Okay I was back at it today. No sandals and shorts though. You'd think it was March here...
I welded the remaining spar stubs to the roof as per Ron. It helped stiffen the curve of the outer roof edge.
Rockbender I would appreciate a photo of the helper springs. I can't figure out where they would fit in, but helping the initial roof lift would be worth the effort of installing them.
One thing missing from the 1984 1 ton 4x4 with a sliding door that does exist on the donor Sporty is a roof spar running along the front of the penthouse opening. Even the SMB conversion did not run a channel across the opening. The side to side opening in the rear did get a channel though.
I noticed how soft the roof panel was there and decided to strip one spar out of the Sporty and move it to the 4x4. This is the spar that the front two hold down bolts for the pop top bolt through after all. I reviewed the damage done to the spars by merely, lightweight me, walking on the roof and decided that the spar was wouldn't be strong enough.
4x4 layout with sliding door yet no factory spar.
So to fix this up better than the factory or SMB did it I got out the hacksaw and some 1"x2" rectangular 0.125" thick steel. Measure up the angles to match the roof and weld them to a cross piece.
A notch on one end to help hold it in place.
Clean up the contact areas.
Weld each end to the van.
The difference is night and day. The new spar will easily support the penthouse roof clamps and their loads.
I'll add a piece of angle above the sheet metal roof (background in above photo) to the assembly to hold the roof in place.