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Old 10-17-2007, 09:34 PM   #21
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My roof is the same, lots of crackly crunching noises. I wouldn't even consider walking on my roof. I have no plans for anything on the roof except for the panels. Hope it's not a problem with the year 2001 production.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:35 PM   #22
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I called SMB West twice again today apparently my emails haven't been getting through. I've left a few voicemails too and finally got Peter on the phone, in person and told him I would send another email to info and be sure to let me know when he gets it.

Just after the server came back up I got an email from him letting me know he would ship a box of parts on Thursday.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:04 AM   #23
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I wish I had the time available to drive down and help you tear the top up

No, seriously, we could caulk the **** out of that thing.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:22 PM   #24
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Jage,

With all the rain in AZ lately how has your penthouse top repair held up? Any signs of leaks?


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Old 12-14-2007, 02:51 PM   #25
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I pulled the back 5 bolts and all were extremely rusty and pitted. The washers were the wrong size and none were replaced by SMB, in fact the rear most 3 bolts weren't even touched save to squirt some clear silicone in the plastic cap around only one of them the nut of the center J hook.

Since the repair I've had it in the rain here and up to Denver and back in rain and snow and everything looks good so far. I'm going to do the front six on principle, even though SMB touched them all they still have the bad washers and probably barely any butyl between them. SMB shorted me on hardware though so I had to find the right size washers and get more butyl, and now I'm in the midst of moving (all the tools Panion and I used went into one box "Tools for fixing SMB top") so it will have to wait and see if I can find the time between then and the Rally.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:09 PM   #26
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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...
Jage:

Why are you buying a new PH Top? Why isn't SMB offering to replace the top for you? I realize that you didn't purchase your SMB new from them but.... I would think that is the least they would do to fix the problem. After all, I'm sure that they know about your website here & word of mouth can either help or hurt their sales. When I read all of the things that you guys go through after spending all of those $'s, I start to question whether I want to go through it like many of you have. Is it really worth the aggravation???

I hope that you get the problem resolved sooner than later. Good luck!

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Old 12-16-2007, 10:26 PM   #27
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Yeah, I wonder all the same things. They swear they replaced every bolt but all 5 I pulled out were rusty beyond belief. The whole center section of the roof is full of rust dust as the water would sit- SMB West denied my requests to see into the sections of top to ensure there wasn't black mold or anything and when they finally let me back the whole thing was together. The line was, "Oh he looked under ever panel, there wasn't anything there.

At some point going back to Fresno again for service of questionable standards wasn't worth it. On top of the money and the time it takes, there is less than 25K on the van warranty. When I actually got up on the roof it was so obvious that the hardware was WRONG from the beginning and they hadn't done much besides new nuts and caps it just proved me right. I would have rather just had it done right the first (or second) time. It wasn't that hard and it drives me crazy that they'd not only not bother to fix it but lie about it. I'd scheduled two days in Fresno and had it worked out to pay for new panels and they handed me my van back in 4 hours.

Honestly if there weren't so many great people on this forum with similar experiences and extending support I'd have given up and resold my van months ago. It's a dilemma as there isn't another competing vehicle in my opinion, so what else can you do?
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:49 PM   #28
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How about a picket line at one of their next shows? Just a thought.


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Old 05-12-2008, 10:25 AM   #29
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Reviving an old thread here....

jage, ? for you on your repair job -
I had a pretty good leak this past week when we had a good rain and how the van was parked there was a nice puddle around the rear J-hook bolt/washers/cap up on the roof. The ceiling panel was soaked and stained back by the rear J-hook area

All I had was some GE clear silicon caulk/sealant so I removed the bolt and it was rusty. Let everything dry out and filled it up ggod w/ silicon and re-assembled. Also tried to fill in around the exterior of the washer up on the roof as well.

when you 'fixed' your leak - Is this what you did? just pull the bolt/washers and fill everything back up w/ silicon and re-tighten? Has it held up for you since?
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:56 PM   #30
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I think there is a photo thread around here- but anyway, the rust is from standing moisture in between the layers of your top. There is insulation and other stuff, although it varies if it goes much outside the bolt area.

What Panion and I did was pull each bolt and replace it with a new one. The washer on mine were incorrect for the application, so I bought 4" washers with a 1/4" hole- the "wrong" ones had a 5/8" hole which had a second washer as it didn't fit the bolt.

Before the new washer a full sheet of butyl rubber was put down, then the new washer, then more butyl, then the cap clip washer, a bit more butyl, then the nut, and then a sandwich of butyl that just squeezed under the cap around the nut and all threads.

Sportsmobile's original application had less butyl than even filled the oversized washer hole and when they "repaired" it, merely squirted some silicone under the plastic nut caps- as far as I can tell they didn't even loosen the nuts.

Anyway, the back half was done and I've had no problems- although it's garaged and out of the Tucson sun, so who knows. The one thing I've noticed is that condensation will collect on the canvas and the rust stains from the leak will come out making it look like it's leaking. The tell tale for me is that it is no longer coming through and pooling in the light fixture at the back.

Also be sure not to overtighten- the J hook is a bit different, but it all goes through the panels, so be sure to get the same shank bolt. You will have to dremmel off the threads flush with the nut.

The theory was the right hardware, namely the giant 1/4" hole fenders, and lots of sealant, and then a bit more. I'm sure silicone would be effective as well, however you can't just squirt it under the nut cap and expect it to seal.
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