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Unread 03-21-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
cbrant
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Different question...

So my brother rolled his '98 Classic and the roof is pretty muffed up. Dented, creased, and wavy. We jacked it up from the interior, but that only fixed it a little. So, my question is, has anyone got a better way to fix this? We were considering somehow finding a donor cherokee and chopping the roof then splicing. That seems like a lot of work to me, so I figured I'd see what the true Dr. Frankensteins have for ideas. Thanks!

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Unread 03-21-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
cory4um
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Find a blown, wrecked, or missing drive train xj and swap what needs to be swaped (engine, body panels, drive train)
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Unread 03-22-2013, 01:13 AM   #3
DoctorTim
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^ easiest and best route to take.
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Unread 03-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
Motorcharge
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Cut the top off and cage it.
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Unread 03-22-2013, 12:31 PM   #5
Hudson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcharge
Cut the top off and cage it.
Always thinking one step ahead.



OP don't even bother to try to "splice it". It'd be much easier to do this;

Quote:
Originally Posted by cory4um
Find a blown, wrecked, or missing drive train xj and swap what needs to be swaped (engine, body panels, drive train)
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Unread 03-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
cbrant
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For some reason that seems like more work to me, but I have a difficult time arguing it. I suppose it depends on how bad the other Cherokee really is.
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Unread 03-22-2013, 01:59 PM   #7
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If you ask real nice like, maybe a collision repair shop would offer suggestions...
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Unread 03-30-2013, 12:03 AM   #8
cbrant
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So, I think we are still going with the roof splice option. My next question is about what years will work. I know 98-01 is the identical body style. (It's a 4 door) but looking at earlier models roofs they look very similar. Does anyone know or can confirm if other years would be a match. Pillars included.
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Unread 03-30-2013, 12:28 AM   #9
sAe23
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Ooh ooh, you should splice in a Land Rover Defender roof! Get those nifty little side windows
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Unread 03-30-2013, 12:45 AM   #10
cbrant
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Those are probably a little harder to come by than one would think... Hahaha good idea tho!
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Unread 03-30-2013, 01:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrant View Post
For some reason that seems like more work to me, but I have a difficult time arguing it. I suppose it depends on how bad the other Cherokee really is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrant View Post
So, I think we are still going with the roof splice option. My next question is about what years will work. I know 98-01 is the identical body style. (It's a 4 door) but looking at earlier models roofs they look very similar. Does anyone know or can confirm if other years would be a match. Pillars included.
Sooo.. chopping off the old roof from the donor XJ (including removing all the necessary body panels, finding and drilling all the spot welds, etc..), then finding the same spot welds on the rolled XJ and drilling them open, then welding in the new roof (hoping it wasn't bent during the process of chopping it off and transporting it) and actually make the structural integrity good and making sure your brother's XJ won't end up being all bent and out of shape is easy? Yeah, good luck with that

Finding a donor XJ from similar era, and swapping over parts that are in better shape takes a lot less work. If you're really into doing bodywork, get the XJ rpoughly bent back to shape, chop off the roof, build a cage and make it a trail XJ. Trying to properly splice in a roof section on a unibody vehicle when unwrecked vehicles are found fairly cheeply is just stupid IMO, and it's even more stupid to trying it and doing it all wrong
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Unread 03-30-2013, 05:54 AM   #12
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Skin a donor roof in at the drip rails. Isn't that tough.
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Unread 03-30-2013, 10:26 AM   #13
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Photos would help, but I do agree that if it's very damaged at all, a new donor car would be the most logical option. Trying to get a new slice-n-weld top lined up well sounds like a nightmare to me.

I once helped "fix" an 80's Land Cruiser that had rolled. The owner wasn't worried about aesthetics, so all we had to do is get the windshield "hole" "windshield-shaped". We were using big honkin' hydraulic rams and creating some serious violence to get it back to reasonably straight (a very, very relative term). When we were done, it still looked like it had been rolled, but the windshield was in and didn't even leak (or break, at least not during the few years since the fix). The driver's door doesn't fit perfectly, and the roof still has a "custom shape" but it's still on the road.
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Unread 03-30-2013, 01:45 PM   #14
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Skin a donor roof in at the drip rails. Isn't that tough.
That would help what? OP wrote the pillars are also crushed/ dented, and pulling the pillars straight won't make them strong since they've been already crushed, they need to be replaced.

As I said, IMO it's a stupid idea to replace the roof in the first place, and it's even more stupid doing it all wrong. Chopping & caging the XJ would be the way to go.
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***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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Unread 03-30-2013, 01:54 PM   #15
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Caging it or swapping the good parts to a solid unibody is the only way to do it without a ton of extra work and money. Even cutting from the pillars up off another XJ and welding it in isn't going to be as strong as the original.

Cage it or swap everything. No sense in ruining two XJs.
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