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Unread 08-06-2010, 08:20 AM   #2011
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackNBlueish View Post
When you starting a thread for that one? Thats one i'm interested in.
I don't plan to start a separate thread on the soft barn door, but I will probably post some in-progress photos. I'm finishing up the jamb right now, and later this morning I'll start on the upper. Everything is going well so far.

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Unread 08-06-2010, 08:26 AM   #2012
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean O View Post
I really like the looks of that rack, the cost savings is just icing on the cake. I know I'd be interested in it for my XJ when you're done or I can always go to my local HF store.

BTW, great looking pics of the hardtop bikini, that's a real unique configuration.
Thanks! One thing I like about how this rack is working out is the way the "fence" on it doesn't go all the way around, leaving about a foot open down the center - perfect for carrying long boards like 2x4's. Because of that I think it's actually more useful than most commercial rack baskets.

The hard bikini turned out to be a lot nicer to drive around than I expected it would - lots of open air, but no canvas flapping around...
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Unread 08-06-2010, 08:55 AM   #2013
jscherb
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Here are a couple of in-progress shots of the soft barn door, these show the jamb. Everything is just tack welded together so far, I'll finish weld it once I've got the door upper fitted and everything's working properly.

On the right is an outside view of the jamb in place; on the left is an inside view, you can see the quick-disconnects. The brackets for the disconnects are not fastened to the rear bar of the soft top yet, I'll do that after I make and fit the upper.

Removing the jamb is very fast - undo the top of the jamb at the disconnects, and lift the jamb out. The bottom of the jamb has pins that go into grommets in the tub rail, a bit like how factory half door uppers have pins that go into the half doors.

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Unread 08-07-2010, 10:50 AM   #2014
jscherb
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I finished the main fabrication work on the soft barn door this morning. The design worked out extremely well. In these photos, everything is still just tack welded and a few parts are held in place with Cleco clamps, so there's a little more finishing work to do.

The rear door upper attaches to the tailgate using four thumbscrews, in the same holes as the Safari Cab hardtop barn door upper attaches. The thumbscrews make removing the upper very quick. And the jamb removes quickly as well, as I said yesterday, it's just two quick-disconnects at the top hoop of the soft top.

I also added a small net basket between the mounts to provide some storage on the tailgate.





Weatherstrip will also be added to the jamb to seal the door. The entire assembly is very sturdy so I'm confident the seal will be excellent.

Probably tomorrow I'll finish up the welding and install and cut the window.
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Unread 08-08-2010, 02:02 PM   #2015
jscherb
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I got the window installed in the soft barn door this afternoon, and I'm really happy with the results.

I used an old clear rear window from a tan soft top for this fitting, when everything is done I'll swap it for my dark tinted black bordered window that matches the LJ soft top.



Nothing is painted yet, so imagine the bright aluminum window retainer strips are black and blend into the dark tinted rear window I'll install...



And the inside view...



I've got a few more tweaks and details to finish up before I paint the frame black, but it's basically complete and it works great.
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Unread 08-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #2016
lostone73
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Wow, All I can say is good work! I spent part of a Sunday reading through this thread. Worth every moment. I have a down payment waiting on a production version if it happens more than once.
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Unread 08-08-2010, 08:41 PM   #2017
SteelBlue_WJ
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i love it and all your projects! your skills are 2nd to none! I wish you were my wrenching buddy lmao
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Unread 08-08-2010, 09:32 PM   #2018
bravobravo
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about how much went into the soft barn door? it looks like something even i could do. i assume it involved welding of some sort or did the frame just bolt together?
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Unread 08-08-2010, 11:42 PM   #2019
ebro824
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Will the safari cab hard barn door work with the soft barn door jamb?
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Unread 08-09-2010, 12:14 AM   #2020
marcus2137
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Soft door:

Love it, it's even better than I pictured. The shoot from behind the jeep where it's all put together and the door and window are open, making one huge opening, almost made me cry. That's exactly what I've been dreaming about for so long. Doesn't look like it's too technical and I think that it could be a great practical kit for many jeepers. Good job!

My back window has a crack in it over on the side edge (trying to get something out of the back when it was cold, so it snapped), but the part that would go on the frame is perfect. So if I could find another window with a crack in the middle somewhere (so probably free), I could use the edges of that window and the middle of my window, which makes it a cheap way to 1. get ride of the crack in my back window 2. while getting my dream barn door. Otherwise, I'd have to eventually pay for a crack-free window anyways, so this is a much better option for me; just pay for a barn door and pick up free window that's cracked in the middle. Yeah!
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Unread 08-09-2010, 12:22 AM   #2021
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So basically, the window is just sandwiched between the frame and the aluminum strips we can see in the picture? Obviously there is a rubber seal in the jamb, but is there need for sealing where the frames are sandwiching the cut edges of the window? Maybe just a strip of silicon there? Seems very very doable and I'm kicking myself for not taking a weekend to figure something like this out before.

