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'59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel

Posted By: Apache1

'59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Fri May 10 2019 08:39 PM

See attachment item description. Who else in the competing aftermarket besides Bill's Truck parts in Ontario, Canada carries this item? Cost 144.95 advertised...not sure if that is adjusted for currency exchange. The shipping cost would be astronomical due to the high tariffs in place.

Attached File
Doc1.docx  (42 downloads)
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Sat May 11 2019 11:41 AM

Bump>fellows might I get some feedback...some help...thanks. What vendor/s here stateside might carry this panel? Surely Bill's isn't the only supplier. In my limited search I've turned up nothing positive.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Sat May 11 2019 12:52 PM

Found a few leads on a replacement panel.
Posted By: CASO

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Sat May 11 2019 12:58 PM

https://www.classicparts.com/1955-59-Front-Inner-Roof-Panel/productinfo/44-009C/
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Sat May 11 2019 03:00 PM

Thanks CASO...another vendor I happened upon before I found your post is Bowtie Bits, LLC antique Truck Parts. Unfortunately, I suppose all panels are produced off shore these days.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Sun May 12 2019 10:00 PM

Who has put a full inner front roof panel in the cab of a '59 TF...past or present? Any BIG concerns...advice from past mistakes in and around the "A" pillar area where the panels intersect? What I should be aware of before I start in with a cut-off wheel? I believe this particular panel is only tied in at the "A" pillar and adjacent inner roof panel. Truly wish I didn't have to cut into this area...but the full panel is rotten...pillar to pillar.
Am I correct in thinking the lip closest to the windshield is an integral part of the pinch weld?
Posted By: bartamos

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Mon May 13 2019 10:09 PM

The only advise I have is.............ONLY use as much of the "panel" as necessary. Leave old metal that is not rusted. But I would have to see the entire inside to elaborate and confirm. I have patch repaired a lot of TF trucks, but not that piece.

Patch panel repair is pretty much all the same. All off shore parts. Need tweaking sometimes. Modified. Remove a little of the old at a time, bla bla bla.

Careful planning, measuring, template making, cutting, welding, are all the same. If you can't get behind it with a backer, you better know how to weld thin sheet metal.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Mon May 13 2019 11:31 PM

I read you loud and clear. To reiterate, do you recall whether or not the front portion is part of the overall windshield pinch weld? Thanks again.
Posted By: bartamos

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 14 2019 12:01 AM

I believe it is but you should be able to tell when windshield removed?
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 14 2019 11:38 AM

Just so happens my windshield is a bit rough...a chip here and there could be original...but the rubber is shot, dry rot, split in multiple places and someone tried to keep water out by using good old silicon chalk...no go. No choice it must come out. I'm trying to approach this project cautiously...I want to get experienced input/opinions before I dive into this with both feet. I've stitched panels in place before on other hotrods with relatively good results...but I'm an amateur at best.
The GM assembly manual gives an artist view with decent orientation but I dealing with a partial panel not the full stamping.
Posted By: gumbi

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 14 2019 05:13 PM

I have replaced both the entire innner and outer roof panels on my '57. The cab is the same as '59. Are you just trying to replace the inner portion along the windshield? If you are, that means the outer roof panel is still in place, this is good. This means that there is still structure holding the cab somewhat square.

That panel above the windshield is spot welded along the length of the windshield to the outer roof panel. You will need a good spot weld cutter with a couple replacement bits. You will also need a bunch of vice-grip type pliers. Just get a bunch of the cheap ones from harbor frieght. The ends of the panel are tucked behind the a-pillers and spot welded in a handful of spots and may be brazed as well, cannot remember off the top of my head. I agree with Bartamos in that only replace what you need. But with that said you may open it up and find another can of worms. I would weld a piece of square tubing across the windshield opening, and maybe two others crossed "x" from corner to corner to help with bracing. I also welded two braces straight up from the floor to the bottom of the inner windshield opening. This was so that I could ensure the windshield opening stayed the same, you can see in the pictures below.

