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Thread: Chop Top ZJ

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    Chop Top ZJ

    Now I've posted about this before. I know that I need to strengthen up the body before doing it. I'll be having a cage built in the spring/summer.

    I'm thinking more and more about chopping the top but I'd like to be able to put the top and back hatch on again for driving in the rain and winter (rain doesn't bother me but winter does).

    Opinions about doing this?

    Chop top pictures for fun:

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    Ladies and gentlemen -- a project with little direction!
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    Quote Originally Posted by grinthock View Post
    Ladies and gentlemen -- a project with little direction!
    Eat me.
    It all ties in to one another.

    If I'm doing the chop I have to do it before I have the cage done.

    Oh and since I have most my lift parts and I've started on my axle parts, I think I can go ahead and plan what's next.

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    I think it would look amazing with a canvas slantback top on the rear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Injunfarian View Post
    I think it would look amazing with a canvas slantback top on the rear.
    I'd think so too but after pricing a soft top, I rather use the factory metal.

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    I don't think its been done, you would need to build a frame to go around the part you cut off, and the ZJ to stiffen it and give you something to attach to, and to keep it secure. Basically you want a removable hardtop like the 4-runners had.

    I would think you will have leak issues with it, a soft top might be the best way to go, even if it isn't cheap
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    Bah.. Just givin ya a yard time Tony!

    It's possible to have a removable top, but i've seen the issues others have had turning non convertibles into convertibles -- that properly seal, and it was no cakewalk.... Soft top is best, because you can simply overlap it, and leak issues are not as big a deal... You could overlap it with a "hard" top too, but it would look like shit.

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    I can't find the link as it is from way back but, I saw a removable hard top but it was done to an XJ. He did the entire top, then made the top so that it bolted back on much like a TJ top (minus the little lip). He had chopped it around the top of the windsheild, then welded in some flat bar across the top of the frame so the roof had something to sit flat on. He ran into issues sealing the windsheild frame, but I doubt your looking to peel the entire top off this thing. Looked like a sick ride as he had also made half doors for it so with the top off there was a straight line down the side of the body. He also split the back door, so that the bottom half floded down like a tailgate and the upper half flipped the window out much like a TJ. It was a little hodge-podged together, just wish I could find the link to it now for ya... If I find it I'll post it up for you.

    Sounds like a cool idea, but I think it may be easier and maybe in the long run cheaper to half the back and have a boat guy make you up a back half. Maybe look for some canvas guys a little farther away from TO may be cheaper but I am not sure about that... just a thought.
    Last edited by highonlifeandglue; 12-10-2007 at 01:11 PM.
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    Funny just after I hit Post I find it. Here are some pics from it. May give you a few more ideas.

    http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2487...32428117otuGFp

    http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2246...32428117zZgeAD

    Just another with a decent idea for the rear door/tailgate

    http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2055...32428117IyRQPi

    I'll keep looking for a bit here to see if I can find the thread the XJ guy had on his build.

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    Wow, thats some pretty impresive work that guy has done, he's put a lot time and thought into it. It looks like it wouldn't be too hard to get the front to seal, but seeing as he took the windows out of the doors, I don't think it's a big concern to him. Good find HOLAG



    Although it sure looks like a lot of work to build yourself a 4dr JK

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    He also has a set of full doors for it too, if ya cycle through all the pics. But yeah I would have to agree.

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    Went through all the folders you posted, can't find them.

    I did find this folder though, kewl trail pics, should get the uniboys droolin, some nicely built rigs.

    http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2379...32428117RXgFfw

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    Quote Originally Posted by apuszczalowski View Post
    I don't think its been done, you would need to build a frame to go around the part you cut off, and the ZJ to stiffen it and give you something to attach to, and to keep it secure. Basically you want a removable hardtop like the 4-runners had.

    I would think you will have leak issues with it, a soft top might be the best way to go, even if it isn't cheap
    I'm not overly worried about stiffening up my unibody because before I do this I'll be doing a lot of work to basically tie the whole body together and make it into a ballistic shit missile.
    The 'frame' will be plated front to back with some 3/16" thick tubing. If I can't use tube then I'll be burning 3/16" plate on (steering box area, rear 'frame', etc). That should stiffen things up nicely.
    From there I'll be building some cut out rockers/boat sides. They will incorporate some 2x2 1/8" or 3/16" tube that will go up into my A and B pillars and then be plug welded in several places. From there the rockers themselves will be tied into the frame then some 1" dia .120 wall dom will be mounted on and angle to serve as the foundation for my boat sides. Then 3/16" plate will be plug welded to the tube and welded fully where it meets the rockers and 'frame' (after the cage is done though).
    After that Jim at Rock Spyder 4x4 will be putting together a cage for me. Pass thorugh the dash, tied into the frame as many points as possible. The whole cage will be 1.5" dia .120 wall DOM and run nice and close to the interior.


    Quote Originally Posted by grinthock View Post
    Bah.. Just givin ya a yard time Tony!

