VintAGE-Vans

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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


+4
Digz
EconoUSAparts
G-Man
Chroma66
8 posters

    Reinforcing the roof

    Chroma66
    Chroma66


    Number of posts : 101
    Location : Seattle, WA
    Registration date : 2011-03-02

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Reinforcing the roof

    Post by Chroma66 Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:13 pm

    I would like to be able to sit/stand on the roof of my van (pictured in the avatar). I know this is not an original idea. I have already straightened the roof of this van once because somebody else had the same idea.

    Well, I climbed onto the roof the other day to sand some of the rust off. At first, I wasn't too surprised or concerned that it buckled again. I can just push it back up with the 2 x 4 right? Then I looked up some old posts on here about roof repair. Oh crap!! I guess the roof on a '66 is not too securely fastened? Bending it back and forth was probably not too good for it: is it now going to come flying off on the freeway?

    Anyway, my idea for strengthening the roof from the inside involves 7/16" diameter rods: these rods would be placed in the channels that run lengthwise in the roof (they fit perfectly). I would also place rods inside the ribs that run from side to side. I have a little arc welder (70 amp) to possibly put it together.
    All of these rods would, of course, have to be bent to conform to the roof (oxy blowtorch or rod bender?), and I would probably use tubing to join them at the points where they intersect. The weight bearing points would be on the sides and the back of the roof, somehow.... I would like to support >300#< on it. Could this work? Pictures to follow, soon as I figure out the new interface. Thanks!

    G-Man
    G-Man
    Mayor
    Mayor


    Number of posts : 30743
    Location : Fowlerville, MI
    Age : 62
    Registration date : 2008-05-06

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by G-Man Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:33 pm

    I would think adding about 4 more roof braces would do the job and look so what factory. Have a buddy who made a platform from a roof rack that connects to the side rail and that puts no weight on the roof
    EconoUSAparts
    EconoUSAparts


    Number of posts : 2198
    Location : Ft Thomas,Ky
    Registration date : 2008-05-17

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by EconoUSAparts Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:05 pm

    G man can you be a little more clear? Im not following what you are referring to. Did he use a roof section or a roof rack? Is this something for a van or a pickup bed cover? Im lost......
    Ok,I read it again and I see its for a van but Im still unclear of what you mean.



    G-Man
    G-Man
    Mayor
    Mayor


    Number of posts : 30743
    Location : Fowlerville, MI
    Age : 62
    Registration date : 2008-05-06

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by G-Man Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:19 pm

    Tim doesn't econolines have the roof brace that curve to the roof??? I just thought they did not sure now. What I was talking about if they are like Chevy just adding more braces to what already there. If someone going to stand up there it will need more supports closer together
    Digz
    Digz


    Number of posts : 3794
    Location : United States Six Lakes MI
    Registration date : 2008-05-17

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by Digz Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:31 pm

    the chevys are a little light on support to the rear. I noticed some cracks in the skin on my 66 at the ends of the ribs where they had been flexed one to many times.
    Chroma66
    Chroma66


    Number of posts : 101
    Location : Seattle, WA
    Registration date : 2011-03-02

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by Chroma66 Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:56 am

    I'll look into adding more braces (those are the ones fron side to side right?) I have access to an old Econoline. In the pictures below you can see what happened to the brace/rafters that are already there. I am leery of welding on the van-I don't know if I have the skill to weld this thin metal.

    The rusty roof:
    Reinforcing the roof Vanvan19

    The roof popped back up into shape-spronng!-but the rafter stayed bent. There's one of the rods roughly in place:
    Reinforcing the roof Vanvan21

    Another rod, towards the front:
    Reinforcing the roof Vanvan22
    A (very rough) diagram:
    Reinforcing the roof Vanvan23






    m1dadio
    m1dadio
    Chevy Guru


    Number of posts : 1778
    Location : north saanich
    Registration date : 2008-10-06

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by m1dadio Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:05 am

    One of the weaknesses of these rooves is the fact that the cross brace is attached only at the ends and lends very little suport.

