Humor the ST aluminum roof dream... - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 27th, 2004, 11:01 PM
thecatsmeow
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Michael Morgan
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Humor the ST aluminum roof dream...

Could a couple of folks take some measurements for me ...

Wagon and ST models.

1.) Wagon - Floor to inner roof, roughly ST front bar area just behind seats.

Then.) Wagon - Floor to inner roof in the rear were ST rear bar corresponds.

Third.) ST Guys - Height of front and rear safari cage bars.

D.) The point is to quantitatively determine interference b/w the ST cage and wagon top. Any padding should be removed for hard point accuracy I guess. Close measurements count for kudo's. The thought is that 1) The roof can be offset from the safari cage by using some form of shimming. Be open minded... or, my prefered idea 2) Remember how old school tent poles interlock with the tapered ends? With careful measuring and welding, the cage can be cut (any height you prefer, front and rear) and a peice of stock with X OD matching the existing cage tube stock's ID. Remove the amount of interference from the stock safari cage uprights (less than a couple of inches). Slip the smaller diameter tubing (thick wall of course) into the lower or upper portion of remaining safari cage, which ever you prefer. The two pieces are then welded at one of the seams only, allowing the top portion to telescope out to ST height or reduce to SW roof height. Two bolts perpendicular to each other will then be used where the remaining safari cage large diameter portion and smaller stock overlap to lock the smaller diameter in place. There will be two sets of the same bolt pattern, high and low. When in either mode, cover with padding to hide modification. This mod beats a ST with alu. roof and no cage. Be honest with your criticism, but weigh ideas equally. There is no reason this problem can't be bettered with a little creative engineering. Don't bash, just think past the problem.

Oh. Any thoughts of side panel interference?
Diagonal supports?
Etc.


Thanks,
Morgan
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  #2  
Old September 28th, 2004, 12:20 AM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
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Not bashing, but how is a SW owner supposed to know where the ST cage ends? They're different cages. How are you going to fab something with guestimates? Further, you're forgetting the windscreen frame, which is different for SW and ST. You're going need to figure out how to modify that to accept both tops as well. (There posts in the SW roof, how are you going to seal the roof to a ST windscreen, ....) Also, you're going to have to look at the body capping on the SW and ST to determine how to modify them for both tops as well (for instance, say you have a rail system, how tall is that compared to the SW cappings, etc...) It's not just a fit issue over the ST cage. It's the whole system.

Cost also might be another issue. A used SW top costs some money. Add all the seals. Then the sides. Then the glass and seals for the sides. That's a wad of cash right there. Then paint and body work to match your truck. Not to mention it's going to be a couple of hours of careful disassembley time with the SW top and sides. For instance, ECR had the same idea and went with a SW top from Europe and a custom cage. In the end after using the truck, they liked the the SW top enough not to change it out.

Finally, I for one cringe at the idea of a modified cage in any form. Seen that post on the roll over? Seen the one of the 90 falling ass over teacup? Leads to a healthy respect for the cage and it's intended purpose.

I mean after a cursory review of the dream, it becomes a logistical and expensive nightmare quickly.

EwS
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  #3  
Old September 28th, 2004, 02:43 PM
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"you're forgetting the windscreen frame, which is different for SW and ST. You're going need to figure out how to modify that to accept both tops as well"

When I converted my ST to a pickup cab the windscreen frame worked just fine. They bolted right up and sealed nice using the factory rubber gasket that came with the pickup cab. Does anyone know if the pickup top and full aluminum top mount on the windscreen differently?
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  #4  
Old September 28th, 2004, 03:44 PM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
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I could have sworn there were two posts up there. I remember calling George down at RDS for some advice....

Must have been one of those days where I fogot to self medicate ....

EwS
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  #5  
Old September 28th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Why dont you just ask ECR how they did it on ECR4? They are pretty nice and always seem to answer emails.
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  #6  
Old September 28th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Why dont you just ask ECR how they did it on ECR4? They are pretty nice and always seem to answer emails.
What we need is to get Noah (the current owner of ECR4) to remove the top and take some pics.
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  #7  
Old September 28th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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Jason Herring
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I also have the aluminum top ST dream...

The (in)famous Port-Of-Entry (POE) aluminum tops were fitted to trucks in '94 which were originally shipped as STs. The tailgate works fine, the rear liftgate a Series model. It all bolts up. If you ditch the ST roll cage it would mate to the truck without any major problems. My dream is to keep the ST roll cage so I can go topless/soft top/bikini when I want, and have a nice-fitting, quieter and better-looking aluminum top as well for more practical use as a daily-driver.

The BIG challenges to fitting the top, from the research I have done, both have to do with the ST roll cage:

1) on the ST tub -- it will require some notching like the fiberglass top has to work around the areas where the ST roll cage fits (it also anchors to the tub in places

2) over the cage itself - and this may be the most difficult part of the problem. Some have stated that the fiberglass top is the same exterior dimensions as the aluminum top. However, the fiberglass top does not have interior channels to reinforce the aluminum structure, so it will have different interior dimensions. This interior structure *could* be part of what is interfering.

