Aluminium Replica of Fiberglass Top - Defender Source
Defender Source  

Go Back   Defender Source > Defender & Series Technical Discussions > Defender Technical Discussions


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old May 12th, 2015, 03:18 PM
jperakis
Status: Offline
James Perakis
94 ST
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 508
Aluminium Replica of Fiberglass Top

I'm sure this has been discussed, but a simple search produced nothing relevant...

I would imagine there is a sizable market for a sturdy removable hardtop (preferably made of aluminum) for the ST defenders.

The fiberglass tops are generally all spoken for and are very fragile, but they serve a great function.

I understand development/construction costs would be high but from a technical perspective this has to be feasible, right?
__________________
remember two things...
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old May 12th, 2015, 03:30 PM
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
Likely far too expensive for a limited market. There's a guy who's been looking for a new condition fiberglass top but has been unwilling to pay the 50% discounted price for one even though it's blue just like his top - an aluminum version would likely be more than 5x more expensive than that. Not saying it's not a good idea, as the stock fiberglass tops are certainly brittle at 20 years old, but likely far too expensive to develop anything that'd be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With how much effort it takes to install even a fiberglass top, I'd be tempted to just buy one of the many many thousands of regular SW tops, remove my cage, and install the regular SW top for however long I'd like (and at a likely significant discount under what it'd cost to product a custom aluminum top).
__________________
Quote:
I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:01 PM
drdread's Avatar
drdread
Status: Offline
AL
'94 NAS 90 SW
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Southern NY & North Miami
Posts: 531
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
Likely far too expensive for a limited market. There's a guy who's been looking for a new condition fiberglass top but has been unwilling to pay the 50% discounted price for one even though it's blue just like his top - an aluminum version would likely be more than 5x more expensive than that. Not saying it's not a good idea, as the stock fiberglass tops are certainly brittle at 20 years old, but likely far too expensive to develop anything that'd be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With how much effort it takes to install even a fiberglass top, I'd be tempted to just buy one of the many many thousands of regular SW tops, remove my cage, and install the regular SW top for however long I'd like (and at a likely significant discount under what it'd cost to product a custom aluminum top).
exactly and what I did. Although many would probably like a more easily removable aluminum top solution, I doubt it can beat the price of sourcing a SW top in this day and age (except from those who seek to take advantage of perceived scarcity and jack up the prices to ridiculous levels).
__________________
1994 Silver DEFENDER 90 NAS SW
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:25 PM
One Ten's Avatar
One Ten
Status: Offline
Sam
1994 NAS SW
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1,200
Maybe you could modify a Tithonus fiberglass top to work on a ST. They're very sturdy and designed to go over a roll cage albeit not a padded one.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:32 PM
bjf's Avatar
bjf
Status: Offline
barry f
94 ST #395
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,968
Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
Likely far too expensive for a limited market. There's a guy who's been looking for a new condition fiberglass top but has been unwilling to pay the 50% discounted price for one even though it's blue just like his top - an aluminum version would likely be more than 5x more expensive than that. Not saying it's not a good idea, as the stock fiberglass tops are certainly brittle at 20 years old, but likely far too expensive to develop anything that'd be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With how much effort it takes to install even a fiberglass top, I'd be tempted to just buy one of the many many thousands of regular SW tops, remove my cage, and install the regular SW top for however long I'd like (and at a likely significant discount under what it'd cost to product a custom aluminum top).

Love the passive aggressive digs.
__________________
Quote:
Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:42 PM
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
Ha. Only one. "looking for new. Not willing to pay money"
__________________
Quote:
I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:45 PM
defender1844
Status: Offline
Amit Likhyani
95 D90 Soft Top Estoril Blue 6.2 LS
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 574
I'd be in for 5 grand. Don't think it can be produced for that. One thing that would be cool: combine the side and corner pieces into one. On my old fiberglass top the metal strip with the studs would always unglue and you would end up with those 2 panels not bound together.

Sliding side windows and a sunroof would be possible too. It would be really cool but I'm not expecting someone to build it for mass sale.

