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Bikeman
11-03-2010, 02:00 PM
I have officially decided to give the LX an SUT chop, or for those that don't know what that is, it's cutting off the rear of the sheet metal at the door level, and at the front of the rear glass. The idea will be explained later.

I need to know if anyone could recommend a business or individual that makes custom soft tops out of canvas or soft top-type material.

I need to have what amounts to a snap off or zip off cover with a rear window that can enclose the rear of the vehicle.

I also need to cover the area where the factory sunroof glass is.

The basic idea is like Sam's or PKP80 on 'Mud:
http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=275925&stc=1&d=1227168750

I am essentially going to make this vehicle my trail rig since it is cosmetically much less quality than Whitey.

I wheeled Whitey hard last Sunday at Spring Creek in treacherous conditions and cannot come to turning it into a scratched and dented trail rig. It came out relatively unscathed.

I can also take away a lot of weight off the already heavy 80. It is already lighter now with the rear frame bobbed. I have medium springs right now giving 4" lift. I will have to swap those out for the low-lift ones or even put stock springs in with a spacer. Whitey is at 5700 lbs loaded for trails and I can make the LX come out much lighter.

The goal is to have 3-4" lift (done) with 37's. The Aussie would stay in the rear, and have an ARB locker added to the front with 5.29's. Aftermarket axle shafts/ birfs would follow.

I will be removing the LX body cladding and flares sometime soon, so let me know if you want the pieces (they are grey). They are intact with 16 years of Soccer-mom scratches. I will be removing the flares intact, but do not feel like pulling door panels and plastic to get the cladding off the doors in one piece unless someone wants to do it for me:D. Stay tuned...

CardinalFJ60
11-03-2010, 02:53 PM
IIRC SoftTopper in Boulder might do this.

corsair23
11-03-2010, 04:35 PM
Put me down for possible cladding/flare wants :thumb:

Convert
11-03-2010, 05:03 PM
You might try Paul's Custom Covers they specialize in boats but I think they can build whatever you need

Air Randy
11-03-2010, 10:05 PM
You might try Paul's Custom Covers they specialize in boats but I think they can build whatever you need

X2, I've had Paul build several custom tops for me and their work is outstanding.

Jacket
11-03-2010, 10:14 PM
Paul's ain't cheap though. He wanted ~ $400 to do a canvas repair that Softopper in Boulder did for $50.

RockRunner
11-03-2010, 11:35 PM
X2, I've had Paul build several custom tops for me and their work is outstanding.

X3 He may not be cheap but for making something without a previous design or plan he is the best.

ToyotaNut
11-06-2010, 07:02 AM
I would also have to recommend Paul's... He has done some custom tops for some tours here in Estes Park, and had done a fantastic job...His work is also guaranteed for 5 years(on boats anyway) we had repair work done on our boat cover and it was no charge I would Give him the first crack. Cheers, Bob

Bikeman
11-06-2010, 10:02 AM
Thanks guys. I have an appt with them on Wed.

Bikeman
11-28-2010, 01:00 PM
Next week is the start of the project. I have decided I am going to persue this project since getting back from Moab. The white 80 did great, but I am after a lower CG with this project.

I have bobbed 4" off the rear frame and welded the crossmember back on.

I will be Herculining the deflared/depaneled body, so Jeff get your dibs on the grey plastic stuff:).

The front stock bumper will be tastefully trimmed at the same time, then lined with Herculiner.

My welding buddy will be making some simple rear quarter panel protection.

I will be seeing a fabric top maker to get a quote on the back enclosure. I will be calling Addicted Off Road to get an idea for a "half cage".

Bikeman
12-02-2010, 08:14 PM
I removed the flares and panels and covered with 2 coats of Herculiner. Next week will be front bumper trimming. Bad garage photo:
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0057.jpg

RockRunner
12-02-2010, 10:20 PM
Good luck, did you decide to go with Paul's customs? Will be cool to see this project as ot comes along.

Bikeman
01-16-2011, 12:26 PM
Some of you may freak out that I "ruined" a perfectly good Cruiser:eek:. I even reduced the carrying capacity of the "bed" to much less than a 4 door Taco. Who cares, right? It is my therapy next to :beer::beer:This has always been a budget build.

The chop went well and everything is turning out better than expected. I have to lay some fiberglass resin down on the top of the rear pillars, which have been filled with expanded foam and seal the "bedsides" with silicon to keep water out of the rockers.

Thurday is the day when Martin from Armor Covers makes the cover, or rear soft top, vertically from the half wall to the roof. It will be made of super heavy-duty material with a clear window to boot. The half-wall or bulkhead was made from 3/4" plywood, lined with Herculiner, and bolted to the floor with angle-aluminum.

The spare tire mount is from Fabtech, and I made the license plate bracket and "security bar" that will help keep intrusion out. The alarm still works, and I even relocated the rear dome lamp forward, with factory functions from the rear doors.

I had to pull the OME 860 coils (medium 2.5" lift) that were netting almost 5" of lift. I put the stock coils back in with some Slee 30mm spacers, giving an even 2.5-3" lift. I figured 400-500 lbs were removed.

