BUILD THREAD Project Olds Cool (Updated 5/15/19, belt mouldings!)



Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
New Mexico
I need to read through your thread again and look for more pictures of your shop. It looks like everything has its place. My garage has turned into such a wasteland of 'deal with later' stuff piled up everywhere. Daddy forgets to put away his toys and then gets mad when he can't find them...


Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Alright, as I alluded to earlier today, I’ve had a busy week in the garage, and made some decent headway. Lots to cover and lots of pics to post, so let’s dive right in shall we?

Probably the easiest way to break all this down is by day, so here’s how it went.
In the last update, I got the AstroRoof outer pan assembly masked and primed with epoxy and 4 coats of high build.

Monday, I got the high build block sanded out (twice, once with 120 grit, and again with 180), all the edges addressed, the weatherstrip gutter sanded, and a small portion of the underside prepped:


After a thorough cleaning, both sides were masked off. I masked it off a little differently this time, because I had the gutter already prepped I didn’t want or need any more material in there. So some soft edge foam masking was used to cover the gutter and edges:


Once that was done, I powered through and pounded another 4 coats of high build on:


That was the end of Monday. Tuesday evening, I resumed the night shift by unmasking the latest round of primer, and remasking to shoot the gutter. Underside first...


...then more soft edge foam on the top around the outside of the perimeter:


Mix up a little Sterling grey in the touch up gun, and after 3 nice coats, the gutter was done:




End of Tuesday night.

Wednesday evening started with carefully unmasking from the night before, and inspecting my work. Turned out really nice:


I mentioned in the last update that I had all of the components now restored and ready to go, that turned out to not exactly be true. With so many parts to this assembly, I had stashed the slider board away and forgotten all about it. The slider board hooks directly into the bottom of the outer pan assembly, and is wrapped on the underside with headliner fabric. It’s what you see from inside the car when the roof is closed.

Upon setting it up on the stand and giving it a closer evaluation, it was obvious that GM never primed or painted this piece from the factory. Just plain bare metal both sides, spray glue the crap out of it, and attach the fabric. That’s it.
Here’s the topside as it came out of the car, rust, dirt and all:


And the underside, covered in old spray glue. Gross.


So I fired up the iPod and headphones, put my ear muffs on over top, and ran the DA sander over both sides for an hour and a bit. 120 on the underside...


...and 80 on the top (because it was in a bit rougher shape). Both sides cleaned up quite nicely, considering:


End Wednesday night.

Thursday night was another biggie. Earlier in the day, I had managed to finally track down and purchase some pinch weld style bulb seal weatherstrip, I needed 14’ to replace the wore out stuff that framed the perimeter of the roof cartridge, but I bought 20’ just because.

Once out in the garage, I laid it out around the perimeter of the cartridge, and began installing it. There were a couple of spots where I had to notch it, but the factory weatherstrip seal had this done to it as well so I had no qualms about doing it.
This turned out nicely as well:


A couple of closeup and detail shots because it’s so hard to make out any detail in the above picture. Simply too damn big.




I mentioned there were a lot of parts to this thing? Here’s just a sampling, and only of the bigger stuff. They’re taking over my garage!


When I bought the dual snorkel air cleaner that’s currently on the car from a swap meet a couple years back, it was always missing the seal for around the outside of it. Here’s where most of the additional 4’ of the pinch weld weatherstrip went to:



Completely non functional at this point, but hey, now at least it looks complete and proper.

Still on Thursday night, I started looking around at what was left. Also set aside and temporarily forgotten, was this stainless trim piece that frames the AstroRoof opening:


Like the rest of the components, it was tired, dirty and neglected. It doesn’t show up well in the pic, but it had some serious dirt and staining going on with it:


A little TLC and a copious amount of elbow grease along with some help from Mother’s aluminum polish, soon had both sides restored to their former glory however:


Much better!!


Since that was all it really needed, might as well reinstall it.


Continued >>>


Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Since it was feeling pretty damn good to finally be putting parts back together on this thing, I decided to keep rolling with it. What the hell right? I can always sleep when I’m dead.

There’s a rubber air damn/deflector thingy that had to go on, I cleaned it up and reinstalled it as well with the original clips:


Next up was the tracks. Since they were already cleaned up/out and painted, they just needed lubricating before installation:




All the tracks and cables were done, even inside the cable tubes:



Time to get those installed in the assembly too:




Buoyed by the high of reassembly, I kept on rolling. The cable guide was next, all the 39 year old grease was cleaned out of it...


... then hit with some fresh stuff. I’m using white lithium grease here in an aerosol can, with the precision straw it’s very easy to get it exactly where it needs to be.


