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Old 05-05-2020, 03:50 PM   #11
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Penthouse Top Retrofit

After spending a fair amount of time reading on the forum I decided to dive into this project with both feet. Also, my wife told me that if we didn't get a new tent, she would never camp in it. So I called Peter down at SMB West and got one ordered up. In the meantime, I decided to rip into the current tent and see how the top was put together.


Got the tent dropped off the top. I am surprised by how poorly this thing is put together. Not easy to disassemble at all and will be a PITA to put back together in its current state. Going to need to consider some of the updates to improve this thing before putting it back together.

Got the whole tent dropped off. Now time to figure out how to lift this thing off!

5 minutes later...that escalated quickly! LOL


Some detail photos of how quick and poorly this is put together.





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Old 05-05-2020, 03:52 PM   #12
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Whats the interior like? I found a van like that a year or so ago. Bought it pretty cheap and sold it for a few thousand more after a hard scrubbing. Had a 5.4 in it though, no diesel.
That would have been the wise life choice. Flip it quick. I am committed now. Dang it!
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:56 PM   #13
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Big "Stinky" Build Thread 1992 7.3 Baja Pre-runner

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My 7.3 is IDI not Powerstroke from my understanding. Can I run the same injectors?

Probably not, but the link to deadhead diesel might provide some insight as to what injectors should be used. If you’re planning on running any tuner, check in with power hungry performance to see what’s available for the IDI and if they have a recommendation for injectors.

Nice on the Weldtec kit.....!
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:56 PM   #14
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Well, you're committed for better or worse. At least you have a good drive train and some killer parts on the way. The van I bought was a e150, so options were very limited for lifts and other stuff due to the light duty springs. Yours should be at least a 250 and the weldtec stuff (that I had on another van) will make you very happy.
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:04 PM   #15
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Refinishing the top

So once I was able to get the top off, there were some holes and hardware that I needed to patch up before recoating it with Tinted raptor liner.



There was a bit of a belly up front as well as rusty hardware on everything. My plan is to remove the roof rack mounts and put tracks on it.


Here we go! Quick sand off then patching!


Used some Upol products which I have grown to love. So strong and simple to use.



Yucky


I also removed the seal and was able to save it without damage so I can put it back on. They are like $200 bucks from SMB.

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Old 05-05-2020, 09:03 PM   #16
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Nice job tackling that top project! I need to do this too someday.
Were you able to just lift the top off with a few people?
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:57 PM   #17
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Nice job tackling that top project! I need to do this too someday.
Were you able to just lift the top off with a few people?
Yes, it was heavy but you could get it off with two people. I would recommend parking it somewhere you can slowly move it off the top. As you can see I parked next to a lawn with a retaining wall that was 5ft height. Wouldn't recommend trying to lift it off on a ladder. Other people have used straps etc. I wanted to get it off quick.
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:03 PM   #18
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Top Redo

I finished redoing the top. I followed some of the great posts on the forum. because of the belly in the top and wanted to create a more rigid structure (I walk on my tops a fair amount loading surfboards etc), I used 3/4 In marine grade ply and then 3/8th for the furring strips to hold the tent on. Now I can drop the panels without the tent falling down. Also used Tinted raptor liner and the top turned out great. The outer seal went back on without issue.

It has been a fun few days in my convertible:







Done!

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Old 05-07-2020, 05:27 PM   #19
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Question about side headliners

Hey All, the interior of my van is pretty spartan at this point. Two captains chairs so far and that is all. Eventually going to do a bed etc but going to keep it pretty simple as we spend most of our time cooking and hanging outside of the van when in Mex.

My question is about what options people have done in their builds for the space right under the SMB bed rails and that distance to the van wall and windows. I've seen some small, long cabinets etc. Currently not wanting to recover the factory headliner that is sort of rounded and in poor shape. Would rather add new material and potential storage.

Any help or direction would be appreciated. Photos are not of my van but are for your reference. Currently there is a metal channel that captured the bare metal bed rail and the top edge of the old headliner. Looks like they just cut the orig headliner to fit in there.


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Old 05-07-2020, 06:19 PM   #20
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I used plastic ammo cases all along the back edge of my counter-top for additional storage - Helps keep specific (often used) items accessible & organized (Fire supplies like starters & several types of lighters in one / Coffee & additives like sugar & creamer in another / Soaps & cleaning liquids & pads /, etc)...easy to grab one and bring to whatever location I need them...inside or out. Wont leak if something spills in them, and basically weather tight.

Looks like they may fit on a shelf above the drivers side windows, but that concept may not fit into you vision of what you want to accomplish & the desired "look" you're trying to achieve. As requested, just a suggestion to get your creative juices flowing.





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