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Question For The Hardtop Guys.

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by jasonjp62, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. Sep 7, 2020
    jasonjp62

    jasonjp62 Member

    Pennsboro WV.
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Messages:
    799
    I just acquired a hard top last week. It’s either a Kelly, or a Meyer. It’s missing the fill in pieces for around the windshield and missing the door hinges. It will need a fair amount of work to get it back into shape.

    my question is is a hardtop worth it? Sourcing, making the parts, body work ect. Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a soft top?
     
  2. Sep 7, 2020
    neohic

    neohic Gentleman Jeepist

    Woodland Park, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2018
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    258
    I’ve got a Meyer and I absolutely love it! That said...

    The roll up windows are great but on any day over 40° the doors come off anyhow which isn’t so great when I’m out and get caught in the rain. I’ve considered making a set of “summer doors” out of an old set of soft doors so it’d be easier to keep them with me. It’s kinda loud especially when I’m caught in the rain. Then it’s also loud most of the time when I’m driving as the rear hatch doesn’t easily come off so it gets boomy. The black roof gets hot in the sun come winter time yet the air inside the cab is cold so the air condensed and “rains” back down on me. Snow comes up from the outside corners of the windshield as it isn’t a super perfect fit so when I’m not getting “rained” on I’m getting snowed on. When snow isn’t on the cowl, it obviously doesn’t come up and into the cab but then it whistles.

    ... so, I guess what I like about my tin top is the look of it? I’ve thought about making safari style roll up soft sides and doors for summer but then I think a bikini top would have a similar feel. For me the best of all worlds would be a soft top... but I love my hard top... but it’s not great... I guess. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  3. Sep 7, 2020
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    As a top, they are fine. Mine was white, and I drove it back and forth to work in the LA area for years. No AC, just the roll-down windows.

    My main objection is how top-heavy it made the Jeep feel compared to a soft top. It's really noticeable. And they aren't any quieter or warmer than a soft top. Visibility is typically better through glass windows when it rains.
     
  4. Sep 7, 2020
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Sep 21, 2002
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    From what I saw of the pictures you posted on Facebook it's a Meyer. If you'll post a picture of the door that should eliminate any doubt. The parts you need shouldn't be too difficult to make or get made if no one has any extras.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  5. Sep 7, 2020
    durangotang

    durangotang Member 2021 Sponsor

    Western CO
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    463
    There is a good chance I have a set of Meyer hinges sitting around if you need them.
     
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  6. Sep 7, 2020
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    When I bought my new '69 I got a soft top but before long I switched to a new hard top. I seriously did not notice any difference in feel, it didn't feel top heavy to me at all. I switched from a '61 Willys wagon to the new CJ5 so maybe I was used to the feel of the wagon?
     
  7. Sep 7, 2020
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Sep 21, 2002
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    Your intended usage answers whether or not it's worth it. They are more secure of course so that's a plus. A soft top is expensive and generally have a relatively short life expectancy when compared to a hard top. As neohic mentioned the roll up windows are a big plus if you live where you might get a surprise rain.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2020
    PeteL

    PeteL Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    I don't actually "like" either.

    Soft tops have a limited life span and are easily damaged. Hard tops are heavy, possibly noisy. Both have limited visibility.

    Intended use is important. For summer recreation I use an open sided canvas "military" style on my older jeeps, or a bikini top. More often, no top and w/s down.

    For my YJ, I removed the original soft-top and put on a fiberglas hard top for "daily driving." I live in snow country... I dislike both tops for being claustrophobic, but on good days I can take the doors off.
     
  9. Sep 7, 2020
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    what little I use jeep . hard top stays on year round
    doors off during summer months
     
  10. Sep 7, 2020
    Jw60

    Jw60 Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    Hard top is more secure. It'll take a screwdriver to get in over a knife or sharp key.
    Currently I've got a bikini and hard top. Never had a soft top and I just don't feel like a soft top would be much better than the bikini.
     
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  11. Sep 7, 2020
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    That's the key...it really isn't much better than the bikini top.
     
  12. Sep 7, 2020
    durangotang

    durangotang Member 2021 Sponsor

    Western CO
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    I went with a compromise as well... I like the weatherproofing of the hard top, hate soft top doors, don't like the weight of hard tops, don't like how badly hard tops heat up in the sun, and don't like how hardtops sound like you're in a tin can. I found an aluminum hardtop, insulated the roof, painted it a light color, and replaced the side panels with canvas that can be rolled up. Still retained use of aluminum doors if needed. Find a top you like and make it fit what you need.

    73047200_10157883990181803_371054899149930496_n.jpg
     
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  13. Sep 7, 2020
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    On the highway, a soft top makes the Jeep an all-weather car. A bikini top does not protect you from rain and snow.

    Soft top equipped Jeep feels like a sports car compared to a hard top. I'd guess it depends a lot on where and how you drive it too. I drove my CJs on the highway every day. I also covered a lot of dirt roads in the California desert at boulevard speeds. It's an easily noticed difference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
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  14. Sep 7, 2020
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    I do agree with the different feel between a soft top and a hard top. I liked my soft top best with the doors off and the side curtains rolled up, and of course the rear too. The hard top being more secure is what seals the deal for me.
     
  15. Sep 7, 2020
    Dave B

    Dave B Frankenjeep '67

    Northern Minnesota
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    Ran a soft-top in prominently open country in Colorado, but it would not survive in the low hanging limbs and savage brush of Minnesota two-track trails.
     
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  16. Sep 7, 2020
    jasonjp62

    jasonjp62 Member

    Pennsboro WV.
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    Aug 15, 2009
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    799
    Thanks for the replies gentlemen! Ill work on it slowly. Hate to say it but my old Jeep lives in the garage 98% of the time anymore. I may drive it up to the farm now and then or around the block.

    I took a couple pictures of the doors for you guys.

    I have a soft top for it but it’s pushing 20 years old and not in great shape. I do wish you could just buy the canvas for ours like you can on the wranglers.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Sep 7, 2020
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    WV your in snow country . hard top
    doors look to be meyers
     
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  18. Sep 7, 2020
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Yep, the window angles give it away quickly.
     
  19. Sep 8, 2020
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Having a hardtop for my '69:

    [​IMG]

    And a Supertop on my '71:
    [​IMG]

    The only advantages to the hardtop are vintage looks and the ability to lock it. Other than that, it's louder, doesn't seal any better, and is far less versatile than the soft top. I pull the hardtop off and run a bikini top in the summer but I dread taking it off and putting it on every year.

    Hardtops do look cool though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
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  20. Sep 8, 2020
    Alan28

    Alan28 Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Châtillon en...
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    I depends where you live. I love mine, but we have no winter since some years, and it is heavy, so I don't use it.
    But during some years it was nice, we were visiting around our place with my wife, go shopping to the village...
    If you want to use you Jeep in a cold winter, it is nice.
    If not a soft top is enough, and you don't use your Jeep when weather is bad.
    Or you get a 2nd Jeep... Summer/Winter
     

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