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Repairing/ painting fibreglass poptops.

Discussion in ''How To' & 'Handy Hints'' started by cbus, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    Brent
    Yeah - I see the 40mm piece of timber stuck in the underneath base plate - gathered this was fixing down.
    Mine had rivets all around the outer edge - the donor vehicle had completely rusted away here - the gutters completely dissolved - we think the transport over from South Africa had been on top of a ship - vehicle exposed to the elements.

    I was thinking of simply sticking the roof down when its ready to fit - using Slikaflex - maybe screws through front and rear fixing holes - and heavy weights - what do you think?
    I'll make sure the roof cut is properly re-painted and sealed before fixing the roof down.
    I might (in my usual fashion) look at adding some bracing around the van roof edges after the cut?
    I see in the new T6 campers - Trakka (my brother has one !) use a section of fabricated steel running length wise under both cuts.

    Yes - van in background photos is your old tin-top - you wouldn't recognise it now - all white paint is gone, all dents, nicks, scratches gone.
    Seams all re-done. Any rust removed and fixed.
    Only white paint left is on the floor in the rear load area. !
     
  2. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,864
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Peter.
    I have seen some recently
    ( past 5 yrs) cuts for installing poptop and Paris roof where engineer has insisted on a square tube frame being added to tin roof.
    Makes sense.
    I would have suggested sika but thought potential removal would be a deterrent.
    It is certainly a far superior way to do it in terms of overall strength plus spread of load on fix points.

    Just ensure that there will not be an issue from condensation being trapped.
    A run on upper edge should fix that issue?

    It may be useful to fold over the cut edge of tin so that it would be safe if someone was to run a blade in between poptop and van roof to cut the sika for poptop removal.?

    Did you end up wet blasting the body?
     
  3. mackaymanx

    mackaymanx Active Member

    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Mackay
    I would use the perimeter screw because that is the way it is supposed to be fitted (engineering/blue plate compliance). Plus I think it adds some structual rigidity.
     
  4. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    Col
    Yeah good point re condensate and agree the edge folded - I could use my duck bill vise grips to create a fold - this would give the cut edge some strength too !
    Nah - I didn't wet blast - I just sanded back - once I cleaned it and sanded - the body was 99% sound. Only rust was the foot wells and the two rear windows, bottom corners.
    All fixed.
    RH rear window almost finished
    Just for you Collin

    [​IMG]


    Fein multi tool does a real neat cut
    [​IMG]

    Foot well - ready to weld

    [​IMG]


    Brent - yeah I was thinking of using this fixing - thinking if I could use a strengthening rib/steel/plywood (?) up under the cut to fasten through this and into this perimeter fixing into the base plate.

    I saw some dude in the UK a while back fitting a PT on to a T2 and he made these plywood ribs, cut and shaped to fit around the cut. Very neat and gave the whole assembly some strength and fixings - which could also be used for fixing the finished roof ceiling liner, etc.
     
  5. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,864
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Good lad :D
    No use taking chances on rust when doing all that work.
    Now you will be looking for more bits to weld;).

    Biting at the bit to get back on road ?
     
  6. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    Yeah - I was just saying to Scott re the Valla 2018 thread - I'd love to have it finished - but... hmmm - if it was later in the year - yeah possible?
    I like Valla
     
  7. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    Over the last week or so I have made some further progress with restoring my Fibreglass pop-top.

    Started to prepare the T3 roof
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cut through the roof rib - using a piece of flat bar to hold the roof up while I continue the cut


    [​IMG]

    The roof cut removed


    [​IMG]

    I did at the start plan to have a folded edge - which I did create, but I later found that I needed to enlarge the opening and so I lost these edges?
    Damn - was a good job done more better..!

    [​IMG]

    Here I applied a different process - using my sheet metal crimping tool - I shrank the metal edges. Doing this returns some tension back to the metal edge, which

    other-wise can be slightly stretched in the cutting process. This often leaves the the edge with a waving appearance.
    I have also pre-drilled the metal for the fixing screws which will screw into the pop-top fixing timber (bedded into the fibreglass base)

    I then treated the cut area with POR15 on both sides to prevent any rust.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    Back to the fibreglass department

    The base-plate received multiple coats of 2-pack, with 2 pack primer underneath, and etch primer.

    Colour is Ford Olympic Blue, circa early 1970's. (escorts, etc)

    The Syncro will be the same colour.

    [​IMG]

    Roof and base plate painted

    [​IMG]
     
    grumble likes this.
  9. desminton

    desminton Member

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi Peter

    Loving your updates on this. I may answer my own question here but I see you’ve riveted the roof pillars to your roof skin. I’m assuming they will stay in, is that correct? Thinking of doing the same with a Trakka poptop.

