Differences between metal and fiberglass top - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 18th, 2004, 05:55 PM
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Jason Herring
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Differences between metal and fiberglass top

What are the differences between the metal top found on wagons and the fiberglass top on convertibles? I see the rear door is different, but what else?

Is the form factor essentially the same? Is interior space the same? Will the same accessories fit either wagon or fiberglass top? Has anyone painted their fiberglass top to look like a wagon's top (eg body color with a white top)?
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  #2  
Old June 19th, 2004, 02:12 AM
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What are the differences between the metal top found on wagons and the fiberglass top on convertibles? I see the rear door is different, but what else?

The fibreglass top is ok, but it is much less of a finished roof than the alum. The alum is quieter, can be fitted with a headliner and is generally more weatherproof (as opposed to weather resistant)


Is the form factor essentially the same?

Not sure what you mean. A fibreglass top is slightly larger exterior dimensions than a alum.

Is interior space the same?

Fibreglass is slightly larger

Will the same accessories fit either wagon or fiberglass top?

You cannot fit any thule bars or tradational style roof rails on a fibreglass top. The NAS roof rack works on either though.

Has anyone painted their fiberglass top to look like a wagon's top (eg body color with a white top)?

Yes, search the archieves. If you wanted it all white an etch and some appliance epoxy would work.

Ron
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  #3  
Old June 19th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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Jason Herring
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Yes, by form factor I was referring to interior and exterior dimensions. Basically the two things I'd like to know are if:

1) a fiberglass top would *look* the same as a wagon top if painted accordingly

2) a fiberglass top would function the same with regards to accessories, roll bars (interior or exterior), etc as a metal wagon top.

Why aren't the wagons just used as convertibles? Is the metal top much harder to remove/replace when fitting a soft top? Couldn't a metal top provide the same functionality?

Why won't the Thule roof rails, etc, fit? Because the fiberglass top is a bit larger/thicker, the bars don't fit? Has anyone modified them or fit universal bars?

Thanks for the info - sorry if any of these seem like stupid questions, I'm learing the D90 ropes
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  #4  
Old June 19th, 2004, 04:38 PM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaherring

1) a fiberglass top would *look* the same as a wagon top if painted accordingly

Yes.

2) a fiberglass top would function the same with regards to accessories, roll bars (interior or exterior), etc as a metal wagon top.

?? I would think not though. The cages for ST and SW are different.

Why aren't the wagons just used as convertibles?
Becasue the were designed as SW. It's that simple. They aren't like Jeeps with removeable tops. You'll need to do some expensive mods to go from one or the other. Search the board and you'll find a nice article on going from a SW to ST. Involved.

Is the metal top much harder to remove/replace when fitting a soft top? Yes. Because they weren't designed to be removed easily.

Couldn't a metal top provide the same functionality? Yes in theory. Check out Eastcoastrovers. They put a metal top on a ST but had to change the cage. They themselves said once the top was on they never changed it back. Its the ECR4 write up.

Why won't the Thule roof rails, etc, fit? ??? Has anyone modified them or fit universal bars? ????

Thanks for the info - sorry if any of these seem like stupid questions, I'm learing the D90 ropes

Search the Board and you'll find a wealth of info on the topics above. The thing to remember is that a Defender isn't a Jeep. And thank god. It's either a ST or SW in NAS form. If you a Euro tub (on sale at RN for 750?) you will have a bulkhead at the front of the tub. With this peice you can fit a truck cab, SW or ST a lot easier than the NAS models. You'll have to have a custom cage designed though.

EwS
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  #5  
Old June 19th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Standard roof racks fasten to the hard top gutters. The gutters on the f-glass top are more of a fat flange - a totally different shape, and not nearly as strong.

The defender on the cover of the roversnorth defender catalog has a painted hardtop. You can downlaod the catalog from their site or ask them to send you one.

The roll cages are different between the SW and ST, so there is no metal top that is designed to accomodate the ST roll cage. Some have adapted them to fit, but its a totally custom job.

If you were going to simply mount skis or something light to the roof rack, I could see adapting a f-glass top to accomodate it - especially if using a thule or other commercial system. The gutter flange is pretty large, and already has holes in it where you fasten it to the side panels. I would not however, put a full expedition rack up there loaded with supplies, fuel, tires, tent, etc.

Does that help?
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  #6  
Old June 19th, 2004, 05:59 PM
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The factory thule bars fit to the cage and fit on either. Just the series style does not work on a ST.

Ron
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