Soft Top Questions - Defender Source
Defender Source  

Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old March 19th, 2012, 07:28 PM
icurnmedic
Status: Offline
Thomas Church
1994 Red D90
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lenoir, NC
Posts: 189
Soft Top Questions

So, probably should know this but I dont, and cant find a thread that explains , so, I would like for someone to tell/show me what the differences in Soft tops are. I have heard the term "belt rail" system, not sure what this means, I have a 1994, And have heard the later 95/97 soft tops will not fit the 1994. any pictures , or even a link would be appreciated so i can see the differences so i know what to buy. And while Im asking, what does the acronym ROW mean. Sorry to have two questions on one post , but these 2 things have bugged me for a while. ( and not sure why the hell the previous sentences are italicized either, cant get them not to be) Thanks
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old March 19th, 2012, 08:27 PM
Burke's Avatar
Burke
Status: Offline
Burke Bell
'94 NAS D90 #158
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Posts: 1,016
Registry
94s had what's called the Tickford top. A canvas like material that snaps to the body and windows that roll up and snap to the roof. They also have the alpine windows. 95 & 97s have the Bestop that attaches to the body with the "belt rail". It is more of a shiny plastic/ vinyl material. ROW stands for rest of the world as the NAS or north American spec defenders are a bit different to ROW defenders.
__________________
"I race cars, play tennis, and fondle women, BUT! I have weekends off, and I am my own boss." - Arthur
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old March 19th, 2012, 08:28 PM
cgalpin's Avatar
cgalpin
Status: Offline
Charles Galpin
'94 D90 ST, '63 SeriesIIA
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: South Riding, VA
Posts: 11,625
Registry
ROW = Rest Of the World

The top differences are pretty easy. There are two types and three primary suppliers.

The snap kind. Your 94 came this way and you have snaps along the tub just below the capping. If you have a strip of aluminum then someone converted it to a belt rail system. As far as I know, the tickford is the only kind with snaps.

The belt rail kind. You have a rail along the tub edge just below the capping, on the sides as well as the back (not on the rear door). The original tops were made by Bestop, but badgers are the preferred replacement.

hth
charles
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by pendy
I'm here for the D's
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old March 19th, 2012, 08:28 PM
founD90's Avatar
founD90
Status: Offline
Dr. Gonzo
1994 D90 #48
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Woody Creek
Posts: 725
The 94's originally came with snaps. If you have to snap your top to the body, you most likely do not have a belt rail system, you have what's known as a Tickford Top. These gray colored tops affix to the truck with a series of snaps all along the sides of the truck.

95 and 97 trucks (and 94s that have been retrofitted) have what's known as a belt rail system. Instead of snaps, the top fits into a rail system that is mounted to the body of the truck. These black tops are know as Best Top (the original maker of the top) or you may see references to Badger tops (an aftermarket supplier of tops)

If you have the snap system, you would either buy/use a Tickford or purchase a belt rail kit and convert your truck. I believe it takes a pop-rivet gun. The kits are available at Rovers North or from Badger Coachworks. This is why a Best Top or Badger for a 95/97 top will not fit a 94 that has not been retrofitted with the belt rail system, and retains its original snap system.

No pictures from me, I still have the snaps and a Tickford.

ROW = Rest Of World = Defenders that were made for markets outside the UK (but usually not the US in the context of this board)

-------------

Edit: Looks like we all decided to answer at the same time!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old March 21st, 2012, 01:33 PM
icurnmedic
Status: Offline
Thomas Church
1994 Red D90
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lenoir, NC
Posts: 189
OK , thanks for the information. So I assume that someone has converted to a belt rail system. What would be the better ST, I have heard of the badger top, but that may be a little pricey for me. Are pretty much all the other brands a toss up? Also , what do I need to make sure and have to use a ST when I purchase one? Any special bars etc? Thanks again for your help.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	101_0010.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	117.4 KB
ID:	49351  
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old March 21st, 2012, 01:37 PM
DMSLongLake's Avatar
DMSLongLake
Status: Offline
Dave Sherwood
1994 D90 ST
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Long Lake, MN USA
Posts: 685
Registry
Buy a Badger top with the "Gutter Kit."

