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UKJeeper 08-29-2021 11:40 AM

Roof skin needed, a really long shot.
Posting after a long absence, hoping someone can help.
Many years ago I met a fellow UK FSJ'er, 'Shrek', on this board. Started to help him to get 'Freddie' (82 WT Cherokee) back on the road, until he passed away after a long battle with Aplastic Anaemia (a form of Leukaemia).
I ended up inheriting Freddie, from his family, with the promise that I would do my best to finish Ben's work.
The problem then, as it is now, that the roof is completely fubar. Rusted out pretty much all the way around, and one of Ben's family (Freddie was owned by at least five of his family over the years) removed the roof rack and sliders and left the SJ outside, so all the bolt holes are the size of half dollars.
Every body shop i've talked to have said the only way to rescue the roof is to replace it. But, finding ANY SJ in the UK and probably Europe is impossible, let alone one with a roof skin to donate. I did find one, many years ago, on the other side of the country, but it's a bad as the original roof.
So, I'm looking for a roof skin. Haven't yet found a vendor that sells them (pattern parts), so it'll be from a donor rig.
A complete body would be a possible option, but Freddie is very rare in that it had the proper RHD drive conversion, and converting a LHD body to RHD would be a major job (unless there are any Aussie's looking to sell their WT Cherks...)
If anyone out there has a roof skin, and we can arrange shipping 'across the pond', it'd be a massive step forward in getting Freddie back on the road and finishing Ben's project.

MysticRob 08-29-2021 12:08 PM

I wonder why a shop can't just patch the roof rail sections separately.
The sloping roofline at the front would certainly require some expert metal fab and welding skills to correct, though i can't imagine an entire roof section being shipped to the UK to be any cheaper.
I suppose the first thing would be to strip the entire roof and see exactly what you're working with.

babywag 08-29-2021 01:30 PM

Repairing all rust of existing roof by a body shop will have an astronomical cost.
Much cheaper/easier to replace entire roof.
Also there is likely hidden rust/damage under outer skin as well.

Finding a whole roof may be expensive and challenging but in long run better choice.

Heep-J4000 08-29-2021 02:05 PM

Your best option is to have a look in Holland for a complete roof or complete jeep.

Some years ago i organised the shipping of a j10 cab to Ireland.
Still have the contact info of the transporter.

I maybe know a parts jeep wagoneer!
Could ask for you if you want to see if the roof is in good shape!?

If you go for a roof from the US you better buy a complete vehicle!
It's easier with shipping and most of the times cheaper

DarkMonohue 08-29-2021 05:55 PM

Wow. Every winter I thank the various gods that they don't salt the roads out here. Might have to up that prayer schedule to monthly, or even weekly. That's nasty.

I don't know where in the UK he's based, but this guy can evidently do the impossible. He's beyond corny on camera, and I have to fast-forward through all the mugging to get to the actual metalwork, but he does seem very skilled. Might be worth talking to him to at least see how he'd approach it. Maybe cutting it at the pillars would be easier than replacing the skin. Though I guess that depends on the donor being genuinely rust-free under the skin, which seems kind of unlikely.

Also, interesting that you list your location as Essex County and not County Essex.

Brynjminjones 08-30-2021 11:38 AM

Hey Tim, long time no speak!

There is a guy from Birties forum who is selling the shell of two FSJs at the moment. He's close to me in Derbyshire, I actually went to see them a few weeks ago.

I didn't pay close attention to the roofs, but he had a 2dr and a 4dr Cherokee. The 2dr certainly looked rescuable to me.

All the details are in a post in "Exchange and Mart" on Birties, his forum name is jeepdog. Having said all that, you'll probably say that you've already been in touch with him! :thumbsup:

letank 09-01-2021 08:20 PM

you need to realize that the roof is the visible damage... it probably extend below to the A pillar, the windshield portion of the roof down to the cowl...

So if you need the roof take it with as much as roof support... all the way to the lower windows/windshield level

I grabbed some bit a few months ago

rang-a-stang 09-06-2021 01:08 AM

Swapping the roof is the right answer! Another member did it on here a couple years back and even put up some videos! Look for member iapexl8r. I will see if I can find it and copy it here.

rang-a-stang 09-06-2021 01:12 AM


Originally Posted by iapexl8r
you can always go this route:

Not seeing it I dont know if it would be best for you to go this far, but if your rust is not into the dimpled areas of the roof a good clean up and removal of as much of the rust as possible then fit a piece of sheet metal ant stitch weld it up.the curv should be fairly easy to replicate. sheet metal is cheap.


Here you go

Tan79s 09-06-2021 08:51 AM

I have an 83 with a pretty straight body, it currently has a pretty nice roof rack on it but it's likely sold. I'll take some pictures of the roof and if your interested I could send them to you. I saw someone selling whole roofs in Detroit a while back too, I can't remember if it was on here or the other site. Good luck!

threepiece 09-08-2021 08:50 PM


Originally Posted by Tan79s
I saw someone selling whole roofs in Detroit a while back too, I can't remember if it was on here or the other site. Good luck!

I suppose that was me. I can offer roofs in a choice of five different colors.

I will also suggest to UKJ that investigating the extent of the damage would be prudent before procuring any parts. The afflicted roof panel can be removed by drilling the welds. An inspection can then be made and the panel can then be temporarily replaced to offer some protection. A decision can then be made to get an entire roof or just a skin.

If only a skin is needed you might consider cutting the skin in half. This may have a significant impact on shipping cost and reduce the chance of damage. The two halves could be nestled together in a more compact/robust package. The cut should be made in between two of the emboss/beads that run across the roof, preferably in the middle of them. For installation, a strip of metal flange perhaps twice the thickness of the panel could be tack welded to one of the halfs. When welded, the thicker flange will soak much of the heat reducing the chance of warping and offering authority in the area to control the shape. The beads/embosses on either side of the weld will also help to reducing warping. If done carefully and slowly I think the result would be good.

goldhammer 09-09-2021 08:38 PM

Once you get the roof skin off, wire wheel the roof rails. Betting you have heavy rust there as well. Treat with a rust converter if saveable.
When you drill out the spot welds all around, take a metal putty knife and cut loose all the roof bows going across.
If the roof rails are thin or have hoped, you're better off doing pillar splices. Might he easier in the long run, only 6-8 short welds to finish off. If you do it that way, measure four times and cut once, you'll want to be within 1 - 1 & 1/2mm.

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