Full length poptop

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Re: Full length poptop

Postby bluebus1987 » 08 Nov 2017, 22:46

Our twins would love that. It's a big old lump though. I want lots of cake and I want to eat it all. Low profile, big space,lots of headroom. lots of storage when camped, low weight................
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby garyd » 09 Nov 2017, 08:48

Bluebus,
if you're thinking of building your own bespoke pop-top you might like to take a look at my Samba thread on how I built mine. Not suggesting this is the best way but it has been very successful and brought many positive comments. It's shorter than you're intending but the design could easily be extended.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=625902&highlight=

I also have a picture somewhere of a sister to the German 16" with full length roof but this has the alternative horizontal/vertical lift variation of the roof. I took that photo at a huge 4x4/expedition show in Munich in the late 80's.
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby bluebus1987 » 09 Nov 2017, 11:03

Thanks for that Garry. An interesting read. Do you have a different picture of the full length vertical lift? There's one further back in this thread from the outside. Some inside pictures would be great. I'm coming round to the vertical lift idea a bit.
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby garyd » 09 Nov 2017, 15:54

It took a while but I found a couple of slides of the syncro from that show. Unfortunately they are both exterior shots. It does appear that there are external, vertical 'rods' supporting the corners of the roof when elevated. I've no info on what mechanism existed to assist with the lifting of what must be a significant weight. Nor of the extent to which the roof was cut. Interestingly, it is a red/maroon vehicle which I think I've seen linked from this thread, already.

On the question of cutting out structural members across the roof, it is obvious that there is a substantial 'sub frame' fitted to the top of the van and on which the elevating roof sits. I suggest that this sub frame has a real structural role in reinforcing the depleted factory roof frame as well as providing a flat base for the lifting section. By comparison, we know that most elevating roofs avoid the sub frame by only cutting out the central 1m square.
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby slowcoach » 09 Nov 2017, 16:53

I can't confirm anything, but in the trakka factory brochure (have it download somewhere), it states that the replaced roof is stronger than a factory tintop. Can't see why that would be personally, but it does say so. Perhaps what you say about an added subframe is present there too.

I can't look it up right now, but if you search for ' Trakka Bronco brochure ' you might find the pdf
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby 412s2 » 09 Nov 2017, 16:55

Hey Garyd, do you know the date of these slides? Were these vehicles also VW commissions like the white Special Mobils syncro?

This is from the English translation of the “Off Road” magazine article found here: http://www.syncrox.de/2017/10/11/syncro-goes-offroad/

“To make standing upright possible within the car, Special-Mobils developed a pop-up roof made of sea-water resistent aluminium sheet-metal. In contrast to their competitors Special-Mobils cut open the whole roof, including the parts above the front seats and back up to the column where the hinges of the rear-door are fixed. This means cutting off the b-column and as a consquence the body looses rigidity. To compensate for this loss, reinforcements are welded on. In addition, the pop-up roof itself is used to help stabilize the vehicle. Ulrich explaines the problems which appear when the b-column is cut off… „We can not attach the roof too rigidly to the body, because some torsion must remain while driving off-road“ The closed pop-up-roof lays on a special frame to which it is fixed by five flexible straps. If torsion of the whole body occures now, the roof will be able to follow that. This avoids tension and cracks in the sheet-metal. The roof may be loaded with 100kg when used off-road, but even without that recommended max. load on board, you need some muscles to pop the roof up. Once the roof is popped, a 200 x 120 cm bed is available.”


The magazine article is from February 1991, I find it odd that VW commissions the build of this vehicle to take place in late 1990. T4 production was in full swing in Hannover at this time and even though they weren’t building syncro T4s just yet, the prototypes must have been running around and you would think they would have some sort of jacked up 4x4 T4 “Expeditionsfahrzeug” to whet the aspirations of potential customers. What were they thinking?
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby garyd » 10 Nov 2017, 14:44

412s2 wrote: What were they thinking?


That the T4 was not going to anything like as good as the T3 syncro. Wheelbase too long, ground clearance too low, front biased weight distribution unless well loaded, etc.
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby 412s2 » 10 Nov 2017, 17:39

garyd wrote:That the T4 was not going to anything like as good as the T3 syncro. Wheelbase too long, ground clearance too low, front biased weight distribution unless well loaded, etc.


Yeah, you know that and I know that ;) but marketing isn’t always about promoting the reality is it? In 1991 surely VW would have been focused on promoting their new Transporter rather than the old one that was going to be withdrawn from European sale in the following 12 months?

The T4 syncro was never as capable as the T3 for all the reasons you mention. Production of the T3 was continuing in South Africa and they were prototyping 5-cylinder versions of the syncro in SA at that time; I wonder if they were considering to keep the Syncro on sale in Europe a while longer? http://www.syncrosa.co.za/forum/showthread.php?tid=2062 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osymDVevPII Surely VWSA would only spend money on further development of the T3 if they thought they would still be able to get bits from SDP. They abandoned a niche market with a lot of potential when they stopped selling the T3 syncro.

Or maybe someone in VW’s management just fancied a camper fit for travel through the Sahara and knew the T4 syncro was never going to cut it, therefore they decided to get the company to commission one and bought it at a knockdown price once it had finished it's tour of the motor show circuit?
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby Da dan » 11 Nov 2017, 08:52

hugomonkey wrote:this shows some nice pics of the penthouse
viewtopic.php?f=40&t=123105


Totally agree super dooper Viking roof rocks. Not that much heavier either. Not finished yet but here is mine. Windows/vents over size at either end and space for 2 double beds and one single. Parked into the wind at it’s fine. Image


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Re: Full length poptop

Postby garyd » 11 Nov 2017, 10:19

412s2 wrote:Hey Garyd, do you know the date of these slides? Were these vehicles also VW commissions like the white Special Mobils syncro?


I've struggled to find any definitive record of when we went to the Munich show. The best guess is 1991 as there is '91' amongst other digits on the slide frames. I would have to agree that it is likely they were all commissioned at the same time with the three(?) different roofs. Rear hinged or straight lift full length version and also a 3/4 length one that was probably rear hinged.
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Re: Full length poptop

Postby bluebus1987 » 11 Nov 2017, 11:04

They weren't necessarily built together. I'd imagine they would have had a few orders off the back of the show vehicle. But as with T5s/6s today the average age of a van conversion is probably ten tears old or something like that. When you look at what they still do, a lot of the work they did was building up a vehicle to the customers specifications as one offs. If you had the money they might do you one now.
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