Auto body repair & detailing/Vinyl top and rust...
So, I'm looking at buying a '69 Cougar, and have a question before I do anything with it. I have not gotten any pictures of under the top as of yet, but this is the ad: http://charlotte.craigslist.org/ctd/4418537303.html
It has rust under the vinyl top, and I'm not in a position financially to replace the roof or do anything big like that, nor do I have the skills/tools to do anything aside from small-time maintenance on my own. What do you think the best course of action would be for this?
Hi Cory!....Thanks for sending me the link. I took a look at all of the pictures, and the one showing the vinyl roof, obviously does show a fair amount of rust/bubbling. Considering this vehicle is 45 years old, and providing the roof is original and has not been replaced, it is actually in average condition. That being said, if you do decide to do this project yourself or have a friend that can help, the proper method of repair, is to first remove all exterior chrome trim and strip off the vinyl by hand. Next, take an 8 inch grinder/polisher with 80 grit sandpaper and simply start grinding away until you are completely down to bare metal. Please remember to keep the grinding speed low, as a high speed will heat up the metal and can actually warp it. Once this is done, you will be able to see what you are up against. The areas with the large bubbling, I am sure will need to be further ground down using a 36/40 grit disc or sandblasted, as these will be deeply pitted. If it comes down to the point where the metal is too thin or has rotted right through, then a patch will need to be welded in. Depending on the severity/amount of rust damage, the other option is to replace the roof panel versus repair. (As I am sure you are aware, replacing the roof skin panel is a costly and time consuming operation, so I would do this only as a last resort.) Lastly, you will need to fill and sand the repaired areas using a fiberglass filler, then prime the entire roof using a good quality primer-surface. From there, you can decide whether to replace the roof with vinyl again, or simply just leave it painted. Either way, the roof must be painted, as primer-surfacers actually act like a sponge over time, therefore not sealing out moisture. As this would be the ideal course of action, I don't see a problem leaving the roof for another couple of years or so the way it is either, as in 45 years it has only deteriorated this far.....Hope this helps you out....If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to write me back....Thanks....Dave