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JED THE SPREAD
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is mine,

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Link


I am half way through building a different one at the moment just to use up some stuff I have laying around. The one in the picture is so good strong and very light I cant see that I can improve on it really.

jed
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regards to the strength of the fiberglass I can say that with ARGs mounted to the side of the roof there is really no chance you'll load the rack to the failure point of the fiberglass surrounding the bolts. One 5/16" bolt through the fiberglass is capable of supporting a minimum of 250 pounds thrashing around on it, which was me wearing a backcountry pack full of rocks hanging from it flopping around like a fish on a fish hook, I was trying to break it and couldn't.

With really loaded roof racks you might run into issues deforming the seal up front, but the back is pretty tough as the back edge of the pop top mostly rests on the metal roof of the van.
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Gas struts to pop your top easily!

Pop Top strut kits now available for late Bay window Westies Smile


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DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
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epaddler
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought for those with two vehicles and Yakima gear. My newly purchased syncro is soon to be shipped so I will also be deciding on the side vs. top rails, but last summer I added top rails on my Nissan pickup cap and spaced them the same width as the factory rack on our other vehicle, so that I can move the entire rack system from one vehicle to the other in about 5 minutes. It worked pretty slick. The question would be how the width lines up between the vanagon and the second vehicle.
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JED THE SPREAD
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brackets sit in the gutter with backing plates to the brackets incase anyone is interested. When the roof is down the load is on the rails not the roof....

jed
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notchboy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

86syncrowesty wrote:
4 bolt side plates, just two per side not three like the GW setups, not sure I need that much as I only haul a Yak box and bikes. Haven't had the chance to really test a full load - two bikes, loaded box yet. With just a box or just bikes it seems to be fine, raises and lowers great with the pop-top shocks from Jack (HD units).

One note, when installing the side mounts I would suggest a torpedo level, or similar, to make sure the mounts are level prior to drilling. One of mine is a little off level due to a rush job to fight the coming dark and cold the day I did mine.

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*edit, add photo.



Where can I get these side plates? Are they sold at rack dealers?
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OK, this thread is over. You win.

Jason "notchboy" Weigel
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syncroid
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Hey whynotvw, is that an original syncro with multivan interior and poptop, or did you add the top to the other two (or whatever)?

There was a time when I thought that was the ultimate... Nice!

(sorry to hijack)
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windwing wrote:



Hey whynotvw, is that an original syncro with multivan interior and poptop, or did you add the top to the other two (or whatever)?

There was a time when I thought that was the ultimate... Nice!

(sorry to hijack)


hey thanks, its original syncro poptop with multivan interior.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

notchboy wrote:

Where can I get these side plates? Are they sold at rack dealers?


Sold at pretty much where-ever Yakima racks are sold; some stores may have to order them (I've yet to see them in stock at my local REI, but they're on the web site).

In fact, I need to get another pair so I can add them to the center of the roof; existing front-rear span is too wide for some stuff.

http://www.rackattack.com/product-pages/yakima-wide-body-bracket.asp
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notchboy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
notchboy wrote:

Where can I get these side plates? Are they sold at rack dealers?


Sold at pretty much where-ever Yakima racks are sold; some stores may have to order them (I've yet to see them in stock at my local REI, but they're on the web site).

In fact, I need to get another pair so I can add them to the center of the roof; existing front-rear span is too wide for some stuff.

http://www.rackattack.com/product-pages/yakima-wide-body-bracket.asp



Thanks brother!
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OK, this thread is over. You win.

Jason "notchboy" Weigel
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

notchboy wrote:
Thanks sister!

Wink
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like square bars for square vans, so Im into Thule, not Yakima.

in any case, the Thule artificial gutter is stronger than the Yakima, see the bent Yaki gutter in photo in this post
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4370691&highlight=yakima#4370691
to the Yakima gutters. (which require 4 holes per gutter, more holes is NOT better)
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and fwiw, the Thule gutters have steel backing plates, and no way it can leak, since the side roof is outside the tent, unlike the top rail mounts..
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3903917&highlight=lucked#3903917
"I lucked out when I put my poptop shocks on. the hole for the artificial rain gutters worked perfectly. the less holes in the top the better. I plan to hit the nut with some black paint or Plasti-Dip to make it blend in."

ps, the bolts that come with the Thule gutters are too long for the pop top, I buy shorter ones.. Ive done 3 vans, Thule every time..
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Reckless Amateur
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jon_slider, I'm about to put Thule rain gutters on my poptop and would love to be able to double purpose the hole for the shocks as well. Could you give me the measurements of where you mounted the rear gutters so I can duplicate your feat? Thanks much, David.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reckless Amateur wrote:
Hey Jon_slider, I'm about to put Thule rain gutters on my poptop and would love to be able to double purpose the hole for the shocks as well. Could you give me the measurements of where you mounted the rear gutters so I can duplicate your feat? Thanks much, David.


