Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-29-2014, 05:24 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
twogone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Taylor, Mississippi
Posts: 1,648
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

__________________

__________________
'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
https://www.taylorarts.com
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
twogone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 07:31 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
boywonder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,471
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

I love pop-top stories.....
__________________

__________________
2008 E350 RB passenger 4WD SMB penthouse
2013 KTM 350 EXC
2008 KTM 250 XCF-W
2000 KTM 200 EXC
2003 Honda Element
boywonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2014, 05:16 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
wadewaydo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Flagstaff
Posts: 194
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

But first, before doing any cutting I had to dis-assemble the old top from the donor van.

I set the top upright on a rolling stand, then popped the top. I wanted to keep the bed functioning so I carefully removed the vinyl covered plywood by drilling out the rivets, and popping off the glue. I set the bed pad and plywood aside. I then focused on removing the fifty screws that held the bottom track to the canvas. It was still stuck pretty well with butyl tape. I used a reciprocating blade to separate the track from the sheet metal. Taking the ten bolts out that bolt the brackets to the sheet metal was the easy part. I then flipped it over and removed the top track. This was just screwed to the top, without any butyl. I removed the old canvas, hinges and bracket and set them aside. I then went after the inner reinforcements of the donor roof. There were two side brackets that held the bed front to rear, a rear bracket that reinforced the rear roof bow side to side, and a front bracket that reinforced the front roof bow. That bracket looked the most important because it held the latch. It also held the nutserts to bolt the front pop top folding bracket. With that all disassembled it was time to set the pop top on the van to see what I needed to trim.




I used a chain hoist and some ratchet straps so just my girlfriend and I could manage the process. And a process it was. On and off, trim a little, on and off, trim a little...... the back of it didn't sit at all flush with the roof. Doing it with your eyes closed didn't help either....




Okay now the front has a big gap, have to trim the front down.



We finally got it where it looked even around the whole outside.

Up next ... painting.
__________________
1995 Econoline E-150 Custom Campmobile "Jupiter I" RB, 4wd Dana 60s, 93 Eurovan poptop.
1976 VW Type II Transporter Westfalia Campmobile.
1994 Toyota 4Runner,2001 Ford Escape,1970 Chevy El Camino,2 Cargo Trailers, 5 bikes, 4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe
wadewaydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2014, 10:05 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
wadewaydo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Flagstaff
Posts: 194
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

First up is to paint the underside. It was a gray vinyl. The interior is tan, so gray wasn't going to work. I used a paint specifically for plastic, beige in color. It worked well even on the front folding bracket. Sorry for the iPhone pic.



Now on to sanding & priming the top.



Finally base coated and clear coated.



Up next: The canvas

The old canvas was rotten and worn, and gray. I ordered a beige canvas top to match the interior.



Now is the time to install it, at least to the pop top and lower retainer. Much easier than trying to do it up. Fastening it to the pop top was the easiest part, just a matter of screwing the retainer to the fiberglass sandwiching the canvas in between.



Getting the canvas, and gasket installed in the lower retainer was nearly impossible. I had to use a nylon type of paint stick to force the gasket into the retainer. The bottom of the canvas had a rope around it, with that and the gasket it installed like a window screen, except one inch at a time. It took several hours to get it done. Also note the bottom retainer has a bunch of sticky butyl tape stuck to it. I used masking tape to protect the top from the black sticky stuff. I didn't use a wide enough tape so it didn't protect the top well enough. So I got a bit of the black stuff on the top. If I had to do it again, I'd use a thick, wide packing tape.



With the canvas installed the top is ready to go. No more beating around the bush, it's time to start cutting the hole....
__________________
1995 Econoline E-150 Custom Campmobile "Jupiter I" RB, 4wd Dana 60s, 93 Eurovan poptop.
1976 VW Type II Transporter Westfalia Campmobile.
1994 Toyota 4Runner,2001 Ford Escape,1970 Chevy El Camino,2 Cargo Trailers, 5 bikes, 4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe
wadewaydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 04:26 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
wadewaydo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Flagstaff
Posts: 194
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

I removed the headliner, which was installed in three pieces. Removing the first piece was interesting. A rodent had stored juniper berries up in there, and as I began to let the piece down, they started to fall. I yelled to my girlfriend to grab a trash can, and filled it up with hundreds of those berries. Glad I had the dust mask on, who needs a hantivirus.

I took a bunch of measurements off the donor roof. I measured the mounting holes, and all the openings. I marked on the outside of the roof the measurements. Next what I did was remove the inner roof bows. I heated up the structural foam and used a thick scraper to separate the bow from the roof of the van. They then came off with two bolts on either end. I then began to cut a smaller hole from the inside. This way I could make the final cut standing in the hole.



Used the Sawzall... No going back now! Woot Woot!



Okay now there's a big hole!



Guess I better cover it up.




It's on there! I drilled holes and bolted the top down based off my measurements from the donor roof. Sweet. It pops up and down no problem.




Except there's a problem....
It's just bolted to one piece of sheet metal. It flops around, and puts a lot of torque on the metal when it's open. There's no way to put the bed back up there. I don't remember reading anywhere about this issue. Time to get out the thinking cap.
__________________
1995 Econoline E-150 Custom Campmobile "Jupiter I" RB, 4wd Dana 60s, 93 Eurovan poptop.
1976 VW Type II Transporter Westfalia Campmobile.
1994 Toyota 4Runner,2001 Ford Escape,1970 Chevy El Camino,2 Cargo Trailers, 5 bikes, 4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe
wadewaydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 05:55 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
wadewaydo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Flagstaff
Posts: 194
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

I tried every way I could think of to use the old VW bed reinforcements, but they were way too narrow. I used some blanks and bent them to diagonally bridge the roof to the van side panel. I then used another piece to make a z channel. The idea here is to layer the inner reinforcement, the roof panel and the z channel. The inner reinforcement will provide stiffness up to down, and the z channel front to back. I then had a steel fabricator place I work with cut and bend the stock to the exact angles from my mock up made from the blanks.




