I was poking around on the net and seen a couple different types of soft top insulators. They varied from a quilt type barrier to a denim cover piece of wood and foam rubber. The thing was the price. For example the denim-covered wood was close to $150.00. There is not much too it so this is what I came up with.
I went to Lowe’s (similar to Home Depot) and bought a sheet of ½” styrofoam. I then went to Wal-Mart and pick up a piece of automotive replacement carpet and a can of spray glue.
I took down the soft-top and did a little measuring. I elected to go with two smaller pieces and more of a form fit as opposed to one 4 x 5 foot piece. To start the front I cut a 4 x 3 foot piece and laid it on top just in front of the center roll bar. After ensuring that I was all centered up I got inside the jeep and marked around the gull wing knobs, the soft top clamp area and the center strap thing. I tried to take my time and cut small then take more off a little at a time to ensure a good fit.
After I had the foam board cut to fit I then rolled out my carpet and cut it to fit the board. The carpet covers only the bottom of the board, I left a few inches on each side so that I could fold it over. I then sprayed glue on the back of the carpet and on one side of the board. I laid the board on the carpet and proceeded to trim the carpet in the corners and cut out areas. I folded all sides over adding more spray glue and further putting in a staple every four or so inches.
On the back piece I started with a 4 x 2 foam board then centered it up on the rail behind the center roll bar. The speaker pods kept it from lying well so I set a couple weights on top while I marked the areas to be cut. From the inside it was a simple trace of the speaker pods, later I cut a little 45 off of both rear corners to keep things smooth in the back. Applying the carpet was the same and with fewer smaller notches it went fast.
Once I got everything in place and the soft top on I decided that I needed to fastened it down in a few spots. Most of the front piece fit snugly. I cut one small slit in the rear center just big enough for a zip tie. I put a matching cut in the front center of the rear piece and using two zip ties I connected them to each other and the center roll bar. I then cut and fastened the back two corners of the rear piece to the back of the sport cage with zips. I should note that I do have a extra cross bar on the rear of my cage however this should work just as well without since the board rest on the side bars.
The finished product looks great. I have yet to hit the highway with it but with a short drive it does seem to cut the noise down a lot. The biggest impact seems to be my stereo sound. This really is an improvement over the poor sound I was getting.
I will try to post later but I am sure that on the real cold days this should be and improvement, most likely the real hot days also.
Another perk is that a person should be able to do this for a hard top or maybe with a bikini or safari it would keep the flapping down as well as prevent some water sag.
Here are the pictures. Total cost for the job is under $25.00.
The spray glue is not holding. With the carpet pulled and stapled on the back it does not look like it will matter. There is not enough material to sag, but if it does then I will put a strip of something across the middle to keep it up. So far looks good.
Nice job! I'd say that if you are looking for something where you could still take the pieces off, then perhaps some heavy duty velcro glued or epoxied in would help.
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i do belive it would cut down on road noise on the highway though.
I run a soft top year round. In cold weather, I tie a mil-surplus poncho liner between the rollbars... even that much helps keep it warmer.
Anything that puts even a slight barrier AND a layer of air between you (and the heated air) and the cold top is going to insulate.
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The best spray glue is 3M Super 77, High Stength 90 but they will eat most foam board, they do make Foam Fast 74 that works really well for foam board projects. I used to do uphostery in boats and swear by the stuff.
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Made mine over the weekend, and just put it in last night. REALLY like how it looks and would swear it makes a difference on road noise!
Thanks for the idea!!!!
If nothing else - it was a fun little project and what really made it fun was that it was a project that my daughter could help with!
BTW - I used foam board (that blue stuff at Lowes), liquid nails (spread thin) to hold the carpet on the front, and hot glue to hold the carpet where I wrapped it up around the back. Then, I had cut slots through it and used velcro to strap it over the roll bars.
I will take pics tonight - if someone can post 'em for me I'll send them.
SG... very well written, and very good pics. Thanx for submitting. Commend you for doing it in an '04 as well, since now my 'heep is over 15 years old I should turn it into the Munster mobile with all the 'fabs I've got planned. Again, looks sweet, and am sure it cuts on noise, and cold. I've saved your post for another project 'down the road.
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I did something similar for a while. I just got a 1/2 inch piece of foam and cut one section for the front and another for the back and shoved it above the role bars. It made a huge difference here in the 115+ degrees during the summer. I used to be able to literally feel the heat radiating off the top onto my head. After that I could feel nothing. It also made a huge difference for my little brother who had to ride in the back all the time. The A/C doesn't like to get back there really well. The best ten dollars I ever spent to make my Jeep more comfortable.
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Just a quick note. If you use any spray adhesive, use 3M Super 77. Plenty of tacky time to adjust before it sticks forever. 3M Super 77 is the standard adhesive in loudspeaker recarpeting circles. If spraying on rouch plywood, spray and let dry a "primer" coat of the stuff.
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