    Keep posting your progress;)
     
  10. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    Des
    Hi
    Yes I left the rivets in place.
    The roof is basically complete.
    I had an engineer give it the once over some weeks ago.
    He was happy with what I had done - he was appreciative of the fact I had left off any headlining fabric so that he could see what had been done.
    Bear in mind - this vehicle is registered in Queensland and is registered as a two seater.
    Had it been registered as a 4 seater, or more, then the requirements would have been different.
    This is due to the occupants while driving are in the two front seats - an area (roof) which was/is un-effected by this modification - the roof structure over the front seats is still intact as per OEM.
    Once interior is complete, the engineer comes back for a final inspection and issues a Blue Plate (certificate)
    At that stage 240 ac wiring will have been done, including a certificate for this which is then included in the Body inspection.
    While the engineer is at it, I will also get him to certify my front & rear brake upgrades.
    Oh and two front seat also - Recaros

    It will be interesting to see the size of the Blue plate - the van already has one for the Subaru conversion !
    Canvas sleeve was made by Mike at Cutting Edge -
    http://cuttingedgecanvas.com.au/

    View from the rear

    [​IMG]

    Fixing the canvas sleeve down to the base plate.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stainless Steel fixings used to hold roof lifters in place. Unlike the original self tapper screws (like 10G) ?!? (mild steel) ??/!!?&^

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Ian and Shelley

    Ian and Shelley Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Umina Beach

    Attached Files:

  12. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,864
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Wouldnt recommend it.
    Says for oil ( alkyd) and water based paints.
    Also might be a problem if you sand through it.

    I would suggest a 2 pac epoxy . right for the job and ecomical if you buy 4 litre kit .

    Penguard special, penguard high build ( easier sanding.) Or wattyl high build are all suitable examples and around $100 a 4 litre kit.
    https://www.jotun.com/Datasheets/Download?url=/TDS/TDS__613__Penguard HB__Euk__GB.pdf
    Good for the fibreglass top as well as bare metal and over sound existing paint.

    Better adhesion than lacquer and many urethane primers.
    Bit harder to sand on big flat surfaces than auto urethane high builds but acceptable.
    Fully waterproof.
    Use measuring cups to ensure correct ratios.
    Can bog over it.
    Take note of max recoat times.
    ie , if it has sat for more than a week apply a fresh coat before topcosting to ensure good adhesion of topcoat.
     
  13. jalex

    jalex New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Nimbin
    my pop-top was repainted around 3 years ago and it has recently started leaking. I cant see any cracks or holes, but obviously there must be (but they must be pretty dam small, even though the water drips in when raining heavily). Ive put silicone blobs on and around rivets and any other obvious source, but no luck. Is there a sealing product i can just put over the paint? If i could see holes or cracks i'd deal with them, but cant see any. Any advice would be welcome- thanks
     
  14. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,864
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Dubious about it coming thru the fibreglass unless noticeable entry points.
    I would suspect rust under the fibreglass top along edges where water may be wicking up or being blown under during heavy rain.
    Try and work back from where water is dripping.
    If sealing poptop to roof ensure it is blown dry inbetween with compressed air first.
    And that sealing edges is not holding water that enters from higher up.
    Where is it dripping inside?
     
  15. Doob

    Doob Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Perth
    This is a great thread - lots of very good advice. I hope to be re-fitting the fiberglass pop-top to our 1971 T2 Bus in the next few weeks. [after minor repairs to the fiberglass & having the bus repainted].
    If I need to replace the rubber perimeter seals for the top & bottom sections, can anyone suggest where I might get suitable seals?
    Also any recommended adhesive compound to fix the rubber seal channels to the fiberglass? See other post talking about Loctite 30540 black contact adhesive and 3M trim adhesive.
    https://forums.kombiclub.com/threads/t3-tintop-westfalia-conversion.58667/page-12#post-685954

    Earlier in this post there was some talk of using a sealant compound between the fixed lower pop top section and the metal roof [Sikaflex or similar]. When I removed the pop-top there was no sign of any old residual sealing compound on the metal roof or pop top rubber seal. I am guessing it is not common to apply a sealing compound, but rather rely on the rubber seal to stop the weather getting in? Does anyone have any observations or recommendations on this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  16. Ian and Shelley

    Ian and Shelley Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Umina Beach

    Hi Doob


    For the rubber seals on the top half, i purchased some U channel off ebay and it pressed into place has been good ever since

    This type of stuff https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/9-84ft-...Metal-Strip-Auto-Door-Protector-/223753663961

    and I think the rubber seal I got from Clark Rubber https://www.clarkrubber.com.au/coll...bber.com.au/collections/rubber?results.page=6
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020

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