It will be expensive...but WELL worth it as you will actually have a seal around your doors...

http://www.badgercoachworks.com/inde...s/Page1625.htm
__________________
DMSLongLake

Current Rovers:
1994 D-90 ST #734
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
2008 RRS
2013 RRS
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 1st, 2012, 10:46 AM
rcfarris's Avatar
rcfarris
Status: Offline
Rory Farris
multiple
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Enterprise, AL
Posts: 33
problem is not the price, its the service. i ordered a surrey top and waited 9 months for chris to tell me he would start on it. i gave him the benefit of the doubt and ordered the badger2 top. its been over 3 months and still no top. i cant get any response despite multiple calls and emails.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 1st, 2012, 10:53 AM
rijosho's Avatar
rijosho
Status: Offline
Joshua
1995 Black ST - Rhinolined edition
Research Assistant/Eagle Eyes
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 16,557
Registry
He's answered pretty much whenever I've called or e-mailed him. I'd rather wait for the superior Badger top, than spend money on a shit top, personally. You'll make up for the wait time just in how much longer his top(s) last you over the others.
__________________
Quote:
I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 1st, 2012, 11:30 AM
texrover's Avatar
texrover
Status: Offline
Jason
71 SIIA, 03 RR, 94 D90 (PO), 83 110
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dallas TX
Posts: 609
Registry
Wait for the Badger and run the Surrey Top

I actually never even used my full soft top; I went fiberglass hard top or surrey, but I had the original '94 Tickford which was a PITA

Once you get the Badger then you'll probably never run a surrey again....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:24 AM
MC36
Status: Offline
Michael Christian
97 D90 ST British Racing Green
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 116
Never had a problem with Chris answering emails or the phone. Overall very good service and top quality stuff. The top does take some time to make but well worth it. I'm about to pull the trigger on different color ST to change it up a bit. The OEM top is a pain to get one and off.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:37 AM
jjstahl3's Avatar
jjstahl3
Status: Offline
Jay S
96 D1 TReK
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: PORTLAND, OR, USA
Posts: 1,673
Registry
i had a rovers north top on my 95 and I was not impressed with it - did not seal around the window tops at all
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 03:00 AM
Rocky's Avatar
Rocky
Status: Offline
Chris
72 + D1 drivetrain
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Colonies Aka Boston
Posts: 8,792
Once you've seen a RN top and a Badger top, there is no way you'll even consider the RN product due to poorer fit and finish.
__________________
A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:13 AM
geoellis's Avatar
geoellis
Status: Offline
George
1995 D90 #2904 - BB
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: The Long Island of NY
Posts: 1,171
A quality top, like fine wine, takes time.
__________________
1997 P38 4.6
1998 P38 4.0
2011 LR4
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 09:08 AM
founD90's Avatar
founD90
Status: Offline
Dr. Gonzo
1994 D90 #48
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Woody Creek
Posts: 725
This thread, much like the "Vinnie the Mechanic" thread puts a fine point on the importance of these guys to COMMUNICATE with their customers, especially the ones who have put down deposits, left their truck, etc. Being good at what you do is fine, but to work in this sort of customer driven market, these guys need to swallow a bit of their ego and travel further down the customer service path.

If they did a better job setting expectations up front, there would be less frustration later on. Not everyone is Josh, with a Bat-Phone connection to Badger's office that get's picked up every time he thinks about canvas accessories. I know I've sent him emails in the past that he never replied to.

