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Old 04-02-2011, 08:55 PM   #1
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Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

So, on Thursday I was lucky enough to find an Econoline Conversion van sitting in the crush pile at a local wrecking yard! Being that I am friends with the owner of the yard he said I could strip whatever out of the van that I wanted, in exchange for a leg holster for his gun. No I am not kidding. So let the stripping Begin.

Here is the van as I found it.


At this point I had to remove all the interior trim. Lots and lots of screws. The top was held on with lots more pan head sheet metal screws and lots and lots of silicone. I couldn't figure out how to get the silicone off as there is about a 4 to 6 inch lip on the inside of the top. I headed down to Harbor Freight and found a $20 windshield removal kit. Which I renamed "the life saver" now.


Using the kit my best friend Jay and I were able to remove the top with out to much trouble. The person on the outside has to keep the wire inside the gutter rail and let the person on the inside pull back to keep from cutting the top.


At this point I started in on the windows, which were by far the easiest thing I did all day. All in All this took pretty much all day Friday to complete but off we went with a great big smile.

Saturday morning started off with cleaning all the silicone off the lip of the top. Not an easy or clean job but this wire wheel did a good job of removing the silicone but not damaging the top.

Next we set the top on the van to make sure it fit before I started cutting. With only two of us there to lift the top up I decided it was staying put and I would cut my roof out from inside the van. This was pretty easy and straight forward. I used a sawzall and cut from just inside the last ribs on the sides of the roof and cut up to the roof support just above the drivers seats and back to the last brace in the back.




I then taped off the edges to save some skin and took a permanent marker and traced the outline of the lip on the roof. We then propped up the top on all four corners about 2 inches off the roof. I then got out my silicone tubes and went to work. After four tubes of silicone were gone we set the top back down and lined it up with the marks on the roof. As the top settled down into the silicone it oozed up through the old screw hols in the top, making it very easy to put new screws through the existing holes. About 100 in total. The roof was now done!!!! I was also able to install one of the windows before Saturday was a done deal. I will be putting in the other window next weekend and will post on that then. But here's how it looks so far. I just need to remove the stripes and clean the top. Not too bad for two days work and next to no money.

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Old 04-02-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

I'd be giving your junkyard friend more than a holster for what you got. Nice score.


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Old 04-02-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

Very nice!!

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Old 04-02-2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

I don't know about anyone else, but that part about your best friend helping you take the top off that van brought a tear to my eye. That guy (your best friend Jay) sound like he is on the fast track to sainthood. He's passing John Paul on the inside lane of that fast track for sure. You must feel very lucky to have a great awesome (handsome, debonaire, smart, witty, etc etc) friend such as that. Wish I had a friend like that... None to speak of.

Oh and van looks good too.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
I'd be giving your junkyard friend more than a holster for what you got. Nice score.


Herb
Yeah, I pretty much owe him my next born and I should also through in some beer. . I ended up getting the top, 3 windows, all the trim and panels on the inside and quick release seat mounts for the rear captains chairs. I searched for any inverters and such but my good luck only went so far.
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:10 AM   #6
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

I'm glad to see that a reverse-flange top can be un-installed and re-used. I've seen the other style at wrecking yards before; exterior-screwed with black trim over the screws. I think the reverse-flange style is much more securely attached (more screws, ability to thru-bolt, +adhesive strength probably makes hardware the negligible anyways, once cured). And it looks better. I might have to keep on the lookout for one now.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:30 AM   #7
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

Please tell us the height inside the van from the floor to the highest point and from the floor to the lowest point. Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

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Originally Posted by twogone
Please tell us the height inside the van from the floor to the highest point and from the floor to the lowest point. Thanks for sharing this.
5' 8" at the highest point (right behind front seats) and 5' 5" at the lowest point (about two feet from the rear). It does get lower in the very back by about 2" but I left about two feet of roof on to use for storage above the back seats. These heights are also to a bare floor. Once my flooring is done I will loose close to 1".
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:31 PM   #9
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

You top looks just like the one I had found (except mine had damage and cost more) and I used Panel Bond instead of Silicone so mine can not be removed without damage both to the top and Van. Good score!
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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Re: Removing and Installing a used Hi-Top roof.

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Originally Posted by jbyrd
I don't know about anyone else, but that part about your best friend helping you take the top off that van brought a tear to my eye. That guy (your best friend Jay) sound like he is on the fast track to sainthood. He's passing John Paul on the inside lane of that fast track for sure. You must feel very lucky to have a great awesome (handsome, debonaire, smart, witty, etc etc) friend such as that. Wish I had a friend like that... None to speak of.
Hmmm, "jbyrd"? "Best friend Jay"? Connection?



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