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Old 07-17-2019, 10:01 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 15
1989 Ford Club Wagon XLT | DIY Sportsmobile

This may be putting the cart before the horse...

Im excited to be joining this community! I've been an avid fan of full-size vans for quite some time now. I love to travel, I love to drive, and I love to wrench and luckily my girlfriend puts up with it and even pretends like she enjoys it!

About a year ago, I picked up a 1989 Ford Club Wagon XLT, 351w, c6 transmission with a broken Gear Vendors Overdrive. At some point, someone seriously loved this van. My goal for the van was to convert it into a Camper Van to continue traveling. Slowly I've been getting it back to road-worthy, new radiator, complete tune up, repaired some rust, fixed the Gear Vendors Overdrive and just this past weekend we removed the carpet... to deal with more rust!

If you want to check out my progress, I've got a build thread over on Expedition Portal.

Just recently while talking with a buddy that I've bought van parts from, I discovered he has a late 70's Sportsmobile top that he's willing to let go of that I can't seem to get out of my head. No one is on board with me cutting an enormous hole in the roof of my van, but I'm fairly confident in my abilities to get it done!

I thought I would join here for future questions I will definitely have.

Thank you for having me!
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: FL and VA
Posts: 1,960
Welcome. Others here have done the roof swap and even top rebuild. Great place for information, discussion, sharing, help, etc.
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:22 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 397

I have done the top swap and rebuild also. Not as hard as some would think. Go search and read Boywonders popping my top thread, its a great read with very detailed instructions. It was my bible when I did mine.

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Old 07-17-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: San Clemente, CA
Posts: 428
Welcome to the forum. No better way to start off a van build than cutting a hole in your roof! I did the same thing with mine. Link to my build thread below:

Also link to my pop top restoration album which has all the pictures grouped for easier viewing:

Sportsmobile Forum - BenJJ's Album: Pop Top Restoration

Lastly, to echo what Nrobert10 said, Boywonder's thread is awesome and was very helpful when I did mine. He does professional level stuff. Also bemerritt has a build thread with a pop top install on it for additional info. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Excited to see how the top install pans out for you!
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:32 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 15
Thank you all for the warm welcome!

The other night, I read all of BoyWonder's build thread and his craftsmanship is excellent! I'm still working through a few of the other suggestions, but I just keep getting antsier to buy the top!

Hopefully the weather cools down a bit, but it appears that we will be cutting the top off and cutting out some floor patches in the sweltering heat.
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