If the communication is to much of a burden (and if it is, why are you doing this?) Do what Mike @ ECR did, hire someone to be an office-manager/email and phone monkey. Answer all those stupid questions, and leave people with the impression that you still care about the customer after you take their money. Be prepared to hand-hold some customers, be prepared to deal with customers who (rightfully or wrongly) demand immediate gratification, not a 12-month wait for their top to be made, or their engine replaced. We are an instant gratification society, and while some things do take time, we often don't want to wait what we perceive to be too long.

/Rant
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
JohnsD90's Avatar
JohnsD90
Status: Offline
John
74 SIII 88", 88 110, 91 110
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 2,282
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by founD90 View Post
This thread, much like the "Vinnie the Mechanic" thread puts a fine point on the importance of these guys to COMMUNICATE with their customers, especially the ones who have put down deposits, left their truck, etc. Being good at what you do is fine, but to work in this sort of customer driven market, these guys need to swallow a bit of their ego and travel further down the customer service path.

If they did a better job setting expectations up front, there would be less frustration later on. Not everyone is Josh, with a Bat-Phone connection to Badger's office that get's picked up every time he thinks about canvas accessories. I know I've sent him emails in the past that he never replied to.

If the communication is to much of a burden (and if it is, why are you doing this?) Do what Mike @ ECR did, hire someone to be an office-manager/email and phone monkey. Answer all those stupid questions, and leave people with the impression that you still care about the customer after you take their money. Be prepared to hand-hold some customers, be prepared to deal with customers who (rightfully or wrongly) demand immediate gratification, not a 12-month wait for their top to be made, or their engine replaced. We are an instant gratification society, and while some things do take time, we often don't want to wait what we perceive to be too long.

/Rant

I have never done business with Badger so i cant comment on him, But I find this to be true with many small car forum type vendors, they have great products everyone wants, but their customer service is far from ideal and i know i have been turned away from a few in the 4Runner and TDI scenes because of it.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:42 AM
geoellis's Avatar
geoellis
Status: Offline
George
1995 D90 #2904 - BB
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: The Long Island of NY
Posts: 1,171
I left my Bat-phone back in the 70s, but Chris picked up whenever I've called.
__________________
1997 P38 4.6
1998 P38 4.0
2011 LR4
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:00 AM
rijosho's Avatar
rijosho
Status: Offline
Joshua
1995 Black ST - Rhinolined edition
Research Assistant/Eagle Eyes
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 16,557
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoellis View Post
I left my Bat-phone back in the 70s, but Chris picked up whenever I've called.
I think as long as you have a black truck he picks up. He really has been good with communicating - sure a few e-mails have required me to follow-up before he first responded, but I think in all he's pretty good about it. He works with his hands all day and he seems to always have orders keeping him busy, so if he does lack in the commuication from time to time, it sucks but is sort of inevitable.

Regarding lead-time, I'll agree - that's everywhere. We want everything right now, and if we call someone and say "how long is it going to take if I buy X" and he/she says, "Four months" most of us would call the next closest competitor and ask the same question until one of them tells us half the time it really takes to get it to you - and that's the one who gets your money in the end.

The complaints for how long it takes Chris to supply his tops has always been the main complaint - don't know why some seem so surprised all of a sudden. Those same people who waited for his stuff are also the ones who still recommend his stuff over anyone else, too.
__________________
Quote:
I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat

Tags
soft top

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1997 Bestop Soft Top Like New & Misc Parts Adam Armendariz For Sale - Parts 16 December 8th, 2005 01:43 AM
Best Top Soft Top For Sale WCURoverD90 For Sale - Parts 2 November 1st, 2005 04:24 PM
White 95 D90 Soft top for sale.. sniff.. Richard Dekkard For Sale - Vehicles 5 December 1st, 2004 12:38 PM
Original Soft Top 94 D-90 & Surrey Top!!!! doozle For Sale - Parts 7 November 10th, 2004 08:22 PM
Which is the best soft top for D-90? bbandit Defender Technical Discussions 13 March 9th, 2004 08:40 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:46 AM.


Copyright