SUNROOF IN A 1930 FORD HOTROD
As far as I can tell from looking back through old copies of Rod magazines, a sunroof is a pretty rare item in a rod. Maybe there's a reason for this but since I want to fill the roof with steel anyway, I decided to make it a sliding sunroof as well, just to be different. The roof of a donor vehicle was purchased, complete with its manual tilt up or slide back sunroof. It will need some widening and reshaping at the rear to fit the Ford coupe body. Here is the sun roof, from a Nissan of course!
Fitting this sunroof will be fun as the sheet metal needs widening and the rear needs some re curving.
This is the roof, as cut from the donor vehicle.
August 2000 I cut out the sun roof section between the black strips above, from the Nissan roof at school and as you can see below, it is a bit narrow!
I will weld strips to each side to take up the gap, hopefully without distorting the roof skin too much. This will be a real test of my welding control. At the rear, it needs a bit of reshaping to conform with the shape of the coupes roof. This will be done at school on the English wheel.
31st August 2000 I did a fair bit of the welding of the sunroof into the coupe roof. As you can see, I have added a strip each side to make the narrow sunroof fit the A model.
Anybody that tells you that filling a roof is easy, don't believe them! It would be a little easier with a straight metal roof but the sunroof makes it hard work, very tedious and slow. There is over 6 meters of welding required here, not to mention the constant panel beating to stop serious distortion as you weld. Then more after that to get it into reasonable shape. It's complicated too, by the frame around the opening, restricting access.
This job took quite a long time and was very frustrating. If you decide to fit one in your rod, do LOTs of measuring before you start.
Inside, the sunroof takes up the full length of the coupe roof space. I had to make a tube frame (see below) running along each side, to support the sunroof. It's very heavy.
This one has a glass roof with a blind (grey here) as well. The handle allows the roof to either pop up at the rear, or slide right back, depending on the direction.
In the middle, I will use the interior lamp originally fitted to the sunroof.
Not quite sure how the trimmer will react to this installation as it was not in my initial quote.
This is the frame that supports the sunroof. It runs across the rear of the roof and then down each side of the sunroof, to the top of the front window opening.
The sunroof bolts to it, on the sides where I inserted tapped pieces of steel..
I had a lot of problems in the rear corners of the sunroof opening. When transporting the bare roof, these corners became kinked resulting in a 5mm deep dent about 100mm across. Due to the inner panels of the sunroof, I could not panel beat them and was very worried about what to do.
The College teacher showed me a spot welder gun that can be used to pull up dents. The result is shown here, almost perfect now. The black spots are where the gun attaches itself to the roof to pull up a small area at a time. The light areas are where a file has been skimmed over the top to check progress. A very light coat of filler is all that is now required.
1st Dec 2000
Here it is, filled and with a light coat of primer to stop surface rust.