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


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weirdbeard
FCC
6 posters

    Hello all. New owner, Rookie mistake. (help!!!)

    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

    Hello all.  New owner, Rookie mistake.  (help!!!) Empty Hello all. New owner, Rookie mistake. (help!!!)

    Post by FCC Fri May 09, 2014 11:07 am

    So...a few minutes ago, I posted my experience from yesterday.  We bought a 1964 with a turtle top!  Overall, I am very pleased, but something happened on the way home that has me wanting to vomit, and my wife wanting to kill me (it's her's)

    During the 4 hour inspection of the van, I was consumed with the general condition, the top, drive train, and getting the thing started and tested.. Because I was inspecting the top from a "how and does it work" perspective, the top was up most of the time.. fatal Rookie mistake.  -I did not notice the top's latch (more on that later) and the instructional sticker above it. And not once did it cross my mind to consider how the top would behave while in transit.  

    Hello all.  New owner, Rookie mistake.  (help!!!) 5773A8BD-772F-45EB-AB88-AADDB89FEC82

    After about 3 hours of driving, when we were a little past half way home, a driver pulls up next to me pointing and waving at the van behind us on the trailer..  

    @#$@#$@#$@#$!!!!!!!!!!  My heart sank.

    I pull over to find the top peeled back and hanging off the rear of the van..

    After carefully getting it back onto the top of its housing.  I inspect for damage.  And that is when I see the latch and instructional sticker!.. but as it turns out, the locking wire and lever portion aren't there at all. And probably why I didn't notice it upon inspection.

    As I know it right now (got home after dark, had to work today, wife took some pictures this morning for me), it appears to be manageable.  

    Does anyone know if the top skin can be removed individually? What is behind the little plastic button covers that are under the hinge on the inside?

    ...I need advice and ideas from people who know these tops, on how to repair the damage, and where I might be able to find the missing bits.

    1.  Missing a roller from the front left corner of the top skin.
    2.  Missing a damn latch!

    And then, if anyone has seen this happen to others, I need advice on how to approach the bent sheet metal on the hinge end that is folded from the force of being blown back and causing the top to not lay flat.  

    Hello all.  New owner, Rookie mistake.  (help!!!) 0B9D79EF-76A7-49CD-A214-C99BC1F2FFBC

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    Last edited by FCC on Fri May 09, 2014 11:19 am; edited 1 time in total
    weirdbeard
    weirdbeard
    Vintage-Vans Listings Manager
    Vintage-Vans Listings Manager


    Number of posts : 2374
    Location : Forked River, NJ USA
    Registration date : 2014-04-15

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    Post by weirdbeard Fri May 09, 2014 11:17 am

    Sorry to hear that. I bough my camper top van with the top in worst condition than yours is in now. These answers will also help me out when I get around to fixing it.
    bensbus
    bensbus


    Number of posts : 171
    Location : Strasburg, PA
    Registration date : 2012-09-23

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    Post by bensbus Mon May 12, 2014 2:45 pm

    Jason,

    First of all, don't lose heart. These tops are simple- relatively speaking- and it can be repaired.

    My top is #542 and was built from the factory piece by piece. Yours is later and more unitized. I owned a Travel Top that I removed from a Ford Falcon in a junkyard and I am familiar with their construction, but I never removed the main roof section. Mine stayed in one piece. I would not hesitate to remove those screw caps and see what you uncover. The top most section can be removed...as a good friend of mine used to say- "someone put it together, I can take it apart." Don't be afraid of it...just dive in. You have nothing to lose...and much to gain. Most parts can be replaced either directly or creatively with standard parts found in your local hardware store.

    From the pictures, it appears that your top's rear hinge is bent upward. Since it is just aluminum, once you get things apart, I am sure you can bend it back to shape. I don't think you will break it, but if you do, you can most likely replace it with new aluminum hinge. I have several eight foot sections of the flat aluminum hinge, so if you need some, let me know. I am sure you could also find it locally.

    Your missing roller is most likely the cause of your top flying back...the latch inside is a safety feature. The rollers in the track keep the top in its plane...with one missing, I am not surprised that it flew out of its place. I replaced my rollers with nylon wheels of the same size found at the hardware store. I also made new roller brackets out of stainless angle iron to replace the rusty steel ones. Again, the earlier construction was different from yours, but the theory is the same.

    You are only missing one piece from your safety catch..the rest is there. I think the missing piece can also be fabricated, perhaps from welding rod? I can take a picture of mine if you like.

    Please let me know what else you might need...I will try to help from a distance with photos, etc. I also have the original patent number (I think it is in my TEC camper top website) for these tops- the diagrams were helpful to me when I rebuilt mine.

    Good luck!!
    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Mon May 12, 2014 3:24 pm

    Thanks Ben. I feel that if I can get those caps out cleanly and get the top off, straightening the bent hinge will be significantly easier. I also believe that some of the buckling is caused by the extra length from the bend.

