I marked out the hole locations on the roof and drilled them. Made the holes oversize a bit, about 3/8″ diameter. I admit to dicking around and procrastinating with this pop top install project, but now that I have actually removed a little metal from the roof I’m committed.
Then I hammered down the metal where the hinge sits, just a little bit so that the hinge sits vertical by itself. I did a nicer job on the left side than the right which was my first attempt. I scratched the paint on that side and had to use some touch up paint. Added insult to injury was the paint spattering.
I thought that installing the threaded backing plates would be a pain, but it turned out to be very easily. I used double sided tape to stick on a bit of aluminum flashing to the backing plate so that I could maneuver the plate up inside. I could stand on a box outside looking through the drilled holes and reach around in the van to move the plate into position. I had the notion that I could squirt some caulk in the drilled holes so that the plate could be stuck onto the inside surface of the roof, but as it turned out the plate wedged in tight and doesn’t move out of position.
Ok, so next step is to go over the big hole dimensions and then… cut it out.