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Old 09-16-2018, 04:10 PM   #1
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Roof Welding repair 2005 AI mid-bath

I have owned my 2005 AI mid-bath for over 4 years now. Van runs good but I do have some rust issues need attention.
The windshield frame is rusting and I intend to have it repaired professionally.
I am also having some issues on the roof taken care of. One of the roof seams had a rust problem that attempted to fix but the rust is coming back.
I really think the best thing to do is to cut out the bad area and weld a new piece of steel. The bodyshop person thinks welding the roof could be a problem with fire because of the wood and insulation beneath the roof. A hole needs to be cut approximately 4" diameter I would think the insulation beneath the roof could be moved to one side or put something as a heat shield over the area ?

Anyone else here had to weld the roof on their van ??
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcolin2u View Post
I have owned my 2005 AI mid-bath for over 4 years now. Van runs good but I do have some rust issues need attention.
The windshield frame is rusting and I intend to have it repaired professionally.
I am also having some issues on the roof taken care of. One of the roof seams had a rust problem that attempted to fix but the rust is coming back.
I really think the best thing to do is to cut out the bad area and weld a new piece of steel. The bodyshop person thinks welding the roof could be a problem with fire because of the wood and insulation beneath the roof. A hole needs to be cut approximately 4" diameter I would think the insulation beneath the roof could be moved to one side or put something as a heat shield over the area ?

Anyone else here had to weld the roof on their van ??
My 2005 Interstate started rusting on the roof seam in year two. Airstream and Chrysler shared the initial cost of repairs. We had to pay for the second seam rusting three years later.

The windshield held out until year six before rusting.

Apparently the vans spent time on the East coast after being unloaded from cargo ships. Airstream did very little prep before painting....from what we gathered.

I would find a body shop that has experience in extreme situations and knows how to get rid of the deep seated contamination.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:49 AM   #3
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Auburn , Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcolin2u View Post
I have owned my 2005 AI mid-bath for over 4 years now. Van runs good but I do have some rust issues need attention.
The windshield frame is rusting and I intend to have it repaired professionally.
I am also having some issues on the roof taken care of. One of the roof seams had a rust problem that attempted to fix but the rust is coming back.
I really think the best thing to do is to cut out the bad area and weld a new piece of steel. The bodyshop person thinks welding the roof could be a problem with fire because of the wood and insulation beneath the roof. A hole needs to be cut approximately 4" diameter I would think the insulation beneath the roof could be moved to one side or put something as a heat shield over the area ?

Anyone else here had to weld the roof on their van ??
How about using auto body panel adhesive. It is commonly used these days instead of welding on non structural repair of sheet metal on cars.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:14 AM   #4
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How about using auto body panel adhesive. It is commonly used these days instead of welding on non structural repair of sheet metal on cars.
That's what the owner of the bodyshops suggested.
Thanks !
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:16 AM   #5
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The key to a successful remedy is to totally remove the oxidized surface. Otherwise, the rust will keep on truckin' even if you cover it up.

How you accomplish that depends on how bad the lap weld degeneration is.

In our case, I caught it and dealt with it before it advanced too far.

I will say that, regardless of the degree of rust, a multi-coat approach will likely still be needed, with the following sequence having been done in our case:

1. Abrasion
2. Phosphating
3. POR-15
4. Latex primer
5. Latex encapsulation, multiple coats

That ^^ remedy has held for over a year now, with no visible signs of further deterioration.

If you have worse rust than what I show in this blog post here, then you might be able to do a good body filler in conjunction with those other steps.

- BUT -

any body filling you do will still need to occur AFTER you remove the active oxidization surface. It's very important.

And if the rust has progressed so far as to involve the vehicle's ribs, well, I don't think you will have much choice but to do structural work. Brace yourself - it's fabulously expensive. If that is the case, the cost could be a large percentage of your Interstate's market value.

Pics would help this discussion substantially.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:11 AM   #6
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The welding can be done but it may be more trouble than it’s worth with alternative methods available. The key is to remove one or more legs of the fire triangle.

Fuel: It may sound daunting but NotStock changed the color of his van and removed most of the interior to get the windows out. I’m guessing two workers could probably remove the interior in a day and a half.

Oxidizer: Another option would be to remove the oxygen from under the roof by flowing an inert gas into the ceiling adjacent to the weld. This could create and asphyxiation hazard so the van would need to be well ventilated prior to ingressing.

Heat: And the third option might be to just try to weld the seam in one inch segments to prevent too much heat build up or slag generation. Using a wet rag to keep the adjacent metal from getting very hot and counting on the fiberglass insulation to slow the heat transfer should be viable but will require patience.
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