Bestop Supertop Question

Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Messages
16
Location
Spring Hill, TN
I'm installing this on my '74 FJ40 and have a question about the windshield channel- is it supposed to extend beyond the width of the windshield frame? It looks like it's designed to contour around the top edges, but this is what mine looks like. I've talked to Bestop and wasn't very confident in their answer so I thought I'd see if anyone here has any experience before I start drilling holes!

Thanks guys
Doug
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Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
147
Location
California
That looks wrong. I fit mine on a 69 about 25 years ago but think I remember cutting out about a 2" piece from the middle of the channel.

Slide the channel onto the soft top itself to see if shortening it would cause any issues.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
324
I thought it was there were different widths You could make it Meaning one side slide into the other. But no I had no overhang
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Messages
16
Location
Spring Hill, TN
That looks wrong. I fit mine on a 69 about 25 years ago but think I remember cutting out about a 2" piece from the middle of the channel.

Slide the channel onto the soft top itself to see if shortening it would cause any issues.
Thanks, yeah I was thinking of sliding it onto the soft top first. I did a basic measurement of the soft top and it looks like its the full width of the channel.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
322
Location
Port Orchard, wa
I trimmed mine to fit.

Thought I read to do so in the instructions, can't find any instructions telling me to do that now.

The ends of that channel are open, so if the top is wider it will fit out the end, which I'd prefer, especially with a bikini top that I remove frequently.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Messages
16
Location
Spring Hill, TN
Thanks everyone for your input. FYI, I kept the original width of the windshield channel, as that was the width of the soft top material and seemed to make the most sense. At this point it looks like the right call.

The rest of the soft top install has gone smoothly until…

I have everything loosely fitted, but there is NO WAY that the material in the rear will reach back of the tub. Instructions say the measurement from the top of the windshield frame to the back of the tub should be 81 inches, and I’m at about 83 1/2, so I’m pretty sure that’s the problem.

I’m thinking if I make some shorter spacers, that will allow me to lay the windshield back a bit more, but I’m looking for a common sense check. Appreciate anyone’s thoughts.

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Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
10,879
Location
Victoria, BC
Before making different spacers, how is your tub? Body mounts? Are the brackets bent that the spacers go to?

Could the cowl be leaning forward? Could the windshield be pulled back with the existing spacers? How do the front doors fit?
 
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
445
Location
Midwestern Flatlands
When I put Bestop on my '76 20 years ago my dimension from windshield to back of tub didn't quite match their 81" but I think it was a little closer than your 83 1/2". One thing that is very important on tops, upholstery, headliners, et al is the temperature. I bet you'd be surprised how much the top would stretch on a 90 degree day which about now would likely be as rare in TN as it is up here in IL where the high today was 40 and low tonight in the 20s. If you're in a heated garage that would help but you might try leaving it inside near a heat register at least overnight or using your wife's hair dryer to warm it up. Some guys might use a heat gun but I'm afraid of those to warm a soft top. Best would be a hot summer day. You could cut the spacers as you mentioned but I would be reluctant to make any permanent changes because you want the top to be just as tight as possible when you get it installed to avoid wind buffeting.

Good luck,
Pete
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
1,822
Location
Amarillo Tx.
When you attach the fabric to the rail at the tub leave the back adjustable hoop loose. The zippers on each side are located so you can tension it in one of the three holes on the main hoop. The straps on the back hoop to tub can be adjusted once you get it set. Temperature is a big player in the fabric and plastic window pliability.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Messages
16
Location
Spring Hill, TN
Well I’m still at a loss, I still cannot make this top fit. Essentially I think I need to close the distance (I.e. change the angle of the windshield). Manufacturer says it should be 81 inches, and I’m closer to 83 1/2. On a side note, I did talk to Bestop at length, and they have offered to examine the top on the off chance it was sewn wrong. Before I ship it back I’m trying to exhaust all options.

To summarize, here’s what I’ve tried so far:

1. I Kept the top inside for 24 hours so it was warm and pliable before Install.
2. Removed the cylindrical spacers between the windshield and dash to allow the windshield to lay back more.
3. Used ratchet straps to try and draw the windshield back more.

I have no way to tell if any body/tub angles have changed over time, but here is the alignment of windshield and cowl/body. It looks like it’s in line.
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Any thoughts appreciated. Would loosening the bolts on the brackets to give it more play be a good idea? Really stumped here.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
359
Location
Arkansas USA
You need to heat the top material up. Inside temp is not warm enough to get enough stretch. Use a hair dryer and get it really warm. You could send it back but if you measured the top itself and it is the correct measurement per Bestop sending back won’t do any good.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
359
Location
Arkansas USA
The last one I put on I thought I’d tear the material before I got it stretched enough. It did finally stretch enough and didn’t tear so all ended good. But it has to stretch.
 

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