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Old 02-20-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
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Cost to switch from Pop Top to High Top?

I've got a 99 RB SMB with pop top in great shape but need to switch to a 24" or higher hard top. What kinda cost am I looking at for disassembly of the pop top and install of a new Fiberine or similar high top?
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:00 PM   #2
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Big question is are you going to be doing this yourself or paying someone to do it?

At CCV we do a shop rate of $130 an hour to take a top off and prep for an install of a fixed top. This usually takes 2-4 hrs and we have one guy who does it.

Then you have a flat fee to have a new top installed that includes top install, insulation, head liner, trim work, lights and wiring. This would vary depending on type of top from fiberine $6800 -$8800 depending on what top you ordered.

If you are doing this yourself then it's time and materials and you will save a ton of money. This can vary depend on how frugal you want to be... Think Saline said he paid $4500.00 for his top and install at Fiberine? Then he had his time and materials for the interior build out.

I made the top that's on my van and have since sold the molds, but my costs to get my top made by me and installed complete cost a total of $1600.00 plus my time... this was the top, insulation, rack (not including my lights) 2 windows, glue, headliner, interior lights, wiring, interior trim work, interior sealant (not a flange top) sealant exterior.

Hopefully this helps a little. Sometimes I over think things...
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:10 PM   #3
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Don’t forget to factor in the profit from selling your take-off top. They seem to be hot commodities in the $3k or so range.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:58 AM   #4
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When I'm working on a van project I don't count my time as a hard cost. That's because working on my van is therapy for me from my regular life. I price my labor in burritos and beer to my buddies just so we can hang out. They do the same for me.

Putting the top on my van and build out the interior was a lot of therapy, burritos and beer.

I found a top in the salvage yard which required work, but put me all in, including upgrades, interior materials, etc, for far less than what you can get out of your pop top assembly.

Either way you go, turn key or DIY, you are going to love the storage and space created by a 24" high top. At 6 feet tall I can wear a ball cap inside my van and never scrape my head. Lady Shadetree and I think it may be the best van we've ever had, and the best modification we've done to any of them.

Just be prepared to say goodbye to drive thru's and parking garages. The other day in a parking lot I had to find an alternate route because of a low pruned tree. On the plus side, my van is always easy to spot wherever I've left it parked.

Good luck on your project.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:14 AM   #5
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Thanks so much guys. This is great info.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:26 AM   #6
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A bit late here but a few questions arise----does the existing pop top have most or all of the original factory roof ribs removed? Would you want the fixed high top to essentially replace the entire roof (aft of the B-Pillar roof rib only)?

Adding a fixed top might require having an upper "roll cage" structure built in-place before installation to maintain the strength of the side walls and roof in the event of a side collision or roll over.

Not trying to scare you off this project but when significant parts of the roof and its factory structure are removed it can require more than just cutting a bigger hole and screwing/gluing the new top in place.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetreevanman View Post
When I'm working on a van project I don't count my time as a hard cost. That's because working on my van is therapy for me from my regular life. I price my labor in burritos and beer to my buddies just so we can hang out. They do the same for me.

Putting the top on my van and build out the interior was a lot of therapy, burritos and beer.

I found a top in the salvage yard which required work, but put me all in, including upgrades, interior materials, etc, for far less than what you can get out of your pop top assembly.

Either way you go, turn key or DIY, you are going to love the storage and space created by a 24" high top. At 6 feet tall I can wear a ball cap inside my van and never scrape my head. Lady Shadetree and I think it may be the best van we've ever had, and the best modification we've done to any of them.

Just be prepared to say goodbye to drive thru's and parking garages. The other day in a parking lot I had to find an alternate route because of a low pruned tree. On the plus side, my van is always easy to spot wherever I've left it parked.

Good luck on your project.
Attachment 25904
It's hard to tell from the picture but is a bed platform or is the whole van open for room?

Nice work on that.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vandiesel View Post
It's hard to tell from the picture but is a bed platform or is the whole van open for room?
No upper bed for us. That area is about 30" deep of upper storage above the couch/bed below. In the front, the area over the front seats is storage as well. The rest is wide open. The side storage is purposely shallow to not infringe on living space. It's just the wife and I, and an occasional grandkid, so we didn't want or need upper beds or a lot of storage.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:54 PM   #9
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I have 3 brand new never installed tops. I sold one to Shadetrees's friend 3 months ago. I have 2 RB and 1 EB model. I would be willing to trade for your pop top if it is in good condition!
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20180615_072103.jpg   20180615_072109_001.jpg   Fiberine Front.jpg  
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JWA View Post
A bit late here but a few questions arise----does the existing pop top have most or all of the original factory roof ribs removed? Would you want the fixed high top to essentially replace the entire roof (aft of the B-Pillar roof rib only)?

Adding a fixed top might require having an upper "roll cage" structure built in-place before installation to maintain the strength of the side walls and roof in the event of a side collision or roll over.

Not trying to scare you off this project but when significant parts of the roof and its factory structure are removed it can require more than just cutting a bigger hole and screwing/gluing the new top in place.


Not really understanding this post? Correct me if I am wrong but he already has a hole in his roof! That hole I believe on Penthouses starts behind the B pillars or there abouts. The fixed top will probably for esthetics and other reasons, may require removal of the usually welded in flange (canvas attachment point) If removed it will possibly widen the opening but is not necessarily needed. It is dependant on his preference of cabinets or side shelves choice. So in a nut shell, structurally I do not think it makes a difference, now adding bracing or triangulating points is not a bad idea but I do not believe any other installer does this. If he leaves the flange and wraps it in upholstery or a finish product it will not be any different then when the top was on, therefore making no significant difference than with a raised top!
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