It is fun driving around with the back open and can't wait to see how the rear cab cover turns out.

Next on the list is to get the 35's off the white 80, which is getting 37's, and maybe get some sliders by springtime. Before that, I am going to order some FOA 2.5" remote-resi shocks, custom valved and either get a second Metal Tech front bumper, or get something made locally out of tube. Maybe cage it down the road.
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0103.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0104.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0105.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0106.jpg

MDH33
01-16-2011, 12:46 PM
Can't wait to see it with the soft top. :thumb:

Hulk
01-16-2011, 08:04 PM
Mike, somebody done stole yer back hatch!

Rock Dog
01-17-2011, 03:33 PM
Some of you may freak out that I "ruined" a perfectly good Cruiser:eek:. I even reduced the carrying capacity of the "bed" to much less than a 4 door Taco. Who cares, right? It is my therapy next to :beer::beer:This has always been a budget build.

The chop went well and everything is turning out better than expected. I have to lay some fiberglass resin down on the top of the rear pillars, which have been filled with expanded foam and seal the "bedsides" with silicon to keep water out of the rockers.

Thurday is the day when Martin from Armor Covers makes the cover, or rear soft top, vertically from the half wall to the roof. It will be made of super heavy-duty material with a clear window to boot. The half-wall or bulkhead was made from 3/4" plywood, lined with Herculiner, and bolted to the floor with angle-aluminum.

The spare tire mount is from Fabtech, and I made the license plate bracket and "security bar" that will help keep intrusion out. The alarm still works, and I even relocated the rear dome lamp forward, with factory functions from the rear doors.

I had to pull the OME 860 coils (medium 2.5" lift) that were netting almost 5" of lift. I put the stock coils back in with some Slee 30mm spacers, giving an even 2.5-3" lift. I figured 400-500 lbs were removed.

It is fun driving around with the back open and can't wait to see how the rear cab cover turns out.

Next on the list is to get the 35's off the white 80, which is getting 37's, and maybe get some sliders by springtime. Before that, I am going to order some FOA 2.5" remote-resi shocks, custom valved and either get a second Metal Tech front bumper, or get something made locally out of tube. Maybe cage it down the road.
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0103.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0104.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0105.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0106.jpg

I saw it rolling down Arapahoe Road near broadway, and was trying to determine what it was... It looked real cool :thumb::thumb:, and kinda reminded be of Christo's Vladvak (or whatever he called that thing)....

I think it will be great!

Bikeman
01-17-2011, 04:43 PM
That was my buddy driving it out to Toy Car Care where he works. We traded bike stuff for a front diff reseal!

It is not cold driving it around. In fact, the heater needs to be turned down after a while.

Jacket
01-17-2011, 07:05 PM
Very cool Mike. I love it like that.

corsair23
01-18-2011, 02:43 PM
:thumb:

Hard to believe you did it, but you did :hill:

Bikeman
01-25-2011, 10:36 AM
Here is the soft top. It could have come out better I thought, but there were numerous angles and corners that the guy had to work with. He used a very heavy-duty material, and the window material is very optically clear. I have used stick-on auto weatherstripping to make it virtually watertight. That he did well on. I am happy with the low noise factor. Part of it has to do with the bed liner material covering the 3/4" plywood half-wall that is completely sealed to the body, and that came out very well. You can see the "security bar" that was made that attaches to the seat belt mounting holes. With the off-road rack, security bar, and alarm, I feel good about it.
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0108.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm255/Bikeman_Colorado/IMG_0106.jpg

Jacket
01-25-2011, 11:39 AM
Any chance you weighed the truck before you cut? I'd be interested to know how many lb's you shed with that body chop.

So what happens with the "bed" and the plastic panels, waterproofing and drainage, etc?

Bikeman
01-25-2011, 11:50 AM
I will weigh it soon, but it will be based off the bone stock 4750-4800 lbs w/ 3rd row seats. I will add in ~60lbs for the winch, heavier front springs plus the weight of gear and tools and tires. The body chop is only part of the weight reduction. Other items were ditched like: mid row seats, spare tire crossmember and hoist, all the plastic body cladding, rear bumper wrap-arounds, carpet, mats, material removed from the frame bobbing, receiver hitch, etc.


The panels will receive a bead of silicone along the top. The panels on the bottom overlap a steel lip so water can't get into the rockers, so unless it is underwater, general rain and hose pressure water will drain through holes where the 3rd row seats latched to the floor.

coax
01-25-2011, 12:04 PM
Very cool! Came out really well. Any chance you could add one of these mad-max style? :D Seriously though, the deflare and bob/chop look good. :cheers:

nakman
01-25-2011, 05:12 PM
One of Corbet's cargo barriers would be nice addition to the security bar.. that's looking pretty cool though. :beer2:

Rock Dog
01-25-2011, 05:54 PM
The way the Trash cans sit in the picture above almost make it look like a blue blower coming out of the hood.

cool optical illusion....

sno bored
01-26-2011, 01:03 PM
The way the Trash cans sit in the picture above almost make it look like a blue blower coming out of the hood.

cool optical illusion....

That's a photo chop, meant to look like a blower coming out the hood