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Old 10-07-2019, 07:11 AM   #1
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PH Fluttering at higher speeds

I have a 2001 SMB w/ PH that came with the optional upper PH bed platform. I've always left the PH bed platform in place, fitting snugly into place when PH is closed. This past weekend, I removed the PH bed platform, as I use it less and less, and decided that space would be better used with a cargo net or something. With the platform gone, I noticed I needed to tighten the brackets a little accounting for the removed PH bed, which I expected. But- when driving at higher speeds, I also noticed the rear 3/4 or so portion of the PH fiberglass top having a minor flutter or wind driven flex / movement. I never really noticed that when I had the PH bed platform in place, which I suppose is not surprising, since the bed was covering most of my view of the roof interior. All the clamp mechanisms are solid and working fine. The fluttering at higher speeds doesn't seem major or causing any forward or lateral movement in the PH top while driving- making me thing there's nothing to worry about.

Do others that do not utilize the optional PH bed platform notice what I'm describing above? Is it normal, or is this a sign of an aged and weakening PH top? Or is the minor fluttering / movement weakening the PH top structure? Do others agree that the penthouse bed platform plays absolutely no role in keeping the PH top solid in place, when in the PH is closed, as I've always assumed?

Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2019, 04:32 AM   #2
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Interesting.

While I have had SMB pop tops for short durations I never drove with the bed removed. The bed platform seems to have a couple of inches of clearance to the pop top, so I do not think it provides a “support” of the roof.

Does your top have ribs showing on top or is it completely flat? EB or RB?
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:26 AM   #3
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Mine doesn't flutter.....and 99% of the time I don't even latch the rear hold down.....
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:07 PM   #4
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I haven't noticed a flutter, even with the rear hold-down unintentionally unlatched. I do sometimes get a rattle from one of the hold-down clamps, which is a little loose due to the top sagging a little over the years. It depends on speed and wind direction. I do use the upper bed, but I don't see how it could really have any kind of damping effect.



I should also note that I rarely exceed 65 mph, so it may depend on your definition of "high speed."


What condition are your top seals in?
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:28 PM   #5
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NO flutter but had a squeak we finally traced to top...during the first year a squeak developed and we tried tightening all the screws that held cabinets etc...didn't really help...narrowed it down to passenger side above wifes head...the top. It did have a rubber squeak sound after we realized where it was coming from..anyway we also noticed that when you opened the passenger window (even a bit) the squeak stopped (I am thinking the extra sucking/vaccum to hold top tighter)..an easy fix..we tightened the passenger top-hook latch a few turns (it is now super tight to latch/unlatch but no squeak USUALLY)...I have also noticed that how the top comes down is a HUGE factor too! Granted, I have a canoe, solar panel, and sat dome on top so there is some play..under a 1/2-1/4 inch, AND forward or back play at times...so I am up on the ladder making any small adjustments needed as it is coming down (power top)...so in closing (lol) tighten the bolts down right?...maybe get that Kayak or canoe you've always wanted? Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:52 PM   #6
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I'm curious how you tightened the latches. I couldn't find any way to do it on mine. It's possible the mechanism has just changed, but I'm curious if I'm missing something.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:18 PM   #7
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I'm curious how you tightened the latches. I couldn't find any way to do it on mine. It's possible the mechanism has just changed, but I'm curious if I'm missing something.

IIRC, they are threaded hooks, something sort of like a turnbuckle. At least that was on my '06.




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Old 10-17-2019, 11:41 PM   #8
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Thanks. I'll take another look next time I'm out there, but I think I have an earlier version without the adjustment.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:08 PM   #9
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Thanks. I'll take another look next time I'm out there, but I think I have an earlier version without the adjustment.

Are they J-hooks? Mine are the same as what Broncohauler is mentioning above......they are threaded J hooks. Turn clockwise to tighten, counter-clockwise to loosen.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:00 PM   #10
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Are they J-hooks? Mine are the same as what Broncohauler is mentioning above......they are threaded J hooks. Turn clockwise to tighten, counter-clockwise to loosen.
Stuff tends to "settle" after a period of time. I also have the J-hooks but ended taking them to a machine shop - when latched they were somewhat snug but no way to tighten them more since they were already at the end of the threads. Even though I felt I only needed about 1/4" to satisfy what I wanted, I had the shop add an additional 1" worth of threading just in case I would need s little more down the road.
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