There is d90tops.com who claim to make a superior fiberglass version of the fiberglass top. I've never seen one in person so I can't comment.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:46 PM
jperakis
Status: Offline
James Perakis
94 ST
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 508
How would something like this even be engineered?

casting? milled?

I just look at the side panels and can't help but think there must be a relatively inexpensive way to replicate it.

Hell even 3d printing?

It's not like the top is structural in nature. It's just a way to keep the weather out.
__________________
remember two things...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:49 PM
bjf's Avatar
bjf
Status: Offline
barry f
94 ST #395
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,968
Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
Ha. Only one. "looking for new. Not willing to pay money"

HA Awesome!
__________________
Quote:
Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:51 PM
WeBeCinYa's Avatar
WeBeCinYa
Status: Offline
WeBeCinYa
94 ST #84
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 2,387
Registry
Hahaha, thanks for the plug you just need my user name in there someplace. If the fiberglass tops weren't so brittle I would pony up, but to pay a lot for something that may crack wide open, I can't. The other top likely needs to be painted and may never match, the blue looks almost purple from the pics posted. If it were such a deal it would be gone. Last Arles SW top I saw was 5K from Mark and I still would need a rear door. I'll probably just end up trading my ST for a SW. But thanks for your continued concern.
__________________
1994 Defender 90
2006 LR3 SE
1996 Discovery I (sold)
1991 Range Rover Classic (sold)
1995 Range Rover Classic (sold)
2006 LR3 SE (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:53 PM
jperakis
Status: Offline
James Perakis
94 ST
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by defender1844 View Post
There is d90tops.com who claim to make a superior fiberglass version of the fiberglass top. I've never seen one in person so I can't comment.
This is very much along the lines of what I'm talking about...

Clearly replicas can be done!

My thinking is that a very conservative estimate would be 500 sales at $3000 a piece for a removable aluminum top.

Especially it the frame were made with via casting I would imagine there has got to be a way to develop something for under $750,000. Obviously windows and gaskets (and install time for them) would need to be included... but assuming the conservative estimates above someone should be able to recoup all of their costs and probably even take a little off the top.

Perhaps I'm too naive
__________________
remember two things...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old May 12th, 2015, 04:59 PM
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 WeBeCinYa View Post
Hahaha, thanks for the plug you just need my user name in there someplace. If the fiberglass tops weren't so brittle I would pony up, but to pay a lot for something that may crack wide open, I can't. The other top likely needs to be painted and may never match, the blue looks almost purple from the pics posted. If it were such a deal it would be gone. Last Arles SW top I saw was 5K from Mark and I still would need a rear door. I'll probably just end up trading my ST for a SW. But thanks for your continued concern.
it's not gone yet because it's Arles and arles owners are typically "frugal"/"cheap" individuals (just look at Barry). the d90tops fiberglass ones I'd referenced above are reinforced in the shitty areas which makes them superior to the stock ones. They're also more expensive than the stock crappy ones because they're being produced in much smaller numbers than the original NAS ones were therefore not achieving any sort of economies of scale. Sure it may crack wide open, but not for 20 years, which will likely be far past your ownership.
__________________
Quote:
I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:05 PM
drdread's Avatar
drdread
Status: Offline
AL
'94 NAS 90 SW
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Southern NY & North Miami
Posts: 531
Registry
Aluminium Replica of Fiberglass Top

D90top is way over $3k if you add sunroof, sliding windows, alpine window, color match and then to ship it to you in one piece.
As I mentioned, ignoring those seeking to squeeze you for last dime, one can find more reasonable sources with patience.
There's no way to easily and cost effectively ship an aluminum top with its sides on.
Can you imagine the size of the crate to do that????
__________________
1994 Silver DEFENDER 90 NAS SW
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:06 PM
bjf's Avatar
bjf
Status: Offline
barry f
94 ST #395
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,968
I have seen one of the D90 tops in person. Seemed nice. Guy who had it said his diagonals didnt fit with top on. Not sure if that issue has been fixed but I assume it has. As for the blue one. The sides need to be painted. Its really not that much when you think about it. Take the glass out and it is literally nothing. You could easily respray them yourself or if you are worried have the entire top painted black.
__________________
Quote:
Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:08 PM
Red90's Avatar
Red90
Status: Offline
John B.
1991 Defender 90, 200TDI
Site Team
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Calgary
Posts: 9,242
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdread View Post
D90top is way over $3k if you add roof, sliding windows, alpine window, color match and then to ship it to you in one piece.
It is $4600 as shown on their site.

