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Old 12-23-2016, 03:40 PM   #1
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New owner SMB looking for good mechanic

Hi guys,

I picked up a 1992 Ford E250 Sportsmobile in Santa Barbara about a week ago. I'm pretty stoked with it, it is very clean, 97k miles.

However, like all old cars, a list of things to do is quickly growing. Most importantly I need shocks replaced, probably front control arm bushings (clunking front right and looks to be disintegrating), and there is some leaking from the top after rain that is getting the tent top wet The seal looks to be OK so I'm not sure exactly how it is happening. I don't understand how water is supposed to drain off the rails, they're only open up at the front of the van? I will update the post with some pictures in a little bit.

Are there any recommended shops that have worked on these in San Diego? I don't mind driving further north for a good shop.

Cheers
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Old 12-23-2016, 04:04 PM   #2
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....and there is some leaking from the top after rain that is getting the tent top wet The seal looks to be OK so I'm not sure exactly how it is happening. I don't understand how water is supposed to drain off the rails, they're only open up at the front of the van? I will update the post with some pictures in a little bit.

Are there any recommended shops that have worked on these in San Diego? I don't mind driving further north for a good shop.

Cheers
Welcome. I'm not sure what you mean above.

Google Sportsmobile.com and you'll find the addresses for the 3 locations, the closest to you being in Fresno. Good luck getting scheduled before 2018.

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Old 12-23-2016, 06:00 PM   #3
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It also might still be under a warranty (not sure about a used van) through SMB. Worth a call. I'd be looking closely at the T-nuts on the top, any spots where wiring goes through, and where the cargo racks (if you have them) penetrates the roof. They offer a sprayed a liner for the tops which is a good idea.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:57 PM   #4
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It also might still be under a warranty (not sure about a used van) through SMB. Worth a call. I'd be looking closely at the T-nuts on the top, any spots where wiring goes through, and where the cargo racks (if you have them) penetrates the roof. They offer a sprayed a liner for the tops which is a good idea.
You're right, I noticed that right after I posted. The rubber on those T-nuts looks old but no obvious holes. I'll try and seal them up or replace.

No suggestions on good southern California mechanics?
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:19 PM   #5
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No suggestions on good southern California mechanics?
I can't say but maybe somebody posted something in this thread:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ith-12887.html
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:07 PM   #6
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If the leak is in the back, the center t-nut for the penthouse latch is probably the culprit. Was on mine...
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:44 PM   #7
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So it turns out the top isn't leaking. I wasn't pulling the tent in enough, even though it wasn't visible on the outside. Once I started being really meticulous about that, I haven't seen it get wet. I also parked nose down so that the water can drain off the rails.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:16 PM   #8
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So it turns out the top isn't leaking. I wasn't pulling the tent in enough, even though it wasn't visible on the outside. Once I started being really meticulous about that, I haven't seen it get wet. I also parked nose down so that the water can drain off the rails.
Pulling the tent in? Do you mean with the top up or when lowering and securing the top?

Even in sideways rain, my canvas does not leak (top up or down). I do make sure that the zippers butt up to each other (closed) on top of the windows. Water always can run along the Ford roof channels and around the base of the canvas. My van has wiring that sneaks in under the base of the canvas and has always worried me but has never leaked from there. The leak I did have was where the solar wiring entered the SMB roof top. The PH roof has a void where the water entered and pooled. If I took a sharp turn, water would run across and come out of the center cabin light.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:37 PM   #9
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Pulling the tent in? Do you mean with the top up or when lowering and securing the top?

Even in sideways rain, my canvas does not leak (top up or down). I do make sure that the zippers butt up to each other (closed) on top of the windows. Water always can run along the Ford roof channels and around the base of the canvas. My van has wiring that sneaks in under the base of the canvas and has always worried me but has never leaked from there. The leak I did have was where the solar wiring entered the SMB roof top. The PH roof has a void where the water entered and pooled. If I took a sharp turn, water would run across and come out of the center cabin light.
OK forget everything I've said so far about the leaks. It's still leaking, and I think it's through the nuts that hold the top on as someone previously said to check. After heavy rains there is water pooled around the front 2 and rear center nuts (the latches bend the top down). I siliconed around all 11 but after heavy rain last night, I'm still seeing some water come through on the inside, in one case dripping inside right off of the bolt on the front latch. Is it also possible water is seeping in through the roof itself? There are micro cracks all over but I assume it's just the paint.

I was thinking of getting some plastic caps to cover the nuts/washers from the outside and then silicone around that. The large washer against the top is 2.5" but I can't find any 2.5" PVC caps, only 2" and 3" and they are too tall, I'd have to cut them down. Any other ideas?!

Here's what mine look like. As you can see, I tried adding silicone on 3 levels but although that might have helped it's still leaking.

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Old 02-18-2017, 07:34 PM   #10
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Agile Off-Road

Agile Off-Road
208 Greenfield Drive, Suite I, El Cajon, CA 92020

These dudes are old desert racers and do van conversions too. It'd be worth checking in with them, they'll be most solid with your shocks, but sure know a lot all the way around...
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