don't think lexan can be molded to fit things.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roof panel swapout

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Originally Posted by Sidneyaks View Post
For the most part, I'm not to worried about the glass of the donor car, I just need to know how to get the roof off without bending the metal. If I ever do do this (I realllllly like the TC top, and think that it would work really well an a 3rd gen sl), I would have a professional shop remove and re-install my windows.
the sub frame under the roof is pretty ugly, wasn't designed to be visable lots of holes and sharp edges, if u don't care what happens to the roof panel ur trying to remove, get an air chisel with a chisel designed for cutting metal, A shear, cut of roof then u can access the urethane easier
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