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Old 09-27-2007, 12:00 PM   #11
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Jage,
I will try to post a better right up this weekend when I have more time. I recently worked on a leak the top of my Sportsmobile. Now, I did some testing after the fix and did not see any problems, so I believe I have it fixed. Were fixin to get more rain up here for the first time in a while so I hopefully know for sure. I will say that I could repeat the leak problem.

The problem area that I found was, the rear latch bolt and/or rear penthouse bed hanger bolt. They are both located in the groove of the roof. The material that Sportsmobile uses is butyl rubber to make the seal. What I believe really caused my leak was the failure of this seal. Specifically, I believe that was caused by the washer not being in the center of the ridge. This caused the side of the washer to not seat completely flat , because the edge of the washer was hitting the inclined side of the groove. I apologize for the artwork.

I replaced it with a smaller washer, I asked Sportsmobile if I needed the larger washer for load purposes and he said it was ok, he also said that they commonly clip the side of the washer if not centered. The only other thing is that you need to pay attention to where the van is sitting when it leaks, any change of angle and you may not be able to replicate the same leak pattern. Also, the roof being latched, or not latched ,up or down. I also have a lot of extra Butyl Rubber material if you want some.

Got to go

Greg.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:23 PM   #12
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Talked to Peter at SMB West. He is pretty sure they had to replace every bolt as the nuts break off when you remove them and you can't get a nut back on the original bolt. Huh?

He said they are standard metric bolts (8? 22?) but different lengths. He is willing to send me the hardware if I don't want to bring it by.

As far as bringing it by, I talked to another SMB employee (name?) about "shipping" which in his opinion means having a driver drive my van to and from SMB West. He felt that truck shipping was expensive.

Peter is checking with the person who did the work as to what they actually replaced. The other guy is checking on approximate cost of having the van driven. They're getting back.

Peter is understandibly befuddled. We both thought the problem was fully taken care of and it's still leaking. There are only 11 bolts- it's the most basic configuration of the roof possible. No roof rack, no solar panels, no anything else as far as holes in the top.

I only ever saw 3 bolts taken out (they showed me the bolts after), and assumed/understood only 3 had been replaced.

I think that's it for now I'm just waiting to hear back what Peter finds out and how much a driver costs.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:46 PM   #13
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Updating, I've heard from Peter twice and Josh once. Peter is trying to be nice but he's at "Look, we'll fix it but you need to get the van here." and I can hear the frustration coming through in his voicemail.

Josh is apparently the driver who works for SMB but although he called me once with prompting from Peter (with prompting from me) he hasn't returned my calls since trying to get an idea of how much it will cost me to have him drive my SMB there.

So today I kind of got sick of waiting and called Peter and asked how much it would cost me to get all the parts I might need to redo the whole thing myself shipped to 85750. I also asked for new rubber edge molding as mine is sagging bad enough that sometimes it comes off the edge and folds under as the top comes down.

Gotta remember to ask for buttons or whatever to keep the rubber on...

We'll see what they say.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:37 AM   #14
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When Josh isn't delivering vans for SMB, he's usually surfing in Baja. That might be the reason for no response.

Good luck on the top Jage, I can't believe what you're going thru.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:15 PM   #15
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Sent Peter an email requesting the following parts:
Quote:
Bolts, nuts and caps for 11 top attachment points Washers?
Sealant (or what type I need to buy)
Instructions on replacing

Rubber gasket around PH
Pins or screws to attach rubber gasket
Adhesive advice (if any)

Please include anything you think would help me refab the whole top, I really want to kill this leak!
I also got some great Butyl Rubber from Scalf77 (Greg) which is what really turned me to doing this project myself and doing it right.

If this doesn't work I'm going to have to buy a new PH with no holes and attach it over the original bolting around the rim. Or maybe SMB can convert my van to fixed top...
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:51 PM   #16
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Couple of pictures here that may help. I recently took my top apart to install solar panel wiring. Ended up taking the front completely apart. Not rocket science, but not simple either. The most difficult part was getting the screws to hold back in the same holes. I ended up buying slightly larger screws so all the existing holes would act like pilot holes. I also made brackets for the corners. It now looks and appears to be stronger than it was. It hasn't rained since I did the job so can't say for sure it doesn't leak.

If you weren't worried about warranty stuff and didn't want to tackle it on your own. I'd consider having an upholstery shop take a look. They could pull your fabric down, replace all of the rubber and hardware and have it back up in no time. I'm guessing this would cost half as much as the sportsmobile factory option.


Tom.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:36 PM   #17
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Hmm. SMB told me there was absolutely nothing between the panel and the top, thus nothing could have gotten wet/retained water/molded or mildewed. Now I am once again wondering what is in the middle of my top...
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:48 PM   #18
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there has to be something, re: insulation, R factor of 11
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:01 PM   #19
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It looks like I too am a victim and I'm guessing it is caused by one if not more of the bolts. One of the bolts that sits centered in one of the channels is rusted and the black seal looks pretty dried out/deteriorated. the other day on our trip down south my wife had a nice little stream of drip, drip, drip coming from the inside of the PH. Once we got to the final dest and we could unload the box up top and raise the PH there was a nice water stain in the back pass corner of the roof and water had run all down the pass side soaking the curtains etc...

when I was up on the roof today, there are small hairline cracks in the gelcoat/paint. Is this OK? Van is a 01 if it matters. Wehn I am up on the roof unloading the box I can hear some faint snap/crackle/pops of the roof flexing. Does anyone else hear the same thing?

We'll see what SMB says, shot Peter an email about it, thinking I may want to replace bolts/gaskets first.

Oh well...

-Derek

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Old 10-17-2007, 07:33 PM   #20
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The gel cracks are common and aren't supposed to be a problem with the leaks. Mine supposedly was cracked over the rear 2 feet and so that part got bedlinered by the PO, which hasn't done anything for the leak.

The stain I took out with water and paper towels- it looked like I was just spreading it around as it got wet, so I was planning to come back with something else but when it dried it was gone.
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