    That being said, I found a junkyard falcon van with a top. It used to sit in a friends field years ago. I called him and he gave me the guys number that bought it for the motor. Called him and he will sell me the top, "if we can agree on a price".
    My dad is going to scope it out tomorrow, it's near to his house.
    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Mon May 12, 2014 3:31 pm

    Oh. And a photo of the latch would be very helpful.
    bensbus
    bensbus


    Number of posts : 171
    Location : Strasburg, PA
    Registration date : 2012-09-23

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    Post by bensbus Mon May 12, 2014 4:03 pm

    FCC wrote:Thanks Ben. I feel that if I can get those caps out cleanly and get the top off, straightening the bent hinge will be significantly easier. I also believe that some of the buckling is caused by the extra length from the bend.  

    That being said, I found a junkyard falcon van with a top. It used to sit in a friends field years ago. I called him and he gave me the guys number that bought it for the motor. Called him and he will sell me the top, "if we can agree on a price".
    My dad is going to scope it out tomorrow, it's near to his house.

    Agreed- I think the roof is bowed due to that bent metal as well.

    as for the other top..."if the price is right." I paid $35 for mine! I really think you'll be able to fix yours, though.

    Pics later this week. Cheers!

    Ben
    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Tue May 13, 2014 10:36 am

    the top we found is rusted...? stamped 5226

    bensbus
    bensbus


    Number of posts : 171
    Location : Strasburg, PA
    Registration date : 2012-09-23

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    Post by bensbus Thu May 15, 2014 5:42 am

    FCC wrote:the top we found is rusted...?  stamped 5226


    The main roof section on the one I took off of an old Ford van (and later sold) was rusted as well...interesting it seems some roof sections were made from steel and others from aluminum. I don't know why they did that.
    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Thu May 15, 2014 6:20 am

    I will probably go get this top as soon as I can.  ..but its pretty toasty.  

    Also, the more I look (glance, really) at those buttons in the inside of my top under the hinge, they appear to be rivets..  Neutral 


    Hello all.  New owner, Rookie mistake.  (help!!!) A5ED7E94-68E9-48FA-80F8-0BB0009BD745

    Hello all.  New owner, Rookie mistake.  (help!!!) C9075A9C-5F92-4035-8D62-0A1A17CC5DE3

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    bensbus
    bensbus


    Number of posts : 171
    Location : Strasburg, PA
    Registration date : 2012-09-23

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    Post by bensbus Thu May 15, 2014 8:02 am

    Looks like a good top...and you now know what the latch is supposed to look like.

    I brought home my rusty top from the junkyard in the back of a Suburban...it just fit inside!
    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Thu May 15, 2014 8:27 am

    Might bring this one back in the back of a falcon van!
    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Thu May 15, 2014 8:28 am

    Do you have any sort of record of the assembly procedure that I can reverse for as a dis-assembly procedure?

    Any photo record or the like?

    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Mon May 19, 2014 2:39 pm

    Fixed It. !  Just need a proper latch.

    Hello all.  New owner, Rookie mistake.  (help!!!) 4FDDE6B0-7251-4D6D-AF3C-E380117091C0

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    bensbus
    bensbus


    Number of posts : 171
    Location : Strasburg, PA
    Registration date : 2012-09-23

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    Post by bensbus Mon May 19, 2014 3:32 pm

    Well done! Looks great!

    You can make the missing part of your latch...you don't need a whole new one.

    Perhaps I can remove the part you need from mine and fab one for you?

    Let's go camping!

    Ben
    vanny
    vanny
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    Number of posts : 14777
    Location : Ashburnham, MA
    Age : 65
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    Post by vanny Mon May 19, 2014 4:00 pm

    Nice piece of work Jason! Looks like you were successful at "Persuading" it back into shape.

    I don't think your ladder is OSHA approved but it looks like it did the trick for you!  lol! 

    Do you have the other two rims to go with the ones on the front of the garage? Like those...A Lot!


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    Joe Van
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    Post by Joe Van Mon May 19, 2014 4:16 pm

    Nice Job Looks Real Good..!!!..Sharp Looking Van You Have There...It could have been a lot Worse... affraid ...


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    EconoUSAparts
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    Post by EconoUSAparts Mon May 19, 2014 8:18 pm

    Jason brought his van by my house today and it's pretty sweet. I've never seen seats like it has in any early van of any kind. It's very unique and cool. He was missing a few small pieces for the van and I was able to get him hooked up with the parts he needed. After he left I spent the day parting out and cutting up 65 Falcon van. One more good day and it'll be ready to be hauled off in small pieces after I get all the good panels cut off of it. This van will supply all the patches needed for the 65 panel Supervan project.
    FCC
    FCC


    Number of posts : 295
    Location : Batavia, Ohio
    Registration date : 2014-04-29

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    Post by FCC Tue May 20, 2014 6:11 am

    Yeah man. Thanks a ton Tim. I was good to meet you. Thanks for the tour! I think we will make a good spotting team around the tri-state, although I am sure you have many "eyes on the street".

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