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Advice On A Roof Skin Change


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I'm starting my next big job on the car now and I am after any advice from those on here who have done this job already.

I've found some excellent info here: http://forums.mantaclub.org/topic/23539-manta-b-project-underway/page-2 but I have a couple of questions:

When making the cut along the centre line of the trim holes as suggested in the above topic, how do I get around the B pillar? How do I cut it out in a way which I can get at it to weld it back up? In Kevs pics it looks as though the cut follows a straight line through the B pillar, but i cant see how I can weld the 'new' roof above the B pillar if thats the case. Some detail pics of other peoples jobs would be great.

Pics (I've stolen Kev Abbotts pic here, sorry)



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you should be able to spot weld the skin all along the gutter channel .

When reading that thread I linked in the first post, it sounds to me like the skin if difficult to fit over the gutters and that's why they cut through the centre of the trim holes and then butt welded the joint.

Originally posted buy UPK:

"Followed up on docs suggestion tonight, welded the frame back together, crude i know but needed to study the fit option.

Well after doing that i have come to the conclusion that i dont think sliding on the roof skin can work.

Infact i studied it for ages and i still can't work out how opel put it on in the first place.

Anyhow the long and short of it is that i will remove the original roof as i planned to, cut from the centre of the roof outwards to expose the inner frame weld points, if i am still convinced it won't slide on then i will cut the roof rail edges as per Kev Abbotts method and make a butt joint from front to back.

Don't panick folks if this makes no sense. I will photograph the operation so all will be clear.

One day I will work out how opel fit the roof skin in the factory

and doc, keep using that Jedi Mindtrick, its been useful bouncing ideas around with you, i really do appreciate that. As you say makes me think twice so i only cut once and get it right!!

kev (aka upk)"

Anyway, I still havnt fully removed my original skin (just the tops of the pillars and gutter part to remove). I'm going to start cutting the donor roof later, maybe things will become clearer to me...

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where did you get the roofskin?

I bought the donor roof off eBay about 18 month ago. Don't see them coming up for sale much so as soon as I saw it I bought it and had it in storage until it was needed.

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when i done mine . i removed the outer skin only . i drilled the spot welds where possible along the front and rear screen . a & c posts had to be cut as well , make sure and dont cut too far down . the rest i grinded the outer skin off along the roof gutters using the narrow blades ( stainless cutting blades ) . slow job but tidy . then offer up the replacement skin and job done . nearly :P

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  • 4 weeks later...

Having done this on my coupe I can tell you it's actually not difficult but also not for the faint hearted. Just be sure to confirm at each step to avoid cutting in the wrong place.

If your close by you can always call round for a chat and advice. But as mantadoc will say no guarantee implied or given on any advice! Once you start cutting its over to you!!

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