roof seam rust repair

doug022984

Sporadic Member Since 2015
Piggy backing off this thread to get some opinions on my roof rust. I had been planning to tackle this after my engine project and figured I'd have to weld in a patch or some other type of repair. The view from the inside was obvious when I acquired the van, but now that I've finally got on a ladder to check the top, I've found that the previous owner has already done a "repair" of his own. So I'm curious if others think I should grind all this crap off and start fresh with a repair, or just wire buff the inside rust, attempt to seal it, and leave the top as is.

I've been inside the cargo area only once during a rainstorm and can say that there are no apparent drip leaks that reach the floor, but the inside roof area did feel damp like it sweats.... Having no prior history, I can't say whether the interior rust is from the repair not being adequate or if it was like that before the repair and they just didn't make an attempt to clean it up. The inside rust doesn't appear to have got any worse since I've had the van.
 

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Grind it and rhino-liner it or try the new kevlar paint on it. Once and done. The inside looks like it could use a layer or two of the same. Bullet proof, figuratively speaking. Thanks to all here.
 

doug022984

Sporadic Member Since 2015
Thanks. I also see lots of mention of Eternabond tape. Should I use Eternabond on the seam and then bedliner paint over top of the tape? Or should I not mix the two solutions and do one or the other?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Thanks. I also see lots of mention of Eternabond tape. Should I use Eternabond on the seam and then bedliner paint over top of the tape? Or should I not mix the two solutions and do one or the other?
As nobody has answered.

For certain I would not put bedliner over the top of the Eternabond tape. The tape is semi-solid for lack of a better term. I don't believe it would provide a good base for the bedliner.

I'd choose one or the other. If you go with bedliner and have problems in the future Eternabond tape can be added afterward if needed.

Personally I have had good results using Eternabond tape and/or Dicor products.

vic
 

doug022984

Sporadic Member Since 2015
Thanks. And last question (hopefully). Can this roof really hold a person? A lot of the pics in other posts look like they're taken from people working right on the roof and I suppose that to do a proper sanding and re-painting of the roof, which I might consider in the future, one would need to be right on top of it. But I'm quite a large person (6'3", 280lbs) and feel like this roof would buckle if I got up on top of it.
 
Distribute your weight with a pad and a platform of some sort. Plywood that is thick enough to not flex too much is one, with a furniture movers pad to protect the paint. Standing up may not be the call. Stay on all fours. Thanks to all here.
 

AlgarveSprinter

New member
Piggy backing off this thread too ... same problem with rusted seams here.

I finally pealed back the LINE-X the previous owner installed in the interior to see how bad the rust damage on the roof seams is.

It's not pretty. I can see right through in some spots.

I'm reading this thread to see if this is something I can grind back, prime, then use EternaBond on (that one's new to me), or if it's too far gone for that.





and the view from the roof:

 
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lindenengineering

Well-known member
Piggy backing off this thread to get some opinions on my roof rust. I had been planning to tackle this after my engine project and figured I'd have to weld in a patch or some other type of repair. The view from the inside was obvious when I acquired the van, but now that I've finally got on a ladder to check the top, I've found that the previous owner has already done a "repair" of his own. So I'm curious if others think I should grind all this crap off and start fresh with a repair, or just wire buff the inside rust, attempt to seal it, and leave the top as is.

I've been inside the cargo area only once during a rainstorm and can say that there are no apparent drip leaks that reach the floor, but the inside roof area did feel damp like it sweats.... Having no prior history, I can't say whether the interior rust is from the repair not being adequate or if it was like that before the repair and they just didn't make an attempt to clean it up. The inside rust doesn't appear to have got any worse since I've had the van.
This is a typical body builder / bus body repair task. Like someone dropped a rock off an overpass onto the roof of a bus --happens everyday!
The repair method is to use some nibblers/panel sheer tool and remove the area affected. Get aggressive, but don't distort it!!

Take out a portion that roof, and take out that roof rib section rip get rid of the oxidation.

OK ! Blast and clean up the repair area.
Take a repair section from a scrap van or buy a roof rib ex MB cut and shut a repair section in the original and weld in--I use gas for that employing tinman's welding techniques to avoid distorting the job. I suppose you could use a spot welder as well!
Again from a scrap van or new panel purchase section cut a repair section that will have about 2" of underlap overlap like a roof tile to cover the whole area. Fashion it into place and temporarily fixing it with clamps or weights.