No way in hell you would ever sell 500 units, IMO. If you sold 10 to 20 a year, I would be surprised.
__________________
Pissing people off on the "net" since 1983.

Land Rover. Turning owners into mechanics since 1948.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:44 PM
jperakis
Status: Offline
James Perakis
94 ST
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
It is $4600 as shown on their site.

No way in hell you would ever sell 500 units, IMO. If you sold 10 to 20 a year, I would be surprised.
I wonder how many units Badger sells in a year...

I could be wrong, but a great top is a known issue for defender owners.

Sure the market isn't huge, but I'm also not talking about doing this to turn a massive profit.

I just think there is demand (both recognized and unrecognized) and that no current solution is perfect.

Moreover, the best thing going for Defender vendors is that NAS d-90 owners typically love their vehicles and have the $$ to buy larger ticket items.

As the years go on I would imagine the desire/market for a aluminum removable top will only increase.

Not saying you are wrong, but over a 5-6 year span I could see several hundred unit get sold, contingent on the execution being damn near perfect ( a la BCW).
__________________
remember two things...
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:51 PM
drdread's Avatar
drdread
Status: Offline
AL
'94 NAS 90 SW
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Southern NY & North Miami
Posts: 531
Registry
21 years and waiting....
__________________
1994 Silver DEFENDER 90 NAS SW
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:55 PM
huibae's Avatar
huibae
Status: Offline
Harold Lee
Jon Snow Badge 1122
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 365
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdread View Post
D90top is way over $3k if you add sunroof, sliding windows, alpine window, color match and then to ship it to you in one piece. As I mentioned, ignoring those seeking to squeeze you for last dime, one can find more reasonable sources with patience. There's no way to easily and cost effectively ship an aluminum top with its sides on. Can you imagine the size of the crate to do that????
My d90top is only $2500!!!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:55 PM
drdread's Avatar
drdread
Status: Offline
AL
'94 NAS 90 SW
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Southern NY & North Miami
Posts: 531
Registry
Wow you still have it????!!!!!
__________________
1994 Silver DEFENDER 90 NAS SW
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old May 12th, 2015, 05:59 PM
huibae's Avatar
huibae
Status: Offline
Harold Lee
Jon Snow Badge 1122
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 365
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdread View Post
Wow you still have it????!!!!!
Yeah - have an inbox full of inquiries but no one pulled the trigger.

I'm gonna take it off this weekend as Indiana Spring is calling for a topless weekend drive.

Anyone interested in it, PM me. $2500 and ta all yours. That's my bottom dollar as I'll keep it and put it back in for the winter I suppose.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Defender Source > Defender & Series Technical Discussions > Defender Technical Discussions

Tags
fiber, fiberglass, fiberglass top, glass, 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
SVX Replica Project Heathbarcrunch Wanted 38 June 24th, 2015 11:24 PM
AGV GRID Sun and Moon Helmet XXXL - Valentino Rossi Replica Rugbier The Flea Market 1 April 23rd, 2015 08:49 PM
Lara :: 1986 Land Rover 1986 camel trophy defender 90 "replica" the rover shop Defender & Series Truck Registry 0 May 7th, 2013 10:11 AM
3rd Brake Light Replica Done CDeWan For Sale - Parts 15 August 4th, 2011 02:27 PM
Series II replica... freeekin' cool TravelerBT For Sale - Vehicles 6 September 12th, 2009 09:43 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 AM.


Copyright