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Discussion Starter #1,181
OK yesterday I managed to install the Rear Window. This doesn't sound like a big deal but when I bought the top the standard rear window wouldn't fit and they had to make me one that was 1/2" narrower. I never played with it so it sat for like 7-8 years,
The Problem with the install was figuring out a way to suspend the thing in mid air so I could attach the bezel to the inside. Trying to do it by holding it in place by hand was fruitless. I finally devised a rope bridle for it and with the rear window open and the frame down I was able to get it close enough to get some screws started.

It is close but I still have to squish the two sides of the top together so they match up with the body. I will do this by bolting the right side down to the body and then loosen the screws in the rear window frame and then squish the left side to where it needs to be and then re-tighten the Rear Window Frame Screws.

Then on to attaching the front of the top to the windshield. I think I've got that figured out.

Point of all this is the fact that it took me the better part of two weeks to come up with a plan that I can follow to complete this part of the project.

On another Note: I was able to get Keys made for the door locks today. only cost me $40 ! But they work right.

Randy
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Discussion Starter #1,182
OK: I have been trying to advance the top install, but figured I should hang the doors on it to see how much modification they were going to require. I knew form several years ago it wasn't going to be an easy or quick job. Lots to consider here, and since I get exactly one shot at getting it right I kind of have to creep up on it.

Now that I've seen where the doors are at, I have to concentrate on anchoring the top to the body. This project will go one side at a time from back to front.

The top has to be bolted down just like on a Steel Body but the holes in the top don't really match where they should go in the top edge of the body. Probably going to have to slot the holes in the bottom flange of the top inward so that I can have my holes in the body in the center of the top edge of the body, as opposed to offset. Also need a reinforcing strip of like, 1/4 x 1 1/2 Aluminum Bar Stock that will act like a full length fender washer to help pull the top down on the body. I also have some neat SS Handles that came off some Navy Project that will act as tie down points for stuff carried in the back, bolted to that Aluminum Strip..
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Discussion Starter #1,184
Char; It will probably get a little worse. As the front gets pulled down with the toggle clamps, it pulls the windshield backwards which alters the Door fit, mostly on the front edge of the upper half of the door. It is worse on the passenger side. but fixable. The bottom edge of that door doesn't go inside the door jam on the body either, so it will get ground down to fit as well..

There is also some small interference between the front inner edge of both Doors and the Dash Board which has to be relieved. The new Dash is 1/4" thick, the stock dash was .060 ( 16 ga.) no big deal as it will clean up in a minute or less. as it sits both doors are "spring loaded" and under tension/compression when closed. They will pop open with the slightest movement in the body.

My big challenge is to get the right side of the body bolted down ASAP. That will establish the hole placement in the top rail of the body, and then once I know what to do, I can duplicate it on the other side.

Then on to the door project.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,185
Well the top is officially on the Jeep. This was not an easy project.
I started by sitting the top on the body where I thought it should go.
Then I marked where all the holes should go. Then we rigged the top on my Cranes Boom with some Ratchet Straps and lifted it off . The top was too tall to just rig is under a chain fall, So we had to improvise. After the top was Off it became evident that the places that were marked for holes on the top rail of the body, weren't in the center of the top rail. The distance between the holes was good however most of them had to be moved one way or the other to be in the center of the top rail.
Once that was done I drilled pilot holes and then Tap Drilled for 3/8-16 Helicoils which all went in great.

We then sat the top back on the body and found that 3 holes on the left side made up and only 2 on the right side. It was bolted down but not complete. After a week of recuperating from all the contortions I had to get into to drill all those holes, I got back in the back lifted the top up on the right side and walked the holes which ever way with a 1/2 end mill in the drill motor. It took me about an hour to get all the bolts in. It was now bolted down in the back.

After about a week recovering from that exercise I went after the over center latches to hold the front down to the windshield.

The top was tweaked to the left and it took a day or so to figure out how to pull it back in position. I ended up wrapping a piece of rope around the front edge of the top and pulling it towards the wall with a come along. This worked great and I was able to keep it in place while I drilled the first set of holes.
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Prior to doing all this I had to make 4 new brackets for the latches to hook into which went under the Visor Mounts on the windshield

There was something very hard in the crossbar that I was drilling into and the carpet that is on the inside the top was the MOST TENACIOUS STUFF I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED!! It would wind it's fibers around the drill bit and stall the drill.! I finally got two holes drilled and got the first clamp bolted down and quit for the day.

Next day I finished the mounting the latches and the top was officially mounted!!!

Yesterday I reinstalled the Rear Hatch. It was close but will require some more refinement to the fit . It works right now, but rubs on the frame when opening and closing. A little more grinding will fix that.

Now, Two other significant problems have reared their ugly heads.

First: the left front edge of the top is severely warped and doesn't mate to the windshield very well. I don't know how to fix that, and will have to consult a body shop for ideas.

Second: the Windshield has been pulled rearward by the Latches and the Doors will require alot more fitting than I had previously anticipated.

I drove it around the Lake with the top mounted and it is a little more top heavy than before but not too bad.

On to fitting the doors.

Randy
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Keep on pushing - It looks great to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,187
So I was able to get the drivers side door fitted a little closer, still needs a little more refinement but it is close.

I ended up grinding about 1/4" off the lead edge of the upper half where it contacts the Windshield frame. It Went fairly fast and was not to hard to get right. I need just a little more off the front edge and one spot on the rear to be good.

I will have to build up the top edge about 3/8"in the front tapering to 0 in the back so that it will look right and have some chance of sealing. The gap is not going to be consistent all around the door but it is the best I can do.

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A little better, but some more fine fitting to do, but close. still have to raise the top edge up which will be somewhat harder than grinding material off.

It is going alot faster than I anticipated.

Randy
 

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Getting all those parts to fit correctly is quite a task. Just imagine if you had to pay a custom shop to fit everything. Might be the most expensive Jeep top ever. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,189
Char: If you watch the show "Hand Built Hotrods" on TV you can see exactly what it takes to build as close to perfection as I think you can get. 2 years + to build/rebuild a custom car from the ground up and they do nice work!

But they also Farm out alot of the work like Interior Upholstery to Gabes whos been around forever and does the best work out ther, and a place called Mike's who does all the body and paint work and they are really good too. He said $50K for a paint job! is the low end!

I get back to my old saying from the 60's engine shop in town.

"Speed Costs Money,,, How fast do you want to go?"

I have pretty good info that the GTO Judge Convertible they did was $750 K,,, and the guy didn't even blink!
It was his second or third car they did for him!

Google them and look at their work, it is pretty amazing and I ONLY WISH I WAS THAT GOOD!

Randy
 
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