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Old 04-27-2014, 12:55 PM   #21
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Re: Monstaliner for penthouse?

Hey, painting part of the Sunrader, like the top and front cab and under the cab-over, and then Monstaliner on the side of the fiberglass shell where its the waviest, is a great idea and could save me hundreds of dollars. Duuuuh, why didn't I think of that?! I'm going to pencil this out. Thank you!

EDIT: I removed a couple of my questions because I went back and read that you used epoxy primer first, but here's another question...

Has the white Monstaliner yellowed at all in the last year?

Thanks
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:18 PM   #22
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Re: Monstaliner for penthouse?

No, it hasn't yellowed. But it's often covered, and is in the shade a bunch. I didn't really have that much yellowing on the fiberglass and gelcoat either, although it was definitely noticeable. More that it had gotten chalky, which I'm not sure is all due to UV. I've been on boats that have used urethane and it does seem to hold up better.

Rob
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:27 PM   #23
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Instead of starting a new thread for what is becoming a pretty common DIY project I'm going to revive and contribute to this one. "Monstaliner for penthouse" is as accurate as it gets to what I did and is easily searchable.

The back story is that my penthouse top has always been in a bit of decay since I bought the van used in 2010. Back then the clear was pealing some, a few small cracks had formed and the ubiquitous hump at the front was already there. I've never garaged it and the paint and glass has been in a kind of slow constant deterioration since I bought it in 2010. Preserving the penthouse has been on my mind for years now as we all know how difficult and expensive it is to replace.

The preparation of the project started two years ago when I had the opportunity to purchase some of Member Gooseberry's updated hardware. Then last summer I was ready to go forward, purchased all the monstaliner materials but, then started a year job commitment I hadn't planned on. Project was on hold. Now that commitment is completed, the fiberglass isn't getting any better, and the Monstaliner is at the end of it's year shelf life I needed to complete this.

The plan was I wanted to "repair" the deteriorating fiberglass. Replace the hardware/bolts. And improve the thermal performance with a white top. The original burgundy paint that matched the van color was similar to black in absorbing heat. In direct sun it was normal to burn your hand if touched. However, my preference is that I didn't want to see a white top from the ground. On a dark colored van the all white top screams old ice cream van to me. I apologize to anyone who likes this look, it's just my opinion.

This is where the actual project started. The white you see around the vent was one of my first experiences with Monstaliner from a few years ago. It was the test if I liked the performance and look of Monstliner. I have done several projects with Monstaliner since then which is why I was using it on this project. I'm pretty comfortable using it.















Here is Goosebarry's penthouse bolts compared to the old. My old hardware wasn't difficult to remove but it isn't in as bad of shape as some I've seen here on the Forum. However, the rusting though was in full swing on most of the bolts though.












Once everything was removed it was time to sand. Most of my top had lost the clear coating and was just exposed pigment. I wanted to remove all of the flaking clear and then sand enough to give the Monstaliner the best adhesion to the glass. It was at this point that I realized I should have wrapped the van in plastic before sanding. It was a lot of cleanup.



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Old 08-21-2019, 04:00 PM   #24
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One of the misunderstandings of Monstaliner is that you must mix the whole gallon. If you look deep on their website the mixing by weight schedule is available so you can mix just what is needed. The instructions state there is several hours of pot life once mixed as to be able to apply two coats with one mixed quantity. This produces a heavier texture in the second coat as the material has set (some) in the bucket a few hours. However I would like a fairly smooth texture in the white since it's on a level surface, thus I mixed only what is needed to complete each of the two coats. FYI, the pre-tinted black is much stiffer out of the can than the tintable base and will always produce a heavier texture than the tintable. I have found this fiddling with the time from mix to application, as well as thinning, and temperature, will produce the desired textures I'm looking for and mixing by weight is how I've accomplished this. NOTE - I always use the Monstaliner rollers. I'm dealing with enough variables and the roller as a constant is desirable.






So the white goes on. Didn't take any action shots as I'm trying to beat the weather outside. I applied two coats of white and wished I laid down a third as I had enough material. Probably not necessary.



This was my first time using wire cut masking tape so I taped off the previously monster lined area around the roof vent. Completely not necessary as a smooth transition would be fine but thought it a good place to practice that wouldn't be obvious if it went bad. I'm planning on using this method for the white to black transition which will need to be spot on.



This is where it became obvious how randomly Sportsmobile drilled the hardware through the roof. I'm often saying my van must have been built on a Friday. In order to get the new large flanges to sit flat I ended up egging out some of the holes. Butyl rubber to complete the seal, then trim.




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Old 08-21-2019, 05:26 PM   #25
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At this point I'm very happy with how the white turned out. Now that the bolts are in I can raise the top again and prepare for the black perimeter. Based on what I've read over the years despite that new penthouse gaskets are available if it isn't broken it's easiest to just reuse it. Pretty much every plastic fastener holding the gasket broke when removing. Not a problem as I'm going to replace them with sex bolts, shamelessly taking the idea from Boywonder's methods when he installed his top.



