In our last blog we ended with the roof cut out in preparation for the Samba conversion, this week we get straight into the detail of how it was all fitted!
To fit the full-length roof the middle roof support also had to come off. That required removing the bonding that glued it to the roof skin, but also carefully drilling off the spot weld that secured the stay to the outer gutter rails. It was critical we were careful because the stay was going to be modified slightly then re-used in a different section of the roof.
Next the upper section of the outer roof guttering, sometimes called the Top Hat, goodness knows why, had to be removed to facilitate the roof windows. This process involved meticulous removal of the spot welds without damaging the lower section of the gutter rail. Cleaning, dressing and preparing this section ready to receive the inner and outer windows was painstaking work.
Now it was time to fit the windows. Big gulp. The manufacturers have cleverly made separate one piece front and rear header sections with cross-supports spanning the roof to replicate the now discarded roof skin. Joining those two sections up are the inner & outer middle windows. This is a great design. It all looked easy in the instructions. The reality proved somewhat different. But once we had them all clamped in place we began lightly tacking them all together. We then took careful measurements. It looked good allowing us to weld them in place.
Then it was time to take even more careful measurements. It looked good so using a double sided spot welder it was time for the pieces to be securely welded in place. Bravery pills at the ready, please.
Tidying up the welds with a grinding disc back to bare metal and a final light skim of filler coupled with high build primer was all that was needed to hand before we tackled the extra side windows to turn it into an iconic 23 window Samba. We'll tackle that in our next installment so keep checking back next month for what we expect to be an even more dramatic installment.
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