Woke up planning on mocking up the lift mechanism, finished the day by lowering the top onto the van. Decided, "why would I try and assemble this in my garage, when I'll have to lift or disassemble before putting on the van?"
Well, it all worked out.
Started by cutting a sunroof and placing the side rails on the van to mock it up.
After measuring it out and looking at how it was mocking up, commited to it and cut the hole. Things of note, jigsaw with a fresh bi metal blade worked better tha the air chisel on my underpowered compressor. Unlike boywonder, and possibly all SMB west installs, I did my forward cut right along the B pillar support, without cutting it at all. This is how the donor van was.
Assembled the lift mechanism with fresh stainless hardware. I still have everything just in place with clamps in case I didn't like the positioning when it lowered the top
I then lowered the mechanism, ordered some nachos to entice helpers, and lifted the top up onto the van. This ended up being very easy for 5 grown men. Raised the roof to test.
The look when lowered
Overall, really happy with it so far. Really surprised how much I could get done with an afternoon. Up next is raptor lining the roof of the van to match the penthouse, secure the rails to the van and attach the canvas.
1. How do you ensure the top comes down perfectly everytime? Seems like there is a lot of slop and could use a bump in a direction to really sit properly.
2. The front doesnt completely sit down on the van. I believe this is probably from the top getting fixed before it got to me and the curve of it wasn't dead nuts. SHould I get over it and rely on the canvas waterproofing to do its job, or should I try something else to get a better seal. Obviously dont want a lot of water going under the top when closed, but everything should be waterproof and the raptor liner on the roof/gutters will do well to keep it from rusting.