Fiberglass Hard Doors

aluke0510

Basic User
City
Arizona
State
AZ
#1
Looking for information, advice, and help on the fiberglass hard doors (Acme I think?).

I am really interested in getting a pair of these in hopes that I can cut down on weight. Not sure how much they weigh but I am hoping I can save 50-75lbs when the I have firer glass doors on compared to steel. Anybody know what the weight differences look like?

Also I found a set of them on ebay now in the Chicago area. Seller doesn't have great pictures but they look in decent shape. Missing the weather stripping though. Does the steel door weather stripping work or do you have to use the universal crap? Do the latch/striker mechanisms have good durability and easy to clean up and get working smooth again?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jeep-YJ-CJ-...Parts_Accessories&hash=item2edaf8891e&vxp=mtr

I would prefer to go with full soft doors but it is sure a pain since nobody makes them to work with a hard top. Would have to bend and alter the frames then take it to an upholstery shop for new covers... But by the time I got a pair of the fiberglass doors shipped to me it might be similar cost. Likely the same amount of work involved... Seems most sellers never want to ship them though.
 
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barrys

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
East Norriton
State
PA
#2
I shipped a pair of these 15 years ago. I thought they where well packed. Most of the glass was broken upon arrival. Pita to pack and ship. Bicycle box or flat screen tv box would help with packing. Pretty sure universal weathering stripping is what you will need. I do not remember about the latches.

Yes I have a Jeep problem. Yes I know it. No it actually is NOT a problem!
 

aluke0510

Basic User
City
Arizona
State
AZ
#3
Yeah, it would be a pain shipping them. I have been going back and forth on this door idea for two years now. The more I think about it the more I would just prefer going full soft door. Either way it is money and effort and I have made the mistake too many times now of being on the fence and not doing it the way I want first costing more later...

Now why can't I find full soft doors that latch to the pin? Everything is the two part soft doors which could be used to do one piece but still isn't as clean. Don't want to have to switch back and forth between the sliding latch and pin latch. Full doors are still going to get plenty of use day to day and will only switch to the soft doors when loaded heavy for a big trip. Need a good frame to start with and best if I can get something with the good weather stripping that is thick and made for sewing on (stuff bestop uses). Have to salvage the weather stripping as when I spoke to an automotive upholstery shop a couple years ago they couldn't get that and only a 1/4" sew on weather stripping.
 

Kim Dawson

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Molalla
State
Or
#4
Maybe you could get the YJ hard half doors as a compromise. Will latch well. No glass so they are just a shell. I think there is a thread on using TJ uppers on them to fit the hardtop. Just a thought.
 

aluke0510

Basic User
City
Arizona
State
AZ
#5
Maybe you could get the YJ hard half doors as a compromise. Will latch well. No glass so they are just a shell. I think there is a thread on using TJ uppers on them to fit the hardtop. Just a thought.
Had that on my YJ. TJ uppers are an ok fit but not great, rubbed the paint pretty bad for me. Fiberglass uppers are the direction you have to go for a good fit. But isn't much weight savings in the end; not like a 10lbs soft door... Big drop from a 70lbs hard door; saves 100-120lbs total. Very few modifications you can make to drop that much weight; especially for such a minor cost (figuring $700 in the end based on the quote I had 2 years ago). I have a big spreadsheet of improvements and modifications based on weight savings/additions. Weight savings are tracked by $/lbs reduced. The doors were up there in the top 3 but the pain of getting frames and everything then leaving the whole Jeep at an upholstery shop for a week has been the draw back. $6-7/lb weight reduction is very hard to achieve.

