Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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Page 76 of 101

July 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 73 The first step is to install bracing to ensure that the structure of the car remains the same. We weld in supports for the front and back. As you can see, it's nothing fancy—just enough to keep everything where it needs to be. Next, we draw out a simple sketch and take measurements, windshield top to bottom right, left and middle, and repeat with rear window. Our friend Terry O'Hara of Auto Dealer Services, Charlotte, North Carolina, has replaced many roofs and walks us through the process. Terry uses a CP die grinder with a cut-off wheel to slice through the roof layer along the windshield. Go slowly, checking often to make sure only that first layer is cut through. Wrap the slice around to the drip rail, but only for a few inches. Then using a pointed chisel, nudge it up under the roof metal at the A-pillar. Here, Terry slices along the drip rail, after the chisel is in place. The chisel helps raise up the roof metal and makes it easier to only cut through the roof metal, as you do not want to cut through the drip rail metal underneath. He cuts very care- fully and checks often. Little by little, the front, rear and drip rail areas will be cut, leaving the sail panels. The lead has been ground off the sail panels using a die grinder and Summit Racing Quick-Change sanding discs. Terry uses the cut-off wheel to carefully grind through each spot weld. A slender chisel or screwdriver is then used to pry up the metal along the seam. All the attachment points have been cut, so Terry and David Malkin lift the roof off the car. Any left-behind metal on the window frame areas is removed using a grinder and/or chisel. What we found under the roof was pretty bad! The inner structure was at the point of almost no return—we had caught it just in time! David uses the sand- ing discs to grind the spot welds. Then he uses Summit Racing conditioning discs to remove as much rust as possible.

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