Adding a third bow to a Scrambler Bestop Supertop

CJ8LVR

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
Madison
State
AL
#1
Thought I'd do a writeup on how I added an additional bow to my Bestop Supertop.
The bow that I used was a spare CJ-7 Whitco "front hoop" from a factory bow assembly but pretty much any bow should work. Got mine from Engbull on this forum.
Look him up and shoot him a message. He said he had more and to pass that on to others.
One little edit before we get started...I have since painted this additional bow Rustoleum Professional "semi-gloss black" after hitting the surface rust spots with a 3M Scotch-Brite pad and then cleaning up with some acetone. Matches pretty well with the Bestop factory bow color.

So, how I did it:

Mark 1" from the end of the thicker side of the center junction:


Cut off 1" from the thicker side of the center junction:


Add self-tapping sheet metal screw:


New bow nests nicely inside original Bestop back bow:


Bow measures ~55 1/4" across in this section from outside to outside:


Test fit in the Jeep:


Junctions match evenly:


Test fit for marking hole location for pivot point:


Hole locations 17" from the bottom of the factory Bestop bow:


Spring loaded center punches help when drilling through round tubing to keep your drill bit from walking:
 

CJ8LVR

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
Madison
State
AL
#2
Drilling 1/4" holes:


De-burring:


Clamp the two together into nested position and drill through holes into new bow:


Hardware used - Stainless 1/4"-20 2 7/16" long philips button head bolt, 4 flat washers, lock washer, 1/4"-20 nylock nut:


Fastener stack-up (NOTE: this is with a 15/16" thick o.d. tube - the modified one I'm adding - so a 2 7/16" long bolt may not be right for your application if your tube is thicker or thinner):


Test fit with top on:


Mark 1/2" BELOW centerline of hole:


Cut:


Clean up edge with a file:


Cut holes on both sides of foam about 7 1/4" from end:
 

CJ8LVR

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
Madison
State
AL
#3
I used an Xacto knife to cut the holes:


Test fit after cut:


Test fit after cut (view 2):


~50" long, 1" wide adjustable straps work well:


Where to use the straps:


View from the side, installed:


Inside view #1 (only one strap shown - I ended up using two):


Inside view #2 (shown with a really long and wider strap that got scrapped once I rounded up the narrower, shorter ones suggested already):


Final view after install with all of the windows in:
 

CJ8LVR

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
Madison
State
AL
#4
There's been a lot of discussion on this of late over on F/B. Lemme know if any of y'all have any questions aside from the usual "where can I find a used bow" question. Can't help you *much* there.
 

designerRob

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Allen Park
State
MI
#5
I have an extra bow if someone in mid Michigan needs one. I did this mod last year and would highly recommend it. (y)
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#6
I just purchased a best top supertop. Why are people putting the third bow in here? Too flappy? If so, I guess I better do this too!
 

OGRES

Ramblin' Wreck
LIFETIME
City
Suwanee
State
GA
#7
I just purchased a best top supertop. Why are people putting the third bow in here? Too flappy? If so, I guess I better do this too!
I have a Supertop and don't have the third bow. I can see why some people want it. It helps keep any rain from pooling on the top and can make the top tighter. A cheap alternative is to run a piece of steel electrical conduit perpendicular to the bows to create a high point ridge at the center of the top. Just wedge the conduit between the top and the bows.

I have done this with my Tiger Top when it started to sag some and it worked great. I added some rubber end caps to it to create a soft edge so I wouldn't rip the top. It worked great.
 
City
Chesterfield
State
MO
#8
You know what I would like on my top, is for the bows not to be so high. I can't fit my jeep into my garage with the top on. It sucks, that bow is like 3.5" over the windshield and I do not know why i needs to be so high.
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#9
I had a Supertop and while I understand the 3rd bow, I never felt it was necessary. I live where it snows, and I never had a problem with sagging or pooling. I did keep it pretty tight-
 

OGRES

Ramblin' Wreck
LIFETIME
City
Suwanee
State
GA
#10
You know what I would like on my top, is for the bows not to be so high. I can't fit my jeep into my garage with the top on. It sucks, that bow is like 3.5" over the windshield and I do not know why i needs to be so high.
I agree on this one. My top is about 1" too tall when it is up to fit in the garage. There seems to be plenty of clearance for the roll bar too, so I am not too sure why it is so high.
 

gr8dain

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
#11
I had a Supertop and while I understand the 3rd bow, I never felt it was necessary. I live where it snows, and I never had a problem with sagging or pooling. I did keep it pretty tight-
i am not sure on the Supertop, but I had the TogerTop by Bestop and that would pool up with the slightest amount of water or snow. I added the bow to that and it helped a lot. That fabric was stretchier than the supertop though
 

