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Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (link to pics)
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macjack
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:38 pm    Post subject: Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (link to pics) Reply with quote

So after driving my sunroof syncro for years and collecting parts for the conversion, I finally dove in and put a westy top on the van. It already had parts of the westy interior, minus the sink/stove.
used alot of the ideas of others:
http://picasaweb.google.com/slowmachine82/SyncroCamperConversion#
http://www.elpel.org/vw_westfalia.htm
http://www.vanagonauts.com/index.phtml?catid=166
http://members.shaw.ca/stuartblack/step1.htm
http://www.brick-yard.co.uk/forum/westy-poptop-fit_topic49144.html

Came out better than I expected.
Here are pictures. Not exactly step by step instructions, but there are explanations in the captions:
http://picasaweb.google.com/110941156703906411413/...directlink
Did not cut off roof. Sunroof actually gave crucial support in many ways and made the mounting more secure than a non-sunroof install.
Found a simple way to get a flat and secure bed platform up top, with easy storage of the extra piece.
Got the top securely bolted in with backing plates for the hinges.
Got the canvas nice and snug.
The kids like to eat lunch up there now.
I better get working on that ladder.
Thanks to all who offered suggestions.
I encourage anyone thinking of doing it to read alot about it on the samba, measure seven times, and dive in!
-macjack
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ragnarhairybreeks
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great stuff! gives me added courage to do same on no sunroof tin top.

thanks

alistair
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work. Looks like you'll enjoy this for a long while. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nicely done Applause Applause Applause Applause
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macjack
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Great work. Looks like you'll enjoy this for a long while. Very Happy

Thanks!
The van has already travelled the distance to the moon plus a bit (236k), so I figure it will probably get all the way back now.
And with twice the sleeping quarters.
-macjack
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, well though out conversion! Welcome to the world of Westy!

- Dave
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macjack
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
Awesome, well though out conversion! Welcome to the world of Westy!

- Dave

Yes, we are very happy to be back. I have been popping it in my driveway just to stand inside!
When we had our 81 westy for several years we loved it in the relatively flat east coast. Then we moved to Colorado- with the steep mountain highways mixed with snow we decided to go syncro, engine conversion, and to work our way back to the Westy.
Five years later and we are back.
Just like the vans themselves: slow and steady.
-macjack
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ggggarret
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've got a sunroof syncro also and am wondering if you can still use the sunroof with the poptop installed? i know there isn't a ton of reason for it but i figured road noise and insulation during cold camping might be a nice time to close it.

thanks in advance.
garret
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CQ
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome work, now you need one of those stickers I saw somehad had on their Westy conversion said Westfauxlia... pretty clever.

Cheers
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macjack
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: sunroof functionality on poptop Reply with quote

Yes, the sunroof is still completely functional. Very Happy I made sure to screw into the top outside the space where the sunroof slides, and made all attachment points quickly removable with those clips.
I like the light from the skylight, but when it gets cold, I will be closing the sunroof. I also figure that this whole thing is somewhat reversible, should we choose to take the poptop off later, we could have the sunroof back.
I am now doubting that we would ever take the poptop off, though!
-macjack
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macjack
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (now with pics) Reply with quote

I have recently come to know of the death of picassaweb, where the photos for this thread were uploaded in 2010. I have now uploaded the pics to the Samba instead. They are included in this post for anyone else sacrilegiously defacing their sunroof van with a pop-top.
The canvas is pretty straightforward, as is the luggage rack. The rear hinges need reinforcement from the underside to get a secure mount. Devising a sleeping platform using the original Westy pieces took a little figuring out, but is well worth it. I have been sleeping in this van now for 6 years, and so happy I added the pop-top.
Basically, I hard mounted the rear stock sleeping platform, removed the hinges, and built braces so that the front platform can be secured into place, and perfectly level when deployed.
Now for the pics. . .
bringing the top home, strapped to the tin top roof
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


2x2 prop attached to the rear underside of the platform to account for the curvature front to back of the roof

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


2x2 lengths screwed to the roof along either side to account for the curvature side to side of the roof

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

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Note that it extends in front of the rear platform a bit, so that the front platform can rest on it

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


Metal flat bar, inserted as backing for rear hinges, pre-tapped to accept the bolts

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


Hinge mounted to flat bar. I pounded the roof in a little back here under where the hinges go, to allow the top to rest in a sealed position

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

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Front 2x4 brace accross the front most part of the front platform piece. If you cut it right, it comes in just in between the two 2x2 braces on either side, when the platform is stowed

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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yet allows for the perfect brace on the roof when the platform is deployed.

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


I used eye hooks with cord to pull the platform into place securely. At the end of the cord I use a clip which allows the length to be fully adjustable for the two positions, stowed and deployed. I use a Nite Ize clip, but it could be anything that has a carabiner style on the other end, to clip into the existing holes in the sides of the sunroof track, or the rear of the track when stowed. The cord pulls the front platform backwards, bracing the 2x4 against the lower platform, and it stays put really well.

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

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Pic of where the clip hooks to when the platform is stowed (the platform is not in its stowed place, just resting there out of the way for the photo)

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


Here the platform is stowed

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Here it is deployed

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


The other modification is to add a handle to the latch in front of the top, since the opening of the sunroof is just a little bit aft of the stock westy opening, and this makes pulling all the way down to full latch very difficult. So I just got a beefy handle and screwed it into the backside of the latch housing

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


Here is the lower latch piece, with my first markings of where the latch would be mounted, fortunately, I didn't drill those holes. . .you can see how much roof material is "behind" the latch, leaving no place for your arms when pulling all the way straight down

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


took some trial and error to get the right mounting position for the H-bar brackets into the top of the van, but aside from the scratches while getting it in place while my helper wasn't there, the H-bar pops it up like a champ

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


All the stock aluminum trim pieces for the canvas were a bit bent here and there, but I got them back into shape and after many drilling and screwing motions, the canvas pulled tight as a drum with the top up.

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


Finished product!

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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djkeev
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (link to pics) Reply with quote

You Sir are a WONDERFUL human being!!! 👍👌
Thank you for the photo refresh!

Dave
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macjack
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (link to pics) Reply with quote

Thanks, Dave. One could certainly say the same for you and all you do here in the Vanagon forum! Thank you! Applause
-macjack
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weswsimpson
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (link to pics) Reply with quote

for an alternate method of attaching a pop top to a tin top, search this forum for:

"grafting a westfalia pop top to a riviera tin top"

(sorry I couldn't figure out how to copy the link)
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Steve Arndt
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (link to pics) Reply with quote

I am thinking of using the tapped metal hinge backing plate method for securing the hinges like you did. Can you give any pointers on how you inserted the plates into the rear inside? I'm hoping to retain my tin top headliner so I will have to slide those plates wayyyy back in there.
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ianNJ
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: Poptop install on Sunroof van completed! (link to pics) Reply with quote

Is this van still on the road?
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