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Old 11-12-2018, 09:59 AM   #1
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Replacing Bent Penthouse Bows

Hello All

The bows for the penthouse top are beyond straightening, replaced pivot and forward bolts with shoulder bolts, not to bad. Looks like I have a crease in the front bow and not comfortable using it. My SMB is a 2006 EB50, how do you access the rear bolts in the slider, passenger side looks like upholstery, but drivers side has cabinets beneath. I looked at the video but it appears that the particular van had no cabinets beneath. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:41 PM   #2
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.....passenger side looks like upholstery, but drivers side has cabinets beneath.

...very carefully...with lots of effort..mine are behind the headliner....



On another note, what are you planning to do for new crossbars? Knowing what I know now, I would consider bending some out of cro-mo tubing and having them powder coated.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:56 PM   #3
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I was just going to order new tubing from SMB. Looks like I may need to remove my wardrobe closet to gain access to the rear drivers side bow. Hard to believe that it’s made with no accessibility. Current bolts look bent.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:03 PM   #4
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I was just going to order new tubing from SMB. Looks like I may need to remove my wardrobe closet to gain access to the rear drivers side bow. Hard to believe that itís made with no accessibility. Current bolts look bent.

Sleeve the new ones with cro-mo tubing.....there will never be an easier way/time to do this after they are installed...


McMaster sells the tubing...or your local metal emporium.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:59 PM   #5
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I'm sure over time the weight of the top takes a toll on the originally installed SMB bars (stress of holding the weight while top is up, and any influx of weight that comes from Wind & just moving around in the Van). If you don't already have it, I would suggest taking some of that stress off the bars using supports in all 4 corners each time you put the top up.
Many people have tackled that in different ways (I recall reading through several threads on this), I just placed a length of sturdy wood dowel in each 4 corners (held in place by a closet rod bracket from local Home dept so the support has no chance of slipping - Pic's in my album).
The bars on my 2006 sill look new and still have very little bend while going up (thats with a roof rack, Shovel, Axe, all the lighting, and a Thule box with some relatively light stuff stored inside).
At some point soon I also plan on taking the advise of Boywonder concerning sleeving the bars using cro-mo tube
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:17 PM   #6
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Mine is also a 2006 and according to SMB they are already sleeved, it sure looked like it to me. I always worried about the top, I took 2” square structural tubing welded the ends closed took 1/2 nuts welded to each end and inserted leveling heavy duty appliance feet to the ends. I simply twist the tubing to extend the feet, it’s a bit overkill but it’s piece of mind. I’d still use them even if my bows weren’t bent. Just baffles me that I’ll need to tear it apart just to get to the bolt.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:25 PM   #7
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I always worried about the top, I took 2Ē square structural tubing welded the ends closed took 1/2 nuts welded to each end and inserted leveling heavy duty appliance feet to the ends. I simply twist the tubing to extend the feet, itís a bit overkill but itís piece of mind.
That sounds interesting & inventive - If or when you have a chance, would you mind sharing a photo of that set-up? If you've already posted it in a thread, can you direct me to it?
Thanks
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:41 PM   #8
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Here is a photo, I’ll share one with them installed. I have 6” round 1/2” Starboard that goes to the top. It extends 4” on one end and 6” on the other. Everything sourced from McMaster Carr.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:52 PM   #9
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Thanks. Nicely done!
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
I'm sure over time the weight of the top takes a toll on the originally installed SMB bars (stress of holding the weight while top is up, and any influx of weight that comes from Wind & just moving around in the Van). If you don't already have it, I would suggest taking some of that stress off the bars using supports in all 4 corners each time you put the top up.
I'm kind of curious how common this is, and whether it's unique to the electric tops. Most references to bent bows I've seen happened when people tried to operate an electric top with one of the hooks still engaged (or when one of them caught during the movement.) Anecdotally the 28-year-old bars on my van still look straight, but it's a manual top and I don't put extra weight on the roof.
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