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Restore roof damage with these steps

Monday, September 2, 2019 - 07:00
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When consumers think of serious collision damage, many no doubt picture high-speed rollovers. Little wonder. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show rollovers account for more than a third of overall traffic fatalities—22 percent of deaths in passenger cars, 45 percent in pickups and 61 percent in SUVs. Making these numbers even more significant is the fact that NHTSA data also show rollovers account for just 3.1 percent of all vehicle accidents (Note: It’s important to remember that 69 percent of these fatalities were not wearing seatbelts.)

Over the years, manufacturers have worked hard to develop safety and stabilization programs to prevent these kinds of accidents. They’ve also worked hard developing roof structures that supply extra protection to motorists. When these structures are damaged, collision repairers must work just as hard restoring today’s more sophisticated roof parts to safe, pre-accident condition.

(Photo courtesy of GM Media) Unless you see a lot of vehicles needing moonroof work or that have been in rollover accidents, you may not have performed many roof replacements and other repairs.

Considering the relative low number of rollovers and other accidents that cause roof damage, many repairers may not have a lot of experience performing a repair here. It’s time for a change. Build up your knowledge of roof work by referring to the following instructions, supplied by General Motors, for roof repairs on SUVs, pickups and midsize cars.

2019 GMC Yukon

Note: Center Pillar Outer Panel Reinforcement Replacement and Roof Replacement are both included here since they often must be repaired in tandem.

Center Pillar Outer Panel Reinforcement Replacement

Removal Procedure

Warning: Refer to GM’s Approved Equipment for Collision Repair Warning document.

Warning: Refer to GM’s Foam Sound Deadeners Warning document.

Warning: Refer to GM’s Battery Disconnect Warning document.

Note: The center pillar outer panel reinforcement is made of Ultra High Strength Steel. Sectioning, or repair of Ultra High Strength Steel is not recommended. It should be replaced as a complete assembly at factory locations. Refer to GM’s Ultra High Strength Steel document.

Note: This procedure was developed to allow access for the complete replacement of the center pillar outer panel reinforcement without removing the roof panel. There are sectioning procedures available for various locations of the body side outer panel. The location should be chosen based on the extent of the damage to the vehicle and other inner reinforcements that need to be replaced. Sectioning should be performed only in the recommended areas. Failure to do so may compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle. Refer to other service procedures for additional sectioning locations.

  1. Disable the SIR System and then disconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to GM’s SIR Disabling and Enabling document.
  2. Remove all related panels and components.
  3. Repair as much of the damaged area as possible. Refer to GM’s Dimensions - Body document.
  4. Remove the sealers and anti-corrosion materials from the repair area, as necessary. Refer to GM’s Anti-Corrosion Treatment and Repair document.
  5. Perform additional sectioning procedures for short wheelbase as necessary. Refer to the following procedures:
    • Front Hinge Pillar Sectioning
    • Center Pillar Sectioning
    • Rear Pillar Sectioning
    • Rocker Outer Panel Sectioning
  6. Perform additional sectioning procedures for long wheelbase as necessary. Refer to the following procedures:
    • Front Hinge Pillar Sectioning
    • Center Pillar Sectioning
    • Rear Pillar Sectioning
    • Rocker Outer Panel Sectioning
  7. Remove body side outer as necessary for access to the center pillar outer panel reinforcement.

Note: Record the number and location of welds for installation of the service assembly.

  1. Remove all necessary factory welds.
  2. Remove the damaged center pillar reinforcement.

Installation Procedure

  1. Clean and prepare all mating surfaces, as necessary for welding.
  2. Align the center pillar reinforcement.
  3. Drill 8 mm (5/16 in.) for plug welding along the top and bottom of the center pillar reinforcement from the original panel.
  4. Position the center pillar reinforcement on the vehicle using 3-dimensional measuring equipment.
  5. Verify the fit of the center pillar reinforcement.
  6. Clamp the center pillar reinforcement into position.
  7. Weld at the original weld locations.
  8. Complete body side outer sectioning as necessary.
  9. Apply the sealers and anti-corrosion materials to the repair area, as necessary. Refer to GM’s Anti-Corrosion Treatment and Repair document.
  10. Paint the repaired area. Refer to GM’s Basecoat/Clearcoat Paint Systems document.
  11. Install all related panels and components.
  12. Enable the SIR system and then connect the negative battery cable. Refer to GM’s SIR Disabling and Enabling document.
(Photo courtesy of GM Media) Replacing the roof panel of a damaged vehicle often can accompany doing other work, such as repairing the center pillars.
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