High Top Removal

Thin bits of metal and bright blue light. Including glass & trim.

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keynsham1
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High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

I have rusty gutters on my T25 Devon Eurovette high top. I have made an attempt at temporary repairs in the past but a better look is now needed. I know some welding will be needed too. My question is how much stripping really needs to be done to get the top off, or at least up and out of the way. It currently lives under a carport so I could lift it 6 inches or more and suspend it over the van. ImageObviously the cupboards in the top need removing and the lining but is it really necessary to strip the whole inside out? All the links I can find here always do but are usually part of a major restoration and I don't plan on going that far as apart from the odd bit of seam gout, the van is in really good shape!

keynsham1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

I have decided to just go for it! I am presently trying to remove a twin side cupboard in the high top. One end was held with two nuts and bolts and the other by two very large rivets! I have so far pulled out a roof lining plywood panel and found some suspicious wiring under it. Old carpet came flying off the roof in clouds of dust! The cupboard is still fighting however and is clinging on via an attachment I have yet to identify. This is going to be fun! It is all original inside and I am pretty sure by what I have found so far that it is per factory fit at Devon. They are definitely a cottage industry installation. I remember someone told me once to be careful as all the electrics and gas stuff was fitted by a carpenter. I am beginning to think they were right!! I will add some photos as I go. I am sure someone might find them helpful and many others will find them amusing!!

keynsham1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

The fun has started! The first thing I have noticed is how much sealant has been used between the high top and the sides of the van roof! I have a metal support bar across the roof but it doesn't actually attach to the roof itself! Moe fun tomorrow if it isn't too cold.ImageImage
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keynsham1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

Inside is now pretty much stripped and I can get all the way around the roof edge from the inside. There is nothing but sealant holding my roof on. And it has come away from the roof for around 50% of the periphery so probably a good time to start looking! Separating the hi tip from the van will be easy I think as sliding a thin screwdriver in the existing areas of disbond and gently lifting lets the split run so with some care I should be OK. The sealant used is a bit like very dense expanding foam filler. It is very hard and brittle and nothing like the Sikaflex sealant I have used before. Some research might be needed come the day when I refit it. 

ImageImageImageImage

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1664
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by 1664 »

I didn't even know Devon did a fixed high top. One day you will look back and laugh at all this. Might not be for a while yet mind  :wink:
Vorsprung Durch Technik my ar$e!

davidoft1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by davidoft1 »

It could well be bonded on with resin , it’s pretty normal to be attached that way , usually a couple of inches deep all round, just be careful not to flex the roof when leveraging, it’s easy to crack

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maxstu
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by maxstu »

Not a job l'd care to do in this freezing weather. So easy to crack the fibreglass.
Perhaps warmer where you are. But in Margate the wind chill factor today hit -15c.
Lovely turquoise sea and best surfing conditions seen in years. Four very brave surfers too. Nutters! :shock:
MaxStu
1989 DJ 2.1 Auto Leisuredrive rusty bucket.
"Blissfully happy in your presence".

keynsham1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

So I now have the high top off. What is underneath is really what I was expecting to see. Here it is!!!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

OK, so maybe a bit worse than I had hoped but there are good points. Across the top of the windscreen and across the back end is all solid and the majority of the work is along the edges only. Also it has only affected the outer roof skin. Everything underneath looks to be OK. And I managed to get the top up with out damaging it so that is another bonus!

On my rounds I have found a few other areas for attention. The offside lower middle panel always had some seam rust and now I have seen inside I can see why:

ImageImageImage
So a panel replacement needs doing there. Apart from all of that, there is little rust on the van so not so bad really. 
Watch this space!!!

RogerT
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by RogerT »

I’ve got one of those roofs too! Not the Eurovette high top, the grotty bit underneath 😂 😂

I’d wonder about your sills too though, but you may be luckier than me.
'88 Transporter with hitop camper conversion, 1.6td.

keynsham1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

So I have spent today attacking my rusty gutters. And I have to thank all the people on this site who have done this job before as it has made the job so much easier. I am not sure I would have even started without their posts!

I bought some proper cutting discs for my angle grinder and cut out the rust on the side of the roof by first marking and cutting along the top and then cutting as low as I could to the gutter itself. My plan being to then drill out the spot-welds on the remaining gutter strip and remove it! So far this has been a good plan except that it is just about impossible to see the spot-welds. My method has been to drill out the first one and then lever the gutter upwards which reveals where the next one is. In case you have never done it, drilling out spot-welds is the most monotonous task there is! I am thinking careful use of the angle grinder for the remaining ones!!

So here are loads of pictures of todays fun!Imageere are loads of picturImagees, not in ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Image

There is some good news though! The rear end across the top of the tailgate is solid as are the corners. Both front corners have beg holes but the damage is limited to the outer skin and doesn't run down under the windscreen seal at all. Lastly, the lip which the gutter is spot-welded to is all there and has not rusted really at all.

My next tasks are to get the windscreen out which I think I will get a professional to do, finish removing the old gutter and cut out the damage in the front corner. Then I will clean up any remaining surface rust and treat it all. That is as far as I have planned!!

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maxstu
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by maxstu »

Courageous stuff :ok

Ive looked a front of my camper at the A pillars. I think there is a nasty surprise lurking beneath. :?

Image
MaxStu
1989 DJ 2.1 Auto Leisuredrive rusty bucket.
"Blissfully happy in your presence".

keynsham1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

I think you might be right!! I just got sick of patching up rust all the time, so as we are not going anywhere soon, I thought now is the time. As soon as we are allowed out and about, I want it to be ready to go!!

RogerT
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by RogerT »

Removing and refitting the windscreen isn’t too tricky, but it’s a two person job. Instructions in the wiki I think. ( https://wiki.club8090.co.uk/index.php/M ... Windscreen )
New seal - go for vewib brand from http://www.volkswagenemporium.co.uk/
Anything else is a false economy.

Well done though, great progress!
'88 Transporter with hitop camper conversion, 1.6td.

keynsham1
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by keynsham1 »

Slowly but surely I am making progress. I have learnt a few things too
.
1. You cannot get all the rust out. I kind of knew this anyway but a certain amount of minor surface rust seems better treated that cutting out huge amounts of mostly good metal. The van is 34 years old after all.
2. Every job take a lot longer than you expect. I was told once to work out how long a job will take, then double it and expect to be late. Very true!!
3. Spotweld drills are only any good if you can first identify where the spotwelds actually are! I will leave you to ponder on that one!

Anyway I am almost at the point where I can start welding in the first repair section for the gutter. I have decided to start at the back where things are better and put the first piece in to give me a boost of enthusiasm which I will need to tackle the front corner! 

ImageImageImageImage

And lastly a reminder of the front corner!

ImageImage

Autosleeper_rich
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Re: High Top Removal

Post by Autosleeper_rich »

looking good! I would love a watertight van! my roof is like that underneath too but I lack the skills to get it done. 

Awesome carport as well btw!

Rich
89 1.9 WBX
64 Lambretta LI150

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