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Old 07-26-2013, 03:37 PM
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83 chevy caprice rag top rust

Hey guys I know this question may be a bit different than what you may be used to seeing but i need some help with an old 83 chevy caprice. I have tons of rust under the vinyl top. I have done a search on the internet and it seems like you supposed to get a good roof from the junkyard and re weld it on your car, thats a lot of work and possibly a lot of money this car is just for getting me back and forth to work and am not looking to necessary restore it in anyway. So my question is do you guys know of anyway to repair rust underneath a vinyl top without a lot of expense.Ii also have access to a wire feed welder if that helps anything. Here is a pic of what it looks like.

Thanks for any help.

James
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:23 PM
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do you guys know of anyway to repair rust underneath a vinyl top without a lot of expense?

In a word no. If it's a beater, Bondo it up and seal the outer parts with roofing tar.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:01 PM
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an umbrella. Does it leak? Seems like it will soon.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:16 PM
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an umbrella. Does it leak? Seems like it will soon.
You guys are so cruel......LOL!!!
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:49 PM
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I'm sorry, that is some nasty rust....unfortunately the car just had it's 30th birthday, they made a bunch of those cars so getting a new roof would be fairly easy....the problem is, if you go to the expense of replacing the roof, when your done, it's still a 30 year old car and it won't increase the value of the vehicle to the point of covering the costs of repairing it.

I'm sorry, but, if it was my car, I wouldn't spend the time or the money...even 2 gallons of fiberglass filler (or more) would probably not be worth it and it wouldn't last very long.

Sorry my man.

Ray
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:58 PM
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maybe a piece of aluminum rivets and silicone will buy you some more time. Don't feel bad.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:46 AM
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I thought it would be more work than what it was worth... thanks guys for the quick response.

James
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:32 AM
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factories cutting corners

I worked at Ford a few years back and The Quality Control department never enforced the paint thickness specification for the roof paint for bodies that were going to get a vinly roof. It looks like Gm was the same , My wife's 67 ford Galaxie only has surface rust and a few pieces of the Vinly roof left, but there are a couple factory holes in the roof quarters and they only leaded about an ench on each side of the seam. The vinyl roof had a lot of padding in that area.
How many rolls of duct tape do you need ?
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:21 AM
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I thought it would be more work than what it was worth... thanks guys for the quick response.

James
Yeah that is a hard one, it's REALLY gone! If it was just the upper skin with holes some fiberglass reinforced filler could get you a little further down the road. But that is pretty funky. That would be your only hope, if you were to pull the windshield and get that all cleaned up then epoxy prime it then pile on the "Everglass" or "Kitty hair" or even "tiger hair" (the longest strand reinforced filler) you could sculpt the area out of it then gluing the vinyl top back down and urethaning that window in like a mad man, you "could" get a little time out of it, a year or two, who knows.

It's all a bunch of work for little return unfortunately. What is the rest of the car like? If the rest of the car was just knock out solid, solid drive train, this thing needs zero work other than the top to keep you one the road, getting a top from the wreckers and cutting it at all the posts isn't a big deal, it really isn't.

But also the chances of finding another top that isn't rusted out is a toss of the dice too.

Brian
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:40 AM
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Okay you got real mess on your hands ,From the photo it looks like a giant hole I'd like to see the rest of the roof. I think we could have a little fun with this project.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:04 PM
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Look up "red green "handymans corner they can do anything with duct tape...they even show you how to paint your car...and everything thats around it....http://www.redgreen.com/

Last edited by deadbodyman; 07-27-2013 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:50 PM
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any thoughts on making it a roll top? or some thing like that?
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:55 PM
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Grab the sawzall and make a convertable. You could make a fantasy Island type bimini top for it.
No easy fix for this car.
I too would also try to slop something over the top to make it waterproof enough to drive it. Heck you could just glue the top back down if it isnt cracked.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:53 PM
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Grab the sawzall and make a convertable.
I was going to say this. My buddies did the same thing with an 80s Mercury. Looks good and is a decent fairweather car.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:03 AM
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Without getting into safety issues, blow the rust away with some compressed air, slop a bunch of rust reformer in there, rivet a patch over the hole, glue the top back down and drive it til it croaks.
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