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Old 11-28-2016, 02:13 PM
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'87 YJ hardtop insulating

I'm trying to figure out how to insulate my '87 YJ hardtop. Tired of freezing in the winter. Does anyone have any ideas???

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Old 11-28-2016, 03:05 PM   #2
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I doubt that insulating your hard top will help very much. It can't hurt, but there are other things that you can do to get and stay warm.

I have a 1987 YJ with a hard top and my heater can drive me out. My wife keeps turning it down.

What I suggest is:

1)- Dump a couple cans of cooling system flush into the radiator and drive the Jeep for a couple days.

2)- While you are driving around, stop at your auto parts store and buy a 195* thermostat and a couple gallons of anti-freeze. Best bet is a Mopar thermostat. DON'T get a Fail Safe T-stat. Get a new radiator cap too.

3)- Disconnect your heater hose from the thermostat housing and remove the thermostat housing. Clean both gasket surfaces well. Drain the radiator. Discard all the old coolant.

4)- Stick the nozzle of your garden hose in the open end of your heater hose to the heater core and run the water until it comes out clean and clear. If there was a lot of crud coming out, shoot the water in the other direction.

5)- Follow the instructions in your FSM as far as installing the new thermostat. Fill with properly reduced coolant. Pour slowly. It helps to have the front of the Jeep jacked up as high as possible while filling. Once the system stops accepting any more coolant. start the engine and allow the Jeep to run with the radiator cap off. Once you see coolant circulating, install the new radiator cap. Top off the overflow reservoir.

6)- Monitor the lever of coolant in the reservoir for the next few days (assuming that you drive the Jeep every day). Fill as necessary.

7)- Look around the doors and the back glass. Are the seals fitting properly? Are they whole? If not, get new ones. Do you have any openings in the firewall? If so, close them.

8)- At the top of the YJ tech page, there is a sticky that describes the function of a YJ heating system. Make sure that your controls are functioning properly.

9)- As far as insulation for your hard top, some Jeep specific retailers/websites have Boom mats that are made for later model Wranglers. You may be able to adapt a set like this to your Jeep.
Some auto stereo stores sell adhesive backed mats that are made to absorb sound and are meant to be stuck to the floor. I don't see any reason that they won't stick to the inside of a hard top.
If you don't have carpets, you might think about installing a set.

Hope this helps. Let us know how you make out.

Good Luck, L.M.

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Old 11-28-2016, 03:11 PM   #3
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When was the last time your water pump was changed? If you don't know or if it was several years ago, I suggest that you change it while you are flushing the cooling system.

If you get a new water pump, make sure that you get one for V-belts, rather than serpentine belts. I believe the serpentine belt water pump has a "R" (reverse) on it.
While the water pump is off, you can see inside the cooling jacket and determine if additional cleaning is necessary.

Some posters recommend vinegar rather that commercial engine flush. Using both might produce an even cleaner cooling system.

Good Luck, L.M.
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1987 YJ-4.2L-Standard Shift- Re-manufactured Carter Carb-2" body Lift-31X10.5X15 BFG KOs-190K Miles
HEI distributor with computer and all related relays and wiring removed.
No back seat.
12K Badlands winch with dual batteries.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:55 AM   #4
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Al's liners has a product HNR, that might work. I have been toying with the idea of lining the inside of my hard top for the same reason.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:26 AM   #5
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Have you upgraded to the bigger blower motor? Might be something to consider as well....especially if you ever need to replace the heater core....I think I am going to Rihno line the inside of my top in summmer.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:09 PM   #6
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Make sure all of your door seals, hard top to body seals and such are intact and doing their jobs as well.

Do you have carpet on the floors, this helps insulate the interior from the outside as well.

A friend of mine has a 1993 YJ, tub redlined but no carpeting. In winter time he puts down large carpet mets in the from and throws in old blankets and such in the back. Not the sharpest looking fix, but it seems to work.

I have also seen people put a clear plastic " wall " using sheeting and duct tape behind the front seats. This in effect shrinks the area that the heater has to heat.

HOWEVER - a well working heat system should be able to overcome even some leaks. I installed a new heater core in mine and even now with no carpet, no insulation on the hard top, two holes in the floor ( drain plugs out ), and one door seal not sealing because windshield needs to be adjusted the heat output overcomes the issues.

I mean it's not going to maintain 85 degree temps when it is freezing outside ..... but I am confident it will be comfortable enough ..... I mean after all IT"S A JEEP ...... right?

And yet I have another friend who has a 1940's military jeep ...... soft top .... soft doors .... NO HEATER. He uses heated clothing like motorcyclists use when he drives the Jeep in the winter.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sccritterkiller View Post
I think I am going to Rihno line the inside of my top in summmer.
I wonder of a coating of Lizard Skin might not help .... it is supposed to minimize radiant heat from getting into a vehicle ...... but might it not also hold heat inside as well????

You can as I understand it, spray addition coatings like RhinoLiner over it.

Ceramic Thermal Insulation Coating - Spray On Ceramic Auto Insulation - Automotive Heat Insulation | LizardSkin
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:38 AM
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This is what I came up with.

This is what I did to my son's '91 yj. I got so shop mats from Harbor Freight and industrial velcro from Walmart. Spent under $20. He said it helped quite a bit. So, this last weekend I ended up doing it to my '87 yj.
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