Instructions: Installing Your Full Top w/ Belt Rail (Badger or Bestop) - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 30th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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Instructions: Installing Your Full Top w/ Belt Rail (Badger or Bestop)

I found these Badger Coachworks instructions in my records and figured I'd share them with the rest of you. The top section is actually my step-by-step using some of his instructions, and the bottom is his step-by-step so that you can see which one works best for you. I'll update with pictures at some point.


From: Badger Coachworks w/ changes by rijosho

Full Soft Top Canvas Top Install Instructions

Please begin installing the Full top without windows.

1) Start by having the full soft top rolled up nicely from the back to the front, so that the long plastic strip that slides into the header back is facing out. Enter the vehicle from the back while holding the top and walk to behind the B portion of the roll cage. From behind the B portion of the roll cage, unroll about 3’ of the top while holding the long plastic strip, then lean forward (above/over the B pillar) and place the plastic strip fully forward of header bar of your windshield. Bring your hands forward of the plastic strip and then bring your fingers under the plastic strip and begin working it into the header bar on the windshield frame. This step may be more difficult if you have offroad lights attached to your roll cage around your windshield, but will still work. Make sure that the top is centered on the header bar before you start stretching the top to the back roll bar.

2) Still from inside the vehicle (and while still holding the top tight so as not to let the plastic strip slip out from the header bar), unroll the front quarter panels (the portions for directly behind the front doors) and drape them over the sides, ensure that the Velcro (or snap) flap that will later secure the Full top to the top of your B pillar is situated so that you can fit it snugly later, then unroll the remainder of the top a section at a time, over the alpine bow, over the C pillar, and then draping the rear quarter panels over the C pillar as well so that all of the top is on the outside of the vehicle.

3) Exit the vehicle and double check that the front plastic strip is still fully secured all of the way across the header bar of the windshield. Now is also a good time to insert the front metal stiffeners into the slots of the front quarter panels of the top (directly behind the front doors) if they are not already installed. The same goes for the rear quarter stiffeners (they should slip into vertical slots of the Full top along the C portion of the roll cage.

4) Gutter Kit: Insert the three Velcro straps on the front deck through the oval slots in the upper gutters. Next, fasten the Velcro straps up through and around the Footman loop, and then back down so that the front deck is snug.

5) Attach the 5 interior snaps at the rear of your Full top to the back roll bar (C pillar). You should roll the top with one hand while the other hand adjusts the strap till it is snug (not tight).

6) Back Window – With the rear quarter panels still undone from the belt rail system, connect the zippers on the back window to your Full top. Start with the top zipper by zipping it 6" then start both side zippers 6" as well. Install the Tailgate bar onto the back window by sliding it onto the plastic track filler sewn on the bottom edge.

7) Side Windows – For easiest access to the zippers, ensure that the front quarter panels are not yet secured to the belt rail. Start with the top zipper. Zip it 6" and then start the other two zippers 6" as well – do this on both the driver and passenger sides.

8) Front Quarter panels - Install the front quarter panels, by wrapping them around the exterior padded "plungers" of horns of the B pillar, then snapping the top of the quarter panel over the top inside edge of the horizontal bar of your gutter kit. Then stretch the quarter panel down and flip the plastic strip up into the belt rail. The leading edge of the front quarter panel slips forward into the channel of the vertical portion of the gutter kit and not on the outside of it.

9) Fully zip your side windows now that your front quarter is secured to the belt rail. Then you can flip the bottom plastic strip on the side windows up into the belt rail.

10) Before zipping closed your rear window, see if the interior Velcro flap is aligned with your Alpine bow/bar, and if so, reach in and Velcro it around the bar.

11) Now you can zip all three zippers of your rear window and clip the Tailgate bar into the plastic caps located on top of the rear bed cappings.

12) Next stretch the rear quarter panels and snap the bottom plastic strips up into the belt rail kit. Start with the sides of the rear quarter panel first, as these are the easiest. You might find it difficult to stretch and fit the back of the quarter panel up into the belt rail. A lot of patience is needed to fit the Badger Top for the first time. The canvas top will stretch after it has been on the vehicle for a week or two.

13) Attach the interior Velcro/snap flap around the B pillar (located directly behind/above the front seats) roll bar, and then attach the interior Velcro flap around the alpine bow/bar if not already done. Sometimes the top needs to stretch before the alpine flap will fit correctly.


Window installation if the full top is already installed on the vehicle:

1) Back Window - undo the rear quarter panels from the belt rail system, so that you can connect the zippers on the back window. Start with the top zipper by zipping it 6". Then start both side zippers 6" as well. Install the Tailgate bar onto the back window by sliding it onto the plastic track filler sewn on the bottom edge. Now you can zip all three zippers and clip the Tailgate bar into the plastic caps located on top of the bed cappings.

2) Side Windows - Undo the front quarter panel from the belt rail to get better access to starting the zippers. Start with the top zipper. Zip it 6" and then start the other two zippers 6" as well. Do not zip them fully until the front quarter panel is back in place. Then you can flip the plastic strip on the side window up into the belt rail. Insert the small stiffeners into each rear quarter panel (if not previously installed) next to the vertical zipper for the side windows.

