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Thread: Old patrol roof rust repairs

  1. #1
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    Old patrol roof rust repairs

    After enjoying my patrol for a few months, I started to notice the dreaded rust bubbles appearing on the outside of the 4x4, along with random flakes of rust falling on me while I was driving.
    This is what it looked like from the outside:
    73210017_529894624476974_2898862389451554816_n.jpg

    I pulled the headliner and everything looked fine.
    I used an inspection mirror to see down into the gap between the roof skin and the frame. Not even close to fine .
    I made the mistake of poking at a few places with a screwdriver, and found a few places where someone had managed to make rust and filler take on the appearance of metal.

    I started cutting some of it out with an air body saw:
    a-pillar.jpg

    After seeing that mess, and what I saw with the inspection mirror, I decided that if I was going to fix this properly, the whole roof skin would have to come off.

    I started the process:
    Removed the windscreen
    86738680_125174222209903_7598802151791394816_n.jpg

    Used a stripping disk to clean all the seam sealer and it's underlying layer of rust out of the gutters
    Ground back the paint on all four corners to find the brazing line where the roof is attached to the pillers
    Cut through the roof skin above the brazing line with a combination of air body saw and angle grinder
    Removed the chunk of hillman hunter bonnet that the previous owner had pop-riveted over the very rusty sunroof
    Removed the sunroof assembly
    Went nuts with a spot weld removal drill bit - there are a lot of spot welds so this took me about a day of drilling

    spot welds around the windscreen drilled out:
    windscreen.jpg

    Once all the welds were gone, I stood on the back seat and shoved the roof skin upwards and backwards:
    roofectomy.jpg

    Took the whole skin off and stuck it on the lawn:
    root.jpg

    This is what I'm left with:
    drivers.jpg
    overall.jpg

    A bit of a mess.

    The plan from here:
    - Weld in some temporary bracing
    - Drill out spot welds and remove roof superstructure
    - Strip off gutters
    - Chop out all the rusty bits from the frame and weld in steel patches
    - Fabricate some new gutters and weld them on to the frame
    - Weld the roof superstructure back on
    - Remove temporary bracing
    - Chop out all the rust bits from the roof skin and weld in patches
    - Weld the roof skin back on
    - Drench everything in rust proofing
    - Paint the outside of the thing
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  4. #2
    Patrol Guru 0-TJ-0's Avatar
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    Looks like a big job! Glad it's you and not me. Good project though.
    2003 GU TD42 with a few extra ponies

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    Legendary Rossco's Avatar
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    Amazing work mate. My GQ had the dreaded roof rust, after doing one semi-dodgy repair and having it rear its head again with vengeance ended up getting a new shell and doing a cab swap. Once it starts poping up on the outside you know it's pretty bad in there. . . Good luck looks like fun can't wait to see how it comes up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossco View Post
    Amazing work mate. My GQ had the dreaded roof rust, after doing one semi-dodgy repair and having it rear its head again with vengeance ended up getting a new shell and doing a cab swap. Once it starts popping up on the outside you know it's pretty bad in there. . . Good luck looks like fun can't wait to see how it comes up.
    I toyed with the idea of swapping the shell or grafting on a donor roof, but I have very little chance of finding either in good condition over here in NZ. Our humid climate and day/night temperature swings are excellent at causing the condensation that causes these 4x4s to rust from the inside out.

    Many of the issues I am dealing with are as a result of dodgy repairs that were done to get the thing through it's next inspection - steel patches welded in with no rust proofing, RTV sealant masquerading as a roof gutter etc.

    I payed $1000 for the patrol, so I had some idea what I was getting in to. I figure it doesn't really owe me anything, and worse case scenario I have to scrap it after I have learned a whole bunch about doing bodywork on a 4x4.
    Best case scenario I fix all the rust and drive the thing for several more years.

    I'll update this thread as I continue to hack away at the thing. Fortunately I have a MIG, an air body saw, and an angle grinder - and I'm not afraid to use them!

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    Some progress...

    Made some progress on the patrol over the weekend.

