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Old 05-18-2017, 12:54 PM   #1
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Fiberglass high top renovation DIY

Hello everyone! I've had my 2006 E150 for a couple years now and have been planning my build out. Thanks for all your great ideas!

I just bought a fiberglass high top off an ice cream van from the junkyard. It is in pretty good shape. It has holes in the bottom where the screws/rivets held it on. Advice for sealing holes? The window on either side could use new weather stripping.

Any recommendations for adding strength or integrity to the inside? More fiberglass? I've seen wood added like furring strips. I do plan on having solar panels on top and maybe an A/C unit. Whats the best plan for strength and integrity?

I've included pictures of the high top. Any suggestions are welcome!
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:30 PM   #2
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I'd just use some fiberglass patch.. something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/3M-Fiberglass.../dp/B000BO9NOO
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:34 PM   #3
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You can pretty much glass in what ever you'd like... I personally wouldn't add wood because of the added weight.

One way to add strength is glass in balsa wood or use cardboard. Once you glass over either of these products it's super strong & doesn't add all the added weight plywood or OSB adds.

Yes fiberine & CCV add wood but they are the only ones & the tops are extremely heavy. Everyone else uses balsa or card board. Which is how all tops are supported in The EU & Canada

I been working directly with someone in Canada and really like doing supports with cardboard & glassing over. Just my 2cents


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Old 05-19-2017, 07:28 AM   #4
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My van has sections of glassed cardboard. Maybe they are too small, but I don't feel they add much stability. I am considering steaming thin slats of white oak to create ribs for my top. Balsa sounds like an interesting alternative though.

The way my van was built, they put small pieces of 1/2" ply (like 3"x2") on the backside of all the screw points and glasses them in. Good for securing the contacts but doesn't help with overall stability.

I recently coated the entire underside of my top using West System without extra fiberglass. It doesn't do very much for weight stability but it did help. It also did a great job creating an overall seal for pin holes and thin areas.

Someone on the forum suggested to me to use raptor liner on the outside to help stabilize the surface as well. You can add strength and color, unless you are going for the ice cream van aesthetic.
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