Align and bolt it to the assembly, and then I had to shut it down for the evening. Not bad for a single night’s work.


Friday night I took off from the car, and spent it with the better half. Weekends are usually our time.

Saturday evening I resumed with where I left off, I removed the drive gear from the motor and cleaned all the individual parts up:


Fresh lube here as well...


... then attach it to the cartridge. I was almost caught off guard here, after I had reattached the motor, I noticed the rear brackets attached to the cables weren’t in the same location in the tracks side to side. Apparently the one cable shifted in its tube when I was installing the tracks, I had to remove the motor and guide plate and realign it. Then reinstall the guide plate and motor again.

Here it is assembled correctly now:


Overall view, it’s coming together!


Earlier in the day Saturday, we had stopped in at the local speed shop and I grabbed a box of this stuff:


From the factory, the underside of the outer pan assembly had this jute insulation stuff attached to it. It was in pretty poor shape though:



After cleaning the underside of the pan with wax and grease remover...


...and cutting a piece to fit, I simply peeled the paper from the self adhesive backing and stuck it firmly in place:



This is why I wasn’t too concerned with having a perfect finish on the underside of the pan when I painted it. You don’t see it anyways. As you can tell, it’s quite thick at 3/4’s of an inch. This was desirable to me, as the original jute was the same thickness. This should serve as sound deadening and insulation both.
Works for me, end Saturday.

Today, I had Mike swing by to give me a hand. I didn’t have much for him, but for what I did, two sets of hands were absolutely necessary. I needed to get the outer G Body Parts weatherstrip seal glued into the gutter of the outer pan assembly.

It was quite the process, and we had to go about it in steps. First off, we began by masking off the primer on the topside. Then we stretched the seal and pushed it down into place in the gutter. After massaging it to ensure it was stretched evenly and not stressed, we placed 4 spring clamps on the 4 corners to keep it in place.

Using some black 3M Super Weatherstrip Adhesive I picked up a while back, we did one section at a time. A thin bead has to be applied to each surface, spread out to evenly coat both areas, then allowed to tack up. Peeling the seal back between the corner clamps, I applied the adhesive, and Mike tooled it out with a cut down disposable paint brush.

We did the back first, then each side, then finished with the front. The Fisher service manual calls for the adhesive to be applied to both the bottom and sides of the seal, but Mike and I only did the bottom for now. I’m going to have to mask off this seal when I go to paint the car, and I wanted to be able to get the masking tape in between the seal and the side of the pan when the time comes. After the car is painted, I will go back and glue the sides as required.

Here’s the seal all glued in place finally, it still has the clamps holding the corners fast:



And finally, tonight after letting it set for several hours, I unmasked it once again. It looks pretty good, tomorrow I’ll do a little cleanup on it and touch up a couple spots where the adhesive took the paint off the very edge.

Ready to go back in the assembly now:


This thing is nearly done and ready to go back in the car, the slider board is now the only thing holding me up. Friday I stopped in at a customer of mine, an auto upholstery shop, and ordered 3 yards of claret headliner material. He was kind enough to give it to me at his cost, 80 Canadian pesos. It should be in late next week. That 3 yards is also enough to re-cover the entire headliner according to him.

That time frame should give me ample time this week to get both sides of the slider board epoxied and painted, then when the headliner material comes in, it’s just a matter of attaching it to the slider and putting the slider and outer pan into the cartridge.

Providing that all happens this week, I’ve tentatively arranged for Mike to give me some assistance reinstalling the whole thing back into the car, possibly on Monday. (We both have that day off).

The end is in sight!

That’s all for now, thanks for taking the time to read through this huge update. As always I sincerely appreciate it. Also, feel free to let me know your thoughts and opinions.

Until next time friends,

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Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
Spring, Texas
Awesome progress Donovan. That sunroof will look and work like new, and will hold up so much better because of all the extra weatherproofing you've given it. I'm looking forward to seeing it back in the car.

Are you going to paint that car in your garage when you are done with the body work?


G-Body Guru
Aug 20, 2009
North Vernon IN
Great progress. Very detailed on a part of the car that very few people think about. Very nice work


Royal Smart Person
Jan 2, 2006
I wouldn't let you touch my car if my life depended on it. You don't seem to have a clue about what you're doing. Friggin' novice.


Just kidding. I certainly appreciate the level of detail of your build reporting, and going to the trouble of laying out your thinking along the way and anticipation of potential issues. Your finished product will be awesome, I'm sure.


Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
New Mexico
Or the chemical equation for the reaction turning iron oxide back to iron.

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