hmmmm, what lies under here then…

Roof off

Sometimes you don’t need (or should that be want!) to know what is going on under the surface of things, after all, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? Well often this is a really good motto to live by, but not in this case.

Having invested no small amount of time/money into getting this VW Early Bay Westfalia Camper this far without cutting corners, I was not about to start now! Having seen there was rust damage under the rear section of the roof from the perforated gutter regions, it was time to remove the roofs outer skin!

So the guys at SKP carefully proceeded to drill out the factory spot welds to gradually and carefully remove the outer skin of the roof to get a better idea of the remedial work needed.

The passenger side inner carrier/hinge support has seen better days!
The passenger side inner carrier/hinge support has seen better days!

Once removed, the full extent of the rust damage could be seen. The rear hinge carrier mechanism/support at the rear of the roof (where we knew the damage would be) had badly rusted around the base areas. Although it still retained some structural integrity, it would not have been too much longer until this previously unseen issue would have developed into a major problem!

In many ways, I was glad that we had tackled this issue head-on as I would have hated to have found out a year or two down the line that there was a major issue that needed resolving – do it once, do it right!

Hidden rust

Although the issue looks bad, the easiest solution will be to remove the whole rear hinge carrier mechanism/support and replace it with the original rust-free replacement from the donor roof I had bought.

Not pretty, this will need replacing!
Not pretty, this will need replacing!

Same story on the driver’s side of the rear hinge carrier mechanism/support…

The drivers side inner carrier/hinge support has seen better days as well!
The drivers side inner carrier/hinge support has seen better days as well!

Too far gone

Unfortunately, some of the damaged areas had extended beyond the rear hinge carrier mechanism/support.

The rust affected area has extended just past the inner carrier/hinge support
The rust affected area has extended just past the inner carrier/hinge support

Roof replacement

These areas will require cutting back to solid metal and replacement sections getting welded back in place as part of the overall restoration process.

Looks like the grinder/welder will be busy a little bit longer then!

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