aqualu 3/4 tub with real steel frame and bows for trollhole soft top installation challenges

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curtislow

Third fj40
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Sep 2, 2010
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Location
Western Massachusetts
I finally pulled the trigger and bought a set of bows and frame from reel steel for my 77 40. I 've been trying to find threads about installation challenges ahead.I found a couple ,but it seems like there must be more people out there that have done this.
I'm planning on trying to use the half doors I bought on e bay a while back, they're the old style doors cut to fit best top upper doors.Has anyone used this set-up with an oem soft top?
I'm wondering if there's going to be problems at the top of the doors with the fit and if there's anything I could do to have the top modified before it's made.
Also, from what little I've found there's going to be some modifications to the frame and bows to make it work with the aqual tub. Anyone with any info it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
Does the aqalu tub still have the weird frame braces on the rear corners (not a technically term)? If so, you'll have to drill holes for the rear bow to fit through. Real steel also uses welded feet, rather than the plain tube & bracket of OEM, so you might have to drill very large holes to get those feet through, assuming they still build that way. Haven't seen one in a long time to know for sure.

Old style OEM doors, but into half doors, with Best Top uppers, should fit the Real Steel bows very well. They will not have the, "bend" in them that later doors/bows have, and the Real Steel bows are the early, "non bent" variant" as well. So you should see a good fit up top, assuming you mate the uppers & lowers correctly.
 
Does the aqalu tub still have the weird frame braces on the rear corners (not a technically term)? If so, you'll have to drill holes for the rear bow to fit through. Real steel also uses welded feet, rather than the plain tube & bracket of OEM, so you might have to drill very large holes to get those feet through, assuming they still build that way. Haven't seen one in a long time to know for sure.

Old style OEM doors, but into half doors, with Best Top uppers, should fit the Real Steel bows very well. They will not have the, "bend" in them that later doors/bows have, and the Real Steel bows are the early, "non bent" variant" as well. So you should see a good fit up top, assuming you mate the uppers & lowers correctly.
Thats good to hear about the door tops fitting good. So no modification needed when ordering the top? The rear corners do have the bracing, but one of the couple of threads I did find showed how someone solved that problem with a bracket he made.
 
Thats good to hear about the door tops fitting good. So no modification needed when ordering the top? The rear corners do have the bracing, but one of the couple of threads I did find showed how someone solved that problem with a bracket he made.

Ah, that makes sense. if you cut the foot off, drill the right sized hole, and then use a bracket against the fender top, that would be a perfect solution I think. If it were us, I'd mount the hard lower doors, press the soft uppers into place in the frame & then scribe the right spots on the doors for mounting, then pull everything off & drill/mount, etc... so that I had a good seal with the soft uppers. otherwise, if you just mounted them on one edge, or the other, the top half might be too far out or in, for a proper fit.
 
Ah, that makes sense. if you cut the foot off, drill the right sized hole, and then use a bracket against the fender top, that would be a perfect solution I think. If it were us, I'd mount the hard lower doors, press the soft uppers into place in the frame & then scribe the right spots on the doors for mounting, then pull everything off & drill/mount, etc... so that I had a good seal with the soft uppers. otherwise, if you just mounted them on one edge, or the other, the top half might be too far out or in, for a proper fit.
Thats a good thought, I have'nt done anything yet with the mounting of the uppers to the hard halfs.Looks like a little thought is going to have to go into this, far from plug and play. That's why I wanted to post this up hoping someone had done this before with the doors I have to work with.Also I wanted to find out if anything could be modified with the soft top that I would'nt wish I had done first
 
@curtislow Do you have any pictures of how you solved this problem?

I have an Aqualu tub and am thinking about how to install.

@S4Cruiser warned me about this issue.
 
@curtislow Do you have any pictures of how you solved this problem?

I have an Aqualu tub and am thinking about how to install.

@S4Cruiser warned me about this issue.

John - the proposed solution mentioned by @SugarBear was what I was going to mention as what I think is the easiest and most straightforward solution. Simple, measure, cut, weld plate, drill holes, bolt down exercise.
 
John - the proposed solution mentioned by @SugarBear was what I was going to mention as what I think is the easiest and most straightforward solution. Simple, measure, cut, weld plate, drill holes, bolt down exercise.
Yeah. Definitely more work than I thought :)
 

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