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Old 01-11-2011, 02:29 PM   #41
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Re: new van build

that would be interesting. Maybe you could also widen the opening. I wonder why SMB makes such a small opening
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:34 PM   #42
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Re: new van build

Looks awesome - nice job, dsw4x4! Very nice to have another poptop option out there. I imagine that it was a lot of hard work to get to this point, so congratulations.

Good luck with your future builds, I can't wait to see them! And sledmods: enjoy!
Mike.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #43
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Re: new van build

Very nice. As much as I like my SMB penthouse, if I do another van I'll be giving you a call! The big top covers the ribs in the roof and eliminates the water puddling and running down the windshield when I stop.

The wider bed is a bonus, as is the possibility of more room with the top down.

Keep up the good work.

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Old 01-11-2011, 05:23 PM   #44
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Re: new van build

Quote:
Originally Posted by sledmods
that would be interesting. Maybe you could also widen the opening. I wonder why SMB makes such a small opening
Maybe the wider rim left by SMB is for structural integrity?


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Old 01-11-2011, 06:06 PM   #45
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Re: new van build

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledmods
that would be interesting. Maybe you could also widen the opening. I wonder why SMB makes such a small opening
Maybe the wider rim left by SMB is for structural integrity?
Plus those steel plates that hold your bed up aren't just for holding your bed up...
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:39 PM   #46
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Re: new van build

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Originally Posted by jage
Plus those steel plates that hold your bed up aren't just for holding your bed up...
so SMB adds a steel plate around the opening?
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:43 PM   #47
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Re: new van build

I think it's a steel plate down each side. They claim that it is stronger when they are done then before they cut the hole (or they used to claim that, I'm not up on the current site content!)
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:22 PM   #48
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Re: new van build

Thanks for nice words everyone it is much appreciated,
I can modify a smb top to make it power the cost will somewhere be some where around 1000 dollars I had a guy that was interested in having me do this a while back and I looked into it at that point in time but he disappeared and I just let it go by the wayside. As I remember looking into it, it should not be a giant undertaking to get it done, going off of the mental pictures I have from repairing SMB tops in the past.
I am not sure why smb makes the beds so small, I do know that my cuts are within the ford body builders specs, I do not cut into any of the structure of the van. leaving that extra sheet metal that smb does is only sheet metal and has no load bearing ability at all. I think that they have to put that large steel box track because the bed and lifting hardware have nothing to support it, on my tops the lifting track and hardware are welded directly to the structure steel and not the sheet metal roof for stability and strength.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:47 PM   #49
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Re: new van build

Great thread Derek, thanks for documenting.

Question: how difficult is it to salvage the old high tops? I know some of those adhesives are pretty serious. Is it easy to remove the top from the donor van without damaging the fiberglass?

There is a shop near me that has an old busted up camper van out back. No windows, inside full of garbage, that kind of thing. But it has a great top on it. I'm thinking that if i wind up with a van that would fit it, i'd like to offer him a couple hundred bucks for that top, if i can get it off his van without busting it. This is a late 80s van.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:02 AM   #50
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Re: new van build

There are several ways to remove a top if it is a reverse flange you can get in between the roof and the glass with a sawzall and a sharp old steak knife or fillet knife and cut the glue. If you use two floor jacks and some 4x4s you can jack off the floor of the van pushing the the top away from the van while you cut this will give you some separation to get the blade in there to slice the glue be sure all of the screw are removed before you do this. Used tops are not usually worth more than 100 dollars especially if you the one pulling it. I would offer him 50 dollars first. Most pick and pulls I can get a top for 40 or 50 dollars because they have never sold one before. I am not sure is a 80s top will fit on a 90s roof I have not tried it or measured one to try it. i would double check that before you go through the trouble. I sort of think it will because all of the van roof builders still sell the old roofs and I cannot imagine that they have kept around those hugh molds for 20+ years for the occasional customer so I think they are interchangeable but i am not sure. Good luck with your build.
Derek
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