Hi all, I'm a newbe jeeper. Went from the 'mom-van' to the jeep now that my daughter is 16. I love it.
It's a 2001 saraha automatic. (sorry, I can't drive, talk on the phone, eat take out, and shift at the same time.....ok, I can just don't want to. So the shifting had to go.
I've got a hard top and the owner before me just bought a new soft top. Bestop supertop. I installed it in the jeep.
Now it's a great top, no leaks fits nice, but I had a few issues with it. First thing you got to know is that I'm a professional seamstress. I sew OEM marine canvas as well as millitary contracts. I do both the designing and the sewing. (That's one of the things that attracted me to the wrangler. oh...the things I could do.....) But I digress. The problems I had with the supertop were ....
1. double zipper pulls please. It's easy to grab the zipper from the inside and pull down (back window) than trying to get the pull from under the tight flap.
2. there are webbing strips to pull the bottom of the back window from under the rail, but nothing at the sides. Mine kinda got stuck near the door and everytime I would pull to release it (yes zippers were undone) I noticed it pulling on the stitch real bad.
3. side windows are difficult to get on with the zippers starting on opposite sides.
4. the velcro on side windows next to the door needs to be sewn on both sides because it pulls too hard on the stitching when you pull on it.
Now, I've never sewn auto canvas (I've done seats but not tops) so I understand there may be reasons I don't know about or didn't think about. I've already done a few little things to help what I have listed above. I put double zipper pulls on it and sewed webbing tabs to side windows, sewed the velcro, no problem. I didn't do anything about the zipper because I wasn't sure if there was a specific reason for the zippers to be placed that way. I know the back zip starts at the bottom so you don't have a gap, but I wonder if the zip at the top would be a problem if it ran in the other direction?
I don't like how the top is placed in the windshield channel (takes too long) But I can't think of any better way of doing it and still be water tight.
I was thinking about making a mesh top using the rollbars. with grommets and rope (like a T-top on a boat) and maybe some of the other "material" products to go on my jeep, just cuz I can. LOL I think a nylon top for rain when riding without a top would be next, but I need to be able to drive freeway when it's on. and put it on QUICK.
So.....my questions are....
1. what do you not like about your tops?
2. What do you like best about your tops?
3. If you could change something, what would it be? (eg. "It would be cool it it could do this...")
4. Do you know of any links or websites that would be helpful for me?
5. What pitfalls do I need to lookout for when making a top? (eg. make sure the wind doesn't blow it off)
Thanks so much for everyones input. This site is great for info. I'm so excited to play with my new toy.
BTW: I have all industrial machines. I can go through ANY amount of fabric and I have access to all comercial materials. *insert Tim Taylor type grunt here*