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fear of cracking hard top?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by NorCalGMC, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. NorCalGMC

    NorCalGMC Registered Member

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    hey guys and gals,

    After pavement-pounding the K5 for a number of months now, its time for a nice, long, off-road trip. i'll be taking the Blaz down to Death Valley with a group for 4 days of great high-desert 'wheeling at the end of September.

    Having only owned pick-ups in the past, this has never been a concern: should i worry about the fiberglass top cracking along the bolt seams due to frame flex/twist? i could just run the soft top, but i'd rather have the sun/heat-shelter of fiberglass than black vinyl.....

    thanks
    Josh :bow:
     
  2. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    i've wondered about that, too. but, i've taken it on several much shorter excursions, and haven't had a problem. you could try getting some flat bar, dilling holes in it, and using it like a giant washer, to distribute the force along more of the top, instead of just the bolt holes. i haven't tried it, but it makes sense.
     
  3. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    Take it out and flex the crap out your truck . It will be fine :waytogo:
     
  4. 79Stomper

    79Stomper 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Those fiberglass tops are pretty rugged. The body of a K5 doesn't bind like a pickup so it is pretty solid. I wouldn't worry about cracking the top one bit. I never worried about it when I ran a top.
     
  5. NorCalGMC

    NorCalGMC Registered Member

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    thanks guys. i was hoping no one would immediately post "DONT DO IT"

    appreciated
    Josh
     
  6. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    Only ones ive ever seen crack are the 69-72 tops. Prolly will carry over into the 73-75 since they are full top also. But the 72 ive seen cracked was aged and didnt have all the bolts holding it down..

    Ive flexed my frame pretty good and never had any troubles.
     
  7. TDAWG1

    TDAWG1 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    All I get is some popping here and there never any breaking though. They are pretty tough. Good Luck and have fun
     
  8. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    You'll probably crack the frame or break suspension parts before you crack the hard top.
     
  9. cegusman

    cegusman 3/4 ton status

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    Just make sure you have all the bolts for the hard top installed. If you are missing any that is going to be the weak spot where it may flex and crack. Other than that go out and have fun.
     
  10. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Yes it does. The top on my '74 broke out at the top of both corners in back where the seams are riveted together. I can fix it, but it doesn't leak, and will probably see more situations where it could be broken again. So why bother. You can't tell by looking at it that it's broken, so I have just left it.
     
  11. 87BrnRsd

    87BrnRsd 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with everyone else. As long as you dont leave any bolts out of the top, youll be fine. I wheeled my k5 with a top for over 2 years with no problems. The metal half-cab seems to like to make some popping noises while flexing but thats to be expected. The fiberglass top is pretty tough and I actually think the back and corners of it are re-inforced with metal.
    -Harrison
     
  12. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry to hijack, but have a related question.

    If you do take the hard top (newer models) off and go wheeling, has any one had enogh body flex so the hard top wouldnt go back on?

    I was halfway afraid to take mine off when wheeling before, but now I have a cage...
     
  13. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    Not in my case . Although its ONLY been off twice . Usually too lazy , just load the cooler and go wheeling :wink1:
     
  14. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    When a rig gets super rusty, the hardtop helps hold it all together since it is the only thing that doesn't rust. When the floor is half gone and the rockers are ventilated, the bedsides can move and make it hard to get the top back on. Otherwise, the hartop may be the toughest part of the body. I have seen rolled K5s where the only thing that looked OK was the fiberglass top.

    You will notice more body flex when the top is off than when it is on. I think the worst thing that can happen is the paint cracking where the cab top meets the front of the bedsides.
     
  15. AZ79K5Project

    AZ79K5Project 1/2 ton status

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    I blew the rear window out one time on a 76 I owned, when the corner of the truck hit as the truck flexed as I was coming out of a ravine. I'm not sure what the root cause was, but never happened again.

    As far as the top - do you have the aluminum covers on the rails in between the bolts and top? Without those 2 rails, the bolts may pull a little as the truck flexes. Those aluminum rails help spread the bolt forces across the surface of the rails rather than centering it around the holes.

    I agree with everyone else - no problems. The body can't flex that much without major body or frame failure.

    Enjoy your trip.:bow:
     
  16. Metrodps

    Metrodps Strange but nice guy Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I drove my parts truck back from Chicago 286 miles without any bolts in it. Rusty rockers floor pan with holes big enough to put a ham (yes a ham)through. The rear window was stuck down so we used the handy mans friend (duct tape) and garbage bag to cover it. I didn't even notice the top had no bolts in it till next day :eek: . Drove 70 mph in her to so yea the top ill be fine just besure the bolts are in.

    Long story on getting my parts truck I tell you about it at summer blaze 07!
     

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