Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-19-2017, 02:05 PM   #291
Senior Member
 
Fitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 513
tlg,

I read that same post and tried it several times to no effect. That lead to putting the weight up above to see if that had an effect, which it did.

Regarding SMB's test procedure, I included a picture showing six actuators in a row, all hooked up and ready to test. The test is simple, measure the cycle time in and out. The motors are not synchronized, thus there will always be a variation, something that is inherent in a simple system such as this.

Keep in mind that the actuator brakes on the way down and that the speed is affected by the weight pushing it down, plus the friction in the overall system. I would first look at what is on top to see that the load is evenly distributed across the two sides, next I would expose the actuators and mechanical components and apply a good spray lubricant at all points of connection plus to the actuator itself. In my case I saw no effect and thus I had to move on to the actuator.
__________________

__________________
2016 SMB Sprinter 4x4 144" RB 150S w/ PH
Fitz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2017, 10:36 PM   #292
Senior Member
 
Fitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 513
PH Out of Adjustment

I thought I would post two more pictures for reference regarding the out-of-sync actuators.

First, a picture from the inside. This shows how much the PH Roof was out of alignment at the bottom of the down cycle.



This in itself isn't that bad and from what I have read lots of penthouses come down unevenly. The problem with the Sprinter is that there is a vertical edge just outboard of the PH top that runs the length of both sides of the van.



Note that the picture above isn't of my van, but it is typical of Sprinters and mine looks the same. I took this picture at SMB Fresno and it clearly shows the PH top adjacent to the vertical protrusion on the outboard side.

The problem in my case that drove me to action was the fact that unless I manually pulled the roof over from the inside at the bottom of the down cycle, the lowermost edge of the top would contact the top of the vertical protrusion next to it. As the top continued to settle down it would "snap" into place as it came off the top of the adjacent vertical edge. It was easy to see that this was not good and would quickly lead to damage to the edge of the fiberglass top, thus the need to make the repair.

I believe it is only the Sprinter vans that have this issue of the adjacent vertical edge, thus I believe other vans are a bit more accommodating to having the top come down unevenly. Any non-Sprinter PH owners care to comment?
__________________

__________________
2016 SMB Sprinter 4x4 144" RB 150S w/ PH
Fitz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 05:05 AM   #293
tlg
Senior Member
 
tlg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 206
Garage
Fitz, that alignment picture is shocking. Mine is a bit off but no where near that extreme. Glad SMB fixed that for you. The Ford vans have a drip rail and the top rests close to the same. Lowering the top for me has never been a push the button and done procedure. I slowly lower and frequently stop to check alignment (from the outside). Its not uncommon for me to have to nudge the top to one side or the other to get it to fall inside the drip rails.
__________________
2014 Ford RB-50
tlg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 02:12 PM   #294
Senior Member
 
Otter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 496
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
... This will never replace a rack set up for forklift loading, but for what I need now it is perfectly adequate.

Here is the link to the Thule Outrigger II if you want to look closer. For me it has proven to be a simple and effective addition to the van.

https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/sport...ii-847-_-16192

I have the same thing on my Yakima system. I'd be hard pressed to get some heavy stuff up there without it. It's ingenious, isn't it?
https://www.yakima.com/boatloader

When I had the (much lower) Tacoma, I used to use it for loading kayaks and my canoe all the time. But I tried it recently with the van and it was extremely unwieldy, even with two of us working at it, with me on a tall stepladder.

I found that placing a crossbar right at the very rear of the van is perfect for loading the boats. A stepstool and my hitch step were all that were needed to accomplish the task. I looked at the Yakima rolling equipment, but hesitated due to cost. I'm glad I did. The single cross bar is entirely adequate and, best of all, I already had it in the garage.






.
__________________
"PhoTow" - 2014 Ford E350 5.4L RB Agile 4x4 - a Multipurpose Transformer Photo Rig
Otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 02:32 PM   #295
Senior Member
 
Fitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 513
Otter,

We are on the same page with the rear loadbar positioning, I have it pushed as far back as possible to allow for rear loading. I haven't installed a center loadbar(s) like you have, but I left the space dedicated for it if I feel it is required in the future.

