Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

I'm in the process of aquiring a hardtop for my YJ for cheap - the liftage is quite rusty, apparently, so I'm faced with 2 options: buy a new liftgate/glass, or option #2 (preferred) build a halftop for the YJ. In the winter, I'd like to run it w/a tonneau (sp?) cover in the rear. Does anybody have any pics of a hard halftop setup or any ideas/tips to share on the issue? What do you think the best option would be for the back glass/panel... Let's brainstorm...
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

Taz, aren't you running a halftop? did you buy it or fab it?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 06:35 PM
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

In theory...if you cut the hard top right behind where the roll bar sits and cut the back 4-5 inches out with the window. You would have to cut holes in the back portion to allow for the bars on the cage and then add some sort of wall with weather striping to the bottom of the back to meet the floor. I e-mailed you a bitmap image that I drew up with this idea in mind (sorry about the shoty artwork) it was to many bytes to post...I'm not sure what you would use for fastners but it atleast looks like it would work.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 10:47 PM
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

Taz is running a CJ-8 half hard top. I don't see why you couldn't customize a top...but it would take some time and a lot of work to make it look good. You should talk to people who work with fiberglass a lot to see how you could make it structurally sound.

The only problem I can think of that you'll run into is that YJ's have those bars that connect the roll bar and the windshield. With Taz's setup he could just put it in front of the roll bar and not worry about it. With your setup you'd have to work around those bars...which I can already seeing as being a pain.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 11:06 PM
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

is this what you are thinking of?


Read this thread
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2003, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

I actually read that thread a week ago or so, and that's what got me brainstorming about all of this. What i've got in my head right now is exactly like that, only without the tail end of it, (i'd run a tonneau cover) and some sort of back glass behind it. I thought about using a windjammer, but that wouldn't seal up hardly at all (especially in a cold cold chicago winter...) So then I'm left with the main problem - how to mate the roof/sides of the halftop with the rear window area. I figure I'll have a whole bunch of fiberglass left over from the rear half of the hardtop, so I can maybe use some of that, or perhaps just make the rear wall out of sheet metal or some other material. Any other ideas/brainstorms would be appreciated.

John, thanks for the BMP. That's exactly what I have in mind - I'd thought of ditching the sport bars from the cage to the windshield, but I"m naturally wary of doing that... I'd probably end up making two openings for them to pass through...

thanks for the ideas! keep them coming!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2003, 11:18 AM
 
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

What'd I'd do, is take 3 pieces of aluminum angle, and attach them inside to the back of the hardtop. One piece running up each side and one piece running across the top. Fiberglass over them and then cut out a plywood bulkheadto fit up against them, inside and flush with the hard-top. Fiberglass that into the rest of the structure and it should be strong and weather-proof. Find some window or windows from the junkyard and cut the plywood section out to fit them.

Due to the expansion/contraction rate of Lexan and Plexi, if you bolt it to something directly along it's circumference, it will split and crack around those bolts. Steel and fiberglass expand at similar rates, but both are much slower than Lexan and Plexi. So... if you were to use either of these for a window, you'd have to get an aluminum frame built to mount it in and bed the window in a flexible silicone or bedding compound.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2003, 03:39 PM
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
if you bolt it to something directly along it's circumference, it will split and crack around those bolts

[/ QUOTE ]1. That's easily fixed..
2. Just elongate the attachment holes,
3. And use a sleeve around the attaching bolt.
4. That will let the material slide,
5. And not crack.
6. When I find a sacrificial hard top...
7. I'm planning on using glass scavenged from a Caravan,
8. For a the top and the back...
9. Both removable, of course...
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2003, 11:40 PM
 
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

I cut mine down just behind the rollbar, and just use a duster on th roll bar, Although it don't get real cold in FloriDuh. I used the windows as pattens to cut plexiGlass inserts whee the window use to be and the old rubbr seal to mount them. , I have not found any good looking trim to put around it yet.

In your place I would cut the top ,
MOun it on the jeep <<<Important to get the right fit
Get a big enough piece of carboard to make a pattern that fits snug
or small enouh to use some sort of rubber gasket or seal around it
J C witney sells a multitude of varieties of rubber seal.
trace it on to a study sheet of ply wood
cut out windows where necessary
cut it out
and use muffler " U" bolts to mount it to the roll bar,
Paint or seal it up good with some marine urethane or exterior paint.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2003, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Anybody have pics/writeup of a hard halftop?

I've decided to do this: I'm going to cut the top right before the rear window, and again right after it. So I'll basically be using the liftgate/back area of the top as the rear window. I'll just be moving it forward a bunch. I'm going to get three pieces fo sheet metal, one for each side and one for the roof, and secure the two pieces together with the sheet metal and some screws. Then I'm going to use fiberglass matting &amp; hardener/resin to fill in the small gap that will be left. I think it will work out nicely and leave a nice finish. I'll let you guys know how it turns out.
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