Here are a few pics of when I did mine. Might give you an idea what what you could be getting in to. https://photos.app.goo.gl/T86g0LLLPL5nZyJs2

All in all when I did them, i was super nervous cutting into that much cab structure, but it went MUCH smother than I anticipated. Still had to do a ton of beating on the panels to get them together correctly but it worked out.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 14 2019 08:51 PM

Gumbi>I really appreciate you sharing your experience. Your attention to detail shows in each of your pics. Yes, I only need to replace the forward section. Although your pics give me further pause. By that I mean my truck is not in a frame off restoration phase. Its, a complete running truck. Concerned now if I will be able to perform all work necessary from inside the cab. Cross-bracing to keep everything square is very important. From your pics it appears that at some point you could have decided to chop the top, you were practically there. In my case I'm thinking there will enough structural strength left about the cab...but not 100% confident of that either.
As I stated earlier the windshield must come out and this would maybe be my only opportunity to attack this wasted panel.

Thanks again you have been very helpful.


Attached picture DSCF0800.JPG
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Posted By: bartamos

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 14 2019 10:16 PM

I agree that it sounds like you will not lose any geometry with replacing that inside section, but again, can't say for sure unless you post good clear well lighted pics of the rust area. gumbi is right about: you never know how far the rust goes until cutting and peeking in. This is why slow and careful is the deal. Take a little at a time. Don't cut too deep in case there are other supports inside. It is probably a DIY job without supports needed, but can't see it yet.
Sort of weird that only the inside is rusted and not the outside eyebrow. Condensation? Leak holes somewhere? in front drip rail?

Gumbi took off way way way more than you are indicating. I would not have the guts to do what he did. I would buy another cab. smile
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 14 2019 10:52 PM

Appreciate your follow on comments bartamos. In your travels have you heard of condensation being the primary culprit attacking the front inner and brow structures in these TF cabs. Just not sold on the fact these hidden areas could potentially have created its own atmosphere...these trucks weren't built that tight. You mentioned leaking drip rail, holes in outer roof skin, I don't immediately show signs of that going on here. The other quite probable issue was the poor metal prep treatments if any at all in 1959. I be willing to wager that voided area was just ignored and sent down the line. Shoot they weren't suppose to last 50 years...right.
Posted By: bartamos

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 15 2019 01:39 AM

Condensation will form on the inside bottom of the top roof panel. Not being air tight may increase that. I don't know why you have rust only there. Only to say that it sounds like your truck did not rust from snow, rain, salt or drip rail problems or leaks from the outside. Just rusted from condensation on the "inside". Water accumulated and it did stand and rust. Cold outside metal and the heater going on the inside....or hot outside and air conditioning on inside..just a guess. I am sure not an expert on condensation. I suppose the windshield rubber could leak. Rain/snow did blow up under the brow.
Does not really matter, the fix will last another 50 years.
Posted By: MPandC

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 15 2019 02:00 AM

Originally Posted by Apache1
Appreciate your follow on comments bartamos. In your travels have you heard of condensation being the primary culprit attacking the front inner and brow structures in these TF cabs. Just not sold on the fact these hidden areas could potentially have created its own atmosphere...these trucks weren't built that tight. You mentioned leaking drip rail, holes in outer roof skin, I don't immediately show signs of that going on here. The other quite probable issue was the poor metal prep treatments if any at all in 1959. I be willing to wager that voided area was just ignored and sent down the line. Shoot they weren't suppose to last 50 years...right.



The largest issue is as you suggest, the vehicles were assembled and then sprayed. The area behind that front panel is bare metal.. Look at the following picture after said panel has been removed, note the lines showing exactly where the condensation ran down inside, and the larger circles at the top of the panel where the condensation droplets collected..

