So we're all set.
Will the condemned please enter the gallows.
Under the vinyl decorative panels we access the roof. The fabric top is held to the vehicle with a 2" wide strip of 1/4" plywood with self tapping sheet metal screws. The fabric then sits, for the side portions, on grey butyl caulking with black rubber welting at the exterior perimeter. The front and back have the same rubber welting but use thicker black butyl underneath the fabric to fill in the factory metal roof indentations.
Here is the buildup of plywood, canvas, welting (hidden), and black butyl at the front of the penthouse. Note the rotten wood and rusty screws. Of note, but not shown, is the perimeter seal for the fiberglass top which has it's joint at the front of the van. Right out in 60 mph rain! That will get changed.
Remove all the screws at the perimeter. One every two inches. Power tools!
Now the canvas can be gently pulled up from the butyl. The welting stayed behind.
Next the scissor lift arms need to be separated. To do that the counter springs need to have their tension removed.
I called SMB before removing the springs. The only way to do it is with a come along. No other way as there is too much energy and the spring could shoot out and bite you.
At this point make sure the roof is suspended safely. I'll add a photo of the roof hanging from the gallows later.
Spare hole for come along in rearward section of roof reinforcement channel.
Cable end of come along to top of spring.
Business end of come along to spare hole towards rear of van.
Take up enough tension to remove "S" link from chain at top of spring.
Relax tension by reversing come along. Remove nut and bolt at base of both lift arms.
Repeat on the other side. The top should now be free and hangin'... I used the chains and their "S" links to hold the lift arms up at the ceiling.
Next step is to remove all the bolts hold the roof reinforcing channels to the original roof.
Once those are out the hole to be cut in the next van is self evident. Measure ten times and cut once!
Of course now we're due for wet, windy weather so I may not get to slash the new hole this weekend. It is March after all.