3) Then refit the rear quarter panels.


-----------------------------------------------------------
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ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM Badger Coachworks

Full Soft Top

Canvas Top Installation Instructions:
Please install the Full top without windows until the top is fully fitted.

1) Start by slipping the front edge with the plastic strip into the channel on the header bar on the windshield frame. Make sure that you center the front edge of the top before you start stretching the top to the back roll bar.

2) Pull the back of the top to the back roll bar and attach the five straps to the roll bar. You should roll the top with one hand while the other hand adjusts the strap till it is snug (not tight).

3) Next stretch the rear quarter panels and flip the plastic strips up into the belt rail kit. Start with the sides of the rear quarter panel first, as these are the easiest. You might find it difficult to stretch and fit the back of the quarter panel up into the belt rail. A lot of patience is needed to fit the Badger Top for the first time. The canvas top will stretch after it has been on the vehicle for a week or two.

4) Gutter Kit: Insert the three Velcro straps on the front deck through the oval slots in the upper gutters. Next, fasten the Velcro straps around the Footman loop so that the front deck is snug.

5) Insert the front stiffeners into the slots of the front quarter panels of the top (directly behind the front doors). To install the front quarter panel, snap the top of the quarter panel over the top inside edge of the horizontal bar. Slip the stiffener bar (the larger of the stiffeners) into the quarter panel. Then stretch the quarter panel down and flip the plastic strip up into the belt rail. The leading edge of the front quarter panel slips into the channel of the upright channel and not on the outside of it.

Window installation:

1) Back Window - undo the rear quarter panels from the belt rail system, so that you can connect the zippers on the back window. Start with the top zipper by zipping it 6". Then start both side zippers 6" as well. Install the Tailgate bar onto the back window by sliding it onto the plastic track filler sewn on the bottom edge. Now you can zip all three zippers and clip the Tailgate bar into the plastic caps located on top of the bed cappings. Then refit the rear quarter panels.

2) Side Windows - Undo the front quarter panel from the belt rail to get better access to starting the zippers. Start with the top zipper. Zip it 6" and then start the other two zippers 6" as well. Do not zip them fully until the front quarter panel is back in place. Then you can flip the plastic strip on the side window up into the belt rail. Insert the small stiffeners into each rear quarter panel, next to the vertical zipper for the side windows.

3) Attach the interior Velcro/snap flap around the B pillar (located directly behind the front seats) roll bar, and then attach the interior Velcro flap around the alpine bow/bar. Sometimes the top needs to stretch before the alpine flap will fit correctly.

keywords: Badger Coachworks beltrail Badger I BadgerI Badger II BadgerII softtop soft top besttop
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  #2  
Old July 30th, 2014, 12:52 PM
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Very nice Job!!!
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  #3  
Old July 30th, 2014, 12:56 PM
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no prob.
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  #4  
Old January 12th, 2015, 07:40 PM
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I got a new Badger II FDS last week and I am stuck at step 12. I can't get the rear window snaps down.

Any tips from those who've installed a new badger? My plan right now is to wait a few weeks (as instructed) and ideally get it out in some sunshine/heat.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 09:53 PM
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You're talking about the rear windows behind the driver and passenger sides?
Is your top on evenly? i.e. are both sides equally as difficult to secure down?
What I do is face the belt rail piece in the top down, and work from the front (directly behind the front doors) to the back. Try to use your weight to push down on the soft top, to "snap" the belt down and back up into the belt rail.

Man it's hard to describe that in words.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 10:02 PM
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Its the back window. I have the belt rail snapped in all the way around now but can't zip up the passenger side of the back window (so if you are standing behind the truck its the top right corner that won't zip up all the way).

I can undo the belt rail at the back and get then get the rear window zipped up completely, but then I can't get the belt rail snapped on or the tailgate bar on.

Its hard to describe all this in words but I am thinking I just need to let it stretch out. It looks to be on evenly. Probably stupid to try it in 35 degree cloudy weather.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 10:20 PM
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Yeah I don't think you followed my instructions. Your top will never stretch out enough to make that easy/possible. You'll need to undo your belt rail from both the driver and passenger sides along the tub, effectively freeing up the rear sections of the top from the truck itself. Unzip the side windows a bit (but not all the way) then this should make zipping in the rear window (again don't zip it in all the way…maybe only get it started 6") and re-secure the top to the truck.

6) Back Window – With the rear quarter panels still undone from the belt rail system, connect the zippers on the back window to your Full top. Start with the top zipper by zipping it 6" then start both side zippers 6" as well. Install the Tailgate bar onto the back window by sliding it onto the plastic track filler sewn on the bottom edge.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 10:23 PM
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Ahh ok, awesome.. I think that finally clicked. Will try that tomorrow. Much appreciated Josh.
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Old January 18th, 2015, 05:52 PM
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  #10  
Old January 18th, 2015, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by toona View Post
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Great! Which set of instructions helped most? Sadly I took pics a few months ago that were supposed to go in this thread but upgraded my phone since then and the pics are a bit harder to access. I'll try to remember to get them soon though.
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Old January 18th, 2015, 07:34 PM
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The key for me was heat.. We had 2 days of sunshine and 70s here in central Texas and that made it feel like a new top. I did like you said and spoke to Chris but what was once impossible was pretty easy after a week of stretching and some heat.

