I currently have a Bestop Supertop and I want to install a Halftop. My question is do I have to use the windshield header that came with my Halftop? Or can I just leave all the happy Supertop hardware in place and go about the rest of the install? They look like they do the same job. So I dont see why not.
You're going to get a new header when you buy the halftop. The halftop header has arms on the side, sort of like a Sunrider header. Depending on what year you have, it will let you flip the top back, Sunrider-style.
perhaps my current top is not the supertop, but the sunrider and i am confused. it is a bestop top and it too flips back. i have the halftop and hardware in my possession now but wanted to be lazy and not drill/install the new header if i didnt have to.... can i do that? normally i would just go ahead and experiment and try it out but it's -20 outside right now.
I have the Bestop Half-top and frankly I don't think I would do it again. If you already have the flip-top part it's likely the same piece. Just hold them up next to each other and see if they match.
I've had mine for a few years and I do like the look of it. I love that in the winter it cuts the time needed to heat the space up very quickly. It's definitely a quality item.
The downside? The rear where it velcros around the roll bars turns into funnels for any sort of rain. If it rains, you rear is going to be soaked. The rear window will also channel water into the edges which means the footwells behind your seats are going to be soaked and generally STAY soaked unless you drill holes (what I resorted to doing).
It also holds water. Without any sort of bow structure in there it simply holds water. I even park it on hills and it holds water. A LOT of water. Water that finds its' way down the velcro sides the moment you start moving (thus freshly soaking the inside rear).
It cuts the usable storage space into less than 1/3rd of what the stock top does which may not be important if you have both. I've run out of storage on it frequenly and this is the hauling vehicle compared to the daily driver.
Another problem: If you actually want to put the top all the way down it will take you a while. You have to release a lot more parts before you can put it down and stretching them all back is a pain compared to a normal top. The wind in the mesh rear window can whistle at times but you get used to that quickly. It does act like an auto-dimmer for the rear view mirror at night so that's handy.
Others may have another opinion but if my stock hardware didn't get trashed in the latest move I'd probably be aiming for a replace-a-top. I just can't afford a whole new top AND hardware at this point.
thanks. i hope i dont experience the water holding (maybe a beach ball in the back will do the trick? but i do want the cab to heat up faster. for me it will be just plain heat up because the zipper is torn out of the back window on my current soft top.
i said screw the cold and went ahead and did the install in the driveway. it was really easy. well, after i ditched the sunrider frame. there is a good reason you cant use the sunrider hardware for the halftop. it's called.... ummmm.... it doesnt fit right. yeah. thats it. So after experimenting with that for a while and failing i went ahead and drilled and attached the halftop windshield bar per Geoffs recommendation and viola! the thing went together almost like it was designed that way! ha ha
anyway i have another question:
now that everything is on i still have about a 2" gap behind the soft doors. i have some surrounds laying around here somewhere that came with the jeep but the guy i bought my tj from said that they were only used for hardtops. are those surrounds the key ingredient to closing the gap between the doors and new halftop? or did i miss something else? thanks
Here you go. The black surrounds (with the two bolts on the top) that the leading edge of the soft top ties into is the piece that you might need to have if there is the 2" gap. I can't think of anything else.
The other part is the tie-in on the bottom to keep the back down properly.
ah ha! these are the key! THANK YOU!
now for my next question. did you drill into and attach the folding windshield bar to the top, horizontal part of those plastic door surrounds? or are the plastic surrounds a seperate piece from the metal surround bars i currently have installed?
i am sure i will find out as soon as i dig out the plastic surrounds from wherever they are. its a little difficult to make out in the first picture but it looks like the metal square tube surrounds ARE a separate piece from the plastic, correct?
Bestop full soft tops come with their own door surrounds - I'm fairly certain that's what you're talking about when you say square metal tubing.
You would use either those or the factory plastic "wing" surrounds. The factory ones will work nice.
We supply our own surrounds because not everyone has the factory versions (if your Jeep came w/ just a hardtop, you don't have them). The Bikini top part of the half cab does not REQUIRE door surrounds, but it works more betterer if you got them.
The metal square tubing that runs from the windshield back to the curve of the door is a part of the window surround. They are hinged. The sunrider top (flip-back top) has two bars that come back and yes they use two screws on each side to pop in. I simply put the windshield header bar for the top in place, latched it as I would to have the top down, and drilled the holes that way. No problems. If it wasn't so cold (canvas stretched very tight) I'd pop the top back and take more pics.
As Geoff just posted above I'll volunteer that I have the factory surrounds. I wasn't aware that they had another type of surround.
Btw, is there any way to get the friggen things to stop pouring water into the back?!?!? They never want to completely close the velcro even when warm and essentially channel water into the rear corners! This is easily the most infuriating part of owning the top.
so since i have my top is installed on the previous surrounds (square metal tubing ones) i have to uninstall (unscrew) it and replace the square tube surrounds with the plastic wingy ones? (when i find them) and then re-drill and re screw and re re re re? yeah, i said that.
I've had a HalfTop for years and have been pretty happy with it, except for the slight leaking issues. Like AdventureMyk says, I have a leak around the rear rollbars, but it's not too terribly bad. It also leaked a little around the upper rollbars, but I just cinched those tight with zip-ties and that fixed it up good.
But I have a REAL bad leak on the seam where the vertical window part meets the horizontal tonneau part, in two places, both next to the "flex-joint" thingie sewn into the fabric to allow movement:
That blue stuff you see is silicone which only helped a little. Strangely enough, those "flex-joints" never did leak much, but next to them where the seam has seperated leak like a sieve. Tons of water in the rear footwells. The water just seems to run down the rear window and get wicked into the threads.
I'm thinking of gluing a patch on top of it. Where can I get scrap softtop denim? What kind of glue? Any suggestions, Geoff?
That's a different location than I have had as far as leaks. I have had the same problem on both half-tops (one got sliced and diced by some teenage neighbors before I moved). The water coming in on mine is the back window area where it channels into the plastic rear window. It was bad enough that I simply pulled the carpet up, checked where the little finger-troughs went, made sure nothing was directly underneath (heat shield for exhaust on passenger side) and drilled small holes at the tips of those finger bits for draining. The threading and such on mine has stayed very consistent.
If you don't have an actual hole in it you might try some Camp Dry which is what has been very useful on my tents, motocross boots, textile motorcycle rain gear, etc. Just go in light coats when it's dry unless it won't work well on the Bestop material (if Geoff reads this he can chime in with anything that would cause problems with the top).
How long have you had yours? I think my current one has been on for about 4 years now. It's the velcro that won't close at the rear that's causing the torrential floods in the rear bed that gets me.
I have thoght about trying to find a way to trim the rollbar padding so that it would go over the edges but that won't stop the rear canvas from filling up with water and becoming a funnel into these holes. They simply won't come any more taught, especially now with the cold.
I love the look and the design but this part drives me batty! hehe
I've had mine for about 4-5 years too. I didn't have this leak problem in the beginning -- the seam just worked itself open over the years. I'm sure constantly removing and reinstalling the top didn't help things.
But, yeah, I have the same rear-rollbar leak you do. The gap won't close. And the top is so old that the velcro strips have partially disintigrated. Last time I had it off and took a close look at my insta-trunk, I had some pretty bad rust on the bottom where it meets the carpet.
Looks like a nice opportunity for a design update around the rollbar area. A rear bow would help with the water as well as some way to have a larger flap that will secure easier.
Have you considered getting yours re-stitched where it's coming apart? there are a few places that can do it (look up anything with sails or upholstery) and go with a good sized nylon thread for strength.