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Old 04-01-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
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A couple questions about installing soft top

The nice man in the big brown truck dropped this off today...

and I have a couple questions based on your experiences.

First, roughly how much time should I set aside for this project (remove old top, install new top & reskin upper doors) as a first time installer? Secondly, What is the minimum temperature for a project like this?

No access to an indoor heated area to do this install, I have to do it outside in the driveway. Thursday will be the first day this week that temps will get to 50, it is supposed to be a sunny day but I can't start until I get home from work sometime between 3:30 and 5:30 and with the sun dipping below the horizon sometime around 7:30 I figure I'll have around 2 to 4 hours of daylight (and warmth). Depending on whether I have to work or not I could have all day or I could have 4 hours.

With my driver's side window looking like this...

I'd like to get this done as soon as possible.

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Old 04-01-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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I would allow about two hours to change the top. That's how long it took me to replace my factory top with the Bestop sailcloth top, using the factory bows. The trick is to get the top warm in the sun. Put a blanket or something out and lay out the top and windows in a single layer for a while. It will make installation MUCH easier.

Enjoy your new top. It makes a huge difference.

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Old 04-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #3
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Forgot you asked about temperature. Check the instructions, but if memory serves you really need it to be about 70 degrees. I know folks have done it when it's colder, but it's not nearly as easy.

Sorry about the double post.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:04 PM   #4
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this to me is a kinda negative...take your WINDOWS IN THE HOUSE AND RESKIN!! You should be able to get your house plenty warm...as for the top it self IMO wait until you are fairly sure of at least 60░ and direct sun for like 4-5hours...like a Sat maybe where it is already about 45-50░ when you wake up..and you can be in the sun like almost all day...only other Hint would be if you can park close to a Black or Dark Bldg on that day so you get suns reflected heat...but do your upper doors in your house.

If you have never done a top before or had your top down I would allow about 3-4 hours if it is below 70░
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys... looks like a Saturday project, If I don't have to work
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #6
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Almost ordered one today myself. Got to wait till Friday though
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:00 PM   #7
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Buster Brown delivered my Bestop Sailcloth R-A-T just a couple of weeks ago. I am just waiting for a mid-70║ degree Saturday where I'll have a couple of hours to change the tops out. I've struggled with just putting my OEM top back up after rolling it down when the weather was in the 60║s.

I figure for a NIB top that isn't stretched and broken in, I will want more than an hour in the warm sun to soften the fabric.
YMMV, and invariably will...
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
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Got the new upper door skins on after work today...


did them in the living room with the help of my son. Thanks to everyone for the advice given, it really helped a lot.

Going to fire up a couple heaters in the garage after work Saturday and go a few rounds with the new top.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:03 PM   #9
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If you can, do it on a sunny day. It will make put the new one on a lot easier....
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:43 PM   #10
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Will be doing this exact same thing in a few weeks! Let us know any tips after you get the rest on.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miked12479 View Post
Will be doing this exact same thing in a few weeks! Let us know any tips after you get the rest on.

Son in Law does body work...(replacing sheet metal mostly) and he "heats" his garage with a couple of the Halogen lights, and a small space heater....the lights if you are able to SAFELY get them closer to the top...MIMIC the Sun and the heat it has...there is something about the heat from the sun and/ or the halogen lights the way it reacts with the material....I put my new Frameless NX on in the garage, with a small space heater, and the lights...on a night we got 9" of snow!!
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by miked12479 View Post
Will be doing this exact same thing in a few weeks! Let us know any tips after you get the rest on.
My son and I had the garage heated up to about 65-70 degrees and we didn't really have any issues other than zipping the rear window in, and with a little heat from a hair drier on the rear corners even that wasn't a problem. That having been said... if you don't have a helper and a good deal of patience wait for a nice hot, sunny day and do it in the driveway.

One thing I would suggest is to go buy some #8X1/2 screws to replace the ones securing the top to the windshield header bar... if yours are anything like mine half of them will be corroded beyond use.

it was well worth the effort...
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scooba Steve View Post
My son and I had the garage heated up to about 65-70 degrees and we didn't really have any issues other than zipping the rear window in, and with a little heat from a hair drier on the rear corners even that wasn't a problem. That having been said... if you don't have a helper and a good deal of patience wait for a nice hot, sunny day and do it in the driveway.

One thing I would suggest is to go buy some #8X1/2 screws to replace the ones securing the top to the windshield header bar... if yours are anything like mine half of them will be corroded beyond use.

it was well worth the effort...
Went pretty smooth for me as well..didn't have the halogen lights, but got the garage heated up pretty nice with one of those big patio space heaters! All I have left to do are the door uppers this weekend so I can swap out the full doors for the half doors! Of course I still need to paint the interior panels of the half doors before I get them put together and ready to go on!
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #14
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Went pretty smooth for me as well..didn't have the halogen lights, but got the garage heated up pretty nice with one of those big patio space heaters! All I have left to do are the door uppers this weekend so I can swap out the full doors for the half doors! Of course I still need to paint the interior panels of the half doors before I get them put together and ready to go on!
what has already been said about doing the uppers inside where you can really control the temperature can't be said enough, and a second set of hands really helps when heating the fabric with a hair dryer and stretching it over the door frame.

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