What is your loadbar height? What do you think about loading the canoe from the rear at 8'-10"? I know I just need to get out and try it, one of these days it will quit raining and I'll get a helper and we will see.

At $2k+ for the Yakima Rack and Roll trailer I can afford to do a bit of experimenting!
__________________
2016 SMB Sprinter 4x4 144" RB 150S w/ PH
Fitz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 03:59 PM   #296
Senior Member
 
Otter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 496
Garage
No kidding! As admiring as I am of the Yakima system (I've had it since they invented it), I couldn't spring for the trailer. It's just too much for too little versatility. Like you, I always had a pickup, and it's amazing how much stuff you can transport in a bed. I used to throw my boats in there all the time for short transport.

I recently picked up one of these Harbor Freight boat trailers for times when I need to just move a boat from here to there when I'm alone. It's small and tucks nicely into a corner of the yard or the garage. I love the height, letting me launch and retrieve without lifting anything over my waist. And it's very versatile, carrying all manner of junk, er, supplies. And it's a couple hundred bucks, with discount coupons. The frame is dimension lumber added to the top.



Not sure of my load bar height, but I think it might be just under 8 ft. If you have the rear bar back far enough, though, it almost won't matter how high you have to go, cause all you're doing is increasing the angle. I find once I have the tip of that boat on there, especially with help holding it steady (though might not be mandatory), I just push, slide, and raise, using a step stool. I also have a lightweight stepladder (4ft) that fits in the van or on top and would recommend that the higher you have to go. I'm a comparative weakling, so it's not like I'm bruting it up there. The bar surface is slippery and that works to great advantage.

I put the extra bar on there cause I had the parts. It did come in handy for the heavier canoe, giving it something to rest on, and it travels gunwale-side down. I don't know if it was absolutely necessary or not, but you'll know when you try it. I'll watch more closely the next time we load up, but might not be for a while.
__________________
"PhoTow" - 2014 Ford E350 5.4L RB Agile 4x4 - a Multipurpose Transformer Photo Rig
Otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 04:02 PM   #297
Senior Member
 
Otter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 496
Garage
Btw, the lightweight kayak in the photo was as easy as pie to get up there. Tip it and push. It popped right into its holders. But I built it to be 23 pounds, so I could move it around easily by myself.
__________________
"PhoTow" - 2014 Ford E350 5.4L RB Agile 4x4 - a Multipurpose Transformer Photo Rig
Otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 07:47 PM   #298
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 539
Tim,

The tons of stuff I have learned from your thread have been invaluable. We were in Fresno again yesterday for a second meeting with Brian. We changed our order from Classic to 4x4 Sprinter 144" high roof a couple of weeks ago and went through the MB options checklist with Brian. We also met with Rob to go over cameras, sound, and navigation systems. We had a meeting on Tuesday with the guys at Van Compass in Atascadero. I am getting almost all of their options other than the 35" tires which requires fender mods and a trip to LA for some guys they know there to recalibrate speedometer/odometer. Van Compass is moving to WA state this summer, but as it happens, so are we.

We are retired and on the west side of Elk Grove (Sac area). I hope you will let me pick your brain as the planning process goes by.
TomH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2017, 01:06 AM   #299
Senior Member
 
Fitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 513
TomH,

It sounds like you are well on your way, congratulations! I'm curious, with changing your order, how much time will you have invested from initial order of the Classic to final delivery of the Sprinter? That will be one happy day!

As far as picking my brain, bring it on! There are plenty of others here who can and will provide answers when I can't. Lots of knowledge and experience here, all for the asking.

Elk Grove is just up the road, we have family who work there and live nearby, thus we are often in the area. If you want to sit down and talk, Foster's Big Horn or The Point in Rio Vista come to mind as about half way between us, both really good places to get together. Looking forward to it and to following along with your build!
__________________
2016 SMB Sprinter 4x4 144" RB 150S w/ PH
Fitz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2017, 01:20 AM   #300
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 539
Tim, PM sent.
__________________

TomH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
carport, molding trim clips, recovery ramps, skid plates, suspension upgrade

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.