Ah the roof leak, again. I rebuilt the back half in Arizona with panion's help and for the next two years had the SMB pretty consistently garaged. Since standing water, which pools over the back hardware, seems to be the cause the fact that the front was also leaking was somewhat obscured.
Of course since it was built the same way as the rear, it's no surprise that it was also leaking as you'll soon see. This is the exact same repair as doing the back, with the exception of trimming a washer to fit in the channel being necessary in the back.
Mmmm, tools. I pretty much had everything boxed from the last round waiting for the next problem.
This is the proper hardware, in my opinion. You'll see why later.
My ever persistent helper in a rare bout of actually helping, rather than running around trying to get eaten by a coyote or eat a bunny. The F250 bed served as ladder and work platform.
The project: front six hardware stacks in the Sportsmobile PH.
This is the cap as it was.
The clear silicone was SMB West's "solution" for which I drove 1400 miles and waited 5 hours. The never even loosened a nut.
As you can see with the silicone out, it really didn't do anything. There wasn't anything UNDER this piece, so unless the water was coming through the black cap itself, the application was useless.
Clear water damage between the cap retainer and the first washer. Note the ring of silicone- applied around not between the hardware.
Pulling the first washer off.
There is some old butyl, but not enough to fill the 1/2" hole in the second washer. This oversized hole in the washer and the first washer are what I think cause all the problems.
Only the second washer. Note the green roof through the hole- the first washer was needed as the second is so ill-fit to the bolt.
Comparing the new "correct" hardware to the old. The new is 4 1/2" in diameter with a 1/4" hole, which matches the bolt.
Note the cracks radiating from the area where the washer did not fit.
This is the other problem with the mis-sized washer- the fiberglass mushrooms around the bolt.
Which leads to this. This is years of rust. Between that and the washers in photos above and below it's clear, again, that SMB never addressed the problems with the roof.
Inside the hardware removed.
The new hardware, a cap retainer and a washer.
New hardware in place.
The new top hardware.
Cutting butyl disks to go under each washer.
Another butyl layer between the washer and the cap.
And another between the cap and nut.
Another new and old comparison, this time the internal washers on the J-hooks.
The J-hook base itself was bent. The previous owner over tightened to try to seal out the leak, but it only caused more problems. There was also no washer under the J-hook base, allowing it to bend.
A little vise work to straighten...
A test fitting with a small washer and the new inside washer.
I decided that wasn't enough so I shaped some larger washers for inside the nut.
And with the shaped washer. No butyl on this side as the leak goes between the top layers. Also the intention is not to be able to subject this to greater force, but to distribute everything as evenly as possible.
Going back all the threads got some butyl. I don't doubt more could be done, like silicone or RTVing the whole shaft and hole, but I don't know how those products play with butyl.
The help pointing out my CB antenna is missing. On project at a time Scribbles, on project at a time!
Another butyl butyl sandwich coming together.
And another poorly siliconed mess coming apart.
I did each bolt completely on each side, so that only one bolt was out at a time. With the top down nothing seemed to shift and there didn't seem to be any tension on any of the hardware.
The bolts are all too long, and I was left with three sets of threads sticking up.
A quick dremmel and they were flush with the nut.
What comes next? Well how about some butyl...
Wrap that in butyl before putting the cap on...
And the finished product with both sides done.