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Fix that Poptop push bar!
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kguarnotta Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Sorry - Probably misspoke there - as I think about it, I believe it is tough to close because of the bad hing joint, and the too strong strut. I think it is tough to open because of the bad hinge.

This will probably be a spring project...but who knows. Maybe I'll get some room in the garage - I like the idea of a ball bearing hinge - should make it a lot smoother to open and close.
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

I don't think the phenomenon I am about to mention has been tabled on this forum except by me, but I could be wrong. The pop-top scissor hinge on the Vanagon Westfalia can jam badly if the 4 fasteners on each hinge that connect the scissor-hinge to the fibreglass roof are not fully tightened.

I can't explain the physics behind why this occurs, but do try tightening all eight fasteners and see if that helps with the difficult opening and closing of your pop-top.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:38 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

kguarnotta wrote:
Sorry - Probably misspoke there - as I think about it, I believe it is tough to close because of the bad hing joint, and the too strong strut. I think it is tough to open because of the bad hinge.

This will probably be a spring project...but who knows. Maybe I'll get some room in the garage - I like the idea of a ball bearing hinge - should make it a lot smoother to open and close.


Is the stock (westfalia) cable at each strut arm ok? i.e. is the spring at each arm functioning? IF not, maybe the PO installed really strong strut assists to compensate [edit: and this is part of the problem].

I found that even with the Jack Bombay type assist struts installed, the stock springs were still needed for assist.

I haven't looked at the parts, so this is premature to speculate, but IMO, ball bearing hinges are not needed. On my '81 with fetid copper bushing repair, with medium strength assists and properly functioning stock springs, the top is easy to open and close and in fact, will rest part way up on its' own. I think having a larger surface area at end of top arm where it pivots would provide plenty of bearing surface.

Neil.

"copper" repair. This was (is) an experiment to show what might be done with parts most people might have on hand. The real solution is to weld in a piece of pipe, IMO.

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


I also added a piece of metal to each end of push bar

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

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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

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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Howesight wrote:
The pop-top scissor hinge on the Vanagon Westfalia can jam badly if the 4 fasteners on each hinge that connect the scissor-hinge to the fibreglass roof are not fully tightened.


I think this note is for folks who have unbolted their top for whatever reason, a caution to run the hinge bolts all the way in before going up & down.

Cool hinge, all to add a little 'foot room" & stretch the canvas.
Maybe also to create space so the the canvas is "installable". Wink
============

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


Neil, do you think with the top UP, you can slide the crossbar out far enough to inspect (and grease) the 'bearing' area?

And what do you think of my poptop knee? Does this 'offset' here signify there's a groove worn into the bar "this deep"?
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Last edited by Sodo on Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:


Neil, do you think with the top UP, you can slide the crossbar out far enough to inspect (and grease) the 'bearing' area?

And what do you think of my poptop knee? Does this 'offset' here signify there's a groove worn into the bar "this deep"?


It looks like its wearing into the cross bar.

[edit: I'd guess that when that joint is worn to any real degree, the end of upper bar would push more downward than rearwards ?]

I'd guess that if it is, with top up, the thinner part of top knee might rest in a worn slot on cross bar which would make it tough to move the push bar laterally?

I've heard of people sliding the bar to one end but I've never done it.

Neil.
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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

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Gutte
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

You can get a kit for these that let's you put bearings inside, instead of the bushings
I've seen them in Germany, will try to find a link
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kguarnotta Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Yeah, Newt3 posted about it...
Quote:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:08 am Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote Report this post to Moderator/Admin.
you can buy a baering solution in germany:
https://www.werk-4.com/vw-t3-westfalia/
https://www.werk-4.com/referenzen/


here some installations:
http://gruenerbulli.de/aufstelldachmechanik/
https://www.willithebus.de/neue-aufstellmechanik-dach/

i also found an installation video (on youtube ore somewhere) but i didn't have the link already.