Then masking off the "cut line" for the black mostaliner perimeter with the wire cutting tape. This tape is extremely sticky and makes a great seal which dose not allow the monstaliner to bleed under it. I thought I would have to spend a lot of time laying the tape out to look perfect but in the end just eyeballing it was perfect enough.



Finally it was black day and the process repeated from white day. The only thing is as I mentioned the black cure goes off much faster than the tintable and it produces a coarser texture. This was desirable to me for the black perimeters look. I ended up with even more texture than normal for me as it was a hot day and the sun came out. Yes I had to work fast. Did I mention how satisfying wire cutting tape is when you take it off.



















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Old 08-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #26
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With the Monstaliner white and black applied I'm starting to see the proverbial light at the the end of the tunnel at this point. It's all reassembly now, starting with the rubber gasket. I didn't like the plastic fasteners SMB used for the gasket even though I never had one fail in the 14 years mine has been out in the weather. Ever since seeing Boywonder's build using sex bolts or binder bolts from McMaster-Carr I felt this was the method I wanted.

His fantastic penthouse top install thread can be found here

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...p-10808-5.html

Just to be different, and avoid the initial bling of brass, I chose to use the black anodized aluminum type. I anticipate these will turn purple in the sun as most black anodizing will eventually. Since installing these a month ago they already have slightly FYI.



The gasket on my top is the normal holes punched only on the outside configuration. When I installed the bolts like this a decent distortion of the inner lip occurred from the inside nut flange. I broke down and purchased a leather punch from Harbor Freight to punch the holes through the inside lip of the gasket. Worked real well. Then through bolted everything. Probably overkill but seems to have made the gasket the most straight and relaxed.

This photo gives a good view of the heaver texture I was looking for in the black vs the smoother white.






Gasket all on again. Here you can see where I cut "V" notches years ago into the dreaded SMB rub tape. My tape was buckled into these pockets that held water and debris so I just cut the pockets off with a box cutter to drain. I believed this was going to rust the tin part of the roof at some point. This was a stop gap solution until I could find a permanent solution. My plan now is to remove all the tape and apply black Monsterliner in a clean line where the rubbing occurs out through the drip rails.

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Old 08-21-2019, 08:38 PM   #27
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After reinstalling all of the accessories back on the roof I'm very satisfied with how this project worked out. I think the new look of the top makes the van seem younger .









So here is my results on the temperature difference. This is at 6100' Elevation, 85*f air temp, full sun for a few hours. The interior ceiling used to be clearly warmer to the touch outside the shadow of the solar panels in these conditions. Now the temp is very nearly same all across the ceiling in bright sun. I'm not sure how folks survive with all black roofs in really hot climates.





That's where I'm at for now. I will complete the lining of the rub lines on the tin roof soon, maybe this fall. And again, I don't think anything I've done here was new but perhaps it will inspire others and help someone with an ageing but still good penthouse top.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:11 PM   #28
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excellent writeup man! thanks for taking the time to do all that. end result looks great! the black ties in really well with the rest of the black bits on the van.


quick question. could you substitute regular d-bulb instead of reusing the smb gasket around the top?
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:21 AM   #29
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Just giving this update a once-over it would seem to be very thorough "how to" on the best way to prep and use any sort of bedliner material.

Let me add this about adhesion----each layer of material has to adhere to it's substrate otherwise it will lift or peel off--that's pretty much guaranteed. No matter the quality of materials used properly preparing each successive surface in probably the most important part of painting or coating anything---anything.

As an example I had a '97 E250 with the darker blue color---that was one year Ford used a water-borne primer on the finished body. It was hard as hell and smooth as glass--so naturally the finish color was peeling away in large patches. Even after weathering a few years the primer surface was enviably smooth and unaffected by weather. Had that primer coat been sanded with 320 or so the finish color would have remained in place. Keep in mind the finish color is baked on which may or may not have an impact on the primer surface left so smooth.

Anyway I might have more to add to ShuttlePilot's great write up but I doubt it would be all that helpful!

Good work BTW---looks very nice!
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:55 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenrie View Post
quick question. could you substitute regular d-bulb instead of reusing the smb gasket around the top?
I'm sure there are other products that would work. However, I would use the SMB gasket if I was to replace the one I have. When you say d-blulb I picture a tube with one flange to mount it. Hence the cross section in the shape of a "d". Even though the SMB gasket is from the factory only bolted (pinned with plastic fasteners) on one side the other flange keeps the gasket centered on the edge of the fiberglass top. This edge is what supports the weight of the top when in the down position. I would suspect a possibility of the d-bulb to roll out from under the edge of the top and then the fiberglass would be riding directly in the drip rails.

- Eric
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