Any Las Vegas members that can lend a hand?

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#1
In an effort to have a custom bikini/safari top made I located a CJ-7 owner that makes top quality bikinis at home in Las Vegas near the airport. I've spoken with him on the phone and he has a homegrown website for his tops. I wont list the website because he's not a supporting member yet but I have forwarded the link to him for our sponsor page.

He's getting a lot of interest from CJ-8 owners like myself that want full size tops. But it's on another website he posts on. I spoke to him about our website. He's interested in making CJ-8 specific bikinis but needs a CJ-8 to take some measurements. He did say that he would offer a custom made bikini at cost for your time.

I want to get this guy on board here as he boasts tops made in America, with American material, by Americans. Also he's incorporated a stiffener into the tops that prevents flapping. You can see his quality tops on the other forum and his website so if someone in Vegas reads this, and could spare some time, PM me and I'll forward you the contact info.

Thanks
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#3
I have a Scrambler Safari Top prototype on the way. In dealing with Jon I can tell he is very detail oriented like myself so I'm feeling confident the top is going to be awesome. I'll have to make the rear bow and fit it to the top. I'm looking forward to that little project. I like the creative stuff. I'll be using marine grade hardware so it will be quality. Stay tuned for pics and such.
 

jeepnick

Legacy Registered User
City
pittsburgh
State
pa
#4
That's pretty cool
I've been contemplating a rock hard rear cage and having a tonneau place near me sew 2 bikinis together to kinda get the same thing
Id be interested in seeing his final product
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#5
Here it is almost done. I'm still tweaking the rear bow height. The top was designed to have a slight drop to the rear section but I like the level look. I had it mocked up both ways and prefer this lay out.
 

walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#6
That looks pretty dang good. Details on the bow support? Driven it around at various speeds yet?
 

Z Monster

Legacy Registered User
City
Faifax Station
State
VA
#7
That looks AWESOME, exactly what I have been looking for. Are you getting the batons in the front to control the flap at speeds?

More pic's please and details of your support in the back.

I really like the level looks as well!
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#8
That looks pretty dang good. Details on the bow support? Driven it around at various speeds yet?
I haven't driven it yet. Getting tags on Monday and it will get the ops check. The material is a much heavier gauge than Best top stuff. The straps Jon uses are better than any high end marine grade stuff I've seen. You can see attention to detail everywhere you look.

I don't anticipate much flapping or other issues. As it sits now you can bounce quarters off it. I'm sure once I get it out in the sun and wind there'll be some tightening adjustments the same as any new top as it settles in.

Initially I planned on using all marine grade stainless. After looking at the stainless and considering I planned on painting the bow anyway it would have been a waste of money. Almost everything is available at a hardware supply.

Boat bimini top pipe comes in 1/2 and 7/8. Aluminum pipe is $1.75/ft, SS is $3.75/ft. You'll need about 10' for the rear bow. Electrical conduit comes in 3/4" and is $4 for a 10 ft stick so you can see the benefit of electrical conduit. Also the conduit is galvanized so no rust!

The deck mount and pipe end came in packs of 2 each and were about $8 total. I also picked up a set of 3/4" rubber feet that would go on the end of a cane or walker. I used them on the ends of the conduit to prevent scratches and they allowed me to position the pipe while trial fitting the rear bow placement. I had the screws in my SS fastener pile. I had the tap and die set. I borrowed the pipe bender which is a 3/4" EMT pipe bender. I spent about $25 for everything. The foam is pipe insulation that you should find somewhere near the conduit. Don't use the soft black stuff. Get the denser grey foam which is similar to the stuff swimming pool noodles are made of.

I measured the top and the curve points so don't reinvent the wheel. Here are the measurements and techniques.

TIP: Go to Home Depot or Lowes with a tape measure and a sharpie. Grab 2 sticks of 10' electrical conduit and a 3/4" bender. Lay the pipes on the floor. Measure the 10' pipes and mark the mid point 5'. from that point measure 20" to either side and make a mark. That equals 40" total. From those marks measure 8" farther out and make another mark. There should be 5 marks total, center, 20" inners, 28" outers. The 20" and 28" marks are the inner and outer points of the bends. With the pipe on the floor you will hook the bender with the arrow on the bender pointing at the outer most marks. Put your foot on the bender and make the bend to 90 degrees. Repeat on the other side. You can eyeball the 90 degree bend or slide the pipe up to a vertical surface and adjust the bend. The bend should start at the inner mark and end at the outer mark. All that takes no more than 10 minutes. Put the pipe bender away and go pay for the pipes.

