Hard top frame question

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I removed the hard top on my 69’ for the first time this weekend. It went much easier then expected and clearly the top had been removed many times before. One of the reasons I believe it was easier is the fact that the posts on the driver and passenger side are removed. These are posts that are attached to the top frame and slide into the body door frame. Should I leave this as is when I put the top back on? I have heard of cutting off one of side or reducing the size of these posts, but not totally removing. Any advice? I cannot say that there have been any issues with these posts removed, but it’s also not a huge job to find steel rod to use when I reinstall if needed. Anyone else cut or remove these posts for easy hard top removal?
 

73FJ40

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I believe the posts act to reinforce the B pillar for lateral stability. Particularly in a rollover.

Do you have a roll bar? If not, imagine what may happen if you tip over while wheeling, or swerving to avoid an idiot driver on a Sunday afternoon. :hmm:
 
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One of my “B” post broke when I removed my top. I too am wondering if it’s necessary. I have a 4 point cage so I’m not too concerned with its meager roll over protection. If I broke it just wiggling it I don’t think it would do a lot in a crash.
2F339CB5-2B07-4614-9A95-8C8F31B9A06C.jpeg
 
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I believe the posts act to reinforce the B pillar for lateral stability. Particularly in a rollover.

Do you have a roll bar? If not, imagine what may happen if you tip over while wheeling, or swerving to avoid an idiot driver on a Sunday afternoon. :hmm:
I don’t have a roll bar. It does seem easy enough to source some steel tube to replace it. It is tubing correct or solid steel? The pic of the broken one makes me think tubing.
 
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I cut mine down to 6” for ease of removal and installation.


It's the second hole down in the B pillar that helps get it it's strength. Then tightening the bolt against it that's on the backside of the B pillar between the top of the tub and the second down down in the B pillar. Tierod ican be used to fix cut/missing tub. Driven up into the top side will help strengthen it.
 

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It’s almost always a deformation of the second plate inside the B pillar, the ‘guide’, that leads to people cutting the tube. Before you do anything, put a flashlight in the hole and see if your guide is straight. If not, you’ll be talking to God afteryou put the time into re-creating the posts.
 
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it’s tubing


Yes it is tubing. But it extends into the hard top sides tying it all together. Certainly not strong as rollbar but better than no tubing.

It’s almost always a deformation of the second plate inside the B pillar, the ‘guide’, that leads to people cutting the tube. Before you do anything, put a flashlight in the hole and see if you’re guide is straight. If not, you’ll be talking to God after you put the time into re-creating the posts.


Always thought of adding something at the bottom of the tube that would create a point and also be open to let any moisture drain out. That would center the tube making it easy to install the top. While much more time consuming installing the top in pieces makes it most easier by installing one side at a time. Age and size are against me. Without help really my only option right now for installing a top. Have plans for a ceiling hoist but that hasn't happened yet. A hard top in pieces is easier to store than a complete top. I avoid storing anything out in the weather when ever I can.
 
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Yes it is tubing. But it extends into the hard top sides tying it all together. Certainly not strong as rollbar but better than no tubing.




Always thought of adding something at the bottom of the tube that would create a point and also be open to let any moisture drain out. That would center the tube making it easy to install the top. While much more time consuming installing the top in pieces makes it most easier by installing one side at a time. Age and size are against me. Without help really my only option right now for installing a top. Have plans for a ceiling hoist but that hasn't happened yet. A hard top in pieces is easier to store than a complete top. I avoid storing anything out in the weather when ever I can.
“Guides” is the hole within the hole? They look to be in good shape but I was surprised to see that they are 8 inches or so down the b pillar. I can see why these can make removing difficult

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Without the tube in place I noticed a lot more flexing of the side panels when trying to shut the door, especially if your door gaskets are thick. The long tubes anchored to the bottom give added stiffness. I doubt it would do anything in a crash, but it probably helps prevent the sides from fatigue cracking from constant flexing.

I also had to use a long metal rod to reshape the inner guide hole in the B-pillar to allow the tubes to slide in easier. Looked like it had been deformed by an attempt to just shove it in. Make sure the bolt is backed out all the way or removed before attempting to reinstall the tubes.
 
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“Guides” is the hole within the hole? They look to be in good shape but I was surprised to see that they are 8 inches or so down the b pillar. I can see why these can make removing difficult

View attachment 2710288


Back in 1974 I was guilty of cutting the driver's side down a couple of inches because it was tough getting it seated. Luckily when I put the cruiser on it's it was the passenger side. Bought a used 73 top to replace it and it has never been cut.

If you want a feeling for how this helps support the top check out a set of OEM FST installed. Stand on the running board and grab the B pillar bow and rock the vehicle side to side. Then trying it on any aftermarket bows that aren't using the OEM design.
 

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"The long tubes anchored to the bottom give added stiffness."

It is my understanding that stiffness implies increased strength against bending stress. No?

Wouldn't a roll over tend to 'bend' the B pillar?
 
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"The long tubes anchored to the bottom give added stiffness."

It is my understanding that stiffness implies increased strength against bending stress. No?

Wouldn't a roll over tend to 'bend' the B pillar?

Stiffness in this case meaning less deflection for a given load. Yes it would also be stronger than having no tubes or shortened tubes. Would it be strong enough to make an noticeable difference during a rollover on a 2 ton vehicle? I doubt it.

I think the reason for the extended tubes was to prevent the body from flexing when shutting the door. The latch is high up on the B-pillar with no support, so the sides flex a lot. The tube just anchors the top to the sides to reduce deflection so the latch engages easier and probably prevents the doors from rattling too much.
 

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Stiffness in this case meaning less deflection for a given load. Yes it would also be stronger than having no tubes or shortened tubes. Would it be strong enough to make an noticeable difference during a rollover on a 2 ton vehicle? I doubt it.

I think the reason for the extended tubes was to prevent the body from flexing when shutting the door. The latch is high up on the B-pillar with no support, so the sides flex a lot. The tube just anchors the top to the sides to reduce deflection so the latch engages easier and probably prevents the doors from rattling too much.
It seems we agree on the fact that maintaining the full length tube is a good idea.
 
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Without the tube in place I noticed a lot more flexing of the side panels when trying to shut the door, especially if your door gaskets are thick. The long tubes anchored to the bottom give added stiffness. I doubt it would do anything in a crash, but it probably helps prevent the sides from fatigue cracking from constant flexing.

I also had to use a long metal rod to reshape the inner guide hole in the B-pillar to allow the tubes to slide in easier. Looked like it had been deformed by an attempt to just shove it in. Make sure the bolt is backed out all the way or removed before attempting to reinstall the tubes.
Or hardtop will rattle if missing these rods or no bolt creating tension on them from the side. I suspect the rod on my driver side is not long enough for just missing. When the top comes off I will know🙄
 

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