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Old 02-03-2021, 01:20 AM   #1
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Any advice on removing a fixed hightop from a salvage van?

Hi everybody, I think I found a salvage van with the fixed hightop I've been searching for at a yard near me. Does anyone have advice or words of wisdom on separating the top from its donor? Tips, tools, tricks of the trade or any other ideas to make the job quicker and easier would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:44 AM   #2
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Bring a good drill with good bits, a box cutter with extra blades and a hacksaw or sawxall. Strong wire for cutting might be a idea too.

It's going to depend how the high roof was affixed, if its a reverse flange or just the screw and glue method.

I would imagine reverse flange would be quite easy, remove the bolts and use some wires the cut the epoxy? I've never removed with a reverse flange though.

For screw and glue method you basically un drill are the screws that secure the hightop to the frame of the van. It would be a good idea to keep a few of the screws so you can use them as a reference when you but new ones to reinstall it.

The high top will usually have this metal trim around where the screws go into, mine was in 3 pieces. Make sure you label what piece is where, we didn't and probably spend a good hour trying to figure out what piece went where by trying to line the holes up (we installed it about a month or two after we removed it).

Once the screws and trim piece is removed you can use the box cutter or wire to separate it from the original roof.

Would highly recommend at least 2 people, 3 would be better.

Here some photos on my build thread, I didn't document the removal too much but there are some pictures of the re-install process.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...tml#post253466
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:45 AM   #3
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I've removed a top from a van and transferred it to another van twice. The first time was in my driveway where I owned the donor van. The second time was removing a top from a donor van in a picknpull. Both tops were a regular flange that had the trim ring around the exterior of the top with screws about every 4 inches.

I removed the first top in my driveway. I found many screws rusted out and the heads snapped off when trying to remove. Or the screws stripped out. This proved time consuming and arduous. In addition, the silicone and/or glue had to be cut to separate the fiberglass from metal. Luckily I had all the time in the world as the van sat in my driveway.

My next donor top was at a salvage yard. I knew I didn't have the same amount of time available at the yard. I took a battery powered sawzall with a demo blade and cut around the perimeter of the van about 4 inches down from the top. Even cut through the windshield with the same blade. Then I moved the top to my trailer using the engine hoist cranes that most scrap yards have. Once I got home with the top I had all the time necessary to remove all the stubborn screws and detach the top from the 4 inches of old van.

For both tops, I bought a new trim ring kit to install on the new van. This included a new aluminum trim ring and new black vinyl to finish the install. I bought the kit locally for about $200 at Van Specialties in Portland.
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:56 AM   #4
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A couple pics to visualize. You can see the line where I cut around the body of the van.
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20191107_152922.jpg   20191107_165553.jpg  
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Old 02-05-2021, 01:52 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. Neatvan that definitely seems like the fastest way to pull a top! The yard didn’t mind you chopping the donor’s roof?

Seems like a combo of your method to get it home and then Cyrull’s to take it apart would be the way to go.
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