    It's possible to have a removable top, but i've seen the issues others have had turning non convertibles into convertibles -- that properly seal, and it was no cakewalk.... Soft top is best, because you can simply overlap it, and leak issues are not as big a deal... You could overlap it with a "hard" top too, but it would look like shit.
    I know man, that's what friends due right.
    I know that making a none convertible into one is a bitch. There's a few kits for the mini truck crowd but from what I've read, they are garbage.
    I've got some ideas, just need to draw them out when I get a chance (and not all messed up on my pain killer meds).

    Quote Originally Posted by highonlifeandglue View Post
    I can't find the link as it is from way back but, I saw a removable hard top but it was done to an XJ. He did the entire top, then made the top so that it bolted back on much like a TJ top (minus the little lip). He had chopped it around the top of the windsheild, then welded in some flat bar across the top of the frame so the roof had something to sit flat on. He ran into issues sealing the windsheild frame, but I doubt your looking to peel the entire top off this thing. Looked like a sick ride as he had also made half doors for it so with the top off there was a straight line down the side of the body. He also split the back door, so that the bottom half floded down like a tailgate and the upper half flipped the window out much like a TJ. It was a little hodge-podged together, just wish I could find the link to it now for ya... If I find it I'll post it up for you.

    Sounds like a cool idea, but I think it may be easier and maybe in the long run cheaper to half the back and have a boat guy make you up a back half. Maybe look for some canvas guys a little farther away from TO may be cheaper but I am not sure about that... just a thought.
    This is the thread your talking about: http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...movable+xj+top

    First off, keep in mind that I only want to do an Hummer SUT styled chop, like the pictures I posted above.

    What I'd like to do is have 2 tail gates. A full one and a half one. My current tail gate is rusting so I could use that as the half one and just patch the bad areas. Or I could look at modifying a Commanche tail gate to fit (there's just something cool about having JEEP stamped on a tail gate).
    For the full one I'd like to have a new style ZJ hatch as it's got the lift up glass (open the glass without having to open the whole thing).

    I talked with a boat top shop in Oakville when I was originally thinking about this with my old ZJ (RIP). The shop wanted to around $1000-1500 to do it. I just can't see myself spending that much on fabric.

    Quote Originally Posted by LugNutz View Post
    Went through all the folders you posted, can't find them.

    I did find this folder though, kewl trail pics, should get the uniboys droolin, some nicely built rigs.

    http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2379...32428117RXgFfw
    One day I hope to get the other Jeep guys drooling about my unibody and what I'm doing with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ILikeMud View Post
    Or I could look at modifying a Commanche tail gate to fit (there's just something cool about having JEEP stamped on a tail gate).
    I've got a comanche tailgate sittin in my garage right now...betcha can't guess what it's for

    I totally agree with the awe of having 'JEEP' stamped on your rear end

    funny how great ZJ builders think alike man...we should have a beer and discuss @ the rubi Tony

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    I guess I lied, I thought the one with the top on it had full doors. I think I need to get my eyes checked. I'm sure full doors wouldn't be so hard to find though, but yeah a 4dr JK may be an option after you look at storage for the top, doors, etc. etc. etc. you'd need one hell of a shop for that.

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    I figured the XJ chop was extreme for what you are looking for, but it does hold some decent info to help you along. There is 10 million things you could do with this, and in the end its all your call, just trying to give you a few things to think about. Yeah the soft top may be $1500, but how much will you spend to have the hardtop removable so it doesnt warp. You could do a roof rack/halo cage on it to keep it square, but in all reality how many times do you think you can peel it off and stick it back on before it's out of shape and leaks like a sieve? Heck my TJ top is slightly twisted already. Anything you do just keep the pics coming, always love to see something different. Always had a soft spot for chopped XJ's... can't see a ZJ being much different.

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    Yea, I'm working on some pics for the sealing and bolting the top in place.
    As for beefing the sheet metal itself, that will have to wait till I drop the head liner, that won't happen till the spring.

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    Well here's a little something I came up with.
    This is allow a good bit of weather stripping and hopefully seal it up nicely. Use some bolts to tighten it all up.


    Then I looked at that chop top XJ build and saw this:


    The perfect way to secure and mount the top where it needs to go.
    What do you all think?

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    tony you need to just get drunk and start cutting you always over think things.

    did i hear talk of wings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CANADIAN ZJ! View Post
    I've got a comanche tailgate sittin in my garage right now...betcha can't guess what it's for

    I totally agree with the awe of having 'JEEP' stamped on your rear end

    funny how great ZJ builders think alike man...we should have a beer and discuss @ the rubi Tony

    shoot me a pm if you wanna go this week dude
    Quote Originally Posted by jeepinrombo View Post
    tony you need to just get drunk and start cutting you always over think things.

    did i hear talk of wings?
    I over think things cause I only want to do them once.

    I'd love to do something guys but I'm on pain killers from my wisdom teeth so I can drive.
    Plus I can't eat either.

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