Hard Top Repair - Minneapolis - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 11th, 2011, 10:08 PM
jkins
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john
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Hard Top Repair - Minneapolis

Hello,

Just purchased my D90 but the hard top is in rough shape. It needs a fiberglass overall.

I was thinking about going to a boat repair place to see about getting it rebuilt but wanted to see if anyone has any other ideas? I am open to ideas to getting it fixed and thought I might get it done cheaper in the winter.

Let me know what you guys think!

Thanks,
John
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  #2  
Old December 12th, 2011, 01:54 AM
CDeWan
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Clay DeWan
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hard top

I just found a guy/shop that works with fiberglass - old corvettes, kit cars, etc to fix mine. Also had the underside sprayed with sound deadening material and that white over it which really made the interior a lot brighter inside. Make sure that the shop is heated so that the fiberglass cures correctly - to cold and I don't think it sets well.
Also, I used a thin weather strip between each of the top and the sides so that it would keep out water. Just remember not to torque the bolts down as this a major cause of the fiber glass damage.
If you bought the truck with the hard top on....did you get all the soft top pieces that should go with the truck NAS header bar, etc.?
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  #3  
Old December 20th, 2011, 11:41 PM
jkins
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john
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Hello,

Yes, I got all the parts for the Soft and Hard top. The Soft top is OEM and the hard top is in rough shape so the truck has neither of them on currently.
I got the quote back from the fiberglass guy and it was $1800 to fix the top. Seems a little high so I will look at some other shops.
I need to put the soft top on here shortly but it is so dam cold in Minneapolis that I don't want to do much w the truck now.

Any other ideas for hard top fix? How difficult are the OEM soft tops for 94 NAS defenders?

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old December 21st, 2011, 12:34 AM
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AmityD90
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Gery
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http://www.d90tops.com/

Just another option. May be cheaper to replace than repair if only a few sections are in need of fixing.
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  #5  
Old December 21st, 2011, 04:18 AM
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Dave Sherwood
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jkins...not sure the hardtop is going to be all that much warmer than the soft-top :-)

You should check out our local MPLS Land Rover club: www.mnlandrovers.org

I would think about spending the $$ on a Badger Coachworks top vs. trying to fix the hardtop.

www.badgercoachworks.com

If you were interested, you could swing by and take a look at how mine fits vs. the factory top.
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Current Rovers:
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2006 LR3
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  #6  
Old December 21st, 2011, 11:34 PM
jkins
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john
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thanks!

thanks for the offer. I think I will take you up on it... I need to adopt a Defender brother who can help me get through some of these issues...

I will try to make it to the MN landrover club meeting but I travel often for work so its tough. i will look for a way to sign up online to stay in up to date.

Is the Badger top a lot better than the original top? Whats better about it? btw, heres a pic of my D90.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DMSLongLake View Post
jkins...not sure the hardtop is going to be all that much warmer than the soft-top :-)

You should check out our local MPLS Land Rover club: www.mnlandrovers.org

I would think about spending the $$ on a Badger Coachworks top vs. trying to fix the hardtop.

www.badgercoachworks.com

If you were interested, you could swing by and take a look at how mine fits vs. the factory top.
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  #7  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 08:39 AM
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DMSLongLake
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Dave Sherwood
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I have the Badger top with the "Gutter Kit" which creates a hard door seal all the way around the side and top of the window...as the stock one tends to have a large gap behind the window.

I don't make it to a ton of meetings, but it is a good source for info/wrenching help.

Also, the owner of www.expeditionautoworks.com is one of our members and has extensive Defender experience.

Happy to see another D90 owner here. Where did your truck come from?
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Current Rovers:
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2006 LR3
2016 RRS

Past Rovers:
1997 Disco I
1988 Range Rover 40th Anniversary
1999 Disco II
1995 D-90 ST #2731
1997 Range Rover 4.6 HSE Vitesse
2003 Range Rover HSE
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  #8  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:18 AM
jkins
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john
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bought it from a guy in golden valley... it was strange to find one local. i have been interested for years but never really had everything fall into place. this one just seemed to make sense.

Can you post or send me some pics of your top? johnkinseyatgmail.com
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  #9  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:42 AM
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rijosho
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Joshua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkins View Post
Is the Badger top a lot better than the original top? Whats better about it? btw, heres a pic of my D90.
John, do yourself a favor and search Badger Coachworks on this board. You'll find plenty of people who love Chris Laws' tops and other products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMSLongLake View Post
I have the Badger top with the "Gutter Kit" which creates a hard door seal all the way around the side and top of the window...as the stock one tends to have a large gap behind the window.
Precisely. The "regular" tops have a tendency to look like this...

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...postcount=1953

not very warm and cozy looking, is it? That was taken from a sighting just yesterday. The stock tops suck - they shrink, they rip easily, they don't seal properly, etc., etc., etc.

But yeah, just search Badger or Badger Coachworks on the forum and you should see plenty of examples of his tops - color combos, etc. I'm a sucker for the tan top on a white truck - looks awesome. Also, buy one his his drop curtains (top and bottom) - it's one of (if not the) best ways to keep your front cabin nice and warm over the Winter months.

http://www.badgercoachworks.com/inde...s/Page1627.htm
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #10  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 10:28 AM
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founD90
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Dr. Gonzo
1994 D90 #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkins View Post
Hello,

Yes, I got all the parts for the Soft and Hard top. The Soft top is OEM and the hard top is in rough shape so the truck has neither of them on currently.
I got the quote back from the fiberglass guy and it was $1800 to fix the top. Seems a little high so I will look at some other shops.
I need to put the soft top on here shortly but it is so dam cold in Minneapolis that I don't want to do much w the truck now.

Any other ideas for hard top fix? How difficult are the OEM soft tops for 94 NAS defenders?

Thanks!
How bad is the top? Cosmetic, or structural? A few cracks at some mounting points isn't a big deal and can be made to work pretty inexpensively.

Do you have all the hardware to install the top?

If I was looking at a Minnesota winter with the choice between OEM soft top, and ratty hard top, I would have the hardtop on the truck yesterday. AFAIK the Badger top will take considerable time for Chris to make and will come at a considerable cost. If you have the snap OEM top, you'll also have to change that to a belt rail. - Josh was lucky that his truck came blinged out with Badger stuff, because it is big money.

I'm in Chicago, and I have my B+ fiberglass top on this winter. While it hasn't gotten that cold here yet, I have found the top to be more than adequate. Compared to my OEM '94 'Tickford' soft top with snaps, the fiberglass top seals the truck much better.

The drop curtain is a good suggestion if you don't have kids in the backseat.

As for your immediate needs: I would get new seals for the hard top: doors and rear window, get some topper tape or equivalent to go around the base, where the top meets the tub (careful, water loves to get trapped there and rust the capping), get a 3/4" wide roll of similar tape for where to top is fitted to the sides. Get new hardware with 1" rubber bushings for the header bar. Then get some of that black sealing putty from a shop that installs camper tops on pickups and fill in all the holes you can see around the footers.

Plan on an afternoon in a heated garage to get it fitted properly, instructions can be found here on the D-90 site homepage I think.

And once you have the top on, you can evaluate whether it's worth $3K+ for a Badger.

Good Luck!
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  #11  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 10:44 AM
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rijosho
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Joshua
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Instead of topper tape you can also use pond liner from Home Depot and cut to your liking. And for sealing holes you can also use black silicone sealant as found in the extrusion bottles.
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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