How I secured the front of my hardtop

CJeep

Scrambled
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Easton
State
CT
#1
That time of year, to deposit the hardtop on the Scrambler - mostly to save wear and tear on the half soft top (I hope that company starts making them soon).

I got real tired of trying to wrastle my hardtop onto my new windshield. Did it last year, took forever to line up the holes, that barley even lined up at all. Plus, I hated screwing in those screws, since eventually, they would wallow, and need bigger screws, etc to infinity.

Well, I remembered an old Sunrider soft top I had on my CJ-7, and thought of how the front bow latched down to the windshield. Right or wrong, it led me to this - "Butterfly" or "Draw" Latch:



So, I grabbed 3 from Amazon, and the "keeper" - which is what they call the part this hooks onto.

Decided to use existing holes, figuring the extra meat of the visor bracket, and the fact that it would spread the load to 2 holes, and I was in business:







I put the middle one in a hole that, I guess, was really for the strap to tie the w/s to the footman loop on the hood:



VERY happy with the results. I had to have my 6 yo son sit on the top above the middle one to get it to latch, but I suspect this is more secure then a bunch of sheet metal screws. The last time I even got the holes to line up, took A LOT more than that. I'll post up how secure it is after a highway drive.

$40 is a lot of $, but they look like factory parts to me, work great, and six screws into the hardtop and 20 min. (the kids were climbing all over me and the Scrambler) solved my problems.

Bonus:

In the first pic of my Jeep, on the left, that silver circle is actually a "rivnut" I put in instead of a screw for the bracket for the soft top hardware. I bought that tool and went to town before putting my soft top on this spring. Notice a theme that includes: "Mike (that's me) hates to put screws that have to later come out into sheet metal"?
 
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skell22

Mechanically challenged
City
Collegeville
State
PA
#2
Very nice ... I think I may do the same thing next year. Thanks for posting and give us an update .
 

Bushmaster6

Legacy Registered User
City
the Springs
State
CO
#5
I dig it...

I have a brand new windsheild frame so, I may be trying this very same concept.. would be interested to see if you've got a "long term" follow up on this as you get through the winter..

thanks for posting
 

CJeep

Scrambled
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Easton
State
CT
#6
Update time:

Yesterday I went wheeling with a local club. Total of about 200 highway miles, 100 non-highway, and 6 hours off-road (yea it kinda sucks living in the Northeast for off-roading).

Latches worked like a champ, even at 65 MPH. No movement or budging at all.

I wheeled it pretty hard, also no issues (with the top, anyway).

In all, very pleased with how they performed.
 
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