Truck Cap woes.
Hi forum members;
Couple of months ago I decided to purchase a truck cap for my new 2500HD GMC Sierra. Looking over few brands I decided to purchase the top of the line Century cap, because dealer was located in close proximity to my business.
Simple task, right? That is what I thought until I got the cap to my shop and attempted to install it. Simple task, right? Wrong again. The cap came in with protective base comprising of 2"x3" screwed in with six 2 1/2" deck screws into the base plate of the fiberglass cap. On top of the 2"x3" was another 1"x4" board screwed in over the top of the 2"x3" and into the base plate. Simple task right? Get a screw gun and remove the deck screws right? Wrong again. Deck screws were driven very deep into the 1"x4" that there was no way to engage the Philip's screwdriver into the screw. Got my Saws All and carefully made cuts through the 1"x4" on each side of the screw. Broke the wood away to find that Philip's heads were stripped out.
Out came the Wise Grips and another 45 minutes the six screws came squealing out of the fiberglass base plate. Now it was time to remove the six remaining deck screws retaining the 2"x3". Placing a screwdriver bit into what it looked like a screw hole in the wood I forced the bit into closed up hole about 1 1/4" to find that it was striped as well. Tried another hole with same results. Not wanting to damage the cap by cutting the wood next to it, I have noticed that the screws were sticking out about 3/4" on the inside above the sill plate. Out came the Wise grips again, and half turn at the time screws were backed out along with the 2" x3" about 3/8" away from sill plate.
By now we were over 1 1/2 hour in attempts to remove the wood base. Got my Saws All again and made 12 more careful cuts on each side of the deck screw. Now I was able to unscrew each piece of wood with the deck screw still in it, which were sunk almost all the way through the wood.
After over two hours of struggle it was time to place the foam tape on the cap. This was easy. Lowered the cap onto the truck. Positioning it properly it was time to clamp it in. That was easy as well, but I have noticed that the left vent glass does not close tight to the gasket at top, leaving about 1/4" of an inch gap. I figured that it was a matter of adjustment and temporarily disregarded it. I have reached for the single lock handle on the back glass to close it. I have heard lock on the left side snap, but not on the right. Looking at it I noticed that there was something terribly wrong with it. The right side bottom drip trim was not clearing the top of the tailgate as the left side did. Stepping back away from the truck I noticed that the frame which retains the glass window was mounted much lower on the right side than the left. Figuring that it was a matter of hinge adjustment I decided to investigate the possibility of adjusting it. Unfortunately the hinges were rivited in and the problem was in the mounting of the frame onto the fiberglass cap. The question remained, do I remove the frame and remount it level? Looking at considerable number of screws from both sides through the fiberglass, I decided not to go for it.
Reason was, that the screw holes would wind up next to each other and those on the right side would only be apart by a 1/4" at the most. With time, weight and vibrations they would pull through. Because I would be the one who altered the cap, Century would have a reason to void my warranty.
I have E-mailed a lady in charge of quality control at Century Caps. Dealer was contacted as well about existing problem. Being upset I called Century and was only able to speak to the receptionist three times. On the third day I called the dealer and informed him that I am placing Stop Payment on the balance check until this is resolved. On the fourth day I received a acknowledgment from Century stating that they are aware of my E-mail to them, nothing else. Being a engineer I wrote another E-mail to Century with simple remedies for their ailments. For example, use a drywall screw attachment which will disengage the bit when the head of the screw is 1/8" below the surface instead of being driven in 1 1/4" deep into the wood.
To set the back glass properly a simple base jig could be utilized to set proper height at time of the frame installation.
Till this day I have not heard another word from Century. Dealer is not willing to return my original cash deposit until Century credits him for the returned cap. It has been over three weeks now without a word.
What in this world is happening to our industry? Is this not a exact reason why we loose to foreign competition? I did not ask to purchase defective cap. I paid $1900.00 for cap that should fit like a glove as their literature claims. This cap did not even fit the description as "second". Now the funny part. The one partner in the dealership suggested that the cap be moved back on the bed, until window clears top of the tail gate. I was good and held my terribly aching response to his recommendation. All I have said that I wanted a new cap that fits properly as stated in their literature. His response was quote " I will not get you another cap because you are too critical of minor details" end of quote.
Since I have ordered an ARE cap which should be installed next week. Thanks, mad mad Boatdoc.