Gas struts to Westy poptop

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Huyrob

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Getting on in years I was starting to have problems with pushing up the poptop and my head was getting flatter lowering it.
My partner was unable to do either without assistance. I had checked this and other forums to see if there were any suggestions, couldn't find any so last year decided to sort it.
Sourced some struts and fixings from SGS engineering and fitted them. Brilliant result, my partner is now quite happy to raise and lower on her own. I have not experienced any problems at all ( must have raised and lowered at least 50 times now).
I have retained in situ the original braces which I lock into place when it is fully up. I then release the braces before lowering, the roof stays up and then with a gentle pull it lowers itself in a nice effortless descent.
I have attached some photos.
So far as the struts are concerned they align really nicely on raising and lowering with the original brace so no problems.
Just a few pointers....SGS ...I hate their website, it shows a photo of a nice green Westy but when I contacted their pretty unhelpful tech dept they were unable to give me any details about measurements etc. I was told that their strut was a replacement for the original. They were pretty nonplussed when I said there was no original strut fitted.
Anyway I ordered The 2 struts and asked for advice on the ball stud brackets ,they said ordinary 10mm would do.
On my first fitting which was done on a sliding track as I had no measurements the stud fittings bent on both sides. I contacted SGS sent them photos and was told that I should have asked for the heavier gauge ones. After a discussion they realised that it was their fault and they sent me replacements. So if you go ahead then make sure you get the heavier duty 10 mm 90 degree ones. ( the lighter ones have slots for the bolts and take 250 newtons the heavier ones have holes and are rated at 700 newtons.
The struts are nitro lift part no GSC2426. I think the brackets were part no. K9 but please check.
Struts are about £28 each and the ball studs ( need 4 ) about £5 each.
All very easy to fit with ( I think M4 or M5 bolts washer and Spring washer ) on the roof spread the load outside with a s/s penny washer and dab of silicone. The ball studs fit very neatly in to the Channel as per photos.
Happy to help with any further enquiries .So far as operation is concerned when you raise it it requires a small effort for the first 10 inches and then goes up on its own. On lowering it needs a small tug on the roof handle then lowers really nice. I have my spare wheel mounted on a cradle at the front so my roof is even heavier than most.....no problems at all.
















 

ozziedog

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Fantastic, thanks very much for sharing. I didn’t realise them Westy roofs was as heavy as that, but I know exactly what you mean by getting on in years as I reckon I’m leading the way with that one :lol:

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,, time and tide waits for no man,,,, and very few women :mrgreen:
 

gas1man

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ozziedog said:
Fantastic, thanks very much for sharing. I didn’t realise them Westy roofs was as heavy as that, but I know exactly what you mean by getting on in years as I reckon I’m leading the way with that one :lol:

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,, time and tide waits for no man,,,, and very few women :mrgreen:

There will always be someone around to help you Ozzie. :D :D

J & P
:D :D :D
 

ozziedog

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gas1man said:
ozziedog said:
Fantastic, thanks very much for sharing. I didn’t realise them Westy roofs was as heavy as that, but I know exactly what you mean by getting on in years as I reckon I’m leading the way with that one :lol:

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,, time and tide waits for no man,,,, and very few women :mrgreen:

There will always be someone around to help you Ozzie. :D :D

J & P
:D :D :D

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,cheers then young un :mrgreen:
 

Kyrk72

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Fantastic idea, I had no idea you could add gas struts. A spring project for sure.
Any chance of adding the dimensions of where the brackets are located?
cheers Andy
 

Huyrob

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Hi Andy
Some more photos .you will see from the first photos that the bracket that attaches to the roof locates just before the roof stiffening "rib" this was fortunate as it keeps the bracket flat. I had envisaged that I may have needed a levelling pad but didn't. Once this is in position the extended strut determines the siting of the lower bracket although you will see it is about 9 inches from the the front of the roof cut out. No need to wait for the spring as it's an undercover job! ( except for dropping the roof bolts through)photo also of the twisted lightweight ball stud 😣
Dave






 

mike202

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This is great, [emoji106]. I was looking at this idea years ago but never got around to making progress as there isn’t a lot of info or many others that have done it. I like that it is an ‘inside job’ as it looks better from outside.
May well give this a go, once I get through the other jobs on the list [emoji38]
 

Kyrk72

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Hi Dave, thanks for posting the pic with the dimensions. Its a good head start. If I follow you and start with the roof position by the rib it looks straightforward. This looks a really good project / upgrade for me,I have been unfortunate enough for our roof to slam down on my head. I didn't half see stars for a bit. I don't want to experience this again.
Thanks very much for the write up and info.
Cheers Andy
 

Huyrob

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Hi Andy
Yes I would start at the roof. When I did it I had no idea so had a piece of wood attached to the ledge at the bottom . This allowed me to slide the bottom bracket to adjust drilling new holes in the wood as necessary rather than in the bodywork. I am sure that all dimensions are the same on the various vans . Also as stated the location next to the roof rib is flat so makes it easier. Although the strut follows a similar trajectory to the original metal strut it does not catch about half an inch clearance. As always just keep an eye open to make sure the canvas does not get pinched although the gas strut does not exacerbate this issue. The fact that the lower ball stud bracket sits in the channel nice and snugly means that the strut is pretty well lined up so that it raises and lowers reasonably parallel to the existing strut.
 

naskeet

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This is a topic on which I have posted extensively on The Samba and other 1968~79 VW Type 2 related forums; having pioneered my own elevating-roof, gas-strut retro-fitment during the 1990s, using second-hand salvaged gas struts from a Volvo 300-Series hatchback!



Forum Index > Bay Window Bus > Pop top Gas Struts - what eject force and length ?


Forum Index > Bay Window Bus > Gas strut assisted pop tops?

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=178584

If you haven't already done it, it's also worth retro-fitting an interior, sliding-door pull-close strap, which enable you to silently close the sliding door and avoid abusing the slider & lock mechanisms.

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1127579.jpg


1127577.jpg
 

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