One of the most important components to this project was going to be the front reinforcement. This was salvaged from the donor van, and housed the latch assembly. It also had welded nuts to bolt the front lifting bracket. Here's where all the measurements I took from the donor van roof come into play. I bolted it up, got the top working then welded it all up together. Here you can see the reinforcement, and the bed panels installed.



Here we have the top on, and the canvas secured. It's tight, but there are no wind or water leaks!



Wooo Hoo!



Price rundown. $850 for the top, $300 for gas, hotel and meals to drive to Denver to get it, $100 for the metal, $500 for the canvas, $400 for the paint (est.). $2150. Not bad.
__________________
1995 Econoline E-150 Custom Campmobile "Jupiter I" RB, 4wd Dana 60s, 93 Eurovan poptop.
1976 VW Type II Transporter Westfalia Campmobile.
1994 Toyota 4Runner,2001 Ford Escape,1970 Chevy El Camino,2 Cargo Trailers, 5 bikes, 4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe
wadewaydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 06:16 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
rallypanam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Francisco/Nevada City
Posts: 3,740
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

Awesome! It's a little scary cutting a giant hole in a perfectly good van, but then you're committed!
rallypanam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 10:53 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 465
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

Great story! Keep the installments coming!
__________________
DesertBoat ...has been SOLD. Sad to have seen it go.
photographix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2014, 05:46 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
wadewaydo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Flagstaff
Posts: 194
Re: Meet Jupiter- a Homebrew thread

A couple of important things I failed to mention on the top installation. Firstly I used the VW rear roof reinforcement. It's a galvanized z bracket of sorts that holds the bed panel at the rear. It's curved on the top, which matches the curve of the pop top. Installing this beneath the roof metal raised the curvature to match the VW top at the rear. This helped close the gap that was back there. Another issue I came up with was: what to do about the roof ribs at the front. I had seen some people trim out the top to match the convoluted metal. I chose to install 2" body side moldings in the channels to fill it level. That way the pop top gasket could be used and create a seal.

Okay, now lets put the cart back behind the horse. Time to gut the interior and find out what were really looking at. I knew there would be some rust, just not how much.



Yikes I can see the ground. Two huge rust spots and holes, just inboard of the rear wheels. The rear body mounts are detached on the reinforcement too.



Time to grind and cut it out



I had to cut the body bolts, because they were in the way and rusted in the mount. I then had to weld an inner piece on to the reinforcement. This also held a sleeve between the plate and the reinforcement. The sleeve allows the body bolt to be tightened without crushing the floor down when tightening. Instead of trying to replace the body mount, which has a threaded sleeve, and is installed with the body off (no going to do it). I cut the threaded sleeve, got a grade 8 bolt and washer and nylon stop nut, and slipped it back through the hole and tightened it down a the end. The photo above shows weld through primer on the area to be welded. I then had to find a donor part to fill the floor with. It happened that there was an old pick up bed out back with no rust in the floor. The convolutions matched up pretty well and made short work of patching the floor.



Fun with a welder! A little primer and some under coat, and we're done. I checked the front under the front seats, and there was a little rust there. It had very few perforations, and they stopped before the inner floor reinforcements. Some seam sealer, rust stopper, and a coat of paint took care of that.
__________________
1995 Econoline E-150 Custom Campmobile "Jupiter I" RB, 4wd Dana 60s, 93 Eurovan poptop.
1976 VW Type II Transporter Westfalia Campmobile.
1994 Toyota 4Runner,2001 Ford Escape,1970 Chevy El Camino,2 Cargo Trailers, 5 bikes, 4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe
wadewaydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2015, 05:54 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
wadewaydo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Flagstaff
Posts: 194
The body and paint work

Sorry, I've been a bit too busy to update the progress, but now have finished (more or less) and I can now chronicle the completion of the build.

Up next was to remove the driver's side window and weld in a whole new piece. Most body techs would opt to replace the whole quarter panel, but I figured welding in metal would save more money. I was lucky to find an old Subaru hood that had roughly the same contours. I just had to pound the metal on a piece of strapping to fabricate the body line. I then used panel adhesive and spot welds to permanently affix the hood in the opening.





I installed self adhesive sound deadening pads from 3M to stiffen the metal and keep it from oil canning. Some bondo, and lots of elbow action.



Here we are in primer



I left the drivers front window in, and as it turned out was a mistake. At this point I hadn't made a decision on what refrigerator I was going to install. Not having the fridge, I had little idea what was necessary for it to work correctly. We'll get to that, and how I corrected it later.

Also as you can see in the following photos, I installed some used running boards from a Crew Cab pick up. I cut and welded the brackets directly to the inner rocker panels.






Here we are getting ready for paint.



My Girlfriend helping masking... Damn I love that woman!



Ta da!

Up next comes the interior build out....
__________________

__________________
1995 Econoline E-150 Custom Campmobile "Jupiter I" RB, 4wd Dana 60s, 93 Eurovan poptop.
1976 VW Type II Transporter Westfalia Campmobile.
1994 Toyota 4Runner,2001 Ford Escape,1970 Chevy El Camino,2 Cargo Trailers, 5 bikes, 4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe
wadewaydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×