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Old 02-18-2021, 01:13 PM   #21
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The tubing bends easily if something catches on the top -- I had one of the safety hooks catch and one tube was bent (on the side where it caught). That said, I've not seen any hint that the mechanism itself would cause the bars to bend if it got stuck. More likely, you'd be following SMB's instructions for an emergency release of the top. Does not look like fun, but I've had no problem in with that in 8 years.

I think installing the mechanism would not be fun at all, and depending on your van, it could potentially conflict with cabinetry.

This said, I'm glad I have the electric one.
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Old 02-18-2021, 01:39 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by HIGHCOUNTRYMIKE View Post
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

I'm in Florida right now but will be back in Orange County next Wed.....
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:32 PM   #23
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We had our 2004 E350 converted from manual to motors in about 2012 at Sportsmobile West. Itís quite an involved process but we have been very happy with the result. With a Thule box it was difficult to lift empty and impossible to lift without emptying the box each time. Now we just push a button.
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIGHCOUNTRYMIKE View Post
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

Really not that difficult...you might look at this as a help...most people use come a longs (and lots of how to posts), but there is actually a good alternative with a couple people

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...ouse-8495.html
With or without a come a long it's a afternoon project...

Cheers
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Old 02-18-2021, 04:28 PM   #25
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In order of difficulty......


1. Adjusting penthouse springs 1-2 banana job......depending on whether or not you shim the helper springs


2. Replacing the lame 1/4-20 pivot bolts with shoulder screws 5-6 banana job depending on whether or not you stay with 1/4-20 or enlarge holes and screws to 5/16" dia....and also use vastly improved spacer design discussed on a few other threads here.



3. Sleeve the crossbars 7-8 banana job since the roof needs to be supported when the crossbars are removed.


If you do #2 you have to do #1...If you do #3 you have to do #1 and you'd be foolish not to also do #2.
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:07 PM   #26
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In order of difficulty......
If you do #2 you have to do #1...If you do #3 you have to do #1 and you'd be foolish not to also do #2.

Agree! and if #1 re-tensioning at least partially remove the crossbar bolt(s) to look at the wear/deformation....
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:50 PM   #27
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boywonder, I always throughly enjoy your banana job breakdowns
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder View Post

2. Replacing the lame 1/4-20 pivot bolts with shoulder screws 5-6 banana job depending on whether or not you stay with 1/4-20 or enlarge holes and screws to 5/16" dia....and also use vastly improved spacer design discussed on a few other threads here.
Any chance you know the link to the thread with the 5/16" upgrade and the tube sleeving?

Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:16 PM   #29
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OK boywonder,
Have a safe trip home or back to CA
Chat when you return.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:30 PM   #30
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I had an electrical issue with the top once, while camping. I located the problem after some time (loose wire to the up/down switch, but not at the switch end of the wire). Took a while to locate and fix. Required many beers. Afterwards, I didn't feel that for my set-up and use, the electric top had any advantages.


I looked into getting my electric penthouse mechanism turned into a basic manual one at SMB West. Peter del Toro there said it would be around $2500 to get in converted to a manual. If I can pull that off, I'll surely put the electric parts/actuator, etc. parts up for sale here.
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