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Lychgate 02-28-2020 04:07 PM

2005 Interstate 22 roof repair
I need to weld in a patch on the roof of my, new to me, 2005 Interstate, anyone have any idea what gauge of steel and coating (galvanized?) was used when these sprinters were built?

Thanks, Mike

Lotus54 02-29-2020 09:42 AM

I do not believe the sprinter roof was galvanized at all.
I would guess it is just mild steel of a fairly thin gauge. Easy to measure.

Harder part of the repair may be access to both sides and not causing a fire with the welding. I donít know where your trouble area is- but I suspect taking any of the inner ceiling down would be difficult without damaging it.

Other options could be cutting and riveting- but making sure it does not rust again would take some thinking.

Just some ideas, I have not tried any body repair at all on my T1N.


Wabbiteer 02-29-2020 10:00 AM

Actually - between an act of Congress Mandate (for longevity) AND with the new high-strength steels being so thin (for fleet mileage) any rust would perforate rapidly... all body sheet metal on vehicles should be considered to have had a* galvanizing process.

Now whether or not that process resembles anything out of the past is another subject, the modern version being something more like a molecular thin bonding layer for primer top coating is more likely. Anyhow, whatever it is a normal sanding to bright metal underneath will erase the OEM coating but still stay upwind when the arc//torch is dancing...

Lychgate 03-01-2020 10:45 PM

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

InterBlog 03-02-2020 04:42 AM

Question might be easier to answer in full if there was a description of where and why the patch needs to be made.

Lychgate 03-02-2020 07:47 AM

4 Attachment(s)
The PO used some kind of patch material that cured like plastic in a couple spots. Very hard and snaps like plastic when you break it apart. The worst of it is at the middle seam on the drivers side. Here are a couple pictures. You can see the light cream color patch material. At the mid seam they painted it. That is the stuff that caused the issue I believe. I think it allowed moisture to sit under the patch and destroy the metal. The grey material is normal RV sealer and those areas are fine.


I am guessing it started out like the pics that Interstateflyer had in this thread:

InterBlog 03-02-2020 11:09 AM

Welcome to our world, Lynchgate.

Some time back, I started this other thread on exactly that problem, only to get distracted by life's many heavy responsibilities such that I did not expound on the problem.

I never did post pics of what I found, which thankfully was nowhere near as extensive as what YOU found. We had incipient corrosion of the same type. We had one tiny perforation that was starting to allow rainwater in, plus a patch of rust around each of the rear rack feet.

I sanded it, phosphated the hell out of it, then POR-15'd the hell out of it, then Rustoleum'd over the POR-15, then re-caulked it within an inch of its bloody life.

But those were intended to be stopgap measures only. Just to hold us over until we find the time to do the REAL work (we are big DIYers).

The entire roof rack needs to come off and get replaced. But we have a solar array up there, so that's a big job. My husband is a Mech E and he has a design in mind to replace it, but that's for the future.

I digress. Your damage is obviously too extensive to be patched with similar bubblegum, even temporarily.

The only other person of whom I'm aware who had to do a similar roof patch is Maggie (Lily&me), because of analogous corrosion around an antenna. She contracted the work out, and if she could chime in here, maybe she would have some suggestions for you.

But wait - there's more.

There's also the issue of how much damage you might have behind your finishes because of the extent of that mess.

Of particular concern is the plywood subfloor. If a lot of water worked its way all the way down into it, you might have an undiscovered mess. Another user on here a couple of years back discovered that his subfloor had essentially been reduced to the consistency of coffee grounds because of rot. I never did learn what became of him / them - AFAIK, he stopped communicating on this forum. But he had very little structural integrity left in the floor and that's a big, big problem.

So, you might want to check the van widely before you undertake any work, in order to first confirm that it's not already a write-off that is not worthy of at least the paid investment that it would take to render it whole (extensive DIY would come with a different calculus).

I hate to put it in such stark terms, but there's just a lot that can flow from that degree of roof damage. Crap rolls downhill. So does water.

Keep us posted, please.

EDIT: Here's the previous thread about extensive damage to the floor of the other owner's 2005.

Lychgate 03-03-2020 05:59 PM

I will give an update when I start the permanent repairs. Right now I have some 4Ē enternabond tape over the bad areas. I have some travel to do and cannot get to it until I get back. Thanks for the reply.


LB_3 03-03-2020 08:13 PM

Cancer sucks. T&Ps on the vanís pending surgery. :(

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