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1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof)


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Jantharr
New User

Jul 5, 2021, 10:36 AM

Post #1 of 8 (227 views)
1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

1991
Chevrolet
Suburban K2500
5.7
100,000 (new engine too)

Link to images of damage:
https://imgur.com/gallery/57Mk7ok

Long story short, this truck was stored the majority of it's life, engine was replaced, barn fell on it, was stored again. I acquired it, and took it to southeast Texas from the desert. Now that I'm in Texas, the rain season has started and this dent has become a major corrosion risk. Water is leaking into the cab from above the rear passenger door where the dent has caused the door seal to fail.

I have tried to take it to 6+ body shops, local and not, but none want to touch it. As such I need to do this myself, and soon before this otherwise great truck starts taking some bad corrosion and mildew damage. Cosmetics is secondary, I would prefer to have it looking factory but I believe I lack the knowledge and tools to do that. What can I do to make this the best I can? I want to stop the water from pooling up on the roof and draining into the truck. I assume that I need to do some metalwork to bring the dents out as much as possible, and after that sand and fill it. What is the process of doing this? And what do I need to do the job? How can I repair/bend back the quarter-sized dent on the top of the door?
Any and all help and advice is appreciated, thank you very much.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 5, 2021, 11:04 AM

Post #2 of 8 (221 views)
Re: 1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

In what you said "> I have tried to take it to 6+ body shops, local and not, but none want to touch it. <"
WHAT'S WITH THAT? Are you being told it's too much work + or cost to fix or what?
Not my thing but many a resto, assorted vehicles left paint till last in my case already knew the top person + shop.


OK: For whatever reason no help at least use painter's tape and plastic seal it tight from expected rain water inside. Nothing is going to like that inside seat(s) upholstery, if carpeted under that have to remove it to really dry it out now.
Stop the impending doom water is hell on electrical things in dash if a 'terrarium' inside stupid stuff will just fail. Power items, wiring for anything just isn't made to be wet INSIDE.
Take note it will NOT dry out properly by itself without stopping it now so get going.
If you think you can bend roof back to make it seal with "creative" measures (been there done that too) maybe an old type bumper jack and wood or scissor jack and right up a way to push that doesn't harm where you place jack of choice.


Body shops have power stuff for that I doubt you want to own one use things SHOCKED you can't get even crude help to bend it back never mind the finish it off stuff.
Just try hard NOT to make the body work finish work harder than it is already,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 5, 2021, 12:30 PM

Post #3 of 8 (207 views)
Re: 1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

It's not surprising that no shops want to touch it. The cost to actually repair that would be 10 times the value of the truck.

The biggest headache is they would have to reshape/replace the door frame along with replacing the roof. Anything less than that and these shops won't be interested.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Jantharr
New User

Jul 5, 2021, 5:03 PM

Post #4 of 8 (189 views)
Re: 1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

Each time I've taken it, they say it's too much work. I went to a few before our area got a hailstorm, and was told it was too much. After the hailstorm, understandably, they say they've got too much work from insurance claims and whatnot to be able to take on a big project like mine. I got the truck for free, and seeing as it's basically brand new for it's age, I'd be willing to pay a shop to restore the roof as sort of a "cost of the vehicle." So, it's frustrating no one wants to help. Luckily it's been a slow drip onto the upholstery, but I noticed a little stream of water going into the plastic above the right rear speaker, seemed to explain why the speaker has started to crackle. I'll definitely go buy some plastic seal and masking tape, so just cover the spot I think it's getting in and put sealant over it? I had thought of using a jack in the cab to push it up, but I'd have to take the seats out to give it a solid base to push against. I might drop by a body shop and see if they're willing to give me 15 mins to pull on it. I was thinking to really go at it I might get a MIG welder, some eyelets, and modify an engine lift to be able to reach over my cab. After making the lift steady, I'd try welding the eyelets to the roof and pull on each of the major damage sites, and just grind them off after that. Seems like it might get a lot of the big ones out. Does that sound like a reasonable approach? If that did get the big ones out, maybe a shop would be willing to smooth the rest out, and maybe tackle the doorframe? I do know replacement roofs aren't produced, but I can buy totaled Suburbans that might work as donor vehicles for between $2-5000. Would that be a better approach (I'd imagine it'd be way more expensive overall)? Thanks for the input.


(This post was edited by Jantharr on Jul 5, 2021, 5:08 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 5, 2021, 6:45 PM

Post #5 of 8 (175 views)
Re: 1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

Don't even think of trying that. If you start pulling on that roof you will make the problem so much worse you can't imagine.

This truck is not worth the time and money it would take to fix this. Sell it for parts and you'll be a lot better off.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Jantharr
New User

Jul 6, 2021, 3:53 PM

Post #6 of 8 (152 views)
Re: 1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

I appreciate the advice and tips, I won't be doing anything major, myself. I took today to drive around and find more body shops to ask, and eventually got referred to one that's willing to work on it. They estimated $300-$500 to source a roof off of a donor vehicle, and $5000 to cut off the old one, weld the new one on, fix whatever dings it may have, reassemble, seal, and paint it. Until they can take it in, I will just flex-seal where I believe the water is coming in from and put a tarp over it during rainstorms. Seems like a reasonable quote to me given the amount of work.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 6, 2021, 3:59 PM

Post #7 of 8 (145 views)
Re: 1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

Yep, that sounds about right. That door frame is a bitch to get straight again.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 6, 2021, 5:05 PM

Post #8 of 8 (140 views)
Re: 1991 K2500 Suburban body restoration/repair to stop water from draining into cab (barn fell on roof) Sign In

Since it seems you are going for it no matter the costs to keep it dry now just check quick for like draw string, waterproof car (+trucks?) covers. Keep sun and rain water out. Best now if a wet are to park it over cement or if anyone uses asphalt in anywhere Texas moisture doesn't rise up near like over dirt, grass or raw ground. Day night temps make metal cooler, stay cooler longer can condense water under, over and inside, it does on any cars.
We are about done with this so just on that a still best friend's so called fiberglass '68 Vette was put away over Winter on what was lawn.
The next Spring, OMG the thing was growing crap inside it, frame went to crap, fuel and brake lines, driveshafts and anything metal was shocking. NE US ground would freeze later would be fine it just doesn't stay that way under something like it,
Ended wanted a pretty new car at the time! Food for though on this whole thing,
Tom







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