Well, not to be deterred by the lack of response here, I will outline my next thoughts on this one. I totally understand that not many people actually do this sort of work on their trucks, instead shopping it out to a pro fabricator. For me thats just not an option, I called a local shop and he told me $4k minimum to pop the roof up, and I know that materials is only going to be under $500.
I need to post a pic of a local truck that has a similar vehicle, so to see it you will need to do some editing of the link since I cannot post links here. The pics is of a mini school bus thats been converted into a belgian waffle truck. Just replace the bold dot
with a real .
Anyway, you can see on the roof that there is an extension to increase interior head space. I intend to do the same, but I may have windows on the side and go with a different shape so that it looks unique.
In a nutshell, there is a welded 1" aluminum frame that is bolted to the roof with a strip of butyl mastic tape in between the frame and the roof. Then a hole is cut inside that frame profile. There is RV siding applied to the entire exterior, again butyl mastic tape is applied to all the frame where the siding touches, and then fasted with self tapping hex screws. When the screws go through the tape, it provides a waterproof seal. Then once the whole thing is skinned, RV edging is applied to all the corners, again with the butyl tape and screws.
For me, I am not about to weld aluminum and sending it out for custom fabrication is too expensive as well. Aluminum tube is cheap and there are several joining systems out there. I am a bit tired of editing these links to post but I can give you some google terms to search yourself if you want to find a good joining systems for aluminum struts that dont require welding. The search terms below are bolded, just paste those into google. 80 20 frame
: these guys have a few systems, the t-slot systems and in particular i find the HT Series pretty interesting for simplicity. faztek
: more t-slot aluminum extrusions and joining stuff. frame-world aluminum
: i used this companies materials before on a custom cnc machine i built.
Any of these companies will cut to length your parts and ship them to you. This is very good, you can design the whole thing in SketchUp and get your parts list together. Send them your order and you get the whole kit ready to assemble with no machining required. This is big kid erector set stuff.
You will notice that while the cost of getting these t-slot aluminum extrusions is slightly expensive, it is still way cheaper than custom welding or having a pro shop do the work for you. If you really want to save big, you might consider the HT series from the 80 20 website. Essentially with that one, you just use regular aluminum box tubing and the buy their joining inserts.
I am not affiliated in any way with these comanies, just trying to throw out what I think might be a great way for any food truck DIY folks to get some body modifications done without shelling out big bucks.
<message edited by ductape on Fri, 01/18/13 1:03 PM>