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Old 06-05-2018, 01:49 PM   #31
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I've found that after 3 links on the chains it gets sketchy for the main springs....for the helper springs...slide the helpers forward until they touch the crossbar and make some blocks to take up the space...in my van around 3" but it depends on the vintage of the springs and spring retaining plate.


You can make blocks longer so that the helpers are always compressed a little even with the top up, but at some point those retaining plates won't hold the compressed spring in place with the top down.
Cool, thanks! I'll give it a try. It was pretty easy taking out the links. I'll give it a go by cutting blocks from a piece of 2x2.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:47 PM   #32
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Cool, thanks! I'll give it a try. It was pretty easy taking out the links. I'll give it a go by cutting blocks from a piece of 2x2.

Be careful using crappy 2x2 fir lumber end grain.....when the spring is compressed it's loaded pretty good. You may end up exploding the wood. I used scrap teak or cherry for the different tries....really dense grain. You could cut 2x2 fir blocks and put two side by side so the spring won't be pressing on end grain.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:03 PM   #33
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Agreed, donít use pine. Get a shipping pallet/skid from somewhere and cut pieces from that. They are typically made of hardwood.


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Old 06-05-2018, 07:23 PM   #34
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Be careful using crappy 2x2 fir lumber end grain.....when the spring is compressed it's loaded pretty good. You may end up exploding the wood. I used scrap teak or cherry for the different tries....really dense grain. You could cut 2x2 fir blocks and put two side by side so the spring won't be pressing on end grain.
Ah good to know. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:42 PM   #35
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Anyone have a part number or dimensions of the helper springs people have been talking about. My top does not have any and I would like to try and add them.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:57 PM   #36
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I would say those would be an SMB only item. You're saying there are no springs under the upholstery laying in tracks behind your top's rear X-frame piece? Never seen it.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:40 AM   #37
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Eric: BenJJ transplanted a pre-'92 top to his van....so maybe no helper springs back in the day....


Ben: The helper springs seem to be all over the map....mine are around 23" long with a rate of 12 lbs/in; I think Mountainbikeroamer's are way shorter. I pulled one out and measured it the other day because I'm toying with the idea of replacing them with gas struts. Perhaps you should consider this mod too......I'm sure your brother can help with the design.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:43 AM   #38
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I told him just to get stronger haha.

Old roof with solar and no helpers is no joke, super heavy. And thats before the cargo box goes up top haha.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:07 AM   #39
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Hey BenJJ ---
If you don't get some spring measurements from someone else here sooner:

>> I'll be digging back into my penthouse roof's helper springs by this weekend, as I'm re-installing the wooden shims (that I had just recently removed) that were originally installed behind those helper springs.

I can get some photos of the entire helper spring setup / get some measurements of those springs while it's apart. (The diameter is pretty easy to figure for yourself already --- they're basically **just** narrow enough to fit into the C-channel that all the penthouse roof x-brace bottoms slide fore/aft within.)
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:33 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
Eric: BenJJ transplanted a pre-'92 top to his van....so maybe no helper springs back in the day....


Ben: The helper springs seem to be all over the map....mine are around 23" long with a rate of 12 lbs/in; I think Mountainbikeroamer's are way shorter. I pulled one out and measured it the other day because I'm toying with the idea of replacing them with gas struts. Perhaps you should consider this mod too......I'm sure your brother can help with the design.
Thanks for the spring specs, I will start looking around for something similar. Keep me posted on the gas struts, it sounds pretty intriguing.

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I told him just to get stronger haha.

Old roof with solar and no helpers is no joke, super heavy. And thats before the cargo box goes up top haha.
Yeah it's doable right now, but not as easy as it should be. With more weight being added I will definitely need the helper springs.

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Originally Posted by MountainBikeRoamer View Post
Hey BenJJ ---
If you don't get some spring measurements from someone else here sooner:

>> I'll be digging back into my penthouse roof's helper springs by this weekend, as I'm re-installing the wooden shims (that I had just recently removed) that were originally installed behind those helper springs.

I can get some photos of the entire helper spring setup / get some measurements of those springs while it's apart. (The diameter is pretty easy to figure for yourself already --- they're basically **just** narrow enough to fit into the C-channel that all the penthouse roof x-brace bottoms slide fore/aft within.)
That would be awesome. I understand the general concept but pictures of the whole setup would be very helpful.
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