Making a summer time top - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
Jim1611
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Making a summer time top

I've been thinking of a bikini top and would like to buy one from the guy on here that's making them but as of right now he doesn't have a pattern to make them to fit a YJ family bar. So it set me thinking and looking at other options. I had an idea to take a full top and cut the back end off it. I have a decent fiberglass top I want to refurbish and this other hard top that's seen better days. It's got a hole where a sun roof used to be, I got it that way and the hinge areas are in bad shape for the rear lid. It's a good candidate for the job. I ran across this thread https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f27/...42/index2.html

I need another project like I need another hole in my head but what's your thoughts on this idea? The top that is Here's what he came up with.

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post #2 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 04:36 PM
John Strenk
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Kinda like the top.
Looks like he has a windjammer in the back also


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post #3 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
Kinda like the top.
Looks like he has a windjammer in the back also
It does look that way. I don't want to have one of them but see it being okay.


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post #4 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 08:44 PM
BrutusBlue
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I have thought about converting a full soft top into a safari top that is similar in design to the member on here that makes safari tops. I have one of his tops and it is of superior quality. My current soft top is nearing the end of its life cycle. I think by utilizing a similar YJ/CJ style support bar system where the windows are completely cut off and the fabric is re-sewn around the top edges could produce a very workable safari top. It would be hard to justify the cost of hacking up a new top or even destroying one of my hard tops as an experiment but a used soft top might be a viable option.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 09:55 PM
jlcoble
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I cut a old cj top down it workes great for a bikini top
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 12:00 AM
BagusJeep
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You could buy a safari top, but I think you could do better than the "Pavement Ends" safari top I put on my CJ with YJ family cage. It uses the same channel as a bikini, screwed on the top of the CJ windsheld, velcro attachments to the roll bars, a tension strap down the middle and two oddly placed straps at the rear corners which do not tighten it up (maker denied that was his fault, blamed my cage)

First off if you have steel doors, it does not reach the doors. It leaves a 1 1/2" gap each side. Now that is not my fault, the pics showed it meeting the doors.

The sides do not grip the bars very well so water ponds on top. If the longitudinal strap is really tight it is not too bad, slack and you get about 10 gallons of water. And where does it go? Yes, through that blessed gap.

I taughtened up the back with 9" rubber tarp straps down to the seat belt bolt. This worked much better than the straps which were sewn to odd places.

Oh, and it had "Made in China" on a large label on the outside of the top, I cut that off from sheer embarassment.

The best thing about it was that part from being short and with straps in the wrong places, it was made from a quality sailcloth that has not faded in the tropical sun.

You can make it yourself to fit better, then good for you. I would defo add some flaps above the doors if you have steel doors and a transverse tension strap would also be great. A cut down front part from a CJ hard top and a bit of sailcloth at the back is another idea.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
Jim1611
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrutusBlue View Post
I have thought about converting a full soft top into a safari top that is similar in design to the member on here that makes safari tops. I have one of his tops and it is of superior quality. My current soft top is nearing the end of its life cycle. I think by utilizing a similar YJ/CJ style support bar system where the windows are completely cut off and the fabric is re-sewn around the top edges could produce a very workable safari top. It would be hard to justify the cost of hacking up a new top or even destroying one of my hard tops as an experiment but a used soft top might be a viable option.
Good idea. I see them on craigslist at times. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlcoble View Post
I cut a old cj top down it workes great for a bikini top
Did you do anything to the edges after cutting it? Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by BagusJeep View Post
You could buy a safari top, but I think you could do better than the "Pavement Ends" safari top I put on my CJ with YJ family cage. It uses the same channel as a bikini, screwed on the top of the CJ windsheld, velcro attachments to the roll bars, a tension strap down the middle and two oddly placed straps at the rear corners which do not tighten it up (maker denied that was his fault, blamed my cage)

First off if you have steel doors, it does not reach the doors. It leaves a 1 1/2" gap each side. Now that is not my fault, the pics showed it meeting the doors.

The sides do not grip the bars very well so water ponds on top. If the longitudinal strap is really tight it is not too bad, slack and you get about 10 gallons of water. And where does it go? Yes, through that blessed gap.

I taughtened up the back with 9" rubber tarp straps down to the seat belt bolt. This worked much better than the straps which were sewn to odd places.

Oh, and it had "Made in China" on a large label on the outside of the top, I cut that off from sheer embarassment.