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3651/IMG_2172.JPG


Here's the complete thread on how Roger fixed the area..


http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/showthread.php?t=582950

Condensation most certainly was an issue in these vehicles. They sat outside in the sunlight with windows rolled up, and the heat inside also generated humidity. Cold air at night and the humidity cooling against a now cold sheet metal roof and yes, drops of water starts to form just exactly how it also happens inside a metal building. The water would then run down to the lowest point it could reach. Any dirt or debris that may have settled in those areas now becomes a moisture trap as it absorbs/collects moisture.... well on it's way to forming rust..
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 15 2019 09:21 AM

Gentlemen the Roger 55 build/repair tells the story no doubt. And so it begins...fall is coming. I'll sign off for now.
Posted By: gumbi

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 15 2019 03:15 PM

You most likely could do this without any further internal support. I read through and saw Rogers build a while back, yours would be identical. For your truck if you do it, I'd remove the seat, steering column, windshield, doors and floor mat, just so they are out of the way and won't get damaged/dirty. Not too hard or too much work to do that. Cover the dash with a couple welding blankets to protect it. Then go to town on it!. It's definitely doable. Just take your time, try not to get frustrated.
Only reason why I completely replaced both panels is I had pin holes going all the way around the roof along the drip rails.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Mon May 20 2019 09:10 PM

Hey gumbi>just read your post...thanks for your input. The panel I'm considering will require making cut lines out in the "A" pillar location....further out than Rogers panel. I have rot (holes) past the sun visor mounts. So I'll be in no mans land for sure. It would have been nice just to have a straight vertical cut 18" or so on either side of the rear view mirror. Its a #@** shame these cabs suffered this kind of problem.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Mon May 27 2019 12:14 PM

After taking an even closer look at Rogers work, I have questions. For instant where the panel meets the pinch weld there are (2) offsets. Because of the proximity to the outer panel, what tool would be used to make that cut cleanly without punching through? I suppose it would have to be a small diameter cut-off wheel attached to a die-grinder? Even then I wouldn't feel comfortable.

Attached picture IMG_2172.jpg
Posted By: MPandC

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 28 2019 11:28 AM

George, haven't heard back from Roger yet.

For panels like the one shown, if you have a replacement and the top panel is a throwaway, I've used a cutoff wheel to remove the bulk of the panel, leaving only a strip of metal where the spot welds are located. Now with a strip of metal that you can roll up with a pair of pliers, you can use your choice of the spot weld removal techniques from the other thread, and just roll up the metal strip as you go. If it doesn't want to roll up, you still have too much holding the spot weld, drill a bit more and try again. If you wanted to repair the existing panel like Roger did, then a spot weld remover and gentle prying between the panels should show when you have cut through..
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Tue May 28 2019 12:08 PM

Great advice Robert,

That would be the most prudent way to attack that area with minimal or no damage to the surrounding panel. Thanks.

When you hear from Roger please give me a shout.

George
Posted By: roger55

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 29 2019 03:05 PM

Originally Posted by Apache1
After taking an even closer look at Rogers work, I have questions. For instant where the panel meets the pinch weld there are (2) offsets. Because of the proximity to the outer panel, what tool would be used to make that cut cleanly without punching through? I suppose it would have to be a small diameter cut-off wheel attached to a die-grinder? Even then I wouldn't feel comfortable.

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond guys. Been out of pocket.

I think the best way to answer your question is for me to provide more detailed photos of the process I used. I'll provide the full-sized photo links.

So here's that initial photo with the lines that show where I decided to make the cuts. Turned out to be a good decision. I used a Harbor Freight spot weld drill bit on the spot welds. Worked very well. An air cut-off tool with a 3" wheel for the sides. Word of warning. Do not use Harbor Freight cut-off wheels. They are junk. I buy American made ones from Roarke Supply. HF air cut-off tools work OK, just don't use their wheels.

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_2167.JPG

Here's what I had when opened up:

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_21722.JPG

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_21741.JPG

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_21823.JPG

After blasting. None of the areas or spots were thin enough to warrant any repair.

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_53922.JPG

Brushed on SPI gray epoxy primer:

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54371.JPG

Now on to the repair of the removed panel. Here is the underside after removal:

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_21772.JPG

After blasting and the start of welding the holes and thin spots. I used 2 vice clamps and a strip of copper for backing up. Had to be moved a several times in the process but worked well and didn't take all that long to accomplish.

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_53841.JPG

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54071.JPG

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_5415.JPG

After smoothing with an 80 grit Roloc:

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54201.JPG

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54241.JPG

After a session in the blasting cabinet:

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54291.JPG

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54281.JPG

Brushed on SPI gray epoxy primer to the underside:

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54331.JPG

Welding panel back in place. Plug welded where the drilled out spot welds were and the sides butt welded.

