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Old 02-12-2021, 12:50 PM   #11
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Here's a thread on the air lifters. If I were doing it I think I'd be tempted to go with this solution -- it's simple and can't fail in a way that prevents you from lowering the top. You do need an air compressor but that's handy to have anyway.
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...ers-24054.html


I'm content with my manual top for now, but I don't have solar panels mounted and don't otherwise put any extra weight on it. I may feel differently when I'm 60.
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Old 02-12-2021, 05:35 PM   #12
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I was told when I ordered my 2007 SMB from Fresno that the electric option is not retrofittable. I needed to make my decision at that time and stick with it. After many years I bought one of the Aluminess pneumatic lifters.
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Old 02-12-2021, 09:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
I was told when I ordered my 2007 SMB from Fresno that the electric option is not retrofittable. I needed to make my decision at that time and stick with it. After many years I bought one of the Aluminess pneumatic lifters.
I had not heard of this pneumatic lifter option. Thanks. Roughly how much is this device?
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Old 02-13-2021, 11:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Railvan View Post
I had not heard of this pneumatic lifter option. Thanks. Roughly how much is this device?

About halfway down this page.


https://www.aluminess.com/accessorie...r-accessories/




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Old 02-13-2021, 11:22 AM   #15
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SMB west won't sell a kit..and they used to retrofit manual tops but it wasn't cheap.....sounds like they may only do sprinters now..



They use Linak linear actuators and some other fabricated parts/links..etc.


It's not a bolt on deal.....it requires some engineering and fabrication.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:58 AM   #16
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I was thinking up a solution for lifting my manual penthouse using a lever. I've got 3 solar panels up there and the first 3" is the hardest -- once 6" up or so and the top lifts itself.

I should draw it out sometime and post...

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Old 02-18-2021, 12:35 PM   #17
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That would be great if someone could post some motor photos to include mount location and linkages. If it's not too much to ask.
The linak linear actuators are mounted on a crossbar in back and push forward on a rail in a rail. This in turn pushes up on a extra support bar that goes to the normal cross bars. The whole lower mechanism is different between electric and manual except for the garage door springs and normal cross bars.....
Additionally there is wiring and a sort of double pole double throw high current switch to the motors. They do not appear to have synchronization using feedback, so rely on similar speed (balanced voltage) to achieve an even lift/lowering.

As stated there are various pictures/discussions in the forum - search electric actuator or similar terms....

Having had both they are so different it would be very involved.

Good news is there are other actuators, and most easy solution is re-tensioning the springs to make lifting more balanced. In my manual top van I had it set up when unloaded so that my wifes weight wasn't quite enough to get the top down, but boy did it spring open! Re-tensioning how-to has also been posted. Pretty easy, this as well as mechanism pics can be found under my posts....
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
SMB west won't sell a kit..and they used to retrofit manual tops but it wasn't cheap.....sounds like they may only do sprinters now..



They use Linak linear actuators and some other fabricated parts/links..etc.


It's not a bolt on deal.....it requires some engineering and fabrication.
Sounds about right.
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by moorefc View Post
The linak linear actuators are mounted on a crossbar in back and push forward on a rail in a rail. This in turn pushes up on a extra support bar that goes to the normal cross bars. The whole lower mechanism is different between electric and manual except for the garage door springs and normal cross bars.....
Additionally there is wiring and a sort of double pole double throw high current switch to the motors. They do not appear to have synchronization using feedback, so rely on similar speed (balanced voltage) to achieve an even lift/lowering.

As stated there are various pictures/discussions in the forum - search electric actuator or similar terms....

Having had both they are so different it would be very involved.

Good news is there are other actuators, and most easy solution is re-tensioning the springs to make lifting more balanced. In my manual top van I had it set up when unloaded so that my wifes weight wasn't quite enough to get the top down, but boy did it spring open! Re-tensioning how-to has also been posted. Pretty easy, this as well as mechanism pics can be found under my posts....
I'll definitely search for this, thank you for sharing.
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:58 PM   #20
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Not sure if this is the place several months ago, maybe pre-covid-19 I was complaining about manually lifting the top. Either it was gaining weight or I was losing strength. I'm now rounding the turn into 77 years of life experience and the lift is not getting any easier.
I was offered some help in adjusting/re-tensioning the springs by a member in the OC. Where is my friend? and is the offer still open?
2003 E350 7.3 SMB 4X4
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