T25 Autosleeper Trooper Poptop Re-bonding

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T25 Autosleeper Trooper Poptop Re-bonding

Post by bmouthboyo on Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:45 am

So 3 years ago just before I moved abroad for work I hastily bonded my Autosleeper Poptop Roof back down to my van using Sikaflex. 

I cleaned up the areas it would adhere to fairly well (no alcohol rub / keying) and decided to bond not only the sides but the rear and front instead if using the new rubber seals I sourced as I was told the bonding chemicals now are much stronger and I did not want a repeat of the water ingress and damage going the original method Autosleeper took of screwing the pop top and covering with a rubber seal. 

I applied the Sikaflex liberally to the areas I marked around where the roof would be touching the van and then ratchet strapped the roof down to apply some pressure, leaving it like this for a year. This was only really a temporary measure as I am looking to fully prep the pop top for respraying in 2017 when I return to the UK.

The van has been covered for 3 years with a breathable cover, however upon checking the van this July when I visited the UK I noticed the bonding does not look strong and is showing cracks and gaps water could get in. 

Video of the movement in the bonding:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FXpJ6zrhsg





I am now thinking it might be best to fully remove the pop top again for ease of prep and respray, but am now worried what went wrong originally and how I can best secure it down next time with no possibility of leaks or movement.

I vaguely remember when I originally removed the poptop years ago that it had a kind of plastic right angled strip running the length of the gutter, but cannot work out A) What was the purpose of it, and B) How I could secure the poptop to both this angled plastic and to the van if it is needed

This is what it originally had:







Can anyone offer any advice? Did I use the wrong bonding agent (Sikaflex)? Did I not apply even pressure or too much pressure? Did I not key / clean the surface appropriately? Can I just add more sikaflex after to patch the holes/gaps that might appear? Should I not bond the front and rear and go with the rubber seal / screw to roof method again?

If anyone has guide to doing this I would be very happy.

Cheers in advance for any help  :ok
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Re: T25 Autosleeper Trooper Poptop Re-bonding

Post by repoort on Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:46 pm

....I'm afraid that I'm not knowledgeable to help solve your problems, but I do know that Sikaflex is a generic name that covers a range of different sealers/adhesives to cover a multitude of applications, quite a few different numbers for various types of bonding.
There has been useful information on this subject on the VWT4 forum....though I'm afraid that I found some of it confusing, and ended up using a different product altogether - Tiger Seal...there is only one of those.
So apart from anything else, it might be possible that the wrong Sikaflex was used on your roof.
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So far so good

Post by andyp on Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:00 am

Hello.   I had a serious problem where my Bedford cx hi-top was leaking all round the body joint and various attempts with filler,mastic,silicone and even resin had been  tried in different spots by previous owners. The top appears to have been screwed with self tappers originally and these had failed primarily due to rust in the remaining roof above the gutter lip. My solution was working from the inside to remove all the rusted roof, Clean up and treat the metal surfaces with converter, roughen the tops sides for a key  and then fibreglass a 3inch strip of chop strand matt all the way round half on the body and half to the top sides. This attached the top to the remaing frame and also reinforced the edge of the top from the inside as cracks and splits were present in the tops edges. I then worked round the outside cleaning up the gutter to top joint and using epoxy resin to fill any gaps between which I found. This was in 2014 and I have not had a leak from the joint but whether in the long term the vibration when driving or temperature expansion differences flexing will cause cracking who can tell. I have only done a quick rattle can finish on the outside as I do intend to fibreglass a fine bandage all round the gutter when  I finally get round to a full respray.  The downside is my hi top, should it ever need to come off would probably be wrecked in the process.

Andy
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