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Old 09-28-2014, 10:06 AM   #1
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The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

I posted pics yesterday of the new to me '96 SMB and shared the clean up process taken on yesterday.

So...in bringing the Penthouse top down, we noticed it slumps toward the drivers side of the van. My son and I had to physically lift, push and cajole it to its proper perch within the drain gutter rails.

I have been looking at the board and found member Larry Easterly's excellent two videos of the tension spring adjustment and Penthouse bolt replacement...really informative and explanational of what is clearly a potentially dangerous task.

My question: Is this tension spring adjustment the proper "fix" for my penthouse top sloughing to the side on takedown???

I would appreciate hearing from you seasoned SMB owners. Thank you.....
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

I'm not sure how bad of a slump you mean, but mine and many others I've seen come down a little off center. I usually pull the handles down and to the right side of mine to get it to fall in to the gutters, and sometimes I have to shift it a little more once down. If I just pull straight down on mine it will overhang on the left side about an inch. I'm sure this can be fixed but I don't think it's all that uncommon. Anyway, not a full answer to your problem but you aren't alone.

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Old 09-28-2014, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

Also check the poles are straight.. If the bows are slightly bent, it can cause similar issues.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

Are you parking in a level place and have a window open? Both of these can affect how the penthouse comes down.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:08 PM   #5
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Re: The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsails
So...in bringing the Penthouse top down, we noticed it slumps toward the drivers side of the van.
I have a 96 that sits a bit off to the driver's side. For me it is the brackets for the awning that push it left.
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Old 09-28-2014, 03:53 PM   #6
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Re: The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
Are you parking in a level place and have a window open? Both of these can affect how the penthouse comes down.
Hello Larrie...

Thanks for the reply. Yes, we had it relatively level with windows closed. The vimeo videos you did on the spring tension adjustment and bolt replacement were exceptional.

Did you notice a drastic change in handling of the top after doing the adjustment? One would imagine that the chain being tensioned might also bring it back into place with a bit less "slough" which may address my issue...

Would love to learn more about the results of the tension adjustment...thank you!
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:55 PM   #7
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Re: The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

I really did not notice any difference in how the penthouse dropped after the sprig adjustment. The main reaso. For the adjustment was to mount two solar panels. With the panels the last few inches drop really fast. The only time I have problems is when I forget to leave a door open when opening and closing the top.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:34 PM   #8
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Re: The Penthouse Top...Spring Tension Adjustment...

jbsails: You need to develop a technique for getting the top to land between the rain gutters. it sometimes involves a bit of body english.

I work in San Diego, and would be happy to give you some advise/guidance on adjusting your springs (if they need adjusting) if you'd like to stop by my work sometime.
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