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2000 Impreza OBS repainting roof

405 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  scruff3333
Hey all,

I recently bought a 2000 impreza outback sport. I love it, but its exterior needs a lot of TLC. I've been planning on sanding down and applying a new clear coat to the roof because of severe fading, but I noticed a rust spot at the extremity of one of the three roof "bars", as shown in the attached picture (not the roof rack, the protection bars drilled directly into the roof). I'd like the remove this bar in order to remove the rust and repaint, but I don't know how it is attached to the roof and I want to make sure I can install it back afterwards. In particular, I'm afraid that if it is drilled directly into the roof, I won't be able to attach it back after. Does anyone have experience removing these?

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Road surface Water
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I am curious myself. I have a bit of rust on the edge of mine. Really just wish to get rid of the damn things.
IIRC the end bezels pop off and there's a 10mm nut underneath but I never took mine off.
Following as well, roof rail ends on mine looks similar. water tends to pool around them.
I'm also itching to either repaint or vinyl wrap them.
Vinyl wrap... Shoot man, that's a good idea. Would that work?
I've got an update, I removed the three bars (needed to remove the roof rack to get access), and removed the headliner to check out underneath.

Turns out these things are just directly screwed into the roof, with no nuts or extra attachments. It looks like the factory put some sealant around the screw to prevent moisture from getting in, but those seals were all damaged, so all six of the holes had some amount of rust --- minimal on four of them, but pretty bad on two (see attached picture).

I sanded down the paint and some of the rust. I was about to fix it with some bondo, but the metal was pretty damaged by the rust (there were penny sized holes), so I decided to pay the price and have it professionally repaired (welded, refinished and painted).

If the holes were not rusted, it would have been possible to re-install the bars, using some sort of aftermarket sealing agent, but I decided to have the body shop fill in all the holes and remove the bars altogether.

My suggestion: It's a pretty big job to do by oneself, unless you have experience with body work and rust repairs. If you're looking to keep the car for a long time it can be worth it, but if you don't actually have a hole in the roof yet it's probably better to leave it be.

As a reference, the body shop gave me a quote for $1500 to remove all the rust, weld the holes, sand the surface and repaint the entire roof (roof had bad sun damage anyway, so it's good to have it painted again). I live in the Bay Area in California: I think it's about the market price around here for this sort of repair, body work is expensive.


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That's a great update and reference. I really appreciate the info. I think I'll be going down that road at some point soon.

Definitely curious to see how it looks finished
I'd have the antenna removed from the A pillar while I was at it. Ymmv.
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