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Old 07-10-2017, 05:19 PM   #11
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I just replaced the 2 push rods in my electric pop top. Couple weeks back, while raising the roof, I heard a metal "pop" sound, and a second later another "pop', Turned out the welds at the end of one of the pushrods (that mount to the cross bars) broke.
As many do, I searched the forum and found several very instructive threads. I ended out calling SMB and Peter sent me two new Pushrods. Have a great shop in town that is very accommodating, so brought the Van there and they helped hoist the top so we could access the components.
In the process of replacing the pushrods, we struggled getting one out of the tube it sat in...took some creative resolve (involved a bottle jack and a tow strap to remove the pushrod), but once we got it out we discovered this pushrod had a slight bend in it.
The original pushrods it seems were hollow, and the new ones are solid.

Is it possible yours is bent - consequently binding inside?
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:48 PM   #12
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After further investigation and a conversation with Peter at SMB, it appears that my driver's side push rod has some sort of obstruction about 2/3 of the way retracted. The replacement process doesn't look easy, but with the right instructions I think I can manage. Do you think I should replace both push rods? Thanks for the insight.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gephoto View Post
After further investigation and a conversation with Peter at SMB, it appears that my driver's side push rod has some sort of obstruction about 2/3 of the way retracted. The replacement process doesn't look easy, but with the right instructions I think I can manage. Do you think I should replace both push rods? Thanks for the insight.
Are they paying? Don't SMB tops have a lifetime warranty? I've heard this but didn't purchase from them so I don't know if it's true.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:36 PM   #14
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I hope so, I left another message for Peter at SMB this evening.
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gephoto View Post
After further investigation and a conversation with Peter at SMB, it appears that my driver's side push rod has some sort of obstruction about 2/3 of the way retracted. The replacement process doesn't look easy, but with the right instructions I think I can manage. Do you think I should replace both push rods? Thanks for the insight.
Since you are into the process, I can't find a good reason not to do both - I'll include that I find it very interesting you (somehow) managed to get an obstruction inside that pipe???? Would also suggest replacing the push rods at the same time, especially if you have the ones that are hollow.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:24 PM   #16
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I finally received the penthouse push arm from SMB. What is the easiest way to replace it? Any insight would be much appreciated.

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Old 07-31-2017, 07:15 PM   #17
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Does anyone know what year SMB started using solid push arms/rods for their poptops?

gephoto: Glad you finally received the push arms! Good luck on the installation!

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Old 08-01-2017, 01:02 PM   #18
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I finally received the penthouse push arm from SMB. What is the easiest way to replace it? Any insight would be much appreciated.

Cheers
I read about several approaches on the Forum that are effective.
I used a shop (Owner is very accommodating, and an avid 4x4 enthusiast) that helped develop "our" plan - we used the rafters in the building to rig a pulley system which we attached to each of the 4 corners of the Aluminess roof rack.
I raised the roof under its own power while he winched from the outside. Since one of my pushrods was broken, this allowed us to raise the roof evenly while limiting stress on the mechanical components of the Pop-top.

Other than encountering the challenge of removing one of the push-rods (which is probably unique to my situation), the only issue we encountered was trying to realign the holes in the bracket & the 2 bars so we could put the pins back in place. The bars do not give, so we found we had to adjust the leveling and centering of the Pop-top, Using the pulleys attached to the roof rack we lowered 2 corners, raised one, and re-centered the Pop-top until the holes in the bars lined up.
I only include this because i didn't come across this in any of the threads, and at the time we were stumped as to why the holes suddenly didnt align, and the fact we could not physically maneuver the bars to get them to align. So hopefully this will help you.
Entire process took ruffly 1.5hrs (about an hour of that was juggling the roof to align the holes).
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:32 PM   #19
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I read about several approaches on the Forum that are effective.
I used a shop (Owner is very accommodating, and an avid 4x4 enthusiast) that helped develop "our" plan - we used the rafters in the building to rig a pulley system which we attached to each of the 4 corners of the Aluminess roof rack.
I raised the roof under its own power while he winched from the outside. Since one of my pushrods was broken, this allowed us to raise the roof evenly while limiting stress on the mechanical components of the Pop-top.

Other than encountering the challenge of removing one of the push-rods (which is probably unique to my situation), the only issue we encountered was trying to realign the holes in the bracket & the 2 bars so we could put the pins back in place. The bars do not give, so we found we had to adjust the leveling and centering of the Pop-top, Using the pulleys attached to the roof rack we lowered 2 corners, raised one, and re-centered the Pop-top until the holes in the bars lined up.
I only include this because i didn't come across this in any of the threads, and at the time we were stumped as to why the holes suddenly didnt align, and the fact we could not physically maneuver the bars to get them to align. So hopefully this will help you.
Entire process took ruffly 1.5hrs (about an hour of that was juggling the roof to align the holes).
Thank you for the thorough feedback. I'm still sorting out my approach since I don't have any solid connections to a local service garage. I did see this approach http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...olt-17385.html

Cheers
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:07 PM   #20
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So I got my penthouse roof fixed and it was much easier than I expected. Once SMB finally delivered the new push arm it only took about an hour to replace.

Since my roof was stuck up it made it easy to measure and create the braces to hold up the 4 corners of the roof.



Once the braces were in place I lowered the roof until the push arm and the black sleeve were loose to the touch (I lowered the roof an estimated quarter of the way). At this point I used a Dewalt grip vice to squeeze the cross bars together and remove the ring holding the pin and canvas in place. (I ended up cutting the ring and replacing it with a new one, because it was pretty jammed in there.)


With the ring removed I released the vice and the cross bars separated making the removal of the pin very easy. I slid the old push arm out and slid the new one in. There was a weird weld in the sleeve the caused the original obstruction. With the new solid push arm it was easy to ream out with a few slams. Additionally, make sure the new push arm is the same length as the old one. For some reason SMB sent me one that was an inch too long. Fortunately I live near a fabrication shop and they helped me cut it to the right length. With the new push arm seated properly in the black sleeve it was time to reinstall the pin. This is a little tricky and required a little manipulation with the Dewalt vice. I eventually got the hole lined up and was able the use a hammer to drive the pin through the most inner hole. I put the the washer on the pin and the new ring through the little hole to lock the pin back in place. I raised the roof back to the maximum, removed the braces and lowered the roof fully. If this were to happen out in the field I definitely would have had some serious issues.
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