So, on Thursday I was lucky enough to find an Econoline Conversion van sitting in the crush pile at a local wrecking yard! Being that I am friends with the owner of the yard he said I could strip whatever out of the van that I wanted, in exchange for a leg holster for his gun. No I am not kidding. So let the stripping Begin.
Here is the van as I found it.
At this point I had to remove all the interior trim. Lots and lots of screws. The top was held on with lots more pan head sheet metal screws and lots and lots of silicone. I couldn't figure out how to get the silicone off as there is about a 4 to 6 inch lip on the inside of the top. I headed down to Harbor Freight and found a $20 windshield removal kit. Which I renamed "the life saver" now.
Using the kit my best friend Jay and I were able to remove the top with out to much trouble. The person on the outside has to keep the wire inside the gutter rail and let the person on the inside pull back to keep from cutting the top.
At this point I started in on the windows, which were by far the easiest thing I did all day. All in All this took pretty much all day Friday to complete but off we went with a great big smile.
Saturday morning started off with cleaning all the silicone off the lip of the top. Not an easy or clean job but this wire wheel did a good job of removing the silicone but not damaging the top.
Next we set the top on the van to make sure it fit before I started cutting. With only two of us there to lift the top up I decided it was staying put and I would cut my roof out from inside the van. This was pretty easy and straight forward. I used a sawzall and cut from just inside the last ribs on the sides of the roof and cut up to the roof support just above the drivers seats and back to the last brace in the back.
I then taped off the edges to save some skin and took a permanent marker and traced the outline of the lip on the roof. We then propped up the top on all four corners about 2 inches off the roof. I then got out my silicone tubes and went to work. After four tubes of silicone were gone we set the top back down and lined it up with the marks on the roof. As the top settled down into the silicone it oozed up through the old screw hols in the top, making it very easy to put new screws through the existing holes. About 100 in total. The roof was now done!!!! I was also able to install one of the windows before Saturday was a done deal. I will be putting in the other window next weekend and will post on that then. But here's how it looks so far. I just need to remove the stripes and clean the top. Not too bad for two days work and next to no money.