Date: Thu, 26 Nov 98 10:40:33 -0600
From: David Swingle
Subject: DML: T-Bar Roof Renforcement

Was "Roof Problems" from

>Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 22:53:45 -0500
>From: "DSS"
>Subject: DML: Roof problems...

The recent posts regarding the t-bar hitting the rear louver brought something else to mind that I have done on several cars - If you remove the black plastic trim piece that holds the rear of the T-roof panel down (like you would to get to the torsion bar adjustment) you will usually notice that the (black) steel reinforcing panel to which the torsion par retainers are attached has become unglued from the fiberglass structure of the car, and often has started to bend or kink. This causes the steel panel to raise slightly lifting the stainless T-roof panel a little so that it can hit the louver. If you really want to scare yourself, watch this steel panel while someone opens and closes a door. If it is unglued, it moves around a lot. Makes you think about parking the car for the winter with the doors UP.

The fix for this, while conceptually simple, is not for the faint of heart since step one is to REMOVE the torsion bars. I'm not going to detail this here, if you haven't done this get the assistance of someone who has. There is no substitute for first-had observation. (DMCJoe - this might be a good addition to your videotape if it isn't in there already).

To remove the torsion bars just relax them all the way, then turn them the wrong way a little farther to unstick them from the front hinge. Once you have the bars out, put a rod (a 3' socket extension works great) into the torsion bar holes and bear down. This will press the roof structure back down where it belongs. With one person holding it this way, drill a hole through the steel into the fiberglass, about 1 inch on either side of the torsion bar retainer screws and install a #12 x 1" sheet metal screw. I heave heard of people removing the interior panel and using screws w/ nuts, but the sheet metal screw seems to hold up and is a lot less trouble. When done you will have installed 4 screws, two adjacent to either torsion bar.

Now put everything back together - this usually drops the trailing edge of the t-roof between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (!), and gets rid of a lot of creaking noises when you open the doors.

Dave Swingle
81 VIN 5429
DOA, DMC, DMC(Midwest)