I did the double purpose hole with Yakima gutters. No matter whether you use Yakima or Thule gutters the approach is the same. If you are going to install JackBombay poptop shocks you will need to start by following his instructions and drilling the double purpose hole first. That will dictate where the gutter has to go. Tell JackBombay you intend to use the hole for gutters too and he will send you the right hardware (longer bolt to account for extra thickness with gutter)
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Last edited by madspaniard on Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Reckless Amateur
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But of course, that makes sense! Thanks.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing to watch for with dual purpose hole install. Make sure the gutter bolts don't stick out too much inside the poptop or they will interfere with the shock as it goes up and down. I had to get shorter bolts (ended up using dremel for custom bolt length) to avoid shock getting scratched by bolt ends. Less of a problem with Thule gutters (two bolts only).
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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of you have the Jack Bombay shocks. It is time for me to order either the GoWesty kit or the offering from Jack. The load is usually (2) 40 lb kayaks on the Yakima wide bodies and crossbars, carried towards the back of the roof.
.
Question is which lift system works best? My desire is to have a roof that opens easier with the load, yet does not want to spring up like an overexcited Labrador!
Thanks for the feedback!
.
Cheers,
Jeffery
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

86syncrowesty wrote:

One note, when installing the side mounts I would suggest a torpedo level, or similar, to make sure the mounts are level prior to drilling. One of mine is a little off level due to a rush job to fight the coming dark and cold the day I did mine.


I wouldn't use a level when you mount the brackets. There will be no guarentee that the van is level or the pot top is level when you use the level to mark out the brackets. Using a level could make them even more crooked. What if your van sagged front or back as most do? When you leveled the brackets they would be level with the ground, but not with the van.

What you want to do is make sure the brackets are straight with the lines of the pop top and van. You could measure up from the rain gutter or use a block as a spacer. Drill one bolt hole and mount the bracket, use some tape to hold it in place, step back and see if it lines up with the van, then mark the other holes.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:


What you want to do is make sure the brackets are straight with the lines of the pop top and van. You could measure up from the rain gutter or use a block as a spacer. Drill one bolt hole and mount the bracket, use some tape to hold it in place, step back and see if it lines up with the van, then mark the other holes.


Agree 100%. That is how I did it, I'm half way thru the process, I only have the two rear artificial gutters mounted with JB's shocks. I also used a small wood block as spacer to position the gutters (inserted between gutter and poptop molded edge just below gutter).

My fear is now installing the front gutters, I will be placing a big 135w solar panel on the rooftop racks so I need to make sure the front and rear crossbars are perfectly leveled so that the panel sits even on all four corners. I don't think there is a good way to make sure that happens unless you are methodical and do what PDXWesty says above. Other suggestions?
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:
I don't think there is a good way to make sure that happens unless you are methodical and do what PDXWesty says above. Other suggestions?

A trick used in placing hardware holes on compound curves and non-parallel trim lines on boats.

Using blue masking tape to create a spotting line..

Apply one piece at the rubber trim of the Westy top and then another above it... aligning edges.. Step back for a better visual gauge.. make adjustments as necessary. Measure with a rule if it helps.
Keep applying pieces above until you get to the bottom of your bracket.

No you can replicate that on the forward bar. 2, 3, or 4 pieces.. at whatever height you need.


Nice thing about masking tape is you can move it and shift it to get it at *just* the right angle/spot.. where as a pencil mark or similar is hard to see and difficult to gauge its alignment relative to the trim edge.
You can alo mark the tape with sharpie.. rather than the top itself.

With the blue tape you can also step back and have a look for the bigger picture aligments and balances. Easier to see from a distance.

Combined with PDX Westy's drill-one-hole-then-swing-to-"level" method.. you should get accurate results beyond most people's ability to see the imperfections.
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danfromsyr wrote:
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not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff Jim, thanks
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