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Old 05-26-2009, 09:17 PM   #11
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

Pat was there any "noise" associated with this failure? Greg did make a good point. For the last 2 years I have heard a “screeching against metal” type noise when I climb into the PH. Granted I’m a big guy but the PH is supposed to be rated for about 500lbs. The weird thing about it is the noise appears only if the van sits at certain angles. SMB has not been able to find where the noise is coming from. It’s driving me nuts! I feel they should pull the top but so far we’ve agreed to see what will come to be. I might be having the same problem as you. Please report back on your issue and how they make the fix.
Thanks….Dave
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:53 PM   #12
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

My thinking....

Load on the PHT when the top is doen is distributed all around the van.

When the PHT is up the load is more concentrated onto the two side reinforcement strips.
Those same strips are what also carry the load for the PF Bed.

Soooo when you have the top load AND use the PH bed, the load increases.

If the reinforcement strips ended before the end of the PHT cutout then there could be a lot of force at the end of the strip, maybe enough to tear the metal.

Does that make sense?
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:41 PM   #13
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Pat was there any "noise" associated with this failure? Greg did make a good point. For the last 2 years I have heard a “screeching against metal” type noise when I climb into the PH. Granted I’m a big guy but the PH is supposed to be rated for about 500lbs. The weird thing about it is the noise appears only if the van sits at certain angles. SMB has not been able to find where the noise is coming from. It’s driving me nuts! I feel they should pull the top but so far we’ve agreed to see what will come to be. I might be having the same problem as you. Please report back on your issue and how they make the fix.
Thanks….Dave
Sorry about the delay - had to do my "pick up daughter from college trip"

Your noise would sound like metal against metal but I believe that once this crack starts it would propogate quite quickly there by being visible from the outside. I drilled small holes at the terminus of the cracks and Peter at SMB agreed with that action. I have not peeled back any of the inside fabric enough to see the start of the cracking but it looks like it would be doable by removing a few screws. Any stresses carried by the stiffener and bed support would be passed to the van roof right there. (IMO)

I have so many creaks and rattles that isolating them while driving is impossible. I've never noticed anything while using the bed but this in my camping van and it holds a heck of alot of beer! This weekend I'll be putting the bedboards back in and I will do a sober test. If I hear anything related I'll report back.

Sportsmobile has agreed to fix the cracks by welding them. Obviously a big job requiring the canvas to be pulled back.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:43 PM   #14
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg In Austin
My thinking....

Load on the PHT when the top is doen is distributed all around the van.

When the PHT is up the load is more concentrated onto the two side reinforcement strips.
Those same strips are what also carry the load for the PF Bed.

Soooo when you have the top load AND use the PH bed, the load increases.

If the reinforcement strips ended before the end of the PHT cutout then there could be a lot of force at the end of the strip, maybe enough to tear the metal.

Does that make sense?
I totally agree with that and reference the same logic in my reply right above this one.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:02 AM   #15
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

That crack could have started when the roof was being cut and the cut out section was flopping around and vibrating. Sure the van flexes and it could be the cause but ussually cracks start at a weak point or small crack to start with. I wouldn't stress over it too much. No pun intended. A little weld, grinding, paint and I bet it never comes back.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:41 AM   #16
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

PatO

I have the same problem on my '03 SMB but the crack is about 2" longer. I suspect the crack follows a Ford factory weld. What year is your SMB? Who did you talk to at Fresno? How did they do the final repair? If they welded the crack did they use a metal plate (either above or below) to reinforce the area around the weld?

Michael
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:13 PM   #17
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

Michael, I didn't know you posted this too. I replied to your PM.
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:39 PM   #18
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Re: Metal Roof Crack From Penthouse Opening

Follow up to '03 metal roof crack. I have a 2" crack on the passenger side and a 3.5" crack on the driver side similar to PatO's. When the frame is under stress from tortion the cracks do pop as the edges move past each other. I have a solar panel on the roof but it weighs less than 15 pounds. I haven't carried anything else on the roof.

I called SMB Fresno. Peter agreed that I should drill a small hole at the end of the cracks to stop the crawl. He said that SMB would weld a metal patch over each of the cracks to reinforce that part of the roof.

Odd problem but SMB will repair. Despite having to drive to Fresno, I feel ok about that.

Michael
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:56 PM   #19
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I am looking a repair this same issue only I live in Seattle and driving my van to Fresno and taking a week off work or shipping the van for a repair are not a feasible options.

I have had two plates made by a local fab shop that match the curvature of the van roof and will span from the buytl sealant to just shy of the rain gutter. My plan is to use a combination of 3M structural auto body adhesive and water proof pop rivets to secure the plates. The only thing I am not sure of is if the van roof is single of double wall construction. I remember reading the Ford vans had a double wall body which makes them stiffer but don't know if this only applies to the side or to both the roof an sides. It will make a difference in which pop rivets is order.

Does anyone see any potential pitfalls with my plan?

I appreciate any and all feedback.

Thanks
John
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:12 AM   #20
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Sounds like a good plan to me....perhaps drill a small hole at the end of the crack before cementing and riveting...and maybe sand the paint to give some "tooth" for the adhesive to bite into.


The roof is a single layer of sheet metal.......with "Tee" or "hat" shaped stiffener cross members welded on.


I leave my rear penthouse hook un-hooked most of the time for this reason. The donor van that I harvested to PH from had cracks in both rear corners. When installing my roof I pop riveted Stanley hardware store L brackets in each rear corner.
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