Originally Posted by armygreen
apologies if this is a dumb question,
but is there a reason why these are made of fiberglass or such and not just plastic? it seems plastic would be easier to make, lower cost, and may weigh less.
is plastic too prone to warping in the heat?
the new '07-later hardtops looks like they are plastic to me but i don't know what they are.
i'm thinking - look at a good beer cooler, how bulky it is but how incredibly sturdy and at the same time incredibly light. also look at SKB cases (i'm a musician), how strong yet light that stuff is. Could a jeep top be made of plastics like this?
Originally Posted by 2004_Silver_Sport
I believe the new tops are plastic. But I'm not 100% sure
Originally Posted by Oldguy
Way, way back, when the earth was still cooling
, "plastic" parts were made from hand laid fiberglass, now most plastic parts are molded ABS. Probably the newer hardtops are also ABS. If you're doing custom work you will probably still do hand laid fiberglass because it doesn't require sophisticated molds.
P.S. What in blazes is an SKB?????????? I'm seriously into music but I am not a musician. ( I do hope this is not considered a thread hijack
I Believe the new tops are still being made from Fiberglass.
They would be vacuum molded, this reduces the amount of Resin needed and reduces weight.
I believe also that the durability of fiberglass vs plastic is much better.
If you were to make a plastic top as durable as the fiberglass my guess is it would weigh in about 1.5- 2 times as much.
The only downside to fiberglass is that it doesn't take impact very well. It is however easier to repair than plastic would be.
If you are planning on building you're own hard top from fiber glass, plan on it weighing A LOT. Unless you are able to somehow vacuum mold it all.
My suggestion would be to buy a damaged hard top and repair it/ custom modify it how you want. you will get the structure from that and then can do what you want reducing your weight and time for customizing it.
I actually found a TJ hardtop that had been rolled, back when i had my 98'.
I repaired it and ran with that for quite some time!