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The Ford Capri Laser Page


Repairing the Roof

I think we were all quite worried about the state of the roof on the Capri.  It was suffering from major rot damage around the rear corners of the sunroof.  I think Denis left this part to the end because he know what a major job it was going to be.  The roof skin is under tension so if too much is removed at once then the whole roof distorts and will never look right again.

First job was to remove the sunroof panel from the car.  This is done by winding the sunroof back and unscrewing all the stainless fittings before winding the sunroof forward and slowly lifting it out of the car until the rear attaching screws are visible.  With these undone the sunroof simply lifts out completely away from the car.

As you can see form the photos quite a lot of rotten metal had to be cut away from the roof skin.  These were done patch at a time to minimise distortion of the skin.  Both rear corners required extensive metal repair as well as a line of rot behind the sunroof where a hidden supporting plate underneath had collected water and rust which had worked its way through form the underside.

With the new metal carefully fitted and all the rusty bits underneath cleaned and cured, we discovered that the strengthening brace was actually sitting too low under the skin and ran the risk of scratching the sunroof as it was retracted.  It is fair to say that several days were spent trying to fettle the entire mechanism so that it worked properly.   Think Dennis really wanted to quit and give up at this point but to my huge joy and relief it was done and looked amazing.  Only a very small amount of filler was required to shape the roof skin correctly and this was duly sanded and prepped for painting.

The only slight issue was that the sunroof handle was broken during all the winding and testing.  Unfortunately this turned into a major deal as they are extremely rare and as we discovered, several types were fitted to the Capri.  We even had the capri Club involved in sourcing one and this had to be sent back as it was slightly wrong.  Eventually Paul Quest managed to get a replacement original winder handle that actually fitted.  The sunroof now tilts and turns beautifully.  In fact I think it is the best feature of the Capri!


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Photo showing just how bad the damage to the front valance actually was.  Both sides were as bad as each other

New repair section fabricated and tack welded into position

 


View from inside the wheel arch showing the detail of the fabricated part to include the bolt eyes

Equal amounts of surgery were required on the nearside of the valance as well

Another job crossed off the long list as the front end of the car is now complete.

 


Finally both sides of the valance were as good as new again.  The central section was in good condition.