What I’d recommend the engineer do is remove the headliner, and assess the roof damage from below. The panel is toast, and those crossmembers are, too. But what about the body sides? If the doors open and close easily, then that’s a good sign.


If just the roof panel and crossmembers were affected, and Mr. Tesla Engineer goes in recognizing that he’s working on a safety-critical part and that he may reduced the overall roof strength of the vehicle (with his background, it’s certain that he realizes this), then perhaps the Jeep can be saved. I think it’s possible.

I’d spend an afternoon at a junkyard with a sawzall and a few spare batteries, and snag an XJ roof panel and some crossmembers. Then I’d get ready to cut up the white Jeep and stitch it back together with a welder.

Image for article titled A Tesla Engineer's Jeep Ended Up Under 10 Feet of Snow for Months and It's Still There
Image: Anonymous Tesla Engineer

Again, we’re dealing with the roof of a unibody vehicle, so the quality of the repair is important, as the entire vehicle’s torsional and bending characteristics rely on that lid. But this engineer seems excited to tackle a new project, so, depending upon how the damage looks from the inside, I say give it a try.


Worst case, just buy another clean XJ—perhaps one with a blown motor and bad interior—for dirt cheap, and swap parts over.