M-body Vinyl Roof Removal

Exterior Body and Trim

  1. MERZ1857

    MERZ1857 Member

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    Hi, I have been looking at 2 door M-bodies Lebaron from 1977-1979. They all seem to have a half vinyl roof with metal trim at the front edge. I guess this is part of the medallion package? Has anyone removed the vinyl and its metal trim and just gone with a painted roof. What extra work was involved? What trim parts did you have to buy to complete the job? Thanks
     
  2. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    A couple of us on this forum have replaced the vinyl and only one link I found to someone that tackled the removal of the vinyl and replacement with metal.

    On my 87 fifth avenue, there is a fiberglass bonnet that the vinyl is glued to.
    To remove the metal trim, you have to get inside and remove the headliner. The metal trim on the outside goes all the way through the metal roof and is covered up by the headliner on the inside.

    The fiberglass bonnet is held on by butyl (black gooey adhesive that sticks to EVERYTHING). You will get it on your hands, shirt, metal roof, etc. You need plenty of towels or rags around to use to limit the butyl.

    Pry the fiberglass bonnet off and you have one butt-ugly metal housing that will have to be either 1) covered with metal or 2) cut off and replaced with metal from a donor car.

    Assuming you go that way, you will have to weld the holes across the roof that holds the trim on or the rainwater will come in.

    87 Fifth Ave Rust Repair after Bonnet removal

    1987 Chyrsler 5th Avenue - Exterior Trim
     
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  3. MERZ1857

    MERZ1857 Member

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    I thought the job might have some hidden problems. Bummer about the headliner and the fiberglass bonnet. Does the bonnet go up from the bottom of the quarter glass, all the way across the roof, and then down beneath the other piece of quarter glass? Allowing for different shapes, 2 door or 4 door, is a bonnet common to all m-body cars with vinyl tops? Thanks again
     
  4. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I think it is common... look through the threads -- I put loads of pictures in there and there are plenty of the bonnet before, during and after the install.
     
  5. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I finally found the other link:
    Detriming a Fifth Ave.

    Jeff Rankin is the name I was looking for -- Fifth-lomat
     
  6. MERZ1857

    MERZ1857 Member

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  7. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Depends on your willingness to devote sweat equity to the project and how much time you want to spend on it.

    At that point I had more time available and no cash.
    Now I have no time available and no cash.

    I'm hoping next year will be no time available and have cash.
    Which means 2019 is my year to have time and cash!
    Love those logic problems.

    As for being insane... I resemble that remark!:p
     
  8. MERZ1857

    MERZ1857 Member

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    Still! A ton of work for you. Hats off to your stick-to-it-iveness. Jeff described 30 hours work. Looks like it would be a lot more. Think I'll wait for a car I want and stay away from that job.

    Sounds like 2019 is going to be a great year for you. You can title the 2019 thread: How to Have Time and Cash. I'll be reading it. I haven't solved the no time/no cash dilemma.

    Insane is the best. No verbal filters/no acting civilized. Insane is as real as it gets. Especially if you combine it with Absolute Vodka.
     
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  9. BudW

    BudW Well-Known Member

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    Only the 5th Ave’s have the fiberglass bonnet.
    All other M-Bodies have either paint or vinyl roofs (which is a lot easier to work with).

    Most cars with a full vinyl roofs did NOT get roof paint at the factory – which lends itself to other problems once the vinyl is taken off.
    Cars with ½ vinyl roofs (or 5th Ave’s) did get full roof paint.

    The 5th Ave’s did have fasteners that went through the roof for the ½ top front trim piece.
    Other cars with ½ vinyl tops most likely did not – but it is possible.

    Let me ask you this – what top do you currently have and what are you thinking about going to?
    BudW
     
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  10. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Glad Bud is here to chime in. I only have experience with the fifth avenue.
     
  11. kkritsilas

    kkritsilas Well-Known Member

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    The "faux convertible" vinyl roofs on the Miranda's (not sure if it was an option on the base Miranda's or Cordoba's,, but they were standard on the CMXs) had a fiberglass base that the vinyl covering was attached to. It gave the visual effect of the roof bows that are seen on real convertibles. I have seen such a top off of a Miranda CMX off the car (looked over a used car that had the faux vinyl top get blown off while being driven down the highway). Car roof was painted, but it is unknown if it was factory or a repaint. Evidently, the "faux convertible" top was stuck on with the same type of butyl/mastic that is used for bonding on windshields.
     
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  12. MERZ1857

    MERZ1857 Member

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    Hi Bud
    I don't own an M-body. I was considering what to buy in a 2-door 1977-1979 Lebaron 318 V8. The vast majority I see have the 1/2 vinyl roof. The few that don't generally seem to be 4 door 6-cyl cars. My taste, not anyone else, I just don't want a vinyl top car. Was thinking of buying a vinyl top car, removing the vinyl, and painting it. Wanted to know the level of difficulty in removing a vinyl top and going to a painted roof car. From Just Wondering's excellent repair/replace thread, removing a vinyl top from a Lebaron and creating a full painted roof car is just too much work. He's got some serious moxie to have done the replace. Jeff put 30 hours of work into getting rid of the vinyl top on a later Lebaron. Looked like a lot more hours than that involved. I have very few body work skills, so that 30 hours would go into a body man's pocket. I was going to wait for a non-vinyl top car in a color I like.
     
  13. BudW

    BudW Well-Known Member

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    Removing an old (30 or 40 year old) vinyl roof and then potentially reusing that top – forgetaboutit.

    You can get a new vinyl roof, in the color and style of your choosing – is a much better option and fairly cheap.
    The hard part is getting the chrome pieces for it, first.

    Installing a new vinyl roof onto a car with a painted roof, already – can be something most people can do – with some basic tools and trim tools. in a day or less.
    BudW
     
  14. MERZ1857

    MERZ1857 Member

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