My 1989 Suburban with a Westfalia top grafted into it... also dual 360 swivel seats

magic8ball

New member
I love your suburban. It's one of the beasts I show people when I describe what I want to put together.... And up until now I thought mine would include a RTT. But that westy top looks suprisingly...awesome. Damn you! :)
 

dbreid

Adventurer
Thanks! I work pretty slowly these days (having an infant cuts into your time a fair bit), but I am in the process of redoing the interior. I am trying to "do it right". All that little stuff I have been meaning to do, I am trying to do. Right now I have every interior plastic piece out of the truck and I am re-dying it all (keeping it blue). Hoping to have progress pictures soon.
 

Lug

New member
I have built this same rig in my mind several times. Subscribing to see how one looks in the flesh.
Justin
 

ReadinessRob

New member
@dbreid did you have to convert your front seats to a manual seat type of mount to do the swivel conversion or were they already manual sliders?
 

dbreid

Adventurer
I've been working a lot on it, but nothing super interesting. Headliner is in, piles of Dynamat, reupholstered the front seats with NOS chevy material. Etc. new carpet is about halfway in.

Still have wiring, carpet, and interior stuff to do. Just need more hours in the day.
 

Larry

Bigassgas Explorer
As said many times above, this is very cool! Great work! I don’t think I would have the guts to cut the lid off my Burb though.
 
and here's a picture of the van roof we used...
Congrats on the baby!

The pop-top is looking great so far. And you have totally inspired me!

I noticed that the donor top has had the sheetmetal cut, and from what I understand, if you want to convert a non-westy top to a westy top, you need the sheetmetal.
From the pics you showed though, it looks like you did not use the VW top's sheetmetal right? If I can summarize, you did:

Cut a hole, brace it by moving the stock braces, and fab some angle iron side braces for the hole.
In the front, attach the two mounting "posts" and a custom spacer for the latch.
In the rear, what did you do, just bolted the hinges on, more or less?

I have been looking over the years for someone who has actually done this, and it seems really rare.
I just might be next.

PS I'm in the East Bay not all that far from you.

Cheers on a great job with a great project,
Nick
 
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dbreid

Adventurer
Yeah, you got it. I bought the whole roof of the van because we had no idea how best to make it work. We considered "stacking" the entire sheet metal van roof but I think it would have been uglier, heavier, and taller. In the end we (and by we I mean Robert) basically bolted the rear hinge straight to the Suburban roof and cut and reinforced a hole. The hardest part was the pile of Fiberglas work. We had to shorten the front basket by like 8 inches. Not the easiest.


I think you could do this way cheaper with a 1 piece pop top.
 

dbreid

Adventurer
A couple other pics... Here's one of the swivel mechanism mounted to the front passenger seat.



Next is a couple pics of some Dynamat and the "under headliner" center console replacement plate I made. I needed something to mount a front dome light in, and mount my scanner or CB etc to.



 

tip

Adventurer
This is awesome!!!! Great work and thanks for sharing.

I never would have thought the westy top would fit on a 'burb.... showing this to my wife.
 

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