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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a continuation, under a new, appropriate thread, of a problem I found while replacing my non-functional sunroof. Previous thread is found here, for backstory/context:
"'02 ltd moon roof repair and interior disassembly"
'02 ltd moon roof repair and interior disassembly

Upon thorough gutting of my '02 4x4 LTD Sequoia to replace the sunroof, I found that I had multiple bars across the inside of the roof/ceiling. These supports are supposed to maintain the strength of the roof, so I understand that would be foolish to simply cut any of them out.
The problem became a bigger issue when my newly-functioning sunroof slid back into the open position. about 3/4 of the way open, it hit the roof support that's 3rd from the back.
I was able to deflect the sagging roof support to allow the sunroof to successfully close again.
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Grille Motor vehicle

As I understand it, these supports should have the same contour as the roof, and that light colored residue is seam sealer to keep them from "oil canning" and squeaking.

The fact that these supports are no long along the roof suggests that this vehicle may have been involved in a rollover collision, or something similar to cause the supports to separate from the roof.

Problem #1- the 3rd-from-rear support is hitting he sunroof. I'd be happy to simply disconnect the motor and reassemble everything and call it a day, as I don't really care about the sunroof as long as it's shut and sealed. But that's not the way this is SUPPOSED to work.
Hood Motor vehicle Grille Automotive lighting Vehicle

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Problem #2- What's wrong with these supports? I bought this anciently used vehicle as a family transport module, and I want it to also keep my family safe in the event of a bad collision or rollover.

I'm about to get on the phone with local body shops to ask them what they think, if they're kind enough to listen.
If I don't get any definitive solutions or suggestions, I will probably cut the offending support in the middle, and mend-in a ~1/8" steel flat bar about 3' long, and drill/tap it to screw in to secure them, and/or maybe tack weld them together (that thin roof support's gonna disintegrate quickly, though).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Update:
Thanks for your responses.
After discussing this at length with my wife, I've realized that I may hem and haw over this for the remainder of 2023, and still be uncertain as to what to do. So I've decided that I'm going to try to execute the plan I had previously declared. My concern about relying on any adhesive is that this support seems pulled taught between the walls, and I just really doubt that I can put any adhesive that will keep this beam deflected at its current length. And the same reasoning is why I'm not going to try to bend it with a bottle jack and heat it. At most I MIGHT stretch it, but.... I don't want to drag this action into next week.

The picture below shows the sun roof removed. You can see that there's actually a 4th beam, which coincides with the rear of the sun roof opening. I hadn't previously noticed it. It appears to still be pretty close to the roof.
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The picture below is a close-up of the 2nd-from front beam, which is the offending member.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I started working and.... appreciated the value that SilverSquatch had shared about how easy it would be to try pressing it into place & torching it. So I've heated it a bit after pressing it up with bottle jack. I guess I'll give it 30 min or so to cool off, then remove the jack and see what's what. If that doesn't do it, it's grinding time.
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Update
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Why not take those pics to your local body shop and ask them about it? I would be willing to bet they've probably seen this before and would know exactly how to fix it, and tell you how much it would be to fix properly. Hell, they might even tell you how to properly fix it yourself.
What do you have to lose except for maybe an hour or 2 of your time to stop by?
UGH! you mean wait until MONDAY?!
honestly, that may be a good idea, I just don't expect that any body shop is going to give me the time of day. I suppose that, if I'm a potential customer, they may. I've already gutted the thing, so I've done a lot of the work for them, and they don't have to be precious with my upholstery.
sigh. maybe you're right. Honestly, I just REALLY want this problem behind me, but, I think you probably raise a good point, which I'd already dismissed due to impatience. Impatience isn't how to get things done right.

I think I'll wait, and ask a body shop about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The press-and-heat method seems to have made some improvement, but I don't know how permanent that is.
the "before" is on the left, and the "after" on the right. Sorry I misused landscape vs portrait.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I made it by 3 body shops today.
#1 said they could make an appt for me for wed morning.
#2 went and got his lead tech/manager. He explained that he wouldn't repair it unless they also changed the roof. He suggested that one might think you could press it into place, but he questions the structural integrity of that. He would get me the relevant quote tomorrow morning.
#3 said it didn't seem like something he could do, but "let's take a look at it". He said the proper way to do it would require a roof replacement, but that would be about $3k-$4k or more, and his shop isn't set up to handle that. "For my money", he said he'd press it into place, bringing us back to the suggestion of silversasquatch. He mentioned that the adhesive used between the support and roof is "foam adhesive", which he expects that I could pick up at an auto parts store.

So I think I'll try to clean the residual adhesive off, maybe use an angle grinder with wire wheel, then press it, heat it, cool, relax it, press it, heat it, cool, relax a tiny bit, apply adhesive, press again, and leave it pressed for a (few) hour(s).
Then repeat with the other ones. I have 2 bottle jacks, so maybe I can find another piece of pipe to get another one going.

Side note, I took this waiting period as an opportunity to apply sound damping material and replace the interior lights with LEDs. Here's a pic, because everyone loves pics.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
3 to 4 K? WTF?? OK, I guess I am wrong. So much for me thinking body shops wouldnt try to rip you off.
Are you going to apply the same sound deadening on the roof when you're done? I bet it would cut down huge on the heat with that hot Texas sun beating down on you in the summer.
And you're still my hero for gutting your ride this extensively. LOL.
Yes, I plan to apply sound damper to the ceiling once I get this fixed. Some break from the sun's heat would be very appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’d put a 2x4 up on that cross bar and slightly over jack the thing and see if it pops back into shape. If not, I’d then slightly over jack it again after first applying Gorilla Adhesive along those seams. Let the glue set over night. Use the Faster setting Heavy Duty Gorilla Adhesive in the Caulk Tube from Big Box. Or, use FuzeIt by Liquid Nails. I’ve used both on my truck on the inside and out on various items needing it. Still holding and the bonus is the Adhesive is a sound deadener!

Edit: Remove the old glue first.
Is there any concern that I want/need to maintain some flexibility in this joint?
I did already press it with a 2x4 against it, and there was no "popping" back into place. It seems to be more "stretching" than anything else.

Are you talking about THIS product,
Gorilla Heavy Duty Ultimate Construction Adhesive, 9 Ounce Cartridge, White, (Pack of 2) https://a.co/d/1ULDLYt
or something else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Before I started cleaning up the adhesive:
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After some moderate cleanup:
Hood Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive tire


I neglected to get a picture of how it looked when I finished cleanup. I applied a wire wheel to it with my angle grinder, and.... I don't know that it was worth the effort.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, the setting is underway. I realized that the beam is not well pressed against the roof near the edges of the roof, which... is expected... but I thought I could apply some improvisation to improve the circumstances. I'm embarrassed, and you're welcome for the picture. I suppose that a longer 2x4 will deflect enough to allow some roof curvature, but... I'm just not really sure. So I cut a longer 2x4 for the next one.
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I do Collision work for a living and replaced quite a few roof skins. Your's was definitely replaced at one time, probably when newer back before carfax was big if it has a clean title. A lot didn't get reported if it was an rent a car. I've put cars back on the road that shouldn't of been with clean titles. Look around towards the back of the skin and pull the weather stripping back and look for spot welds to know for sure. I've never seen a factory roof skin painted like that in 25+ years I've been doing this
Thanks for your input. This vehicles witnesses my first foray into any interior/body work of any sort.

I got a quote from a body shop for $6900 to fix this issue, including replacing the roof.
 
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