Filling a beetle sunroof hole

  1. keithski122 Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    uk
    Thought I would post this job I'm doing on my baja bug.
    I bought this bug from austrailia but don't like the sunroof which leaks.After a lot of thought about different ways of doing this I decided on stepping the hole and spot welding a patch panel in.The new panel was cut from a scrap beetle.Unfortunately when the sunroof was removed the roof flexs a bit so I've held it up with some wood which will hopefully hold the shape while its welded.I was thinking of using a shrinker/stretcher to shrink the rear edge a little to tighten it up a little, whats everyones thought on this?
    Anyway photo time:-
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Coo

    Coo Member

    Messages:
    751
    Fife
    Looks like you have a great pre-weld fit for the panel.
     
  3. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,429
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    Stick it in with Sikaflex and just paint the Clecos :D
     
  4. candygt will work for food ^.^

    Messages:
    104
    UK
    Looks like a great job so far! As Coo said the panel looks to be a tight fit so I would expect nice results!!
     
  5. Coo

    Coo Member

    Messages:
    751
    Fife
    At the risk of repeating something you probably already know.....

    Take your time welding around the edge, keeping heat build up to an absolute minimum..
    That'll help reduce any warping
     
  6. keithski122 Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    uk
    Thanks for the positive input.
    As I said I'm spot welding it so hopefully distortion will be minimised anyway.I'm going to lead load the outer seam to blend it better then I will have to give it a thin skim of filler or glaze.The inner seam I'm going to seam seal with wurth bond and seal.
    My main concern is how the roof sags slightly with the wood removed, I'm hoping when its welded it will be ok.
     
  7. Windy Miller Semi-Professional Potterer!

    Messages:
    2,887
    Location:
    North Kent, UK
    Nice looking job so far Keith!

    What are those 6 'things' placed around the edge of the infill panel? Saw some the other day on another forum holding the rear wheel arch on an MGB before it was welded.
     
  8. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,429
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    Those are the Clecos I mentioned in my post :waving: Google Cleco fasteners ;)
     
  9. the snooper

    the snooper getting older by the day

    Messages:
    20,505
    Location:
    Hull UK
    cant really tell but from the picture it looks as though you will be overlapping the joint ie the new panel sat on top.
    if i were you i would cut it exact and put a strip behind the joint so that its flush when welded in less filling to do and you wont see the repair
     
  10. bigbadbugga

    bigbadbugga Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    Liverpool uk
    http://www.frost.co.uk/item_Detail.asp?productID=8352
     
  11. keithski122 Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    uk
    I am overlapping it but I've used a rolastep (ratchet flanging tool) to create a step in the roof so the repair section sits in this and becomes flush.You can just see this in one of the photos.
    You're right they are clekos, I don't use them usually as normally I would always butt weld any repair section as I don't want to create rust traps.I don't think this is a rust trap area though and it will be well sealed.I'm not butt welding this as it is bound to cause huge distortion if I mig it.
     
  12. the snooper

    the snooper getting older by the day

    Messages:
    20,505
    Location:
    Hull UK
    ahh i see never noticed you had stepped it
    have you thought of adding some bracing to cut out some of the flex you wanted rid off
     
  13. Windy Miller Semi-Professional Potterer!

    Messages:
    2,887
    Location:
    North Kent, UK
    Ah ha! Now I know - thanks Guys!
     
  14. Angusdog

    Angusdog Well-meaning amateur

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Wellington, NZ
    I think it will be fine in terms of stiffness with an overlapped join. Once welded, the double thickness of german steel (as opposed to thin modern car panels) will aid greatly.

    I saw how Rolls Royce MIG the aluminium roof on the Phantom - two weldors do exactly the same metre long weld on either side of the roof in one hit, which gives them no distortion. Just find a weldor identical to you to weld one side while you do the other ;)

    Seriously, if you follow the guide on here (welding in very short blasts) I doubt you'd get much distortion.
     
  15. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,429
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    Do the bracing like they do on the buses, cut some wood to the roof profile and stick it in place with Sikaflex or Tiger Seal PU adhesive.
     
  16. Dr pepper Member

    Messages:
    199
    lancashire - uk
    You can get an attachment for a spotter to seam weld, sort of a pair of rollers with a sliding contact, I dont think that machine of yours will have the power though, they soak up a lot of juice.
    They were using them in a exhaust plant I worked at to do the seam around audi catalysts boxes.
     
  17. keithski122 Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    uk
    Nothing like a bit of work on new years day!
    Did the spotwelding today and I'm pleased with the results for a first attempt.Quite a few messy spots, a few blow throughs, all caused by lack of experience with pressure and timing plus the welding arms flex a bit due to their length.It should be strong enough though and a lot less distortion than mig welding it.Need to clean it a bit then lead the seam, then a skim of filler.The photos show the distortion though its not as bad as it looks, about 1/8 inch.The best thing about it though is when I removed the supporting wood the roof held its shape fine.:D
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. keithski122 Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    uk
    Got another hour or so in today so I tapped up the low spots and had a go at lead loading.Didn't make the seam invisable but that wasn't the intention, just to seal it a little.Not sure what to do paint wise as I painted it a couple of years ago but not really happy with the results, got a small problem with micro blistering.I've decided that bare metaling then epoxy primer is the way to go, just haven't really got the time or space to do it all in one go so may do it a bit at a time.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Wriggler Member

    Messages:
    85
    North Yorks
    You've made a decent job of that :)
     
  20. split999 Member

    Messages:
    97
    uk
    Totally agree.

    well done.:waving:
     
Advertisements