Soft top door line up - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 15th, 2005, 11:06 AM
cdy8
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CD Young
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Soft top door line up

I am considering purchasing the 97 below. Note the space between the door and soft top. Any idea on how hard/expensive this would be to fix?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old February 15th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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Jesse McCoy
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I use 2" foam pipe insulation.
$1.98 at Lowes
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Old February 15th, 2005, 11:47 AM
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The pic is way to small to tell, but it can either be fixed cheap/free, or not at all.

I looks like the friggin support bar is either installed backwards or isnt there at all. I think people dont put them in sometimes if the top isnt warm and doesnt want to stretch.

I just cant understand how the gap can be that large, but a new top would fix the problem if the vinyl has just shrunk. You'd be amazed what a good sunny day will do though.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 11:50 AM
cdy8
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Any idea how pricey it would be to a) replace the support bar? or b) get a new top? Am looking forward to going topless, but it still gets pretty chilly/rainy here in DC. Here is abetter picture.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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When I get home, I'll try and post some pics of what I did to solve that issue. Basically, I went and got two pieces of aluminium bar stock (1/2" wide) and "bolted the softtop to it. Very effective and doesn't move! SUPER cheap too.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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The bar is probably under 50 bucks. A badger top (badgercoachworks.com) is the best choice and includes an improved arrangement for the door seal situation. OEM Bestops are almost 2000 bucks, and the Badger is a bit more.

Heres a pic, you cant see the bar because it runs through a loop/channel in the vinyl, but you can see that my truck doesnt have big gaps behind the door or a floppy top edge.

Maybe you tell the seller it needs a top and get him to come down a bit on the price. As you can see "they're all like that" is not a valid cop-out in this case.

Follow-up Post:

Now I see your pic - that top is starting to rip and come apart. Its probably original and could really use to be replaced - like I said before - bargaining point.

BTW the waiting list for Badger tops is long. Shop early to avoid disappointment.
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  #7  
Old February 15th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Seems relatively low-priced $32k, only 38k miles.

Maybe that's the catch!
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  #8  
Old February 15th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Jesse McCoy
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That's not too bad (The top rip), especially going into Spring. Mine's way more F'ed up than that one and it was fine this winter. I switch to a surrey for spring to fall. Another option is the cab seperator that Badger or another guy on this site makes. If you're only running 2 people in it then it's great for the winter and summer (if you have AC). If it is a stock top I don't know that it'll get any better without a whole lot of work. Either way, if you like going topless then the door seal doesn't matter for most of the year.
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  #9  
Old February 15th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Offer 30k and go buy a new top!
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  #10  
Old February 15th, 2005, 08:00 PM
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I'd be happy to take a look at the truck. I'm only 20 mins from Alexandria.
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  #11  
Old February 15th, 2005, 09:23 PM
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I have the same gap - but on a 1994. Looking at the tech section here, someone has posted the instruction manual for the 1997 which, I thought, had a detachable post (i.e. thin metal strip) that went along the area where the gap is. Also, Yousef has a post on a door window frame he made - you got to hunt that one down with a search.

My 2 cents - $32k on a '97 where the top is not 100% bugger it! Some tops are just bad. Deduct a top from the sale, and I think $2k for a top is low (Badger with all trimmings is $2,800 I thought). Go to both vendors mentioned via the links on this site to check and do not forget the extras (window seals, capping, what ever).
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