Soft top info (1 Viewer)

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Jan 13, 2019
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San Antonio
Looking to exchange hard top to aftermarket soft top. There appear to be door jam parts I may need, or do most aftermarket soft top hardware kits come with those? What other secrets are there I should be aware of? I e seen factory soft top doors for $1k a pair with hinges, in fair shape - is that reasonable? Thanks for any help. Apologize if this is posted in the wrong place.
 

BeerM3

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The first question is are you wanting to go with a stock Toyota style top or a 3rd party aftermarket like Bestop? OEM soft top doors aren't hen's teeth, but they're certainly less plentiful than hardtop doors. But they're also made to work with Toyota soft top bow frames and they have a slightly different, vertical profile at the door pillar where companies like Bestop make tubular frames that work with their soft doors or stock hardtop doors that angle slightly. If you're really wanting the OEM look then soft top bows from RealSteel and a soft top from Dirt Road Tops would be my (more expensive) recommendation. I have one of her soft tops and I love it.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
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Location
San Antonio
The first question is are you wanting to go with a stock Toyota style top or a 3rd party aftermarket like Bestop? OEM soft top doors aren't hen's teeth, but they're certainly less plentiful than hardtop doors. But they're also made to work with Toyota soft top bow frames and they have a slightly different, vertical profile at the door pillar where companies like Bestop make tubular frames that work with their soft doors or stock hardtop doors that angle slightly. If you're really wanting the OEM look then soft top bows from RealSteel and a soft top from Dirt Road Tops would be my (more expensive) recommendation. I have one of her soft tops and I love it.
Thank you. Yes, the Dirt Road one is the one I’m after. So I get the bows from somewhere else and that includes the area around any door that the top attaches too? Then just get third party soft doors - I’d prefer they match the tan color of the top - but you’re suggesting not using OEM factory soft doors in this case, correct? Again, thank you.
 

BeerM3

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Thank you. Yes, the Dirt Road one is the one I’m after. So I get the bows from somewhere else and that includes the area around any door that the top attaches too? Then just get third party soft doors - I’d prefer they match the tan color of the top - but you’re suggesting not using OEM factory soft doors in this case, correct? Again, thank you.

Most folks will probably point you here for the bows, although you can try and patiently wait for them to come up for sale in the classifieds. You better be ready to pounce when they do though! And Julie makes a killer reproduction top that's tailored to those RealSteel bow dimensions. Call RealSteel to confirm but I believe their B Pillar inserts are made to fit hardtop doors. You can search around the forum for "soft top B pillar" and find photos and examples of the differences in the factory soft top doors. I have reproduction bows made in Pakistan which aren't uncommon either, but they're not a precision fit. $1k for a pair of soft top doors sounds high to me unless they were fully restored and completely rust free.

In San Antonio I suspect you'll find yourself running around topless quite a bit, so that's something to consider. I know I do most of the summer. The neighbors just stop and stare...:beer:
 

Rainman

Wondering what my next vehicle will be...
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I've got one of Julie's top and use the factory doors. If you order from Julie (Dirt Road Tops), she can order the bow kit from Real Steel with your order for you. Part of her deal. The top she makes IS great quality and she looks for ways to upgrade all the time. I've been working with her on a few minor changes she's made. One good addition is she finally has installation instructions for the less complete gearheads.
 
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San Antonio
Most folks will probably point you here for the bows, although you can try and patiently wait for them to come up for sale in the classifieds. You better be ready to pounce when they do though! And Julie makes a killer reproduction top that's tailored to those RealSteel bow dimensions. Call RealSteel to confirm but I believe their B Pillar inserts are made to fit hardtop doors. You can search around the forum for "soft top B pillar" and find photos and examples of the differences in the factory soft top doors. I have reproduction bows made in Pakistan which aren't uncommon either, but they're not a precision fit. $1k for a pair of soft top doors sounds high to me unless they were fully restored and completely rust free.

In San Antonio I suspect you'll find yourself running around topless quite a bit, so that's something to consider. I know I do most of the summer. The neighbors just stop and stare...:beer:
Awesome thanks. Yes, here in Texas I only have the hard too on 4-5 months out of the year, but it’s a pain to take off, put on, and store so I want to get rid of it. I do have the hard doors and it sounds like they’ll work fine for now with Julia’s top. I can get the factory soft top doors figured out down the line if I need to. Do you have the magnet version? I’m not sure what advantage they’d be. Could you post pics with your top? Thanks!!
 

BeerM3

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Mine is a '76 purchased without a hardtop. I got Paki bows from a vendor here on MUD and they're not too bad. The middle bow is a little shorter than the front and rear so it doesn't fully stretch the top, but for now I just slit a pool noodle to slip over it and take up some slack. In the fall and winter I run the earlier style doors which 1) I like better aesthetically and 2) were basically free as part of a replacement tub purchase that is waiting in a barn. The corner footman loops weren't installed when this picture was taken, which is why those straps are hanging down.


2019-02-03 12.32.21.jpg
 
Joined
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Mine is a '76 purchased without a hardtop. I got Paki bows from a vendor here on MUD and they're not too bad. The middle bow is a little shorter than the front and rear so it doesn't fully stretch the top, but for now I just slit a pool noodle to slip over it and take up some slack. In the fall and winter I run the earlier style doors which 1) I like better aesthetically and 2) were basically free as part of a replacement tub purchase that is waiting in a barn. The corner footman loops weren't installed when this picture was taken, which is why those straps are hanging down.