For install use 1/4 Avdel (Avdelock )or Huckbolt rivets. Drill the seams section repair edge 1" of "meat" on either side of the repair starting at 1" from each corner. Evenly space the fixing holes but do not exceed 4" spacing! Locate and hold with 1/4 bolts and nuts you go.
Once drilled and placed, remove the repair section clean off and prime with etching primer if bare metal is evident. Paint the edges, then once cured and you are ready to install apply a good application of seam sealer by 3m's to the mating surfaces . Place the repair section installing the 1.4 fixing bolts.
Now from corner to corner start riveting the repair patch to the original roof with the pneumatic placing tool . Ensure the sealer oozes out but that the the edges don't pucker up.
http://www.rhf.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Avdelok.pdf
Now clean up and paint the job.
I am an Imron fan .
Dennis
 

doug022984

Sporadic Member Since 2015
Thanks Dennis for the thorough repair description. I went and removed the meaningless tape from the inside today and I can see daylight right through the previous owner's fiberglass repair in many spots, so definitely no metal left to just put bedliner or other sealant over. A metal patch will definitely be needed.

Now my problem is finding a ribbed patch piece. I have yet to find any pull-a-part yards with sprinters here in Louisiana. Either the local yards think there isn't a demand for them or someone else has claim on them already.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Thanks Dennis for the thorough repair description. I went and removed the meaningless tape from the inside today and I can see daylight right through the previous owner's fiberglass repair in many spots, so definitely no metal left to just put bedliner or other sealant over. A metal patch will definitely be needed.

Now my problem is finding a ribbed patch piece. I have yet to find any pull-a-part yards with sprinters here in Louisiana. Either the local yards think there isn't a demand for them or someone else has claim on them already.
If you want a repair section let me know!
I always have some wrecks for cannibalization in the back yard . Parts on the hoof so to speak!
Dennis
 

doug022984

Sporadic Member Since 2015
If you want a repair section let me know!
I always have some wrecks for cannibalization in the back yard . Parts on the hoof so to speak!
Dennis
Thanks for the offer. I may consider that once I dive in. Still wrapping up my engine rebuild project at the moment, so the roof project is on hold for a little while. I also didn't think I could buy replacement roof panels online, but apparently was mistaken, so I'm getting quotes from my local dealership on a panel and may go that route if the price is right.
 

Cappy761

Member
I simply cleared off the seams and sealed the entire top with U-pol Raptor bed liner tinted white.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

Cappy761

Member
I wire wheeled the problem areas then sanded the entire roof with 120grit rotary sander, applied U-pol Grip to the harder to reach areas around the gutters and primed any exposed metal then sprayed it all with the Raptor bed liner tinted white.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

Cappy761

Member
Also did my hood and front facing trim with the U-pol Raptor bed liner to eliminate paint chipping from road debris.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

thesmith

New member
Not that you asked...

I'm certain that the sealant was effective. Keep an eye on the exterior surface though. Sealing the inside does nothing to prevent the exterior rust from returning.

Never underestimate how poorly the OEM Sprinter paint responds to spot rust repairs. That is especially true with the ubiquitous OEM Arctic Whitewash color.

vic
vic, you were right on both counts- the sealant solved the leakage issues but I can indeed see rust on the exterior seams. I'll have to hit the exterior before our NW rainy season hits...
 

kkanuck

LUV my T1N
Another piggy back on this thread...figured keeping them together makes more sense that not.


I have an 04 Sprinter, in metallic silver, which likely, for it's age, has held up well in comparison many other's on this site. The van has lived out of the rust zone all of it's life in Atlanta, with the odd short trip north here and there.

My roof seems are still decent, but am to the point I think I should be proactive.

If you look at my pictures, you will see there is no surface rust to be seen.

The sealer between the seem panels look like it may need to be reapplied to keep the roof from deteriorating.

I just bought some Sikaflex-252 in white which I have read here is the closest to OEM as fart as seem sealer.

My question is, If I do not want to butcher the rook with an ugly coat of tape on this seem, could I clean this as best as possible, apply the Sikaflex-252 in this few millimeter wide seam, and then paint over that with an OEM touchup paint in a small bottle with the brush on end of cap, and they put "clear" on top of that also in the same OEM touchup paint kit?

Would this be a viable fix? Currently, I have no sign of any interior leak. I have not removed the interior panel either at this point to see if there is any interior rust not visible form the exterior.

The main point here, is the paint is metallic, which has been quite decent for longevity, so perhaps repair or fix to a seem may be different technique compared to the white non metallic paint.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

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