My goal is to have a well built fully thought out final build weighing in just 0-200lbs over factory curb weight. This allows me to keep it light when loaded with water and fuel for 1-2 weeks out in the desert. There are very significant advantages to keeping weight low; reduces need for wider tires or winches, keeps fuel consumption lower reducing weight further, etc... So a lot of things have been considered. Also pretty high on the list is a 4.0 MPI conversion and this Hesco aluminium head I have sitting around (saves 30lbs direct and significant indirect weight savings in the way of less fuel mass required for the same distance traveled (assuming I can get it from 12mpg up to 17mpg which is what I got in my old YJ with 33's; and the power bonus). Start saving 10-20lbs on a number of items and next thing you know you have dropped 2-300lbs which helps make up for weight additions from things like a lift, or 32" tires, or bumper, or like a radflow jack instead of hi-lift, etc...
 

gr8dain

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
#6
Now why can't I find full soft doors that latch to the pin? Everything is the two part soft doors which could be used to do one piece but still isn't as clean. Don't want to have to switch back and forth between the sliding latch and pin latch. Full doors are still going to get plenty of use day to day and will only switch to the soft doors when loaded heavy for a big trip. Need a good frame to start with and best if I can get something with the good weather stripping that is thick and made for sewing on (stuff bestop uses). Have to salvage the weather stripping as when I spoke to an automotive upholstery shop a couple years ago they couldn't get that and only a 1/4" sew on weather stripping.
As for the full soft doors, if you can find the one piece doors that have the paddle handle that just have the wedge thing to hold it shut rather than the pin holder, you should be able to switch out the handle for the one that uses the pin. I did this when I traded my one piece for a set of two piece doors. The two piece did not use the pin so we switched them so I kept my door handles and used them on the doors I got in the trade. The swap was 4 screws. Super easy.
 

Kim Dawson

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Molalla
State
Or
#7
Sounds like you have a comprehensive list of weight saving tips. Cab soft top with those soft doors should save some weight. Probably higher on the dollar per pound would be an aluminum roll bar. I can see you are really serious about losing the weight. It's good to hear your ideas on saving weight.
 

aluke0510

Basic User
City
Arizona
State
AZ
#8
As for the full soft doors, if you can find the one piece doors that have the paddle handle that just have the wedge thing to hold it shut rather than the pin holder, you should be able to switch out the handle for the one that uses the pin. I did this when I traded my one piece for a set of two piece doors. The two piece did not use the pin so we switched them so I kept my door handles and used them on the doors I got in the trade. The swap was 4 screws. Super easy.
I will have to keep looking. All I have found with paddles are the old triangle corner style like these. Requires more modification to the frame but it might be nice to be able to start fresh on the upper half. Got to wait until I can find some cheaper ones; $300 for old doors that provide nothing but a frame is too much. I see I can buy the pin latches separate though which is a good thing to know that they still line up.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jeep-Wrangl...Parts_Accessories&hash=item3f42bc0218&vxp=mtr

Sounds like you have a comprehensive list of weight saving tips. Cab soft top with those soft doors should save some weight. Probably higher on the dollar per pound would be an aluminum roll bar. I can see you are really serious about losing the weight. It's good to hear your ideas on saving weight.
I have spent hours researching, digging up weights on old and new parts, looking at everything in a spreadsheet, etc. Lots and lots of options like loosing the heater (really only good for defrosting the window anyways, anytime it is cold enough outside to need it I am wearing a coat and there is nothing wrong with wearing it while driving...), forged aluminium wheels can negate a tire size increase to 32" x 9.5" meaning no weight change (cast aluminium saves practically no weight over steel), loose the washer fluid pump and bottle, switching to an aluminium radiator with electric fan, fiberglass hood, lithium batteries (expensive but offers about 15-20lbs savings per battery giving about $40/lbs reduction with practically no installation effort; waiting on this one though until my batteries die), plexy glass windows have come a long way in scratch resistance and can drop 10lbs, even considered a chevy aluminium block engine or VW 1..9L diesel for a while but the cost side of those and my 258 being perfect still means it is hard to justify the change until it blows up.

Then there are other things where you are looking to improve/modify. Look at these closely and applying ingenuity to how you can do it for the lowest weight addition. Example, why on earth does a bumper have to be made out of 1/4" steel? Why do I need big tow points everywhere; can't I just use a front and rear tow hitch? Does that centre console really add enough security to justify; a backpack fits perfectly there and I can take all that suff with me not only to keep it safer but so I also have access to it.

Then there is the whole side of how you pack for a trip. I came from a background in mountaineering and backpacking so you can easily pack for 2 weeks and carry 100lbs gear easily. Make it 200lbs and you can even carry a chair and a smaller cooler with frozen meat. Add 200lbs of water (25gal) and have plenty survive in the desert without needing to head out to restock.

