Originally Posted by Scalf77
Not sure if you have identified what pad, rear or front. I have included a picture that was done from memory, so it might be 100% correct. I believe the rear pad holds the sliding bar, the front remains stationary in the pad. I was thinking if the rear pad was installed backwards, the plywood that goes against the roof could possibly be flapping and causing your noise. That plywood is not all that thick and somewhat flexible because you need to pull it apart to get it over the tube when installing.
It was just a thought, I am not even sure if you can install it backwards. You could probably try putting a wedge in there when down and see if the sounds goes away. I don't remember there being a lot of room for tube to slapping up or down.
What are the other issues when you push the top up slightly?
hope this helps
Greg - wow, what beautifully executed drawings! I am impressed, and greatly appreciate your efforts to help me out.
The noise is from the front pad. That pad has the U-tube "locked" in place in a box. I think the interior height of the box may be "generous" allowing for the U-tube to slap back and fort when going over even slight bumps in the road. I have not yet had the vehicle on a washboard dirt road, but I can tell you it would be a noisy adventure as in it's current condition.
While raising the power roof slightly to "force" the bar into contact with the plywood ceiling, this causes a new "collection" of noises from the PH top "squirming" on the roof of the van to some popping noises elsewhere in the front area above the mounting hooks.
I have driven more than 250,000 miles in 4x4 SMB's with PH tops - going back to my first unit in 1992, both with manual lift tops. There have been plenty of noises, rattles, clunks, creaks, pops, etc. - but nothing like the new power assist top on a smoother riding 2wd (not yet converted to 4x4) van. Again, my sincere thanks to you, and others, who have been so generous sharing time and expertise.