The best tip for the FDS was when it came to the rear drop curtain: Zip the top horizontal zippers all the way and THEN snap the beltrail. The final step was doing up the vertical zippers, which is very easy at that point.

Thanks for all your help.
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  #12  
Old January 18th, 2015, 10:51 PM
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I'm glad you got it! Instead of responding to your PM, Iíll just post here.

Mine was a bear (Badger II FDS with alpine windows.) I let the truck sit for a week with just the belt rails installed. Started the side belt rails at the door, then worked towards the rear. No way I could have started in the center like the instructions. My issue was the side rails would pull the rear roll bar snaps too far forward. Maybe installing the rear curtain, before the side rails, would have stretch the top all the way back?

I waited for a sunny day, 55 degrees, placed a space heater in truck, and worked the canvas with a hand heat gun. I found that pushing on the top behind the alpine bar helped stretch it towards the rear. Then I could tighten the rear roll bar snaps. I made these tight, even though the instructions said snug, because the side rails were still pulling the rear snaps too far forward. Even when pulling/sliding the sides towards the rear.

Finally I had zero issues zipping the top of the rear curtain when the rear is properly stretch (just like the photo in the included instruction.) The tailgate bar would have broken the flimsy plastic clips. I installed the rear belts, then inserted the tailgate bar into the clips. It's still flexing the clips up, which creates a 1/2 gap between the rear door and the tailgate bar. I might be purchasing these replacement aluminum clips soon. The rear side windows are a little lumpy but maybe pulling the side velcro will even them out. Everything else looks great and was worth the wait.

Side note: Chris recommends replacing the screws on the belt rail with rivets every 6 inches. Adding one between the original screws. Its on my future project list.
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Old January 18th, 2015, 11:38 PM
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Great summary. I've got a similar issue with the tailgate bar and actually ordered the aluminum clips this afternoon.

All said, I love the badger and it was worth the wait.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 10:53 PM
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Badger GK II question

So I just received my Badger GK II today. Wow am I impressed with the quality! It was worth the wait. That aside Chris didn't have instructions handy to ship so big thanks to Josh for this old post.

I got the top on with no issues, but I have a question on the roll up windows. Any tips on rolling them up to protect the windows? My last jeep always had scuffed windows. Should I put a towel on the outside to roll up on top of itself? If I'm cruising with the sides and back rolled up, what is the procedure for rolling the back? Take the bar out or roll everything on it? Fold in the sides and little windows?

Finally what exactly do the metal strips do? Am I missing something regarding where they attach to the gutter kit behind the door? Or do the just hang there and provide weight?

I plan to call Chris tomorrow, but by the time I got home and the top on his shop was closed. Thought I'd try here first.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 11:02 PM
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On the roll up sides...
I just try and do it when it's warm otherwise leave them alone till you get some scratches (I now roll mine up whenever)
You can buy the shop towel like material or use "felt" to sandwich the plastic layers if you want.

Me I got a few scratches and stopped caring.. my top looks good after 7 years, not new but then again I don't worry about it.
Ymmv
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  #16  
Old September 15th, 2016, 07:57 AM
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I've found using pvc pipes cut to the size of the window keeps them from creasing and helps in the rolling up process. Have done this on my boat for years and has increased longevity. Did this with my ROW soft top and worked very well.
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Old September 15th, 2016, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlynch356 View Post
. Me I got a few scratches and stopped caring.. my top looks good after 7 years, not new but then again I don't worry about it. Ymmv
Yeah once you get your first scratches on it you won't care as much. Oh, it's inevitable by the way.

Yes those metal strips just dangle down like earrings for the wind-chime effect. Just kidding. They sleeve in behind the front doors, behind the rear windows and probably somewhere else that I'm forgetting, and provide significant tension.
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Old September 15th, 2016, 09:23 AM
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I attempted a Bestop install yesterday while it was warm out but by the time I got to the rear/pass side the sun had set and I found the material much less compliant...

.
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  #19  
Old September 15th, 2016, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomar View Post
I attempted a Bestop install yesterday while it was warm out but by the time I got to the rear/pass side the sun had set and I found the material much less compliant... .
I am not surprised you were not able to cram it in the garbage can when it was cold.
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  #20  
Old January 15th, 2017, 09:43 AM
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Hello All. I am happy to find this thread. I am having massive problems getting my top to fit. I have a badger II GK and I have never really had it on truck. I put a heater in the top and left it overnight. I also have ratchet straps pulling the top tight across the full top.

So question. Is it a good idea to work from side to side working little by little of the beltrail in, or is it advisable to get one side in first, then move the the other?
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