Vanagon – picking up a high top

The start of Simon’s big adventure, a “Get-Away” hightop rescued from a decrepit ’82 Vanagon and taken to Simon’s place.



  1. #1 by Daniel on February 27, 2014 - 1:24 pm

    I got a nice Getaway 2wd Vanagon and I will lihe to remove the top to install it on my Syncro tintop. Is the Fiberglass Getaway top removable without damaging the top or the van’s body? How you did it?
    Daniel from Calgary

    • #2 by albell on March 1, 2014 - 8:36 am


      Sorry about slow reply. The get away top shown in the post was screwed down to the van. You can see an aluminum trim piece all the way around the base of hype top. Sometimes the trim piece has a rubber cover.

      Yup, sheet metal srews and some caulk holds the top to the van.

      One thing to note. The recipient van, the 91 syncro westy, had no need of anything of of be done to the roof. Well, apart from taking pop top off. But you know what I mean, no hole to cut, or reinforcements to structure made. If you are going to cut a hole in the tin top, just cut between b and c pillars. As if you were installing a sunroof. Don’t cut cross beam at c pillar.

      But you probably knew that, I’m just being cautious.



      • #3 by albell on March 1, 2014 - 5:17 pm


        one thing I should make clear. the donor van for the hightop had the cross beam on the C pillar removed. So it had a clear run from the B pillar right back to the rear of the van. Plywood was screwed down to make a bed. The removal of the C pillar cross beam was a bad move in my opinion. Factory we sties have a cross beam (different than the tin top cross beam) there. I think it is needed to reduce body twisting/flex. The hight top structure may provide some compensatory stiffness, but for sure if your donor van has that cross beam removed I would seriously consider welding in a replacement.


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