Can't wait to see it all painted up and finished. The view from inside looks great by the way. Obviously there is a thin frame to look around that wasn't there before, but what hit me for the first time is that the window can be pulled tight on the frame when mounted, so it's really flat. I think that having the thin frame to look around is more than made up for by a flat back window. Mine is so wavy and wrinkly, it distorts everything behind me. So this was an unexpected bonus that I see in your pictures.
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Unread 08-09-2010, 05:41 AM   #2022
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravobravo View Post
about how much went into the soft barn door? it looks like something even i could do. i assume it involved welding of some sort or did the frame just bolt together?
Yes, welding was required on this one. I suppose a bolt-together design could be created, but I think a welded design for this is simpler and stronger.
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Unread 08-09-2010, 05:48 AM   #2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebro824 View Post
Will the safari cab hard barn door work with the soft barn door jamb?
There are a few differences between the soft top and the hard top that makes them incompatible:

- the rear wall of the soft top angles forward quite a bit more than the rear wall of the Safari Cab hardtop.

- the rear wall of the hard top goes up straight from the tub for about 7", then angles forward, while the rear wall of the soft top angles the entire distance.

I suppose I could make a soft top jamb that would be compatible with the hard barn door, but I can't imagine anyone wanting to run the hard barn door/soft top combination.
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Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 08-09-2010, 06:07 AM   #2024
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus2137 View Post
So basically, the window is just sandwiched between the frame and the aluminum strips we can see in the picture? Obviously there is a rubber seal in the jamb, but is there need for sealing where the frames are sandwiching the cut edges of the window? Maybe just a strip of silicon there? Seems very very doable and I'm kicking myself for not taking a weekend to figure something like this out before.
Yes, the plastic window is just sandwiched between the aluminum strips and the frames, except at the bottom, where it slides into a channel just like the factory rear cross bar. I haven't decided if there's a need to put sealer between the plastic and the frames/strips, probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

The steps for installing the window are shown below.

Upper left - install the jamb to the tub (two pins on the bottom and quick-disconnects to the soft top rear hoop), and install the door upper frame to the tailgate (four thumbscrews).

Upper right - install the factory rear window into the soft top, over the frames. The window installs exactly as it does in the factory soft top - the bottom of the window is secured in a slide-in channel on the bottom of the rear door upper just like on the factory rear cross bar; and the sides and top zip into the soft top.

Lower left - screw on the window retainer strips. Once they are screwed on, use a utility knife to cut the door free from the rest of the window.

That's it, very simple and hopefully foolproof - don't want to take any chances cutting an expensive factory window .



Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus2137 View Post
Can't wait to see it all painted up and finished. The view from inside looks great by the way. Obviously there is a thin frame to look around that wasn't there before, but what hit me for the first time is that the window can be pulled tight on the frame when mounted, so it's really flat. I think that having the thin frame to look around is more than made up for by a flat back window. Mine is so wavy and wrinkly, it distorts everything behind me. So this was an unexpected bonus that I see in your pictures.
Based on where I sit in relation to the rear view mirror, the frame is at the extreme outer edges of the mirror, I really don't even know it's there. If you sit closer than I do (I'm tall so the seat is all the way back), then you might have a wider field of vision in the rear view and maybe you'd see more of the frame than I do, but I don't really think it would be objectionable.

When I do the final assembly with my "good" tinted window after everything is painted, I will pull the door window tight so it doesn't have any waves. It is pretty good now but it can be flatter if I pull it tight.
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"Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit

Last edited by jscherb; 08-09-2010 at 06:37 AM..
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Unread 08-09-2010, 09:55 AM   #2025
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus2137 View Post
...what hit me for the first time is that the window can be pulled tight on the frame when mounted, so it's really flat. I think that having the thin frame to look around is more than made up for by a flat back window. Mine is so wavy and wrinkly, it distorts everything behind me. So this was an unexpected bonus that I see in your pictures.
I you wanted a really flat window, you could even put a piece of plexiglass in the rear upper.



Today I'm running around with the door jamb in place but the barn door removed. Seems to reduce the amount of flapping of the rear canvas at higher speeds.
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Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
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  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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