View attachment 2291694
Nice! Thanks - the top looks good tho! That’s the same color I want. So the footman loops have to be riveted or screwed to the tub or get the magnet version of the top, correct?
 

BeerM3

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Nice! Thanks - the top looks good tho! That’s the same color I want. So the footman loops have to be riveted or screwed to the tub or get the magnet version of the top, correct?
The loops were included on various years up until '74. If yours is later, just drill and bolt the loops provided by Julie after you get the top on. I'm not sure if she offers the magnets for the corners or just the sides. I like the extra wind resistance of having corners strapped down.
 
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Most folks will probably point you here for the bows, although you can try and patiently wait for them to come up for sale in the classifieds. You better be ready to pounce when they do though!


It was around ten years ago a set of bows showed up on Mud classified section for $200. Waited a few days and no one even posted in the thread so bought the bows and black Kayline top that needed a little work. Seller was not very help and had to create a UPS account to have them picked. Their quote was lower than they charged me but all said and done cost $400. Deals do pop up and some times you don't even need to jump on them.

Haven't kept up on things. I know Trollhole (Marshall) turned the tops over directly to Julie. Just hadn't heard name Dirt Road tops before. Have followed and been involved in the early FST saga since joining Mud. Julie has been the only true constint source for the early 25/early 40 series FST.
 
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It was around ten years ago a set of bows showed up on Mud classified section for $200. Waited a few days and no one even posted in the thread so bought the bows and black Kayline top that needed a little work. Seller was not very help and had to create a UPS account to have them picked. Their quote was lower than they charged me but all said and done cost $400. Deals do pop up and some times you don't even need to jump on them.

Haven't kept up on things. I know Trollhole (Marshall) turned the tops over directly to Julie. Just hadn't heard name Dirt Road tops before. Have followed and been involved in the early FST saga since joining Mud. Julie has been the only true constint source for the early 25/early 40 series FST.
Thanks. Dirt Road is where Trollhole lead me. The number there is Julie’s. She’s responded to my email but not my phone message yet. Her voicemail is Aqua something or other. I’ll figure it out; not in any hurry as I’m topless in Texas until November! What are your thoughts on the two factory soft top doors at $1k? Thanks for your response.
 
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What are your thoughts on the two factory soft top doors at $1k? Thanks for your response.


I was offered a set of FST doors for $1,000 back in 1994. Difference was it included the bows. Plus the rest of the vehicle that had a hard top and doors installed. Second engine and four speed in the back. I was at a fire station and wanted to look at a mini truck that was in the parking lot see how the steering box was mounted. Instead of just looking when in the bay to ask. When I said it was on how the steering would work in a Land Cruiser someone said from the other side of an fire engine, "Land Cruiser, do you want to buy another one?". Had just purchased one a month before and knew what my wife would say. I did buy yet another one and my did marriage survived. Have other stories of buying FST parts since then so probably not the best person to ask about current prices.
 
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So, many questions.... I have what’s left of a shrunken old Kayline/STC top. I didn’t know about FSTs at the time.

Do Julie’s tops have removable windows or do they just roll up? My top has the roll up style and I hate it. I think I’d have to mod my cage to have slip on (modular) bows that could fit in place of the OEM style bows.

Has anyone run these tops in all seasons and weather? How are they with heavy snow or rain?
 
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I have one of Julie’s tops and RealSteel bow set. I had the bows powder coated.
so, you’re going to get rid of your hard top? I’m in Houston, let me know. View attachment 2292384View attachment 2292385View attachment 2292386View attachment 2292387
Okay, will do! I do have a roll cage installed - any issues with that? Could you measure the height of the center bow right behind the seats? I’m wondering if the bows will allow clearance of the top over the roll cage there. I’d appreciate if you could do that. And I can for sure let you know when I’m ready to let the top go! Thanks!
 
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So, many questions.... I have what’s left of a shrunken old Kayline/STC top. I didn’t know about FSTs at the time.

Do Julie’s tops have removable windows or do they just roll up? My top has the roll up style and I hate it. I think I’d have to mod my cage to have slip on (modular) bows that could fit in place of the OEM style bows.

Has anyone run these tops in all seasons and weather? How are they with heavy snow or rain?
[/QUOTE]


My top has roll up windows in the back and both sides. I’ve seen a picture of a top with zip out side windows but you would have to ask Julie about that.
As far as weatherproof quality, Julie’s top exceeds my old Bestop, because it fits so much better. She also uses way better zippers and hardware than Bestop.
 
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Okay, will do! I do have a roll cage installed - any issues with that? Could you measure the height of the center bow right behind the seats? I’m wondering if the bows will allow clearance of the top over the roll cage there. I’d appreciate if you could do that. And I can for sure let you know when I’m ready to let the top go! Thanks!

here you go, this is the front seat floor to the top of the first cross bow, at the B pillar It’s the bow that above the seats.
C43CA158-6CBA-4454-ABF3-89D18B399D8C.jpeg
2BC9DC94-7236-4851-A617-F2B3FD8C8006.jpeg
 

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