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Rolled my Z not sure if it's repairable

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I rolled my Z a few months ago and the roof is caved in. I have a line on a replacement roof but I have no idea if replacing it would compromise the structural integrity of the chassis. I was wondering if it was worth it to try and repair it or if I'm better off just finding a new chassis. The car has a lot of sentimental value to me and I'd like to avoid replacing it if I can.





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It doesn't look like the sides of the roof structure are bent, just the front upper windshield frame. I'm not sure how the structure goes together, but you could possibly remove that piece by cutting spotwelds, and welding in a new one. DCW Classic on instagram is going to be taking on a much more severely damaged car, so if you have instagram you may want to follow them, as they are going to be documenting the restoration. 


If I'm right, and the roof structure can be repaired in that way, then the rest of the repair should be pretty similar to a typical roof reskin. Also, for the record, the correct way to remove a sunroof is by replacing the skin, as has been documented a few times here and on classiczcars.com, not by cutting the pillars and welding a new roof on. The pillars have multiple layers of metal in them, and if you just cut and paste, you wont be able to reweld the inner layers, and the structure will be compromised. As far as I'm aware, if you do cut at the pillars, you want to cut in sort of a Z shape the same way you would if you were to section a truck frame, so that there isn't just a single weld joint in a flat plane. But I don't think you'll have to do that if the damage is what it appears to be in the photos. 

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Thank you all for the responses. It seems that the passenger side a pillar is slightly tweaked, judging from the door fitment but only by a couple mm. So it could probably be bent back into shape without fatiguing the metal.


As for details of the crash I was driving in the rain going about 45 locked the brakes up trying to make a turn and slid off the road. I managed to decelerate most of the way before I went off but since there was a hill the tires caught in the mud and gravity pretty much flipped it. Luckily most of the weight landed on the roof instead of the hood and the inner fenders are undamaged as far as I can tell the splitter I had on the front seems to have taken most of the damage to the undercarriage as well. Mechanically it's pretty good apart from the combustion chambers filling with oil. 

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I think your A pillars will be okay with some tweaking, and it would be easier to just replace the skin, the place you may run into trouble is the front frame structure under the roof skin just above the windshield and between the A pillars.

The biggest problem with trying to bend that back is if it isn't perfect the windshield seal will leak.


If you do find a good roof skin for sale you might try getting the whole roof structure then after removing the skin you might be able to use that center front piece to replace your bent one.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Realize I am late chiming in here, but what the heck. What Grannyknot said is correct, and right on the money. The metal directly above the rear view mirror is critical. I don't know if you are planning to do any of the work yourself but if so I would strongly suggest taking the car to a trusted body shop and have them put the car on a frame machine and having the roof straightened as best possible BEFORE ANY SHEET METAL IS REMOVED! Do not cut anything without having this done first! The right side A-pillar will come back to its correct position if the shop knows what they are doing. Think of it this way- the roof was bent as a welded structure, therefore it needs to be "unbent" as a welded structure as much as possible BEFORE any metal is cut off. Get it as straight as possible, then remove the skin only, then replace the center middle section (if you have to) and go from there. And for what it is worth, the skin will only need to be welded at the A pillars and just above the quarter glass where it meets the quarter panels. Ask the shop to use panel adhesive on the sides. Easier for them and every bit as strong as welding it. Its basically the industry standard now for replacing roof skins in the auto body industry. Just my two cents from 30 years of being a bodyman for a living. Good luck, its totally repairable.

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