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Rust on Roof and Pillars


NAXJA Forum User
I recently bought a 96 2 door to replace a 2000 that got crushed by a falling tree. I knew it has floor rust when I got it. No biggie since I repaired floor rust in the 2000. What I didn't know was the A and B pillars, drip rail, and windshield frame also have rust with spray foam put in to "waterproof" it. There is also spray foam where the quarter panel was fixed behind the B pillar.

I had planned on buying a welder for the floor pans and some other projects so I'm open to cutting/welding. I've seen a couple threads where the whole roof is replaced but finding a usable 2 door roof will be a challenge. Or pull whatever usable parts and find a different body to use.

I'm not sure where to go with it and looking for thoughts or ideas. If anyone has links to good roof/pillar replacement writeup threads or videos that would be appreciated.

Windshielf/roof separation
A and B pillars with foam
Quarter panel in front of wheel well
If it looks that bad up top where you can see, I'd hate to see the bottom uni-body and rails! Might want to look for another one.
Looking at those pics, you got the short end of the stick on that one.

I would be looking for another one.
Typically what you see is only half the existing rust. Pull whatever usable parts and find a different body to use.
Short end of the stick is probably the nicest way to put it. The floor and unibody rail rust isn't horribe. I've seen worse in other peoples posts.
Unclewolverine: Overall lenght should be the same but the pillars are different. The roof replacements I've seen online cut down into the A/B/C pillars and then used the entire thing as the replacement. I haven't seen any detailed writeups on it though.

Worst case I guess I can just go balls to the wall with a cut off wheel and sawzall and see what happens. I was hoping for a less nuclear option than that or replace it though lol
I wouldn't do anything until you scope it and see what's happening on the inside.
Problem is, his rust is in the pillars.

Look at the linked pics. Rust has eaten away the inner structure.

Any one of those could be fixed, but a whole vehicle like that is going to be a huge undertaking, and it is not as if an XJ is a rare coach-built luxury vehicle.

Don't get me wrong. I like XJs and I am a big fan of keeping them going, but the tin worm is their biggest enemy and this one has got it bad in a bunch of the wrong places.
When he says he needs to replace the roof he means he needs to replace everything from shoulder height up. Not just the skin.
I looked closer at the roof structure/pillar connection and I can see how just the roof could be replaced. If that were the case than I don't think door count would matter. I also cut off the remaining roof from my 2000 4dr and compared them. They were very similar, main exception being the B pillar. All the spot welds would be a pain to drill out though.

I can't tell how bad inside the B pillar is because of the foam. I noticed some surface rust on the interior sheet metal above the windshield. It felt solid though. I got a quote to pull the windshield and it was $115 just to pull/install with a 50% chance it doesnt break. At this point I'll just pull it myself, **** it.

Here's inside the rusty pillar: https://i.imgur.com/ZDwNuFg.jpg
And for comparison here's the clean passenger pillar: https://i.imgur.com/p81sVtL.jpg