Removing Softop door tops??? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:03 PM
mrossi
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Mike Rossi
1995 D90
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Removing Softop door tops???

Any suggestions as to how to break free door tops on a D-90 soft top? My truck sat in a desert for 17 years. All the bolts on the truck are rust free, but the door tops leave me puzzled. What's the trick?
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  #2  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:05 PM
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Joshua
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dude don't get me started. One of the things that happens is the stupid plastic sleeves they have in there expand over the years, and get seized in the door tubes. SUCH a pain in the ass.
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  #3  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:10 PM
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I take it you have removed the nuts?
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  #4  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:24 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Mike, whatever you do, don't do what a lot of people do and dent the skins while hammering or something. They dent very easily.

First try spray some lubricant up the post holes as well as from above.

Second, I have not tried this method but suspect it would work well - get some wood shims from your nearest hardware store and start tapping them in between the rubber seal and the door capping. Go from both sides and they should put pressure on the top and force it up. Be sure to do it evenly along the edge, probably close to the studs is best. Lubricate them too and the damage to the rubber should be minimal, but that is easy to replace if you do.

hth
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  #5  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 11:13 PM
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Chris Snyder
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Best way I think is to put two nuts on the bottom of the stud and unscrew the stud from the doortop. Then you can hammer the studs down once the door top is removed.
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  #6  
Old March 24th, 2011, 12:36 AM
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http://www.gulfcoastrovers.com/custo...indow_stud.asp

There is a link on that page with a couple ways to go about removing them.

If those options don't work, a sledgehammer does wonders!

My passenger side was so bad I had them professionally removed. (high heat was involved as no other method would work) not necessarily a smart way, but in the end there was no damage done to the door.

I would also recommend buying new studs (stainless are best) and stainless quicknuts as it will make things easier for later removals
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  #7  
Old March 24th, 2011, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest View Post
Best way I think is to put two nuts on the bottom of the stud and unscrew the stud from the doortop. Then you can hammer the studs down once the door top is removed.
I agree. Don't try to pry them off. You're only going to cause damage. Double up the nuts and unscrew from the bottom.

I was replacing mine with the stainless version from AB so I didn't need the plastic sleeves... so I just melted them out of the holes with a torch. Smelled nasty but fun as hell.
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  #8  
Old March 24th, 2011, 03:56 PM
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Jake K.
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Unsparingly spray them with lube and tighten and untighten them to break them loose. If that doesn't work use heat and spay'm again. Before install coat the studs well with silver anti-seize and replace the inserts if you melted them on the way out.
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  #9  
Old March 24th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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On my 95 I used a hammer. Bad idea. I had a dent on the passenger side.

On my 97 they were even stuck worse but I learned from my mistake. Patience is the key - they WILL come out. Be sure to pull evenly straight up. Stand on a step stool with the door open so you don't break your back. Pull evenly up applying upward pressure - rock it back and forth. Sometimes the rubber seals themselves have melted to the paint which effectively turns to liquid nails.

When I took the tops off the 97 it peeled the yellow paint off with it. I bet the previous owner never took them off. I had them repainted to factory condition.

When you do get them off invest in those aluminum extended door top nuts. They are about 3" long and extend below the plastic door liner. Also apply a little bit of Vaseline to the rubber when you put them back on so the next time you take it off it doesn't stick. (did that sound bad or was that just me?)
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  #10  
Old March 24th, 2011, 08:46 PM
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Mike Rossi
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Once the nuts were removed I tried the hammer thing only to realize that something was obviously wrong. I left it without damage. At this point I've got to get in the shop and start working. Ill Keep you all posted. thanks for the tips.

Mike
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  #11  
Old March 24th, 2011, 11:02 PM
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Mike - Is that the Black one from New Mexico? You decided to keep it?
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  #12  
Old March 24th, 2011, 11:19 PM
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David Lane
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Quick question. I have the same problem with my tops. I don't think the previous owner ever removed them. I plan on replacing the studs when I get the tops off. But I am extremely afraid that the rubber is glued to the paint. Has anyone ever tried using automotive emblem remover to help loosen that up without damaging the paint?
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  #13  
Old March 26th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Mike Rossi
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George

I did decide to keep it. I looked at the one in AZ for 45k and it had rust on it. Mine is completely rust free. I figured I'd never get that lucky again.

Mike
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  #14  
Old March 26th, 2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
Mike, whatever you do, don't do what a lot of people do and dent the skins while hammering or something. They dent very easily.
I have no idea what you are talking about and you can't prove a thing.
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  #15  
Old September 8th, 2011, 05:45 PM
provfirescott
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Scott
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I destroyed the capping and part of the lower metal on window frames trying to remove them.
one stud broke seal stuck to door .........




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  #16  
Old September 8th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Wow, that's impressive damage. On a positive note the cappings can be replaced pretty easily and then painted.

Welcome to the forums btw
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  #17  
Old September 8th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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Joshua
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Yikes. What did you use to remove them?
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  #18  
Old September 8th, 2011, 06:17 PM
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William Skidmore
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Use a pry bar? Might have to tap the metal back in place a bit before putting on new caps. Did you spray in lube or use a hammer on the studs themselves from below?
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  #19  
Old September 13th, 2011, 01:08 PM
provfirescott
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2 out the 4 studs snapped even with lube
I tried everything........ puddy knife to loosen gasket
socket on studs to try and hammer up
other than heat which i didnt have that was the only way
ended up with a small pry bar and alot of force
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  #20  
Old September 13th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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William Skidmore
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Thats what I have used at times as well, a pry bar. Doesnt seem like there was any adhesive used with your photos.
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