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54531.JPG

Smoothed out with an 80 grit Roloc. A cleanup with a little blasting and the area is ready for primer.

https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/4787/IMG_54561.JPG

One more thing I did afterwards is load a brush of SPI epoxy primer up, and let it drip epoxy down into the bottom to seal the welds on the inside.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 29 2019 03:59 PM

Roger once again GREAT photographs! The close-ups really bring out the finer details.

To reiterate, unfortunately my wastage includes that panel all the way out to roughly the centerline of both A-pillars. So, obviously I'll have to be cognizant of not cutting into the structural member in behind....kind of no mans land. I probably will be using 100% of the aftermarket replacement panel to effect repairs.

BTW, what do you suppose the sheet metal screws where for in your brow section??
Posted By: roger55

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 29 2019 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by Apache1
Roger once again GREAT photographs! The close-ups really bring out the finer details.
To reiterate, unfortunately my wastage includes that panel all the way out to roughly the centerline of both A-pillars. So, obviously I'll have to be cognizant of not cutting into the structural member in behind....kind of no mans land. I probably will be using 100% of the aftermarket replacement panel to effect repairs.
BTW, what do you suppose the sheet metal screws where for in your brow section??

Glad the better photos helped.
I'd sure like to see detailed photos of yours before you make any cuts.

I'm guessing there had been an outside sun visor installed on the truck at one time. There wasn't one when I bought it but it might explain the screws. I did take them out and welded up the holes.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 29 2019 08:49 PM

Sure I'll get some photos shortly...should have had some already. Oops!

Roger that on the sunvisor.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Wed May 29 2019 10:11 PM

Roger (2) things before I forget....

First, when I owned a '55 Chevy 2-door HT years ago I remember seeing your Texaco garage build on a Tri-five website I used frequently. At the time I was in awe as many others where I'm sure. A throw back to another time and very authentic in scope. Very cool.

Secondly, the color you chose for the truck (green) was spot one...was that a factory color? Either way it worked.
Posted By: MPandC

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 10:37 AM

Originally Posted by roger55
Word of warning. Do not use Harbor Freight cut-off wheels. They are junk.




Roger, thanks for helping out and contributing to the thread.


To add to what Roger said, I use cutoff wheels from my local welding supply store that are rated for cutting STAINLESS STEEL. Yes, they cost more, but they also last longer (I no longer see a brown cloud in the air when using cutoff wheels) Cheaper cost does not always = the best bang for your buck.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 11:37 AM

Interesting...and those that are rated for SST service are available in 3" dia. as well?
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 01:06 PM

OK fellows this shows some of the 60 yrs of deterioration all along the lower 3rd of the panel. The wastage is more severe above the "A" pillar on the drivers side. I don't see any evidence of push through on the passenger side "A" pillar same spot. Heavy, heavy wastage 6 to 8 inches either side of rear view mirror.

Attached picture DSCF0861.JPG
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Attached picture DSCF0863.JPG
Attached picture DSCF0864.JPG
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Posted By: MPandC

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 02:20 PM

Originally Posted by Apache1
Interesting...and those that are rated for SST service are available in 3" dia. as well?


See here:

https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4046095&postcount=715



George, for as much water evidence as you are showing up at the top, also check the dogleg in the middle of the A pillar where it curves under the windshield's back corner. Given enough dust, dirt, and then if water ran down into that area, you may have issues there as well.
Posted By: gumbi

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 02:29 PM

Another thing to keep in mind, there is a stiffening piece on the back side of the sunvisor mounting holes that you will need to consider when cutting the interior panel portion out. You can see it here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/E94eMQKPDXhkHm4u6

You should be able to see the dimples on the inside where it is spot welded to the inner roof skin. I think you should be able to drill out those spot welds and keep this interior piece intact. Your new panel will need to be spot welded back to that inner brace. Your replacement panel is sandwiched between the inner a-pillar and this interior brace. Will be tough to get it in but doable i think.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 03:33 PM

Fellows I really appreciate the time you expended to steer me in the right direction. I certainly have a BIG winter project ahead of me that can't be ignored. thanks again.
Posted By: roger55

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 03:37 PM

Originally Posted by MPandC

To add to what Roger said, I use cutoff wheels from my local welding supply store that are rated for cutting STAINLESS STEEL.


