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No Matter the Weather, Bestop Has Us Covered

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on August 21, 2018
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If you own a Jeep, especially a JK, you are likely familiar with the company Bestop. It makes the factory soft top for the Jeep Wrangler and offers a bevy of aftermarket options, including the Trektop NX Pro, Sunrider, and Trektop NX Glide. While the Wrangler is the only 4x4 currently on the market with a removable top, that was not always the case. Earlier Jeeps, Toyota Land Cruisers, Ford Broncos, International Scouts, and Suzuki Samurais were all available with removable tops. In the case of our 1970 Toyota Land Cruiser, the hard top was removed long before we purchased the vehicle. This situation is all too common, but fortunately Bestop had exactly what we needed for four-season wheeling through inclement weather in the form of the Supertop Classic Soft Top.

Our favorite aspect of the Supertop Classic is how easily it can be reconfigured. Need a full soft top for the rain? Easy. Want to roll up the windows and pull the doors off? That only takes minutes. Similarly, putting the entire top down can be easily performed by one person when you want the wind blowing through your hair. And the premium materials and American-made construction mean that the Bestop Supertop Classic will last just as long as our vintage Land Cruiser.

We started by spreading out the Bestop in the sun, where it could warm up and become more pliable. While it is a bit counterintuitive because you need the top in adverse weather, installing it on a warm day goes much easier. Bestop’s fabric is mildew resistant and contains UV inhibitors to look good for years to come.
The actual top is only half of the equation. It is useless without the associated hardware to mount the top. Factory hardware for an FJ40 soft top is rarer than hen’s teeth, but fortunately Bestop includes everything you need for a complete installation with no surprises.
Bestop includes incredibly detailed instructions with images and descriptions for each step of the process. We started by reading the instructions from start to finish and laying out all of the components and tools on the ground to ensure that we had everything we needed to complete the installation.
The windows zip into the top with heavy duty YKK zippers. We recommend rubbing paraffin (such as a candle) on the zippers once a year to keep them operating smoothly. The sealed seams and industrial strength thread work in conjunction with the zippers to keep the top leak free, even in a downpour.
We mounted the powdercoated side rails and corner rails using the existing holes and the included hardware. Plastic strips sewn into the bottom of the top slide into these rails to hold the top securely in place and keep it taut.
The windows are constructed from 30-mil plastic that is both durable and flexible. When you remove them, we recommend storing them somewhere safe from abrasion to keep them from getting scratched. Tinted windows are even available on several of Bestop’s different models.
The top slides into the included channel that affixes to the top of the windshield frame. If you have a Bestop bikini top you can use the same channel to mount the bikini top for summer use.
Bestop sells the soft doors independently of its Supertop in case you want to run factory steel doors. Our Land Cruiser did not come with doors, so we ordered up the Bestop soft doors at the same time as the top. The doors are two-piece to allow you to remove the upper window section and convert them to half-doors.
With the upper doors removed and the side windows rolled up, we have an open vehicle while still being protected from the elements. This configuration is significantly quieter and less windy at highway speeds than running with no top at all.
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Putting the top down entirely gives an open-air feeling and the visibility that we appreciate on the trail. The top pivots on the hardware, making it easy for one person to put the entire Supertop Classic down or back up in a matter of minutes.

Sources

Bestop
Broomfield, CO 80038
800-845-3567
www.bestop.com

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