Just starting the search for hard top side panels

Rusto

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I was getting ready to take my rusted out top off my 75 BJ40 (de Costa Rica) and thought that before I take off I should get all the parts I need to put it back together before I take it off. With the condition it's in, it's not going back on until I replace a bunch of it. The only things that's good on it really is the fiberglass top and the glass.

The side panels are shot so I need to find some new ones.

My question for MUD: With barn doors out back do I need to stick with side panels that originally supported barn doors ('75 and up) or will pre 75 side panels that had the lift gate work? Is there additional support for the top mounts of the barn doors on '75 and up that is missing from pre-75?

I want to be sure I'm looking for the right panels.

Thanks

Nasty Rust Pic for the weirdos that like to see rusty 40s. :)

IMG_7416.jpg
 

whitey45

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You are opening up a can of worms, you will be chasing rust demons as costa rica equals rust…your tub is just as bad, as the bolts are rusted stuck!!_ good luck rusto!!
 

Rusto

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I'm hoping that's not the case, of course. The floorboards and are in great shape and no rust at all on the frame and running gear and such.
A little rust on the rear seal, of course, but not terrible. I'm hoping it's just the top that's shot, but as you state, it's not very likely.

Here's a picture of my passenger side floorboard. I just recently cleaned out the fuel tanks and such so thought I'd check the floor out. Sanded it all down, primered and painted. zero filler.

IMG_6749.jpg
 
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Yes, you can also use older tops also. There are some small differences in the hole placement of the cross member mounting holes but nothing that can't easily be overcome.

I've had '71 panels on my '74... and now have an '81 hardtop fit with the original hatch. In the thread linked below.

 

Rusto

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Great read, @bikersmurf - However, most of the discussion was around back ends with hatches. I'm curious about using ambulance doors with side panels that had a lift hatch on the back. How is it mounting the ambulance doors on side panels that didn't have the ambulance door top hinges on there originally? Does where the top hinges are mounted have more reinforcement on the 75 and up panels?
 
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Great read, @bikersmurf - However, most of the discussion was around back ends with hatches. I'm curious about using ambulance doors with side panels that had a lift hatch on the back. How is it mounting the ambulance doors on side panels that didn't have the ambulance door top hinges on there originally? Does where the top hinges are mounted have more reinforcement on the 75 and up panels?


If the hard top has corner windows the back opening has a notch that will work with ambulance doors. Will need a different header and make provisions for the hinges if the top had a hatch.
 

Rusto

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I have the different header, so that works. I guess my question is what "provisions" will I need to make for the hinges?
Of course, the easiest and best thing to do would be to just have panels that are '75 and up, but I'm just trying to figure out which panels would work and what work is involved if I go pre-75 panels.

Sorry to be so dense.
 
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I have the different header, so that works. I guess my question is what "provisions" will I need to make for the hinges?
Of course, the easiest and best thing to do would be to just have panels that are '75 and up, but I'm just trying to figure out which panels would work and what work is involved if I go pre-75 panels.

Sorry to be so dense.


Would just need to install four fixed nuts to each side not a big deal. I remember a time couldn't hardly give a hard top away. Twenty five years ago bought two hard tops with ambulance doors for $200 a piece. Prices have gone crazy.
 
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I have the different header, so that works. I guess my question is what "provisions" will I need to make for the hinges?
Of course, the easiest and best thing to do would be to just have panels that are '75 and up, but I'm just trying to figure out which panels would work and what work is involved if I go pre-75 panels.

Sorry to be so dense.
The ambulance door hinges are secured with a nut plate, on the inside of the rear panels. If you can't find one, you can make them. I'll see if I can get a photo.

Scratch that; that upper hinges are held on with the same nut plates as the lower ones, except that it's not accessible. It's hidden inside the corner reinforcement. You'll have to cut a "window" in the older panels to gain access to the back side of the outer skin.
 
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Rusto

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@Malleus - That's exactly what I thought. Just needed confirmation. If need be, I could cut out the plates from my old panels. They're shot anyway.

Thanks for the help everyone. Now... to save a little money and go on the search. "lucky" for me, I can do a lot of other stuff that's free while I save that money.
 
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I’ve found having donor sides to be very useful if your new sides need repairs.
 

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