Refurbishing the roof hatches

After a short drive through the rain, the whole loading space was wet, as result of leakage through the loose and rusty ventilation hatches in the roof. Since the rainy weather was not good for a paint job, I decided to take on these ventilation hatches right away. I started with removing the canopy and removing rusty holding strips from the canopy. This revealed insulation material, I was not shore that they used healthy stuff at that time, so I used a dust mask and did scrape off the insulation material that was glued to the roof. I removed the hatches by drilling off the rivets, however a lot of rivets were already broken, had a hardened core and proved extremely difficult to remove from the very thin aluminum roof. Now there are holes in the roof, but for the leaking this makes no difference.
The new "original" door seals in front of the back door are a bit odd, the rivets are exposed. The beam in between was forgotten by the previous owner and left white. I painted this with the car paint, using a roller. First of all this paint (made for spraying) was drying much to fast, making a neat job impossible and furthermore the color does not mach. After fitting the new door seals, the doors won't close at all. The underside seal seems too thick and is folding the wrong way at the front of the door. Cutting off some rubber did not help, so I removed this seal from the car.
However, the door still won't close at all and the thickness of this seal seems not the to be the cause of the problem.
This new piece of seal seemed to be too thick also, in the upper corner. I could use filler plates between the door hinges and the car, but I never saw or hear this solution being applied. So I decided to adjust the lock catch a little and use 2 filler rings under the lock itself.
This as a temporary measure, until the new rubbers are set. Pushing firmly closes the door
About half the rivets remain in the vent hatches and are removed with a drilling machine and a punch. There were some kind of white foam seals between the hatches and the roof. I decided to replace those with new seals, cut from 3 mm EPDM rubber sheet, to ensure a watertight seal. Using the old seals as a stencil. My camping sleeping mat appeared to have about the same thickness as the original roof insulation, so I decided to offer my camping mat to the Landrover.
Here you see the camping sleeping mat roof insulation, partly applied. And one of the refurbished vent hatches fitted. I decided to use M5 bolts and nuts, rather than pop-rivets. In this way the hatches can be removed more easily, in case they start leaking again. Further more it is more easy to fit the canopy and hatch cover frames. Above the vent hatches are hats, that allow the hatches just enough space to open between inner roof and outer roof. These are pop-riveted to the outer roof. After 34 years these rivets have become more or less one with the aluminum plate and are difficult to remove, as you can see by the torn out holes.
I have remove the hats, to be able to fit the hatches whit bolts and nuts and at the same time fit an antenna mount in the outer roof.
I want to keep the hatch covers easy removable, by mounting those back on the tropical roof with 4 self tapping plate screws at each hatch cover. However there are to many holes that are to big for these screws in the roof as well as in the covers. So I made kind of blind-off bezels from 0.5 mm aluminum plate.
The bezels will be fitted in between and glued to the hatch covers. Then the not used holes on top will be filled with filler and painted.

Here you see 2 of the 4 vent hatches with their bezels fitted. Also the canopy is fitted again, however it seems to have shrunk, on front and back, a few millimeters of my camping mat insulation is still visible. Also it looks still very dirty. I tried several cleaning substances with no effect at all. Well it has to do for now.

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This page was last updated on 12-jul-2011