Good thing I never plan to sell my Jeep because few buyers will appreciate all this effort and added cost, so many Jeep buyers today get caught up by the bling and eye candy than the practicality and well though out build...
 

gr8dain

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
#9
Here is the only picture I have of my old 1 piece doors. I can't believe I only have one. Wow. They won't work with a hard top but the top corner is round. It is just the bend above the door handle that is not right.

 

mhinchliffe

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
W-S
State
NC
#10
I'll weigh one of mine for you. Will post up in the morning. Got em with my acme hardtop purchase! Up in the air if I'll use them or not.
 

aluke0510

Basic User
City
Arizona
State
AZ
#11
Here is the only picture I have of my old 1 piece doors. I can't believe I only have one. Wow. They won't work with a hard top but the top corner is round. It is just the bend above the door handle that is not right.

Frustrates me that they don't make any to work. Hence needing a frame to modify and the upholstery shop to make new covers...

I'll weigh one of mine for you. Will post up in the morning. Got em with my acme hardtop purchase! Up in the air if I'll use them or not.
Would love to get a weight on the fiberglass doors. I am betting 30lbs each, maybe 20 but I wouldn't put money on it. Are yours in good shape? I wish you were closer because I would trade you a set of steel doors. Still have an extra set...
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#13
Bestop Superdoors use a latch that works with the factory striker. I wonder if the CJ lowers and the TJ uppers could be used to make a soft door that fits a CJ hard top.
 

gr8dain

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
#14
Bestop Superdoors use a latch that works with the factory striker. I wonder if the CJ lowers and the TJ uppers could be used to make a soft door that fits a CJ hard top.
Now you say that. A friend had some TJ uppers he was trying to get to work on YJ half hard doors. But the uppers were for 2 piece soft doors and would require too much work. I should have tried them on my soft lowers.
 

aluke0510

Basic User
City
Arizona
State
AZ
#15
Well I think I have finally found a solution. I picked up some used bestop tube doors that latch to the pin on craigslist cheap. The nice thing is these latches have a lock; not that they would keep people out but it makes it where you have to use a pry bar and bugger it all up to steal the doors... I will cut out the middle tubing as it isn't needed...

http://www.bestop.com/component/products/?view=product&id=64

What I will do is have somebody bend some 1/2" or 3/4" thin steel tubing to match the upper inside the door opening and weld it on. Then make an outer skin out of 0.07" 2024 T3 aluminium to cover the whole door. sandwiched between the tubing and the skin I will be a zippered vinyl window. I can sew this pretty easy myself as I will use #10 YKK water proof zipper. Weather stripping will be the channel suff that slips over a steel edge and has a bulb sticking out. Will probably need a good weather stripping glue like used to hold in front windows to keep it in place around corners.

http://www.sailrite.com/YKK-Aquaguard-Water-Repellent-Zipper-10-Continuous-Black
http://www.sailrite.com/Regalite-30-Gauge-Vinyl-Window-Material-29-x-68-Clear
http://www.b-dco.com/ecom/shop/item.aspx?itemid=35

In the end it should weigh 25lbs by my calculations per door. So may end up closer to 30lbs in reality. Still a 40lbs drop per door from factory hard doors. I like this because I can paint the aluminium any colour I want; aka perfect match to the body when I finally get it painted. And I think it will be a bit cheaper since I don't have to go to an upholstery shop.

FYI: I finally found a sew on suitable weather stripping thanks to a tip on where to look from a bestop rep. Just in case anybody is looking for something. This stuff is hard to find as most don't have room to sew...
http://www.b-dco.com/ecom/shop/item.aspx?itemid=312
 
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aluke0510

Basic User
City
Arizona
State
AZ
#17
Thanks for the bookmarks for future reference.
Yeah, the weather stripping I linked at the bottom might work great for your doors; with that 3/4" surface area it should have a good stick with proper adhesive to the fiberglass doors you got there if you decide to restore them. That stuff with the sticky backing doesn't hold long; and the others only provide around 1/2" surface for gluing which may or may not be enough surface area for long term use...
 
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