However, another source (Badger coachworks) told me that the aluminum top is of a SMALLER exterior dimension than the fiberglass top (???). This would certainly change the entire equation and could be a show-stopper.

I don't know which is true as I've not had two side-by-side to measure accurately. John over at Expedition Exchange said I could measure his, but I don't have anything to compare it to yet and to be honest I've been too tied down with mechanical problems to work on luxuries like an aluminum removable top

It's on my list of things to investigate... sometime after getting it reliably road worthy. But I've been too busy working on my house lately to do much about that lately.....
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  #8  
Old September 28th, 2004, 05:22 PM
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Whats the cage like on the POE?
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  #9  
Old September 28th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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I think there really isn't a cage in a POE, just the bar in front of the windshield and the 2 on either side going back from that bar, then they attach to the roof, so they don't protect anything. from what I remember.
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  #10  
Old September 28th, 2004, 06:00 PM
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Jason Herring
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There was a POE for sale on LRX about 4 months ago - a green one I think. Maybe the links/pics are still there....
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  #11  
Old September 28th, 2004, 06:29 PM
thecatsmeow
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Michael Morgan
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Agreeing with Lucas about the compatibility of the ST and Truck Cab windscreens, why would LR produce two separate frames while knowing they would inevitably produce Hard and Wagon tops. The single frame is cheaper to produce, and hence the most probable decision. Many of these topics have been discussed before, but no solution has been developed. Does anyone have a comment or addition to the safari cage mod? It could be pretty slick with 1/2" or 5/8" Stainless quick release pins instead of bolts. Thoughts?

Morgan
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  #12  
Old September 28th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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Read Kerlin
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Mike's is right there is no cage on the interior of the POE. all components are removed above the window line. just added a few more pictures to the photo page I set up for the other post going on right now.

POE roll cage or lack there of...

On a personal note, I would be wary of any mods to an existing roll cage. There is no good way to verify how the mods will effect the structure as a whole. The exist. cage has been tested in the lab as well as in real life ( just find some picts of a wreck). If you want to trust your life with some backyard mods, go right ahead. It just is not for me. At least use a "certified structural welder" not the guy down the block.

As for the fact that I don't have a cage in mine, I'll be ordering the full exterior cage by Safety Designs in the next couple of weeks.
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  #13  
Old September 28th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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Thanks Read! Looking at the pics I would say the POE top is very close to the Fiberglass top, with the exception that the fiberglass roof bolts to the truck on the outside, while the POE top bolts together on the inside. I bet that rail on the inside gets in the way of the roll cage, if it wasn't there i bet it would fit on a ST.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 07:27 PM
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The f-glass top does actually have a larger exterior dimension than the aluminum top. The ST cage bolts to the rear corners and the belt rail caps and would interfere with anything you attempt to bolt on. I'd take pix, but the top is off the vehicle and in storage right now.
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  #15  
Old September 28th, 2004, 08:51 PM
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Just to let you guys know, The hard top will fit with no problems. (As long as the cage is taken off) All you have to do is remove the cage from the b-post back. Then with the front hoop, you can do like the POE's or remove that also for the winter months when the roof is on. As for all the other stuff, its all the same the windscreen is the same..... I know because I had the hard top on my truck. Now it has the cage on it but If you remove the part of the cage that is on my truck in the picture, the top goes right on.

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  #16  
Old September 28th, 2004, 09:31 PM
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Jason Herring
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Thanks Read, nice pics.

So a new (to me) trouble area would be the rear liftgate on the POE and it's hinge interference w/ the ST rollcage. That would either require new/custom hinges or put on a wagon-style rear door....
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  #17  
Old September 28th, 2004, 11:02 PM
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The old internal cage on ECR4 is (was) for sale on their site for 1500.

I have answered these questions 10 times before.

ST cage and aluminum hardtop are mutually exclusive.

this is the final answer, you can measure all you want it won't fit!
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  #18  
Old September 29th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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Sorry for asking, but, is there a reason why no one wants to fabricate an aluminum top directly after the fiberglass? If the details are engineered correctly (read: JOINTS) it shouldn't be as noisy, right? There's got to be a place that can make a mold of this if there's so much interest, no?

I, and it seems some agree, don't feel I should mess with a ROLL CAGE to get a quieter top.
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  #19  
Old September 29th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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The upper cage actually comes off very easy. You can have it off in about 1 hour. I don't ee what the big deal is...
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  #20  
Old September 29th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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It seems that a lot of this conjecture and effort is based around the assumption that an aluminum top will be somehow quieter or aesthetically superior to the f-glass top. I'd be willing to bet it wont be a single decibel quieter, and I think the notion that it will be prettier is up to some debate.

The f-glass top isnt that bad. I would suggest living with one for a while before writing it off as crap. I'm happy with mine.
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