While you're there buy the rubber feet for the pipe and your choice of screws. I used SS 10-32 x 3/4" countersunk screws to mount the vinyl deck mounts to the rollbar. You'll need to drill and tap the holes. You may have to visit an ACE or similar hardware store, or you may get lucky while at Home Depot or Lowes and find someone that knows what a drill bit and tap are. Then you'll need a #10 x 32 tap and the recommended drill bit. Look at the drill and tap specs on the package. Only buy the tap, you don't need the handle. Shouldn't cost more than $5.

Once you've located the position on the rollbar for the deck mount mark the holes with a sharpie, center punch them, drill them, insert the tap in your drill and run it thru the hole at slow speed, reverse it out, and you're set.
 
Last edited:

walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#9
Thanks! And the foam cushion on the bar? Standard pipe insulation, I'm guessing?

The one thing I'm hesitant on - and it may be overcome with a longer bar - is mounting the feet below the level of the tub on the roll bar. I think it looks great the way you have it, but for mine if I wanted to keep the tonneau mounted the feet would have to be above the height of the tub.
 

Z Monster

Legacy Registered User
City
Faifax Station
State
VA
#10
That is great, thanks for the write-up with details. I emailed Jon yesterday, he returned with a phone call, but I was in a meeting. Hope to follow up with him today.
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#11
Thanks! And the foam cushion on the bar? Standard pipe insulation, I'm guessing?

The one thing I'm hesitant on - and it may be overcome with a longer bar - is mounting the feet below the level of the tub on the roll bar. I think it looks great the way you have it, but for mine if I wanted to keep the tonneau mounted the feet would have to be above the height of the tub.
I can think of several ways to do that but it depends on how willing you are to be creative in finding mounting points for the bow. They could be mounted to the top edge of the tub similar to how a traditional soft top bow is located. The bikini is narrower than the full soft top so the bow would require additional bends to "squeeze" it in prior to the bikini. The deck mounts would locate to the upper edges of the tub nicely and the rear footman loops could attach to the rear upper edges for securing the straps like Jon has on his CJ-7 over on JF.com. There's many options. I made mine up as I went but I had a pretty good idea what I wanted it to look like before it arrived. If you're going to be playing with locations it might not be a bad idea to buy a bender and a pack of pipes. That way you can experiment and it really would be worth the expense so you're completely satisfied with the final results.
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#12
Since you're out west I can pick up the marine grade stuff here and mail it to you. When you get it just send me a check. I would also "fit" the pipe into the vinyl pipe ends as they're a little tight and require some heat to resize the pipe ends. We're mixing stuff that wasn't designed to go together.
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#13
That looks AWESOME, exactly what I have been looking for. Are you getting the batons in the front to control the flap at speeds?

More pic's please and details of your support in the back.

I really like the level looks as well!
We talked about the batons but the length of the CJ-8 top exceeds the baton length he has so we decided to proceed without. Also I was kind of pressed for time as this week starts JeepBeach here in Daytona and I wanted the top in place for cruising with my family.
 

walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#14
I found some of the stuff on Amazon, so that's not an issue :) I'll give it some thought - I was hoping he might also take a stab at making tonneaus, but haven't managed to find time to give him some measurements.
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#15
If he did I'm sure they would be nice. If fabric was more affordable he could color match the original Nutmeg and order a roll. That would change everything!
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#16
Surfari bow

Here is the bow I made. You can see the sharpie lines at each end of the bends and the center mark. Also the rubber feet are installed.


The rubber feet grip so the bow can be repositioned.

 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#17
Thanks! And the foam cushion on the bar? Standard pipe insulation, I'm guessing?

The one thing I'm hesitant on - and it may be overcome with a longer bar - is mounting the feet below the level of the tub on the roll bar. I think it looks great the way you have it, but for mine if I wanted to keep the tonneau mounted the feet would have to be above the height of the tub.
I think in order to use the longer top and keep the bow above the tonneau would require the feet to be mounted to the rollbar. That would result in too severe an angle on the bow which would cause the bow to lay down. The length of the top dictates the angle of the bow to body. The tonneau wraps over the upper edge of the tub taking that mounting surface away. Even the rear footman loops for securing the straps would be covered. You may not be able to have both unless you modify the tonneau.
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#18
I didn't want to mount the footman loops on the upper edge of the tub so I recessed them to this point. Then I modified and reversed the strap so the loop end is secured in the footman loop which results in only one straight run of strap material exposed to the wind. The tag end is then pulled through the ladder lock that cinches the top down.


I still need to shorten the strap loose end but not until my adjustments are final.
 

surfjeepzx

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Wilbur by the Sea
State
FL
#20
Here's the rear side strap I came up with. Using a nylon strap eye and a plastic swivel to shorten the rig.



I'll need to sew the strap and trim off the excess when complete

 
Top