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Old 09-02-2019, 01:51 PM   #1
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SMB Pop Top Install

He there, I'm new to the smb forum and am posting some pics of a smb pop top I just acquired. I'm looking for tips, tricks, and install advice from the group. I'm a machinist, carpenter, and am pretty handy when it comes to things and have started mapping out my install. I've never done anything like this and I know this is an awesome place for advice.

I'll take any you have

The pop top is in amazing shape. Canvas, zippers, and windows are perfect. Fiberglass is in great shape and the mounting rails are mint.

It's going on an E250.

Help!!!
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:00 PM   #2
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Lots of very good info already on the forum on installing the tops.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:58 PM   #3
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Boywonder, andrewst, and benjj are 3 members that come to mind that have build threads documenting their installs. Do a search for their threads and I’m sure you’ll stumble onto the majority of the info you’ll need for a successful end result.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:30 PM   #4
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I just responded to your PM........


Let's discuss here so everyone can potentially benefit...


Assuming that you have a RB (Regular length) body the roof cutout starts behind the B pillar roof rib. It actually requires cutting the rear 1/2" or so of that rib off where's it spot-welded to the roof. If this is not clear let's discuss.


Did you measure the hole on the donor van? Obvious getting the cutout in the correct place and the correct size are most important.


I used an air chisel with sheet metal bit...worked great; had to use a Sawzall with a sheet metal blade on the roof cross-members though.


I highly recommend sleeving the crossbars. 1000 times easier now than after the roof is installed......and updating the pivot bolts with shoudler screws.


You can get Butyl tape to stick the canvas to the roof from mcmaster.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shenrie View Post
Boywonder, andrewst, and benjj are 3 members that come to mind that have build threads documenting their installs.

.....and bemerritt....
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:07 PM   #6
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I did one too.. didn’t document, didn’t keep track, don’t remember the details.. but can confirm you should follow boywonder’s thread and advice!
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:10 AM   #7
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Pics of sleeving and better shoulder bolts are in my gallery somewhere as well.

Good luck OP!
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Old 09-03-2019, 07:58 AM   #8
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Also consider modifying the headliner so that you can install/remove it without the canvas falling down.


This comes in very handy when you want to add/subtract wiring for solar, roof lights, etc......you don't have to deal with the canvas.


Several of us have done this by cutting 2" wide 1/8" plywood strips (very similar to the strips on the bottom of the canvas) and fastening the canvas to the roof with these instead of using the headliner to hold the canvas up.


You can then have the headliner held up only by the large padded blocks that hold the top of the crossbars.....this eliminates a bunch of exposed screw heads around the perimeter of the headliner as well.


This modification is easy to do now when the roof is off......flip the roof upside down on saw horses and go to work.


Also, as far as sleeving the crossbars go, you can use mild steel tubing or Cro-Mo tubing.....Cro-Mo is almost double the yield strength at around double the cost. I used DOM (drawn over mandrel) tubing as it's seamless and accurate....it's a snug fit.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:37 AM   #9
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This weekend I replaced my pop top clamps with the upgraded one from the SMB Store. If you would like (need?) the old parts (J-bolts and hook plates) they are yours for the shipping. This include 3 SMB provided unused large washers with the Butyl for the PH top. I didn't use them since my top is Line-X. Pat
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFarkas View Post
He there, I'm new to the smb forum and am posting some pics of a smb pop top I just acquired. I'm looking for tips, tricks, and install advice from the group. I'm a machinist, carpenter, and am pretty handy when it comes to things and have started mapping out my install. I've never done anything like this and I know this is an awesome place for advice.

I'll take any you have

The pop top is in amazing shape. Canvas, zippers, and windows are perfect. Fiberglass is in great shape and the mounting rails are mint.

It's going on an E250.

Help!!!
That is my old top. Glad you like it. I will watch this thread and look forward to seeing it done! Iím glad it is getting a second life. You got the penthouse beds with it too right? They should have been included,. Cheers!
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