2 x c303 + volvo emblem 1974 - Wechsel zur deutschen Sprache

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Turning the roof on our C303

Original Dach C303

Why?

The roof of the Volvo C303 / TGB11 is more than 3,3 m long, but nearly just in the middle behind the cab on the left side is the roof hatch for the gunner. It could be possible to mount a big storage box or a roof rack if this hatch would be out of the way.

If you don't need the hatch you can build everything just above it. The load will only be some cm higher. But if you want to use the hatch further on and want to have a big free space on the roof, too, you have to move the hatch to the end of the roof.

To move the roof hatch it seems to be neccessary to cut a hole into the aluminium plate of the roof and weld the hatch to the new position.

Looking into the parts list at chapter 81, page 442 shows up an easier way. The roof is fixed with screws in the end and in the middle of the car in an identical manner, on the sides it is only laying on the side walls with an U-profile over a rubber sealing. The front and end edge of the roof plate is selaed with a special elastic glue. The roof itself is a ponton style construction with a frame along the sides.

I was so lucky that Mario from Essen came to me on a cold January saturday to help me with the roof. At first he only wanted to have a look at the Volvo C303, but he agreed at once with my idea of checking the assembly system of the car. Now he wants to buy one for himself in 2007...

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Action

With a ringwrench and a ratched with 13-mm nut the 30 screws will be dismounted quickly. In the front the nuts are welded to the steel plate of the cab and can't fall down, you don't need a helping hand there. In the back the screws are a little bit longer and the nuts lay on a piece of steel to distribute the load to a wider area of the aluminium plate as it is on the side of the screws as well.

Mutter vornMutter hinten

Before lifting the roof you have to cut thrugh the silicone glue with a long knife to open most of the contact area. Than you can lift it with 2 persons and turn the front side to the back. The rubber sealing of the side doors will come off from alone.

You have to put the roof down very carefully for not bending the profiles on the sides. If you are not canting the roof as we did it will come to the right position easily. I had to climb onto the roof to press the edge down with my weitht. The rubber sealing for the side doors could be pressed to the edge of the profile without a problem.

gerade gewendetKörpereinsatz

Before tighting the screws you should check the correct position of the roof along the length of the car. The back end can easily move out of the right direction and get a side mismatch.

fixing the screwshatch from below

Tighting the screws needs a little patience, because the widened body had to be tied together with carfull force on the screws again. You can't do that with one screw only, that would be to much load for the aluminium plate. You have to use about half of the screws along the whole width of the roof and tighten it again and again only a little bit. Attention: the screws at the lower edges have no room for the small steel under the nuts, you have to use the big round washers there.

Fingers in dangereverything fits?
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Problems

It may be that from incorrect measurement in the production 2 screws can't be used or are missing at all. No reason to be afraid.

I will have to make all the screws loose again because on the day we turned the roof it was too cold for using the glue. Together with that I can correct the side mismatch of the roof in the back end.

Attention: Mario did warn me not to use standard silicone glue. These glues are often based on a chemical reaction of acids, which would destroy the aluminium plate. It must be a glue like SIKA-Flex or Soudal Carbond based on polyurethan or something aequivalent.

Door edgewrong cutaway

Unfortunately I overlooked the openings for the side doors in the profile on the edge of the roof. There is a cutaway in the U-profile on the outer side. This cutaway is moved with the turning to the middle of the side plates and there the rubber sealing is shown. Following that the doors do not close like before and lay on the outer U-profile.

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