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Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit
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Vashon
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:45 pm    Post subject: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Just curious ,Does anyone have one of these? Might be a nice addition for those of us with stuff on the top and /or are less than 5'10" tall (or just old and lazy)
Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit
https://www.amazon.com/AutoLoc-Accessories-Westfal...ds=vanagon
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Paulbeard
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Vs JackBombay's poptop shocks, available in many strengths? I'm planning to go that route, myself.
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Interesting.

And it’s $70 less expensive at Sears...also with free shipping...
https://m.sears.com/autoloc-power-accessories-323806-bolt-in-power/p-A017754802
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Current: 1990 Westy Camper - Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans w/Peloquin, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, seam rust, bondo, etc., etc.

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Vashon
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

I too have pop top shocks (two pair) but push button operation at sub 300.00 has a certain appeal.
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Vashon
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

I should add that we often carry close to 300 pounds of stuff on the roof when "outback", firewood in all. I have bombay struts and the big gowesty struts . It can still be an effort to either get the top up or down depending on the load. (its not easy getting the top down when the load is light with both sets of struts on).
This is compounded for my sometimes altitudely challenged 5 ft tall partner.
So power struts? if they really work just might be a good thing .
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fleet_maintenance
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Interesting. I toyed with the idea of using spare motor, lines, and rams from my (now sold) Cabrio to do this.
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:04 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Interesting that no one replied saying they actually had this option - though one did say he had 'toyed' with the idea.

I too have thought about it for some years, and have read somewhere it has actually been done in a DIY version - but can't confirm it again.

I was shocked by the price of over $600 US for the posted system - till I started checking the prices of linear actuators and controller. Each component is over $200.

BUT today a local store is clearing out actuators for a great price, making a DIY project affordable.
The problem now is - I have never seen any photos, diagrams, specs or measurements for such a project.

Does anyone - anyone - have any info on either the commercial or DIY version?

When (or if) I get this done, I will post a complete record of it on my page:
http://www.griffco.ca/interest/vw/vwmods.htm

Challenging to day the least.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Once I get some feedback on an install, I'll make an app where you can pop your top through bluetooth.
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Brandon
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:31 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Hey Shaggin...
thanks for the option. Laughing But then I'd have to buy a smart phone. Heck, I don't even own a flip-phone. Rolling Eyes
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markswagen
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

My mom, has a Mazda bongo, feel free to laugh, I do..
That piece of crap has electric motors to lift the top, they no longer work, I suggested pouring gas over the van and torching it, she has it up for sale with a non functioning pop top.
Admittedly if these were on a western and failed, at least you wouldn't need to take half the van apart to get to them.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Screw it - I bought it from sears. I have had my Yakima 1A towers for over two years. This was the last piece to the puzzle.

I tried lowering my friends pop top with Jack bombay struts and GoWesty struts. He had a cargo basket and two solar panels and it was a challenge. I feel like I'm fairly built (I have a 6 pack....in my fridge). I have the electrical grid and solar capabilities.

Things to consider.
I use all battery - I have a handheld jump pack that should lower it
The motor fries - I unbolt it.

I was so close to buying the GoWesty struts - thank you OP.
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cmayna
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

This sounds pretty awesome. For us with Bombay struts already in place, wonder if these new struts will mount in same place or would we need to drill new holes.

Next we'll find something on Amazon that will automatically zip up our sleeping bags for us. LOL
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

I too considered doing so a few years back, I had mentioned it somewhere on the forum.

I think a safety kill switch by the latch would be a plus to not activate the motor with the top latched down.

Some reinforcing plates might be needed too on the fiberglass part.

When I get older, I'll get to it Laughing
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Michael4104
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Received this kit from Sears.
Not happy, in the box it had a bunch of small parts and two actuators. One long and one short. How the heck is that going to work? There is no instructions and one would have guess how the parts are intended to be used.
I notice on Amazon where the manufacturer states “No templates or mounting bolts are supplied to install the bracket” they also say “Installation Quick Bolt-In Design Feature Detailed Instructions“ Really, I don’t think so.
I sent an email asking for help. So I’m giving you a heads up, you may want to wait untill I get an answer. When I do I will post it.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Michael4104 wrote:
Received this kit from Sears.
Not happy, in the box it had a bunch of small parts and two actuators. One long and one short. How the heck is that going to work? There is no instructions and one would have guess how the parts are intended to be used.
I notice on Amazon where the manufacturer states “No templates or mounting bolts are supplied to install the bracket” they also say “Installation Quick Bolt-In Design Feature Detailed Instructions“ Really, I don’t think so.
I sent an email asking for help. So I’m giving you a heads up, you may want to wait untill I get an answer. When I do I will post it.


Mine is going to be delivered on Monday. I thought the package seemed light at 6 pounds. This is a bummer.
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Being cheap, therefore not intending to buy the power poptop unit from either source, I am still working on my own.

I have one 12"(300mm) actuator rated at 110lbs lift, and 500 libs static to begin with. To make designing the install easier, I have made a mock up of this actuator that can slide fully in and fully out to make measurements from.

I intend to install it inside the van, bolted to the upper bed platform. We never use that as a bed anyway. The other end of the actuator will bolt to the roof fibreglass, via stainless steel stress plates.

The reasoning for this, is that IF a motor should fail with a unit mounted outside, between the fibreglass and the roof metal - How would you disable it or remove it if you cannot lift the top to get at it?

I have made wiring diagrams, and yes, put a microswitch on the the latching mechanism to prevent actuating the lifter once the top is latched down.

Also I intend to put a buzzer or beeper and diode in the circuit so that the beeper will sound only while the top is being lowered.

At present I have hydraulic struts mounted to aid lifting, but am thinking I will have to remove them when I install the electric unit. The reason being, I think the hydraulic struts would put too much force on the actuator retracting to bring the top down.

Keep the ideas flowing guys.
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

It looks like the kit doesn't come with a switch to run the linear actuators?

The biggest issue with using linear actuators to raise the top is that when the top is all the way down the actuator is pushing almost horizontal, which won't make the top go up. with an unloaded top it can still work, but with the ever increasing roof loads westies are dealing with these linear actuators will really have their work cut out for them when it comes to getting the pop top moving upward from the closed position.
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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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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

JackBombay - you are absolutely correct, which is why your struts are at a steep angle to the roof line, yet they work so well even being so near the hinge point.

I am very curious how these commercial units are mounted - placement, angle, etc. In my experimentation I intend to install the actuators at as great an an angle as possible, and further from the hinge point. Theoretically this should reduce the amount of force the actuator would need to lift the top from horizontal.

Anyone have photos of these kits before installation?
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Michael4104
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Just look at the OP’s post, Amazon has pictures.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Thanks, I did look at the one picture in the OPs post. Looks like the actuators are outside the canvas. The photo doesn't show any real clarity.

Also looks like it is not forcing the pop top to its highest point, judging by the wrinkles in the canvas.

Any one else see more in that one photo?
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