I also use cutoff wheels for stainless steel. They absolutely do last longer on all steels.
These are the ones that I buy:
Roark Supply 3" Cut Off Wheels

Roark Supply is my go-to source for all my metal working products.
Posted By: roger55

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 03:47 PM

Originally Posted by gumbi
Another thing to keep in mind, there is a stiffening piece on the back side of the sunvisor mounting holes that you will need to consider when cutting the interior panel portion out. You can see it here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/E94eMQKPDXhkHm4u6

You should be able to see the dimples on the inside where it is spot welded to the inner roof skin. I think you should be able to drill out those spot welds and keep this interior piece intact. Your new panel will need to be spot welded back to that inner brace. Your replacement panel is sandwiched between the inner a-pillar and this interior brace. Will be tough to get it in but doable i think.

I was thinking the same thing.
And yes, you can easily find the spot welds around the sun-visor mounting holes. The very first photo I linked to shows where I marked some of them with a black marking pen.

It is important to use a spot weld drill bit and use it properly. It's way better to avoid drilling through the brace behind.
I'm sure the one from HARBOR FREIGHT isn't the quality of others out there but for $4.99 it's not bad.
I'd say with care it will last for drilling out 25 to 50 spot welds.
Posted By: roger55

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 04:14 PM

Originally Posted by Apache1
Roger (2) things before I forget....
First, when I owned a '55 Chevy 2-door HT years ago I remember seeing your Texaco garage build on a Tri-five website I used frequently. At the time I was in awe as many others where I'm sure. A throw back to another time and very authentic in scope. Very cool.
Secondly, the color you chose for the truck (green) was spot one...was that a factory color? Either way it worked.

Thanks!
I'm still enjoying my '55 Belair. I drove it on a 4K mile trip a while back. I hit AZ, CA, NV and UT along the way.

I completed the '57 pickup back in 2015 but we've only put about 3,500 miles on it since. I restored this truck for my wife to drive. She picked the colors. It's Fir Green and the code is RAL-6009. The interior color is Pale Brown code RAL-8025

For others who haven't seen it here are a couple photos:
https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3651/IMG_3620.JPG
https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3651/IMG_39491.JPG

And attached is my Texaco station themed workshop and the latest project I just completed.

Attached picture Gas Station Workshop - 137.jpg
Attached picture IMG_0353.JPG
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 04:18 PM

Excellent sources! Already placed in my newly established go to file. I have used spot weld drill bits on another project and with care they will release the majority of spot welds w/o to much if any collateral damage. So I will stick with them as suggested.

Note, the FULL replacement aftermarket panel sweeps past the visor mount location. In the compound radius area of the cab corner. Should give me an advantage of not requiring to much if any exotic sheet metal forming techniques.
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 04:32 PM

Roger...does the front left corner of the El Camino say Choo Choo Customs? They once existed about 35 miles from me on the north/east side of Chattanooga, TN. I also remember an outfit in Alabama called Southern Comfort along the same concept builds as Choo Choo. I only recall trucks/vans receiving these mods.

Who gets the beautiful El Camino?

Sold my '55 Fall of 2012. After (2) exhaustive yrs of metal work, tubbing, chassis mods, $$$$$ engine/driveline I sold it unfinished.

Attached picture 049.JPG
Posted By: roger55

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 06:18 PM

Cool looking '55. Looks like it only lacked a nice paint job. Sorry you lost interest in it.

Yes. My '83 El Camino is an original Choo Choo Customs (CCC) SS. They were factory options for late '83 through '87 El Caminos. Chevrolet had a deal with CCC. Cars were sent directly from the factory to CCC in Chattanooga where they did their conversion to them, then they were shipped to the dealerships.

Here's my story on the car:
https://www.elcaminocentral.com/showthread.php?t=200250

And here is a photo of my '55

Attached picture Chrismas_Card_1280.jpg
Posted By: Apache1

Re: '59 Roof Front/Inner Replacement Panel - Thu May 30 2019 07:01 PM

Thanks Roger...now I know the rest of the story.
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