CJ8LVR

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
Madison
State
AL
#12
You know what I would like on my top, is for the bows not to be so high. I can't fit my jeep into my garage with the top on. It sucks, that bow is like 3.5" over the windshield and I do not know why i needs to be so high.
I wonder how much you could cut out of those bows to drop it down before it starts getting saggy. Only so much material in it. An additional bow would take out some of the slack of course but there's gotta be a limit in there.
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#13
For those that have the Supertop, can you run the top in full safari mode without hooking the rear corners like a Kayline top? I recently sold my kayline top because I wanted to do a new top on my rebuild. But now I think I may have given away one of the things I liked a lot about that kayline. I wonder if something could be done, to make anchors or tethers so that the top can be run in Safari
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#15
The rear corners keep the top taut. Why don't you want the rear corners attached?
There are two reasons. First, looks. It simply looks better with that section open when the side windows are removed. Second, the airflow through the back is free and therefore and wind noise is lower since it's not getting hung up on those corners. The Kayline had nylon straps that came down at the inner window attachment area so when they were pulled out of the side and corner, those straps kept the top taut. After I get the top on, I'm going to investigate how to replicate that. Seeing the rear back bar has a wrap and velcro to keep the bar attached, I have to think you could sew some heavy nylon straps here to pull the top tight without needing the corners anchored.
 

designerRob

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Allen Park
State
MI
#16
There are two reasons. First, looks. It simply looks better with that section open when the side windows are removed. Second, the airflow through the back is free and therefore and wind noise is lower since it's not getting hung up on those corners. The Kayline had nylon straps that came down at the inner window attachment area so when they were pulled out of the side and corner, those straps kept the top taut. After I get the top on, I'm going to investigate how to replicate that. Seeing the rear back bar has a wrap and velcro to keep the bar attached, I have to think you could sew some heavy nylon straps here to pull the top tight without needing the corners anchored.
I think you could definitely sew on some straps.
I've never noticed much noise coming from those rear corners of the top. I pretty much run my supertop w/o the windows all summer. I do like the 3rd bow though to eliminate the flapping that the rear portion of the top can make.
 

MikeV

Always learning
LIFETIME
SOA Member
City
Monroe
State
NY
#17
For those that have the Supertop, can you run the top in full safari mode without hooking the rear corners like a Kayline top? I recently sold my kayline top because I wanted to do a new top on my rebuild. But now I think I may have given away one of the things I liked a lot about that kayline. I wonder if something could be done, to make anchors or tethers so that the top can be run in Safari
This is my kayline in full Safari mode. It's fairly stable on back roads and in town but I do have straps for the back corners if I need them. IMG_20190519_140850149.jpg
 

cattleman1977

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Delavan
State
KS
#18
This is my kayline in full Safari mode. It's fairly stable on back roads and in town but I do have straps for the back corners if I need them. View attachment 82866
MikeV-
Would you mind getting me some pictures of your hardware? I bought a Kayline top several years ago while I was doing my build. I actually tried to put it in this evening but I’m missing too many parts. I have three bows and one channel that the two rear bows connect to and that’s it. I’m missing the tub connection for the front bow and I think there is a second channel that the two rear bows/channel sit inside of. I’m also missing all of the overhead bracing. Thanks for any insight you can give.
Or if anyone has any old hardware they’d part with I’d be interested.
 

MikeV

Always learning
LIFETIME
SOA Member
City
Monroe
State
NY
#19
MikeV-
Would you mind getting me some pictures of your hardware? I bought a Kayline top several years ago while I was doing my build. I actually tried to put it in this evening but I’m missing too many parts. I have three bows and one channel that the two rear bows connect to and that’s it. I’m missing the tub connection for the front bow and I think there is a second channel that the two rear bows/channel sit inside of. I’m also missing all of the overhead bracing. Thanks for any insight you can give.
Or if anyone has any old hardware they’d part with I’d be interested.
Absolutely! I just took the top off and can send you pics of all the mounting channels and hardware. I have to take pictures for myself anyway and label everything because I forget where things go in the fall when I put the top back on. I run with a trail rain top handy all summer. As BW has said, they are available from Gr8tops. If they are out of stock, I think raingear also has them. I'll get you pics ASAP.
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#20
Is the Kayline the same as the STC? If so, I have the instructions that have a complete parts listing as well.

Fast Trac Z Top #108-31x
 
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