---------
don'd know if its also possible with this bearings. perhaps someone tries:
https://www.google.com/search?q=flanschlager&source=lnms&tbm=isch
perhaps with a 3 dimensions ball bearing:
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:AN...oxcr&s
availiable with 2 oder 4 srew holes
https://www.igus.com/info/spherical-bearings-flange-bearing-efsm-ca

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kguarnotta Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Here is a pic of one side of my push up bar - appears to be in pretty rough shape...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I'm not sure if I'll go with the copper pipe repair or the german ball-bearing repair, but I've got to do one or the other before I go camping in this...
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

kguarnotta wrote:

I'm not sure if I'll go with the copper pipe repair or the german ball-bearing repair, ........


If you don't use ball bearing repair, I would strongly urge you to weld a steel tube in lieu of copper; my experiment is holding but I bet the epoxy has likely come loose and the copper is wearing prematurely as a result.

Edit: I think the copper repair might allow more lateral play or motion than one would want. Or put another way, steel tubes would make that union ("knee") more stable.

That weld repair is shown in this forum IIRC. I think the hole on the arm has to be enlarged to accomodate a piece of pipe but a hand file and a good eye could probably prep things well enough to take it to a weldor. Or, just pay them to do the whole job. ie not sure how much money, if any, a person would save enlarging the hole etc.

Neil.
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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

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Hey Vanagon NUt - I just re-read the thread, and don't think I'll do the copper fix - I really like the fix 83_87wf came up with. looks relatively simple - and a LOT cheaper than the german fix. I think the washers and welding some steel into/onto the cross bar should work. PLus some good lube.

As nice as the idea of ball bearings is - if I don't need them...I'll skip the expense, as I've got a bunch of other expenses right now with the syncro.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Well even though ours are nearly like new after 33 years and 362k (it has lubed regularly) I spoke with Danny and ordered the "small kit". I wanted to evaluate them before offering them as an option to clients. I programmed our CNC mill to clean up the welds in preparation.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

My fix was simple enough - just a some short lengths sawed off of a steel pipe and welded to each side of the original opening.

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


A bearing sounds nice but may be overkill - all this is doing is creating a larger bearing surface to reduce wear.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

I read this thread a year ago or so, and back then my H-bar looked fine. Checked again recently, and - Uh-Oh! It had become quite hard to open (masked by a heavily laden top-box) so as today was sunny I had a go at it. I found four 3mm thick 20mm ID washers in an old 'heirloom' jar, drilled holes for 6mm bolts, greased it all up and What A Difference!

Many thanks for the poor man's suggestion of using the washers - I don't have a welder, and haven't done any for nearly 50 years, so that was out. Wink


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



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

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

I like that washer(s) fix. Thanks for the pics!
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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

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Washer repair seems the way to go. Did you do anything to the bar too? Or do the washers shift the bearing point far enough away that you don't have to do anything?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:33 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

kguarnotta wrote:
Washer repair seems the way to go. Did you do anything to the bar too? Or do the washers shift the bearing point far enough away that you don't have to do anything?

I did nothing to the bar - but swapped it over left to right. OK, without the washers that'd be in danger of sawing right through it, but with the washers it should last for the rest of the van's life. Wink

I did fill the slot with grease, so there's a reservoir of grease in there.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Hey kguarnotta, Im up in Rockport, MA with my vanagon and a welder. If you wanna drive up with your grooved bar, Ill weld it up for you. Itll cost you a beer.
John
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

That's a great offer john...
I'm currently focusing on getting the heat working. When I first got my synchro there was a long list of things I came up with to do. The pop top was near the top, as my kids (and i) love to go up there. That is probably how I found this thread.

Unfortunately I soon realized my heat was not working properly, so that is a priority, can't really do much driving with kids without any heat.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

Thats cool! (No pun intended) If you want to weld it at some point, just pm me.
😀John
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Poptop push bar! Reply with quote

I just ordered the werk4 repair kit. Danny was super helpful. Payement via paypal the package is already on its way.

I am trying to do this soon so my push bar does not snap.
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