    If you where to tack weld the brace every 12" or less the whole roof and braces would become a structure and much stronger.

    M1D
    Twinpilot001
    Twinpilot001


    Number of posts : 6186
    Location : spokane ,Wa.
    Registration date : 2009-09-28

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by Twinpilot001 Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:15 am

    [iIll add to that =true - so true . I tried to weld on some of my braces- hard for me to accomplish & after determing Im not a good mig welder on thin materials -That took all of 2 minutes to find out!!-Im using some small 10-32 button head bolts for the job. Happy Vannin
    Chroma66
    Chroma66


    Number of posts : 101
    Location : Seattle, WA
    Registration date : 2011-03-02

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by Chroma66 Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:29 am

    My 70 amp arc welder is so small that it might be impossible to burn through the metal, haha. Maybe stick doesn't burn like mig does?
    You'd have to be a welding wizard not to burn through using mig, plus welding upside down-ugh. Believe me, I envy the skill level of those who can do this.
    Wouldn't the bolt holes leak with the button heads? Though a thick coat(s) of paint should take care of that (Ace Hardware Rustoleum-fabulous!). I'm thinking of using a bunch of Liquid Nails or JB Weld.
    sasktrini
    sasktrini


    Number of posts : 2067
    Location : Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Registration date : 2008-05-20

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by sasktrini Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:45 am

    I wouldn't want to stick-weld to the outer skin, but wouldn't hesitate with the roof ribs. For me, I would suggest reinforcing the existing ribs. brace the front and rear faces of the ribs with 1/4", drill holes in the braces for spot-weld points, and "spot-weld" the braces to each rib.
    Digz
    Digz


    Number of posts : 3794
    Location : United States Six Lakes MI
    Registration date : 2008-05-17

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by Digz Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:48 pm

    I hadn't thought of this for reinforcing the roof but maybe something like this could help??
    Reinforcing the roof Rear_r11
    I left them spaced down to stay away from the roof , but they could trimmed to run closer and spaced closer and caulked tight maybe ?
    G-Man
    G-Man
    Mayor
    Mayor


    Number of posts : 30743
    Location : Fowlerville, MI
    Age : 62
    Registration date : 2008-05-06

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by G-Man Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:35 pm

    Digz for standing or sitting up there I would add extra braces Plus what you did to make it very strong. That area wasn't made to be a platform so anything extra will help
    Twinpilot001
    Twinpilot001


    Number of posts : 6186
    Location : spokane ,Wa.
    Registration date : 2009-09-28

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by Twinpilot001 Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:14 pm

    [i]The small size button head bolts im using ive also sealed on the bottom where the washer & locknut goes with clear rtv silicone sealer (very small amounts) =so that it will seal from bottom only and not effect any painting that will be done.I also used all stainless hardware with a stainless nylock nut. I might add ive done this only on the outer-most areas where the ribs contact the roof line - as when a camper top was added these have come loose where they were cut for the top- if you will install the small bolts in areas where the roof metal actually touches the rib - and lay them out with a chalk line it will look factory too - hehe unless another vanner is nit picking the roof?? Happy Vannin.
    AzDon
    AzDon


    Number of posts : 744
    Location : Lake Havasu Az
    Age : 68
    Registration date : 2014-01-20

    Reinforcing the roof Empty Re: Reinforcing the roof

    Post by AzDon Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:20 pm

    The Bead-rolled "ribs" in the sheet metal are meant ONLY to keep the roof skin from flapping (oil-canning) in the wind.....They were never meant to be load bearing structures, and neither were the inside crossmembers. They bend down the very first time any kind of weight is placed up there....
    If you want an observation deck, it should be free-standing above the roof skin and supported by rain-gutter stands/clamps similar to old-school surfboard racks.....Remember also that the doorhandles will not tolerate being used as steps, so you'll need to design a ladder setup as well
    AzDon
    AzDon


    Number of posts : 744
    Location : Lake Havasu Az
    Age : 68
    Registration date : 2014-01-20

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    Post by AzDon Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:24 pm

    Yeah, It's a really old thread, But Hey!

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