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Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit
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RoryGirl
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

To me the product pictures on Amazon look pieced together, and there's definitely no picture of the kit installed on an actual westie (that pic with the pink flowers is too small to tell and could have easily been photoshopped).

Has anyone contacted AutoLoc to see if the legitimately offer this? They are not the seller on either of those links.

http://www.autoloc.com/

Searching reveals nothing for Westfalia, Vanagon or the part number
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espo
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

It seems as though that photo may have been edited to add in the struts....

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=558104&view=next
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Can you imagine pushing the button to activate the struts and you remembered that your forgot to undo the latch. I can picture the struts sticking through the pop top with pieces of fiberglass still stuck to the brackets. Ok Iíll stop being such a downer. It is a cool product and great idea. There are probably many out there with neck and back problems, elderly westy owners (and those with heavy loads on their roof racks) that would benefit from these.
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

spitsnrovers wrote:
I intend to install the actuators at as great an an angle as possible, and further from the hinge point.


That will be very specifically limited by the range of travel of the actuators, they don't look like that have much more travel than the struts I use so they will have to stay pretty close to the hinge.

Multiman mv wrote:
I can picture the struts sticking through the pop top with pieces of fiberglass still stuck to the brackets. Ok Iíll stop being such a downer.


It would probably be best to mount the switch right next to the latch to make it difficult to forget to unlatch the pop top.
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Gas struts to pop your top easily!

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


Samba ad here.


DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

JackBombay - I measured the travel of your poptop struts at about 8" (200mm).

The actuator I am trying travels 300 mm (11.8"), and can be mounted so the roof connected end sits in that depression (viewed from inside the van) about half way along - exactly 1090 mm from the back inner corner of the roof.

I am working on drawings and photos at the moment.

As for switch placement - I envisage, perhaps mounting it on the lift bar since it would need to be pushed that last little bit to over-centre and lock in place.

The end result of this project may not be a totally "self actuating" system. In other words it would require unlatching the roof; letting the actuators move to almost their limit; then pushing the lift bar manually that last little bit.

I can't see eliminating that lift bar and its over-centring action to ensure a snug canvas and secure support for the roof.

However, I did toy with the idea of using an old Cadillac (or similar) trunk locking mechanism to lock the roof down the last inch or so. Those actuators work on a motor driven screw thread that pulls the trunk lid down and holds it. I'd need to find another one though, I lost the last one.
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vanis13
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

those actuators are available in longer lengths as well. I was thinking of using the longest one avail and move it to the front as much as possible.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

jackbombay wrote:
spitsnrovers wrote:
I intend to install the actuators at as great an an angle as possible, and further from the hinge point.


That will be very specifically limited by the range of travel of the actuators, they don't look like that have much more travel than the struts I use so they will have to stay pretty close to the hinge.

Multiman mv wrote:
I can picture the struts sticking through the pop top with pieces of fiberglass still stuck to the brackets. Ok Iíll stop being such a downer.


It would probably be best to mount the switch right next to the latch to make it difficult to forget to unlatch the pop top.


When you unlatch it doesnít it pop up a bit first?

Micro switch in series with the switch to engage the power relay would take care of that problem
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

A bit of progress on the home-built version. Photos of the mock up are in the gallery.

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

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

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


As mentioned in an earlier post, I intend to mount the actuators inside the van, bolted to the upper bed base, and to the fibreglass top, with reinforcing metal in and out. Yes it will have safety switches, warning buzzer and all!

I found the actuator needs to move just under 300 mm.

Your thoughts?
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

I got mine in - sorry no photos. No instructions either. However - I do think this product will work. Both my struts seem like the same unit. I bought mine from Sears however.

I emailed the company
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

What if.....the system suddenly dies while you're camping. How easy will it be to disconnect the system and be able to lift/lower the top manually? Always need a backup plan.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

technically you'd just need to unbolt one end of each lift cylinder and lay them out.
easier if you use pins vs bolts.

but how often do you run the battery flat? even while camping.

because if you don't have power enough to lower the top you ain't gunna start the engine. and if it's close.. start the engine 1st... then lower the top with all those spare electrons.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

I think he didn't mean battery - more of a failure in the actuator. But yeah simply pull out the latter and unbolt it.
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:43 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

As in the photos above, the ends of the actuator (yes, only a mock up at this stage) are held in by pins. Even with he top down, it will be easy to pull the pin and raise the top manually. With the top up - equally easy.

Which is why I am planning on mounting the actuators INSIDE the van rather than under the fibreglass outside (a la poptop struts). We never use the upper bunk for other than storage, so this should work. Anyone who uses the upper bunk as a bed may have to make other plans.

The scheming continues.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

I use the top bunk so not doing that. I am thinking that I want the actuators will be in the pop top, and push in/out towards van. I think that will look better but I will just have to see .
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Shagginwgagon - what is the thinking of mounting the actuators in the poptop - rather than onto the van body?

Won't it require running wiring all the way towards the hinges, into the poptop then all the way forward to the actuators mounted in the top?
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

spitsnrovers wrote:
Shagginwgagon - what is the thinking of mounting the actuators in the poptop - rather than onto the van body?

Won't it require running wiring all the way towards the hinges, into the poptop then all the way forward to the actuators mounted in the top?


My buddy actually has power ran on the top underneath 'rails' of the poptop. He has power ran to each of his artificial rain gutters for perimeter lighting.

My thinking is that the actuator will be hidden up underneath the pop top - much less of an eye sore.
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

Uhuh, I understand the reasoning for mounting the actuators with motor end up - under the fibreglass. Cleaner look with the top popped.

You said
Quote:
My buddy actually has power ran on the top ...
Do I take that to mean "my buggy..."? If so, I see that would make it easier. However, you will need the switched 12V to each actuator, right?

As these are advertised as "bolt -In" kits, What does that actually mean? You will still have to drill holes, provide pivot anchors, bots, wiring and switches won't you? Or are all these included in the kit?

Photos sure would be nice to see.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

No my friend has artifical rain gutters on his pop top. He then has little led lights on each ARG. He can flip a switch inside and turn each side on. Ill try to get pictures later tonight. I'm trying to figure out if I want to gamble on this setup or not. The instructions they sent me can be found at

http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/assets/internal-use/masters/AUTPT1000_1500.pdf
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

here is a link to a diy lift that uses a cordless drill/impact to lift poptop

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=346540&highlight=
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Bolt-In Power Westfalia Pop Top Kit Reply with quote

shagginwagen....

Interesting instructions if they came with the "bolt-in Power Pop Top Kit". Says it is for a solenoid to open a trunk latch, which requires only voltage in one direction for an instant. How is that going to work for actuators?

As an aside, my mom, when I was about 12 had a "shaved" 1951 Chev with one of those on the trunk latch. Worked fine till the battery went dead and the jumper cables were IN the trunk. Sad Guess who had to pull the rear seat back and squeeze though the tiny gap to open the latch manually?
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