Thinking of Canopy Strengthening

One of the tricky parts of the canopy fabrication is that it’s all fiberglass and can be a bit flimsy.  Especially when you don’t have the windows mounted giving it more strength.  It’s also hard to push down the bottom of the canopy into place so that you get a nice even seal going all around the base.

I’ve been thinking about how I would make a more rigid structure that could be integrated into the canopy.  Something that would allow me to weld onto the mounting plates for the wheel arms on the front and sides.  But then could be fiberglassed right into the canopy structure.

There are other areas that I need more strength and mounting points on the canopy:

  • A base to mount my concept for window frames
  • Weld mounting points for my ceiling switch panel and three rear monitors
  • A mounting point for the linear actuator that will push the canopy open and closed

The one thing that I’ve been wanting to avoid was adding too much weight to the canopy.  It makes it hard to get on and off the car and places stress on the wheel arms.

That’s where I was really intrigued when I came across another builder’s photo of how he accomplished this same goal.  They ended up using some steel round-bar to create a light frame but still provide a strong structure.  Eureka!

I think I’m going to try out this same technique so I picked up some 5/8″ bar and 1/4″ bar from the local hardware store.  It should be an interesting concept that will hopefully work.

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