Vanagon – mucking around after the pop top hole was cut

Not as much progress as I would have liked today. Was warm for these parts, 27 C or so (yeah, not hot), and I mostly got a suntan on the back of my neck as I mulled over how to treat the cut opening. I am heading to copy what bquip did in this samba thread, but probably won’t laminate plywood for the ends as he did. I’m leaning more to aluminum all round. First thing I did was put on another coat of Sikkens Cetol 1 on the front headliner, this time with fine steel wool followed by a rub with a dry rag. Skipping ahead to the end of the day, the finish was dry and I rubbed on some wax and did a test fit.

The slight buckle at the front will be eliminated when I screw the headliner to the metal above the windscreen. These screws have double duty, they also attach snaps for the front curtain. Boy the picture sure shows up the flaws in the finish. I added a hole on the passenger side for another light. The rear sides are shown next. Actually these pics were taken when I did a first trial fit before the headliner was finished.

The exposed edges of the wood will be covered by trim moulding. I trimmed the roof a bit more on the sides so the roof was flush with the box section. I experimented with bending some aluminum angle to see how well I could match the angle between the roof and the box section. Just as bquip did, I will pop rivet the angle onto the roof and box section then attach another bit of angle to act as support for pop top lifting assembly and the fold out portion of the bed.

I’ll also have to form that angle so it conforms the the ridge on the roof skin (foreground in above pic). Those ledger strips I attached continue on to the rear of the van. I installed them even though I have the later model door valence and kitchen trough which hides the area above the strip (it is exposed on the earlier model westies). I did it so that I could try springing a plywood headliner in the rear. I’m not sure it will work easily, a test with a narrow bit of scrap shows that the wardrobe end interferes with the plywood. I’ll have to do some cutting of the headliner to make it fit. The plywood fits at the rear, shown here.

But not so well at this point.

But I think I can make it work. Edit – I’m an idiot, I just realised that the “valences” (trough on kitchen side, and the one on the door side) will interfere on both sides. I think then I will fit the headliner into the gap between the roof and the box section, trimming at the forward end to fit around the cross member.

  1. #1 by Ed on July 24, 2011 - 9:16 pm

    coming along nicely!
    going to be one nice interior once you are done!

  2. #2 by Simon on July 27, 2011 - 7:15 am

    When are you gonna make me one of those beautiful headliners?

    • #3 by albell on July 27, 2011 - 7:50 am


      You don’t want a “cottage-style” headliner do you? One thing I have to fix however… either I cut f-holes in it or I glue some foam rubber on the back. It’s a bit of a soundboard as is.

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