Figured with all the help I'm getting from ya'll I'd start a build thread on my girl, Iridessa.
Bought her back in summer '10. She's a Moss green '95 Rio, 2.5L 4-cyl 5-speed with 120,xxx on her. I didn't do much to her the first year I owned her but about 6 months ago I got bit by the bug and now I cant stop contemplating what I should do next for her.
The first thing I did was plasti dip my wheels. The American Racing 15's I have on her are nice, but old and have seen better days.
So I took them off, cleaned them with a pressure washer, wiped them down with acetone, and "taped" them off using index cards (Jeff 2011). Used about 4-5 cans and was happy with the results.
Next, I wanted to replace the Bestop soft top that Iridessa came with. It was in great condition and never gave me any problems with leaking or anything but I was tired of it and the back windows were no longer tinted due to being in the sun from 10+ years.
So after some research, I decided to go with the Rampage Frameless Trail top. I ordered it off Amazon for $499.00 and got it a few days later. Installation was pretty easy. Compatible with my windshield header channel and upper door frames. Only came in black diamond cloth, which kinda sucks because its not as waterproof as sail cloth, but nevertheless its thick and the stitches are well crafted. Windows are much larger than the bestop and it reduced freeway noise by a lot IMO (no hardware rattling around and less flapping).
Some shots of the inside looking back
It uses 2 fiberglass rods that runs parallel from the front of the windshield to the roll bar to help discourage water (rain) pooling and a tie down that keeps the front half taut. Goes through the footman's loop to the roll bar and back. Also has cool storage pockets on both the drive and passengers side to store stuff.
While I was chopping off the front bumper corners, I also bought some new hood hardware for Iridessa like the hood hold downs and a high flow air scoop.
Tired of the hard plastic "off road" seats she came with, I searched craigslist for a while until I found a guy selling '05 wrangler seats for a good price. So after checking them out, I walked away with 2 new-old seats in great condition and $130 less in my pocket then I showed up with.
The seats didn't bolt directly in to my raisers, so I had to frab some brackets to make them work. After a few hours and some learning experiences on the welder, I finally got some to work
Nothing real special, but there sturdy as a bridge and the seats fit in perfectly!
The last thing I got to do while down south on my spring break was take everything out of the inside (seats were already out, but seat belts, carpet kit, etc) and sand blast the hell of out of it.
When I first bought her, she was really beat up inside. So as a quick fix, I just sprayed her down with bed liner, but I didn't really clean her up first.
So now wanting to take the carpet kit out, I wanted to redo the bed liner and just make it look like a higher quality job. I sanded down some of the flat parts but mostly hit her with a sand blaster I bought for $30 at Harbor Freight. Worked pretty good but took some time and patients.
Then I cleaned her out (vacuumed, pressure washed, dried with air gun, and wiped down with acetone) and sprayed some primer down.
Unfortunately, I ran out of time and had to come back up north for school and couldn't spray bed liner this trip.
In fact, I'm kinda unsure of what bed liner I should use. I'm leaning towards Raptor bedliner, but I've heard of people using RustOleum and other brands.
I have to say, you are the first poster I have seen, on any forum, to use reference's like you are writing a formal article. I laughed, but well done. I am sure someone will thank you for it when searching for answers of their own.
awesome, i really like frameless tops, if i ever replace my soft top i would get definitly get one. also i like the from bumper how you cut it. you should post a pic that shows the full bumper to see how it looks