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Old 09-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Pics of the newly finished home made soft top

Have been working on this soft top for a couple of years. It was finally completed a few months ago and I have been enjoying using it tremendously:



There are quite a few different looks/functions with all the zippers and pieces that can either be zipped off/on or rolled up:


The whole point was to have a solid structure for both the soft top which can also be used to bolt/fasten a number of things to as well as extra room overhead. For instance, a net/webbing for your dog, a roof rack that needs no external uprights for support, light attachments, etc. The overhead room comes in handy for soft camping gear, fishing supplies, etc.

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Old 09-15-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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The sides and rear window roll up:

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Old 09-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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And the back provides quick access:
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Squint,

Looks like the old Land Rover soft tops of a bygone era... your tops looks fantastic!!! It looks so much better and functional than the OEM stuff. Great job!! Who did your sewing?

Take care,
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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Squint,

Looks like the old Land Rover soft tops of a bygone era... your tops looks fantastic!!! It looks so much better and functional than the OEM stuff. Great job!! Who did your sewing?

Take care,

Thanks
Basically, the idea was to have my wife sew it, however, it was taking me a long time to make patterns and measure in between so I was always interupting her or needing small bits sewn while she was not here. For those reasons, I started researching sewing techniques and ended up doing it myself. I learned lots and now have many other ideas that I will be able to put into form.

When I was in the army (a long time ago ) there were still some old Jeeps and duece and a halfs which had roughly the same structure and I really wanted something similar for years. The need for a daily driver, a little bit of extra room and road manners lured me to the LJ, but I still desired one of those old style vehicles with the arched canvas tops. I started thinking about how to emulate this style and came up with a support structure that bolts into the factory holes that would indeed support a roof rack and would hold up much longer than the typical soft top hardware. These are some of the types of vehicles that gave me inspiration during the design phase:








When researching exactly how I was going to put this into form, I also looked into not only old Jeep tops, but all types of military vehicles, Land Rovers, Land Cruisers, Nissan Patrols, Suzukis, and Gwagons. I realized they all all things in common and for this reason, there is a noticeable kinship.

Thanks for the question/comment.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:22 PM   #6
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Along with the rear window rolling up, the whole rear panel rolls up as well:
This comes in handy if it might rain or get hot or cold quickly. (It is much easier/faster to roll down than it is to roll them up.)



The front quarter panels can eaither be left on, or taken off:



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Old 09-17-2012, 10:23 PM   #7
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All I can say is WOW... If you should ever decide to put together one of these as a kit, or as a complete package for the YJ, name your price and I want one... I have a brand new BestTop that I would toss in the trash to get one like what you have made.
Absolutely perfect!!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #8
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Squint,

I have to agree with Carlsbad, your top is the best I have ever seen! It adds so much class to a jeep! It looks well thought out and pretty rugged. It truly is the best I have seen. Thanks for showing us jeepers how creative "us" jeepers can be, when we want to.

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:15 AM   #9
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Thought I was going to be subjected to a horribly cobbled together travesty on this thread but the end product looks absolutely amazing and appears to be very functional.
You have every right to be proud of a job well done.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:37 AM   #10
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that is completely awesome. well done sir!

i'd love to do something like that, but i know it would never come out so nice.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:28 AM   #11
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WOW! "Rainman has skills". Great job, I as well would love to own one of these should they ever become available for TJ's. Truely impressed.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:33 AM   #12
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very nice work. between the top and the solid wheels your rig looks like its right out of a by gone time.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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That top is awesome. I like it better that the stock ones.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:38 PM   #14
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Man, that rocks.

Love the old school look.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:40 PM   #15
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Thought I was going to be subjected to a horribly cobbled together travesty on this thread but the end product looks absolutely amazing and appears to be very functional.
You have every right to be proud of a job well done.


Me too. Right before I clicked I had visions of some kinda tarp tied to the roll bar...happy to be disappointed.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:13 PM   #16
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Awesome Work!!!

Sell your plans to "BestTop". Great job and what functionality. Build it and they will come, er, uh, buy. I would. You gots talent!!

B
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:06 PM   #17
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I guess the words "home made" conjure up some funny kid's science project.

Thanks and I appreciate all the kind words and support. It makes it worth all the hard work.

I have had quite a few people asking me to build these over the past few months so I am actually working on it and definitely have some forward movement so stay tuned, but there are definitely some very large hurdles to get over. I started an "interest" list and the more people on that list, the better at this point. If you like, send me an email at gdon AT cox DOT net with some basic info: Name, location, type of Jeep, and color desired.

Oh and the sides and back also completely zip off like this:

Sorry for all the parking lot pics. I have been mostly mall-crawlin' lately.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:28 PM   #18
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very very nice. The first thing I thought when I saw it was it looks just like a 5-ton or duece & 1/2. With the wheel/tire combo on the LJ, it just looks so damn good. Well done sir. Very good utility out of the cover too. How's it handle highway speeds?
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #19
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Honestly, I expected it to be somewhat loud but it has quite a few straps and pulls together quite tightly which makes for an extremely quiet ride. . I have an OEM soft top which is very quiet (just a slight fluttering noise) and I would say mine is about the same. On the other hand a friend of mine has the same year LJ with an OEM top and the material is thinner and makes a ton of racket.
I used sailcloth so I believe that makes the difference. I really wanted to use something entirely different and almost went with an olive drab canvas, but I knew that would be trouble since they stretch, have to be treated with a bad smelling oil to seal it, and it would not last as long in the Arizona sun. There was another type of cloth I was thinking about as well which was softer, thicker and as durable as sailcloth, however, it would be extremely difficult to sew, the cost was much higher and the color choices were severely limited.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:19 PM   #20
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Email sent...
And stop with the pictures already... We get it... Its perfect... We all want one...
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:36 PM   #21
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Email sent...
And stop with the pictures already... We get it... Its perfect... We all want one...
haha - I was going to ask for some interior pics
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #22
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I'm thinking I either want a "Squint Top" or I want to invest in them.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #23
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Sweet mother of god...If I wasn't so poor I cant even say rich I would be all over one of these. Fantastic look!!!
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:42 AM   #24
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You got mad skillz (as my students say), Squint. My brother, who restores Land Rovers (Series I to III, just for kicks) would be proud...
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:00 PM   #25
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What you have created, sir, is not only a classic look for a modern Jeep, but a classy look, period. Your soft top design looks amazing. So versatile. Looks to be made of high quality material and craftsmanship. Very well done! As soon as my husband wakes up, I'll be showing this to him. He's going to fall in love.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #26
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Thanks again for the positive feedback. Some of the posts above are classic and made me smile. I will post up again when there are more developments.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:51 PM   #27
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Thanks again for the positive feedback. Some of the posts above are classic and made me smile. I will post up again when there are more developments.
You have until noon tomorrow, or the puppy gets it...

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Old 09-24-2012, 11:00 PM   #28
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I reminds me of soft version of jscherb's safari cab hard top.
If I had an LJ, I would definitely want one
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:38 PM   #29
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I want a top like this for my 97 TJ so bad I could cry...
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:59 AM   #30
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That is one cute little doggy.
It wouldn't actually make sense to make them for LJs only so TJs are definitely on the radar.

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