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Old 02-17-2013, 06:50 PM   #1
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Looking for some help with a hardtop hatch.

I have an aftermarket hardtop on my Jeep, and I believe it is a Steelhorse; but either way last winter the glass broke. It was the kind that the entire liftgate was glass so now Im looking at trying to build up a frame or...

I was wondering if anyone could give me the dimensions of a stock liftgate to compare. It almost looks like I could get one to fit from looking at pictures, and I found a dimension of the glass that seems really close.

Its either that or I glass some plywood and make do.

Which reminds me, any fiberglassers out there with some advice, should I use fiberglass mesh too, or could I just get away with the resin?

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Old 02-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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Pics, and most aftermarket stuff has a brand name SOMEWHERE, you can contact them and get an estimate for a replacement.

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Old 02-17-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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Thats just it, I have no way to be sure what brand. I thought I saw a steelhorse tag on it when I bought it, but I cannot find it now. From what I can tell, there is no steelhorse anymore either. The only other tag I did find is completely blank, Im not sure what other top it could be either.

I just figure if I could use a stock frame it might save me from having to make one.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Have you tried an auto glass company? They should be able to match up a glass by measuring the top and hinge's.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Yeah, the local guys said they can match original OEM tops, but aftermarket would be quite expensive. Thats "if" they wanted to tackle it, since it was tempered glass they didnt like "making" it work.

I just figured to save on the lexan, or glass cost I could build a frame work out of 1/4" plywood and building it up with some fiberglass work then put a clear piece in; but if someone had the dimensions and it would happen to fit with an OEM hatch, then I would be one step closer.

Well, assuming I could find one.

Right now Im going with the plywood idea unless something comes up.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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I also have a Steelhorse top - it was on my YJ when I bought it. We should make a registry of Steelhorse owners...

For the moment, I also have a Factory hardtop (it came with a set of hard doors, and I wanted the hard doors, but not really the top). The factory glass is in my study. What dimensions do you need? Pictures are easy too.

ps: I'm not real impressed with the Steelhorse top or maybe PO didn't know how to install/adjust it properly. Doors didn't sit properly and it leaked. I took it off and went bikini.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by StanF View Post
I also have a Steelhorse top - it was on my YJ when I bought it. We should make a registry of Steelhorse owners...

For the moment, I also have a Factory hardtop (it came with a set of hard doors, and I wanted the hard doors, but not really the top). The factory glass is in my study. What dimensions do you need? Pictures are easy too.

ps: I'm not real impressed with the Steelhorse top or maybe PO didn't know how to install/adjust it properly. Doors didn't sit properly and it leaked. I took it off and went bikini.
Yeah, I bought it because it was dirt cheap, and I had no top with the Jeep; although it did have full doors. The fit was horrendous for sure, but a little finesse and sanding I got it to sit fairly nice, and the right application of the right seals and the doors do ok.

But NICE, I was hoping for the dimensions of the entire hatch, I guess the glass is a separate piece(?) basically framed in by the hatch? Basically, edge to hinge mount would be good, top to bottom measurements, and width measurements at the bottom, and near the top arch say about 3 inches down from the top edge.

Thanks
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:58 AM   #8
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Links to pics with dimensions sent in PM

What did you "sand" to get your top to fit better. I have a problem in the top corner, but there's too much interference for sanding. Another Steelhorse owner said that he added a spacer to fix a similar issue, which I'm assuming was extra weatherstripping between the tub and hardtop.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:15 PM   #9
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I had to come back about an inch to get the doors close, and mine needed to be close to the tub, but it was high to the front at the top of the windshield. I just kept sanding there till it matched the windshield and it all fell into place. I still need some thicker weather striping and some hook latches of some sort, but it fits ok. There was also a big gap between the windshield frame and the door edge of the top so I just glued some weather striping to make up the 1" or so gap and it cut down wind noise a lot. Kind of hard to explain directly, but I could take pictures if you like. Basically think "the windshield had to come back at least an inch, or possibly an inch and a half" for the windshield and doors to fit properly. Even then I still have a little over hang of about 3/8" off the back, but the weather stripping took care of that.

Oh, and for any future searches, it looks like its possible for an OEM hatch to fit; the measurements are so very very close that I would try it if I come across one.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:32 PM   #10
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As far as getting a hardtop to fit as well as hard doors, the windshield is adjustable in and out by approx 1" to 1 1/2". The side bars of the roll bar (above your head) are adjustable, if you push the padding to the front of the bar you will see the torx head bolt to loosen. Then adjust your windshield to fit the top as well as the doors at the same time.

I had a steel horse top on my 87, but opted to go with a stock YJ top since it seemed to seal better around the windshield frame. Besides it doesnt require that fancy latch system to hold the front of the top down, which i always thought was kinda goofy, cause its bolted in the back, why would you need a quick release system in the front?

The back window of a YJ top is nothing but glass and a fiberglass panel at the bottom where the handle and latching mechanism is mounted. Some of the older models, as well as the sahara models came with a chrome trim piece around the glass, but that isnt needed.

As far as your question about the fiberglass resin, if you want it to have anykind of rigidity or better put, be able to withstand you slamming it closed, you have to add the mesh with it. The resin will shatter if its alone.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:06 PM   #11
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only thing, my doors line up perfectly with the windshield now, if I moved it back I wouldnt be able to shut my doors.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:51 AM   #12
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Alright, got the fake hatch in, and must say not too bad over all.

Took a chunk of 1/4" plywood and cut a frame to fit the hole. Glassed it with mesh (actually fiber glass drywall tape) , probably only a little over 1/4" now and slapped a bit of plexi glass for a window. Looks like it was made for it, with a few exceptions; I didnt get too anal about it so there are still some touch up that could have been done so the surface would be smooth, and I could have made the window a bit smaller, but I figure a 4" "frame" would look good too.

Its not perfect, but neither is the top or the Jeep so it will work till summer when I can get some more time on it.

Looking for a picture site to host some picts...
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:32 PM   #13
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I use Photobucket - free and easy to use
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #14
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Did you ever take any pictures?
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #15
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I used a yj lift gate assembly on my tj steelhorse hardtop it fit perfectly. All I had to do was move the lift gate support brackets up 10 inches on the inside of the top. Now I have a wiper also.

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