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Old 04-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
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Bestop Bikini Top windshield channel?

Hello, I just bought a 2000 TJ, it came with a hardtop, but when I drove off and got home, the seller put a bestop bikini top on the trunk. I just took the hardtop off and tried installing the bikini top, but I guess I'm missing the windshield channel. How can I find out if I need the no drill channel or the drill in channel? There's only a tag on the top that says its made from bestop, but that's in. I do know that it velcros around the roll cage on top of the doors (I have no door surrounds). Any help would be appreciated...
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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Can't really see the attachment method from your pictures. The drill in header uses a bulb-looking piece of rubber/plastic across the front of the top that slides in to the header much like the tailgate channel at the rear. The no-drill (which I do not like) uses a plastic tab much like that on the side windows. It bolts to the holes where the factory header tabs go and are clamped down. My guess is yours is a drill in header, but I could be wrong.

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Old 04-20-2013, 03:09 AM   #3
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That's my question. I don't have a header, so I need to know which one to buy. I thought I read that they weren't interchangeable, so based on the bikini top that I already own, which windshield channel should I buy? Drill type or no-drill? The pictures I added were to show the bikini top I have, not the attachment method....
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:43 AM   #4
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Look at the leading edge of the top. If there's a plastic blade along the edge it's a no drill. If there's a cord or something similar sewn into the leading edge, it's a drill.

Another way to tell, if your Jeep is '03 and up it's a no drill.

I'm also thinking if there's no header already there, it's a no drill.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:13 AM   #5
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Doesnt matter which type you choose but most choose the drill less header channel. The front plastic strip is held in by the header which bolts and clamps in the two slots where your softtop clamps in. Remember that the drill in type header will still need to be removed for your ST to close. Go drill less.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wattapunk View Post
Doesnt matter which type you choose but most choose the drill less header channel. The front plastic strip is held in by the header which bolts and clamps in the two slots where your softtop clamps in. Remember that the drill in type header will still need to be removed for your ST to close. Go drill less.
Really? I had one in my '98. It was two pieces and had notches to accommodate the latches. It was a Steel Horse brand.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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When I bought my Jeep it came with a hardtop and a BestTop Bikini too. My Jeep had the holes already drilled and came with that the proper channel piece.
I have no problem with mine and I have it on about 3-4 months out of the year. I think my friend just put his bikini top on yesterday; I will check and see what he has on his.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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FWIW I prefer the no Drill...a lot of Jeepers have had good luck with the drill type and cut/ notch it so that it will "fit" even with the regular top...I never tried it.

If you show another pic of your Bikini top from the under side with the front edge we can tell you which header would work the best......IMO all headers and bikini tops CAN be interchanged on TJs not year specific..as long as it is a TJ.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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Post a close-up photo of the front edge of the bikini top so we can tell if it requires a drill or no-drill header.

Basically if it has a flat hard rubber edge it will be for a no-drill header. If it instead has an edge with a 'fat' end that looks like it would instead slide sideways into a slot, it's for a drill style header.

I have had both styles of tops & headers and the drill-style header makes for a MUCH faster & MUCH easier installation. That is what I had on my '97 TJ when it was stolen. I gave my no-drill header & top away to a friend & modified my replacement '04 TJ so I could use the permanently installed drill-style header. The drill-style header is harder to install in 2003 and newer TJs but for me, the extra effort was well worth it due to how much faster & easier that style top is to install. Not to mention you don't need to carry the no-drill header around with you if you don't want the bikini top on when you leave the house but want the bikini in the back in case of rain.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jnoriega23 View Post
That's my question. I don't have a header, so I need to know which one to buy. I thought I read that they weren't interchangeable, so based on the bikini top that I already own, which windshield channel should I buy? Drill type or no-drill? The pictures I added were to show the bikini top I have, not the attachment method....
Maybe I was not as clear as I should have been. I looked again and the last picture looks like the underside of the leading edge of the bikini top. It looks like a no-drill top.

Now for the "bad" news. I absolutely agree with Jerry on this one. The no-drill is an absolute PITA to install, you must remove the header to use your soft top, and you have to bolt/unbolt it to install/uninstall. The plastic strip on every one I've had (at least four) has been difficult to mate with the channel, very frustrating to use, especially if you can't leave the bikini on long-term. I have to take mine off during the week because if I drive it to work, I don't dare leave the interior exposed.

My personal recommendation is to get a different bikini top with the drill in header, permanently install it, and enjoy a very easy installation when you want to use the bikini. They are in pieces to accommodate the clamps for the header, so that is not an issue. And you don't have to remove/store the header when you remove the bikini. It's always ready to go.

Another solution, and I am considering it, is a Spider Web Shade. Check it out. It does not protect from more than a very light rain, but it's a great sun shade that stays on all the time. Flip the top back and you are ready to go. People on this forum rave about them.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:35 PM   #11
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U need the no drill...... Whomever said u need to remove the drill channel before u can close your soft top, is wrong!!!!! U do however have to remove the no drill before u can close soft top.
U definitely require a no drill header. The top u have is nice but as stated, will b a pain in the a$$ to install. The drilled version is a very easy slide it in and play...
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:52 PM   #12
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So it sounds like this is the no-drill if it looks like this?



I am having a similar issue. Bought a safari top (LJ) with no header bar. Then got the no-drill header and cannot make it work. The tab will just NOT stay in that slot, and it seems almost too wide, bending down past each side of the header.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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Yup, I bought a best-top a few years ago. Had to take the ST rail off to install the bikini rail. Boxed it up and shipped it back. I'll use sun glasses and sunblock.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:32 AM   #14
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Sorry for being late, had a busy weekend with the jeep! Thanks for all the replies, based on your comments, looks like ill be buying a no drill windshield channel!

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