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aelwero 10-06-2011 04:20 PM

fabbin some alternate freedom panels?

Originally Posted by Celtic (Post 1632537)
I would rather see Chrysler do a dark tinted glass Freedom Top option for both the front two panels and the rear enclosure.

that one sentence has been stuck in my head all day...

I'm thinking smoked plexi, heated up and rolled to match the curve of the existing freedom panels (probably heated and formed using the actual freedom panel as a guide...), with some fabbed structure around the outside, probably a PVC pipe frame (lightweight, easy to work, and cemented together properly, nice and solid... probably 'glass it to make it look a little cleaner...) on the underside to lend structure to it and to provide somewhere to attach mounting hardware (perhaps even the actual OEM fittings). then a rear seat "freedom extension" set, fabbed the same way but with some sort of mounting system that goes on the back roll bar (probably something very similar to the big circle screw ins on the back of the front freedom panels, and the allen bolts from the factory top holding the front), and then leave the back open, or maybe build a curved "turtle back" style cover for the cargo area using the same method...

started out in my head as a "novel idea" kinda deal, but I'm starting to think I'm gonna hafta try this...

any thoughts?

schnutzy 10-06-2011 11:47 PM


aelwero 10-07-2011 11:01 PM

went around to hardware stores and got some materials...
got an initial frame put together... the concept was to just have a few straps at key points for now, trying to keep it as simple as I can. primed and cemented it all up, making sure to keep everything level and straight (it doesn't come back apart once you get it cemented up). and took it out for a test fit.
3 straps on it at this point, and it's pretty darn secure :) there's a little bit of play in it, but attaching the plexi to the top will eliminate what little there is. the mating surface is completely flat with the single curved edge, and I'm pretty sure I can form that using the existing panel as a form with a small butane torch and some patience. straps are rated at 800 pounds and are attached to the frame itself with screws, so it's probably more secure than the factory panel.
rear strap. this one is actually screwed to the plastic portion of the sound bar, because it would be a PITA to wrap it all the way around every time.
side strap.
front attaches to the footmans loop that the factory panels clamps in on. I rotated the strap up a bit before screwing it on to maximise the downward tension on this one. It might have to get redone somehow though, because I'm not sure if it's going to have enough downward pull, especially with this:
thsi front outer elbow is sitting directly on the steel bracket that the rollbar attaches to at the windshield, and it looks a little tall :facepalm:

gonna do some surgery on it with an angle grinder tomorrow and see if it's still viable. If not, I'm either going to have to cut the corner off and put in two more 45 degree corners, or scrap the whole frame and start over with 1". total cost for this PVC frame is at $10, $4.90 for the 10' PVC stick, .80 cents for each elbow, and the straps will just move to the new frame if it comes to that, so meh :)

Smoked plexi ain't happenin... only way to get it in a large enough size is custom order off the 'net and ship... $150 per panel... Aint' spendin that much without a proof of concept at least :)

anyone ever tried nightshades paint on clear plexi?
thinkin either that or the "magnetic cling" style window tint (which will also help keep scratches down... bonus)

It's raining (it almost never rains in el paso, except on the day that I would rather have my freedom panel off the jeep to use as a plexi form...), so I have the freedom panels put back on, so no forming today...

IP0VV3R 10-08-2011 09:03 PM

You could probably use clear plexiglas and put window tint on it

VinceAlten 11-01-2011 07:14 PM

Lookin good! I just bought a 91 jeep and looking for a top, but this looks pretty awesome so far! I am in Las Cruces until March and need to complete my jeep projects by mid Feb to be able to ship it overseas... Might look into something similar if yours turns out as good as I think it will!

IP0VV3R 12-03-2011 12:17 AM

Have you gotten anywhere on this

aelwero 12-03-2011 02:52 AM

Nothing recent. Our newborn is having apneatic episodes related to being a preemie and requires a huge amount of attention. Mods, projects, and even sleeping have all been put on hold for a while..

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