Sun Roof Disaster, why do people cut holes in the roof?

I wonder how many Square Body Chevys found their way to a scrap yard because someone thought it would be a good idea to add a sunroof. Trust me its not and it never is. If your truck has a solid roof leave it alone.

As you should know by now, I bought the 1976 K10 to mildly restore and make a daily out of it. One big issue is the giant hole in the roof. I have three options as I see it.

  1. Replace the cab
  2. Weld in a patch panel
  3. Fix the hole with another sun roof

Replacing the cab is possible and very well may happen. I think this will be the best way to make the hole go away. However, its a good amount of work and not something I am ready to do this month. I found a factory: 4×4, short bed, black, Silverado, with red interior and I really don’t want to change the cab. I could move the vin but you can tell when thats been done.

Welding in a patch panel is not for me. If you search around on this site you will see I can weld in panels, but a roof? I don’t want to deal with that. It flexes a lot and it has no supports so it will warp very easily. I cannot imagine how many hours it would take for me to get it straight. Ok, well I can imagine it and I am not doing that. Not a chance. Will change the cab first.

Fixing the hole with a new sun roof seems like the best idea at this point in time. I ordered a 22 x 38 sunroof from Amazon. Its made by CR Laurence. I will not be buying from them again if I can help it. The sunroof arrived and the box looked fine, so I never opened it. I was working on the Mazda and wasn’t ready to deal with this issue at that time. When, I finally got around to opening the box I found out all the clips and latches were broken. I figured oh well, my bad, no big deal I will just order more.

I proceeded to install the sunroof

That probably wasn’t the best move. I should have stopped and found the parts I needed first. I called CR Laurence and they told me too bad. I am a person and they won’t sell to people….  Really? Yep they don’t sell to people, only businesses. I was told to contact who I bought it from. I bought it from CR Laurence via Amazon. There wasn’t a 3rd party seller. After some calling around, I found out I needed RH100 and it was available on Amazon or Ebay. What joke of a company, refused to give out the part number over the phone. Rather then tell me I needed RH100, they tell me to get lost and its not there problem.

Ok, rant over, back to the truck.

The sun roof isn’t the right size, it’s to small. They don’t make a bigger sun roof anymore. This one is close but it is going to leak. I go head and cut the roof out where needed to get this one in just to make sure. Its not like I can do any more damage.

Installing the sunroof isn’t that hard. They send a paper template that you tape to the roof then cut out. CR Laurence recommend metal shears, I think thats a bad idea. I would use a die-grinder or four inch grinder. I had no issue trimming where needed. You do not want to use a reciprocating saw, That will bend the roof.

After the hole is cut you put a seal around it. Its a goey stuff like weather stripping adhesive. Drop the roof in and screw it down. I don’t think they will leak with this adhesive stuff. It should be very water solid.

I want to point out that I don’t like doing a piss poor job on something. I try to always do it the right way and the best way. This time its a little different. My goal is to get the trucking running and driving without a frame of restoration. If I change the cab I would end up doing a frame off restoration. I cannot leave it like it was so I am making it better then it was.

After I get it all in, I can see that I was right, it is just a little too small. About an 1/8 inch to small in both front corners. Its enough too small that I can actually see light around the frame.

How can I make this sunroof work?

I would love to just get a bigger sunroof but there isn’t one. I still have no desire to weld on this roof.  JB Weld? Ok sure, its a half-ass way to deal with this issue but it will be better then it was and later on I can change the cab. Don’t judge, I am doing better than the guys who used drywall screws to attach a piece of plexan to the roof and then paint it in silicone.

JB Weld to the rescue. I used two tubes of the JB Weld sticks. They are a thicker putty that wont run out or down the frame. I worked it into strips and pressed it into the the corner of the frame and the roof. I clamped the roof tight to the frame while doing this. I went over a quarter inch in both directions to create a nice solid ledge of JB Weld for the sunroof frame to sit on.

 

I got on top and worked it smooth with a razor blade. My plan is to wipe a little body filler over it and paint it when I paint the cab. Hey, It will be better then what it was.

gap around frame
The lighter color is the JB Weld on the inside. You can see its a little lower then roof so I can add body filler.

I don’t know if it will hold. I don’t know if it will leak. But I know it is much better then what it was. Honestly, I think the JB Weld will be very strong and it seems like a good solution for a while.

sunroof

Currently, I am waiting on part RH100 (the broken clips) to arrive. When it gets here, I can put the glass in. I will water test it and report back.

 

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Gordon French

Gordon French was born in Wyoming in 1978. He is married to Tiffany French. He has two children Halie and Zac. His first passion of course family with cars coming in a very close second.

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