For years Automobile sun roofs and moon roofs have come in a variety of different sizes and styles depending on the applications on certain types of vehicles. A Sunroof is a metal panel that would only allow light or air in when opened. A moon-roof was the term created by Ford in the early 70’s as they featured a glass panel roof on the brand new Lincoln Mark IV. This type of roof would allow light inside the car even when it was closed. True sunroofs, those made just of metal, appear to have gone the way of 8-tracks in automobiles, and these days, most “sunroofs” are really “moon-roofs”, panels of tempered and tinted glass. Truth be told, electric roofs are a tantalizing glimpse of life in a convertible. As we all know, just about any Lowrider that has a roof on it has an alteration on it someway, somehow and the power moon-roofs are the most popular way to go when it comes to an upgrade or style change. Over the past decade, moon-roofs have become very scarce, especially the more popular 42 and 44 inch sizes. When automobile wrecking yards set down any of their vehicles that had the popular large glass, it was a guarantee that the entire roof would get cut off first before any other desired part was needed. Today a very used 42″ inch glass can go from about eight hundred bucks non-installed and a 44″ can go up to twelve hundred. Installation is anywhere from six to a grand depending. Other than moon roofs, Lowrider customizers also liked Targa tops (“Hollywood”) featured on Porsche’s or even T-tops like those also offered on Corvettes. In search of new ideas of revolutionizing the automobiles style of roof, concept cars debuted at Auto shows introducing full glass roofs as part of a more perspective look. Today, newer model cars like the Pontiac G6 feature a large glass roof opening called “Panoramic”. As the usage of auto glass on the roof of vehicles is continuing to evolve and grow in both technology and popularity, and the fact that Moons are becoming more and more harder to find each day, why not think out of the box and go “Skies the limit” with a full acrylic glass roof installed on your car just like the concepts. You can have the best of both worlds too! If you don’t want a permanent glass roof you can always make the adjustment to remove the glass top and convert the looks of your ride over to a convertible hard top just as well. If you haven’t noticed the latest technology in glass roof applications on newer cars today, we give you a glimpse on what is to come. A full glass roof adds style to your ride and it also makes for a spacious look inside and out. Your Lowrider styled leather interior never looked better as you can get the perfect view from up above now. AM Hot Rod Glass fabricated an acrylic glass domed rooftop for a Cadillac we feature here. The glass came with the already curved and contoured shape that matches most GM styled roof top designs. You can get this glass in any size your rooftop can adjust to. Acrylic glass can be cut down to any shape with a fine metal saw blade for plastic cutting, and from there you can block sand the edges and buff them out to a perfect smooth finish. To understand the process of customizing and installing a full glass roof on to your rides rooftop, you must first measure and draw with a marker what size and design you would like to fit on your roof. You should have a border of at least 4 to 5 inches from the front, rear and side edge. The very end of your cars rooftop is curve shaped, therefore you should begin your measurements from the area where the roof begins to flatten out. Make sure your design equals in measurement on all sides. From this point on the roof can be cut by someone with air tool scissors experience following the shape and measurement desired. Take 4 pieces of sheet metal, angle or “L” shaped, (front, rear, and both sides) and join them together to make your gutter or platform for your acrylic glass. Mount the entire frame with “C” clamps and begin to tack weld and grind down the trim. Any roof braces left from the cut out, should be welded to the glass frame for reinforcement. Minor bodywork is necessary from here and when all is said and done, take exact measurements of your glass roof top frame and order your acrylic glass. Your acrylic glass will be oversized a bit for you to cut down, sand and smooth out till it fits perfect, just in case there becomes a measurement problem. Follow along with these images from a Cadillac that had a glass roof installed.
1. The acrylic glass is outlined with a tape border and then the edges are cut down close to the exact size with a Jigsaw and metal blade that was made for cutting plastic.
2. The bodywork roof frame rails were ready for glass fitment after the proper trimming adjustments were made on the glass. There will be more trimming needed to the glass because you have to allow for the paint job final finish.
3. When the paintjob was finished the glass roof was fitted in place with certain areas needing to be trimmed by sanding because of the paint finish thickness.
4. The men from Auto Glass Tech placed rubber bushings in certain area as shims so that the roof would set flush in place.
5. A measured masking taped border was placed on the inside of the roof as a guide to lay down the special black window sealer that would glue this glass top down permanently.
6. The glass top was gently placed on to the roof with special suction cups handled by Augie and his partner who are also expert glass men known for their craftsmanship with Bomb window installs.
7. Room with a View now that the glass top was installed.
8. From the looks above the glass domed roof shows off innovation, style, and a good look of your interior.
The sky is truly the limit for a full acrylic glass roof, as you can also make your roof removable. An acrylic glass roof is also very light and can be easily lifted off if you desire to go removable. All you need then is weather stripping and special clamps to fasten your glass down. Acrylic glass can also be tinted or custom painted right over the top.
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