    Out came the air saw, and off came large chunks of bodywork:
    sawzall-deployed.jpg

    more-cutting.jpg

    The Headliner support brackets were removed, more rusty bits chopped out, rear window removed, all edges ground back with a stripping disk, and the inside of the frame rails coated with rust kill epoxy primer.
    The edges where I will be welding new steel in got a shot of weld-through primer instead of the epoxy stuff. All the cavities will have cavity wax injected when I'm done with the welding bits:
    primer.jpg

    How this side of the thing looks overall:
    overall.jpg

    Still quite a bit of rust on this side, but I want to get some new steel welded in around the B pillar area before I go chopping any more bits out (I don't want the body getting twisty on me)

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    a little progress...

    Got a bit more done today. Nice to be putting metal back into the patrol for a change.

    Cut out, bend up and prime some sheet metal:
    small-patch.jpg

    Clamp it in place:
    clamped-in.jpg

    Tack it in:
    small-tacked.jpg

    Mark out a big chunk, then cut it out:
    markout.jpg

    Bend it with clamps, hammers and a chunk of angle iron, then tack it in place:
    tacked.jpg

    Weld er' up (did some grinding as I went):
    welded.jpg

    Paint it (weld-thru primer on the area the gutters will attach to, etch primer on the rest):
    painted.jpg

    Stand back and stare at it:
    overall.jpg

    One small part of a very big job with tons left to do, but it's progress in the right direction.

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  12. #7
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    Clever guy, watching this with interest, thanks for the detailed posts and 'how to' ideas.
    Manufacturer of the Complete Camp Oven System

    Website:http://davesstuff.net/

    Vendor Page: http://www.nissanpatrol.com.au/forum...ar-That-Works/

    Tuturial Video's: http://www.nissanpatrol.com.au/forum...ted-on-Youtube

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    Yeah wow! Big Task. Great Effort mate. I will watch with interest. Why have you left the seats in mate? Surely they are going to get weld splatter and be wrecked during this resurrection.
    Its a Nissan! =====> Its a Keeper!! ....... Got a TD42 in it BONUS!! ....... I'm a lucky bugger! I've got 2 of em!
    Check out my Toy --> MudRunnerTD's GQ From the Ground Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Dung Beetle View Post
    Wish it was Nissan though, Toyotas just can't keep up with the Pootrol pace.
    The only good thing about an 80 series is..... the front end?? Wrong!!, the Engine?? Wrong!! the Full Time 4WD system?? Wrong!! Its the NissanPatrol.com.au stubby holder fitted over the transfer lever.
    WARNING: Towballs used for recoveries can, and do kill people and damage property.

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    Moderator MudRunnerTD's Avatar
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    What panel steel are you using? Have you got a Donor Bonnet or something? Are. you using a bender or just hand shaping?
    Its a Nissan! =====> Its a Keeper!! ....... Got a TD42 in it BONUS!! ....... I'm a lucky bugger! I've got 2 of em!
    Check out my Toy --> MudRunnerTD's GQ From the Ground Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Dung Beetle View Post
    Wish it was Nissan though, Toyotas just can't keep up with the Pootrol pace.
    The only good thing about an 80 series is..... the front end?? Wrong!!, the Engine?? Wrong!! the Full Time 4WD system?? Wrong!! Its the NissanPatrol.com.au stubby holder fitted over the transfer lever.
    WARNING: Towballs used for recoveries can, and do kill people and damage property.

  15. #10
    Moderator MudRunnerTD's Avatar
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    Ghee, a Donor car would be bloody handy here though. something that is wrecked that you can cut out those roof mounts would be sik. Chat with your local wrecker, he might have something that is fully stripped that he is looking to crush or send to smelter that you can cut a heap out of. Nice work mate.
    Its a Nissan! =====> Its a Keeper!! ....... Got a TD42 in it BONUS!! ....... I'm a lucky bugger! I've got 2 of em!
    Check out my Toy --> MudRunnerTD's GQ From the Ground Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Dung Beetle View Post
    Wish it was Nissan though, Toyotas just can't keep up with the Pootrol pace.
    The only good thing about an 80 series is..... the front end?? Wrong!!, the Engine?? Wrong!! the Full Time 4WD system?? Wrong!! Its the NissanPatrol.com.au stubby holder fitted over the transfer lever.
    WARNING: Towballs used for recoveries can, and do kill people and damage property.

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