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 Sunroofs and extending the head space.

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  • Total Posts: 8
  • Joined: 8/13/2012
  • Location: san francisco, CA
Sunroofs and extending the head space. Sat, 01/12/13 8:56 PM (permalink)
Hey all, Awesome website and the amount of things I have learned here is massive, I am ever so grateful. I have searched for this and cant find much on what I need so posting in hopes someone can steer me right.
First off, I am pretty handy and am fairly confiodent I can do all my own work on this TRUCK BUILD but in this case, I am having a hard time finding parts.
I essence, I have a '97 Ford e350 short school bus that I am converting to a simple shave ice truck. The height from floor to ceiling is 66" and our local health departments wants it to be 74" with a minimum aisle width of 30". OK, so I need to raise the roof.
I see 3 clear ways to go about this.
  1. get a van "high top". I might even be able to find a used one. Just bolt it on with some RV mastic.
    • pros: easy to install. cheap, the run around $1000 new and I might find a used one.
    • cons: might not look as cool as some other options. I might want a sunroof anyway for venting and natural light.
  2. Build it out like the other trucks. I see these on a lot of trucks, they use alimunum extrusions and plexiglass sides, sometimes blue. They usally have some blue roof vents too.
    • pros: looks like the rest of the trucks out there, I get lots of natural light and roof vents are easy.
    • cons: I cant seem to find parts or plans for this anywhere./ I would be ok to just see some close up detailed pics of assembly. If i knew where to get the roof vents and proper extrusion parts, I bet I could build it. ANY ADVICE HERE WOULD BE AWESOME.
  3. For my third method, you have to imagine in your head these short buses. They are basically a fiberglass panel box put onto a e350 chasis. Just above the side window panels, at the top edges where the sides meet the roof there is a round-over (fillet) that transitions from the wide to roof. My idea is to chop the whole roof off in one piece just above the side winder and below where that round-over begins. The just push it up 12" or so and then put in some box aluminum posts all around and bolt it all in place. The fill the gaps with plexi, do the corners in bent aluminum.
    • pros: would look unique for sure. Keeps my roof flat in acse I want to go with solar panels up there. Also easy to pop in vents. The general look would be pretty cool i think instead of having that weird thingy like we see on so many trucks, see option #1 above.
    • cons: depends heavily on my ability to make the cut clean, I guess I can hide the cut edge with some extruded aluminum, but then the corners get tricky. Might not work? I sure wouldnt want to loose the roof on the highway on a windy day :)
OK folks, heres my problem. Any advice? Anyone have any pics of their roof thats been extended? All advice is greatly appreciated.
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