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Fix that Poptop push bar!
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kguarnotta Premium Member
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Location: Jamaica Plain, MA
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

would love to hear feedback on the ball bearing solution from a customer...

I like the washer solution, but that ball bearing one sounds very like german over engineering...I like it. Wink
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koubiak
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

So I got my packet. The packaging was perfect and the hardware looks nice quality.

I did not start earlier on this because I got busy with a coolant leak that is now fixed that took me quite some times.

Me and a friend (bless his soul) started the project and hit two glitches.

Small return of experience so far.
1) Lift the poptop a little before trying to remove the caps/rivets that holds the mechanism. You will have a better access. At the end that was not too hard.
2) Removing the pin on the un-dammaged side was easy but on the other side that was a pain the but because it was not straight anymore. A little grease goes a long way.
3) The spring mechanism is not as scary as I thought. If you are careful and do one at a time it is fine.
4) Note that not all pushbar are serviceable. Mine was bore all the way living a couple of mm left. I am lucky it did not break on me early to create more catastrophic problem. We had to break it because we could not get it out. We use a painter knife to make the cut and it broke clean off.
5) Cutting the hole for the bearing. Relatively easy with a hacksaw.
6) Getting the metal piece nice and snug is hard. I need to get a better way to grind some of the welding.

I need some help to source a pushbar. A quick google search as not lead to a good result yet. Any idea of someone who has one in the USofA ?

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You can see how misaligned the whole mechanism is...
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I have a water infiltration that need some attending. Is syslicon a solution here. or do i need to some reinforcement?
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It does not want to come out.
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Clean break
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The other part ...
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Dremel is good but not powerful enough to make the cut
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koubiak
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

So far I found this reseller in Germany https://www.werk-4.com/vw-t3-westfalia/querstange-t3/#cc-m-product-10189995352 at this point I should have gotten a fully new mechanism from them... I would have been simpler.



Bus depot as one but only for T2 I think https://www.busdepot.com/231070715 ... I will keep on searching
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

koubiak wrote:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Dremel is good but not powerful enough to make the cut


Drill lots of little holes in a circle.
Then cut the little webs with the dremel.
Then break it out.
Then a round file to make your circle.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

So here's some images showing wear after a fair amount of use over the last 10 years or so.

I knew the copper "everyman" fix was not a great idea, and it shows, Wink but aside from me ending up making one cable a bit longer than the other, I think my cable design has held up quite well. No fraying that I can see. Not sure why a strut arm is bent. Not sure I'll straighten it either; tent is a German "tight fit" type. I plan to weld in pipe in lieu of copper so hopefully any dimensional changes won't cause the tent to tear or seams to start pulling too hard.

Enjoy the carnage and good times.

Neil.

Driver side? Wear is obvious. The copper piece, as anticipated, spun in hole. I put slugs of bolt in each end of push bar so it would've taken years of use for wear to actually become an issue.

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passenger side? It held up quite well. Epoxy was still holding copper in place.

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Looking again, maybe the copper was rotating at both joints
< shrugs >

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No fraying. Drilled those by hand!

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As I posted before, these were swaged on by marine shop

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no fraying, holding up great. IIRC, I used a proper swage tool at marine shop to install the crimped piece.

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These holes in each arm appear ovalled to my eye. Theory: lateral play and or tendency for one arm to get pushed forward sooner than the other, allowed push bar to hog them oval.

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driver side bar is bent. I'm right handed so I don't think I did that. LOL.

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50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
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koubiak
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

OK. I am in touch with Buslab in berkeley to find a replacement.

The bar is steel. What the return on https://www.gowesty.com/product/paint-prep-/24424/interior-paint- color match for that?
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

So I got it done.

I used the "iron pipe" method to bolster the upper arm where it rides on push bar. There was appreciable play between the bar and new pipe bits so I ran a few beads of weld along each end of the push bar to take up the play. This worked, until I tried to install the push bar through the hole shown below. Oops. Wink

So that was a WOT.

By the time the top is pushed up, any small amount of play between push bar and bearing surface is pretty moot.

Since my then new "tight fit German" tent was installed after the first push bar repair, it didn't feel like this second repair added stress to the tent. i.e. it didn't raise the top any more. I have to wonder how that would've worked if I'd installed that new tent to a pop top with a really worn push bar, then repaired the bar.

As a warning to any other amateur weldors like me, AFAIK, the push bar material is plated possibly with zinc. Smoke from that stuff is harmful to breath so when welding, don't huff it in.

As an alternative to the big washer method, I found it took little time with a file to enlarge ID of m18 washers. I'd thought to weld a pair to each side of push bar bearing surface.

Neil.


Vanagon Nut wrote:


These holes in each arm appear ovalled to my eye. Theory: lateral play and or tendency for one arm to get pushed forward sooner than the other, allowed push bar to hog them oval.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



_________________
1981 Westy air cooled to 15 ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
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Andymon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Cut off both ends of ours and inserted a steel rod and then redrilled the hole. then, tack welded in a set of needle bearings that fit into the hold. Smooth now.
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[/img]
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Andymon wrote:
Cut off both ends of ours and inserted a steel rod and then redrilled the hole. then, tack welded in a set of needle bearings that fit into the hold. Smooth now.


Nice! Speaking of welding.....

In hindsight, I should've ground down past plating on parent metal (strut arm metal) before welding. But, I wire wheeled those surfaces, preheated work, (working outside) set MIG to highest heat so penetration should be ok.

Neil.
_________________
1981 Westy air cooled to 15 ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
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