The best thing about it was that part from being short and with straps in the wrong places, it was made from a quality sailcloth that has not faded in the tropical sun.

You can make it yourself to fit better, then good for you. I would defo add some flaps above the doors if you have steel doors and a transverse tension strap would also be great. A cut down front part from a CJ hard top and a bit of sailcloth at the back is another idea.
Thanks Bagus. I'm so sick of Chinese stuff I won't even consider buying it any longer. I bet when that water ran down into the tub you increased your vocabulary for a while!


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post #8 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 08:37 AM
bob4703
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This looks too much like a Geo Tracker with the back half of the top removed. Jim, with your design skills you can take tape in hand and make some measurements an draw up a design.

I have long term (and mostly neglected since the CJ5 came along) VW Thing project vehicle. The Thing came in two versions. Most had a fold convertible top, but my Acapulco model has a permanent frame that supports a safari top.

Part of the revitalization of this German/Mexican POS is a new soft top. I visited a local shop that makes boat covers. The lady looked at picture and said when I get ready to bring it in and she'd fix me up. She uses unfinished fabric to make a pattern using cardboard strips for rigidity where needed and a stapler to keep it together. Sharpie in hand she makes her notes on the cloth. Someday soon I hope to use her skills.
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 10:34 AM
dolsoncj7
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We had the same idea for our Scrambler. I had an extra roll bar that I welded extensions on the back and then had a safari-like top made by a local automotive upholstery place. We never have the doors on so the half top and doors sit in storage. This top has been on for 3 years and I just now readjusted the straps. I think we paid about $200 to have the top done. $100 more than a Bestop extended bikini, but it fits and I know where it was made.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 10:34 AM
StoneTower
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If you have the rear metal hatch for the top that is NOT in good shape, and the hatch is in good shape, make sure you save it. I have read where wrecking yards junk really nice hardtops because of the lack of good hatches. Just a though.
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post #11 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 10:38 AM
Axhammer
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I have considered a similar way of making a bikini top out of a hardtop. My idea was different, but your idea has me thinking about it again. I thought about cutting the sides off all the way around, and attaching the remaining hardtop roof to the windshield frame and the roll bar. My idea would basically create a hard bikini top, so it wouldn’t flap around in the wind while driving. I never considered cutting it vertically and use the sides to support it like the ones pictured, which leaves a door jamb for the steel doors to close and seal against. I guess soft door would work with this too. I have a set that came with my Jeep, but I have never used them, and was considering selling them.

I’m not sure which way I would go? But this thread has me thinking about it again.

Normally when the weather warms up, my hardtop and doors come off for the summer. I don’t really see the need for the doors when it is warm enough to run topless, but some may like that option.

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post #12 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 10:43 AM
dolsoncj7
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You're right about the flapping. That Scrambler top flaps a lot. The normal bikini I have on our CJ7 is a little better. If I were to do it again, I'd run rods from the windshield to the roll bar (like soft top) to hold down the sides in the door area. It would probably reduce a little stress on the windshield frame from the flapping too.
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post #13 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 11:29 AM
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I agree with NOT hacking up a usable hardtop. I have seen several on CL that are damaged or abused that would make a good candidate for this mod.

This was taken from Rudy’s website.

“ We cut up and dispose of CJ7 hard tops with bad hatches. ”

https://www.rudys-cjs.com/hard_doors..._tops_for_sale

Maybe they will stop doing this now that the hatches are available aftermarket for $400.

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post #14 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 12:26 PM
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I saw a YJ many years ago that had a full hard top with the windows and hatch removed - used only the windshield and corners to fasten to the tub. The owner had cut through the 'B' pillar to the side windows, then from the lower rear 'corners' of the side window through the bottom. 4 cuts & remove the hatch - and now you have a full length 'bikini' hard top. I'm pretty sure a YJ top would look cleaner since the windows are bigger, but a here's the basic idea of what I saw (couple of quick Photoshop 'cuts' on an old pic of mine when the top was light gray).

I have to admit, it looked really cool, and got me to thinking of how someone could use a CJ hard top to make removable window panels for such a thing (since the CJ side windows are smaller than YJ windows) but I wasn't seriously thinking about it unless I were to ever have a spare hard top laying around.

Hope that helps!
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post #15 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlcoble View Post
I cut a old cj top down it workes great for a bikini top
I haven't finished mine yet I am looking at putting a back in it so it's a half cab with a sliding glass

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