Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Soft top questions

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Storm24m, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. Storm24m

    Storm24m 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Posts:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Knob Noster, MO
    Now that I have my blazer on the way (1st gen) I have a few questions about soft tops.

    First, what do you all think is the best top overall?

    How well do the seal? Especially around the windshield and doors.

    Do the tops fold back like a convertible? If yes, how long does it take to do it? Anyone have any pics of one folded back?

    Answers to these questions and any other info you think is important would be very helpful. Thanks
     
  2. 86blazerk5

    86blazerk5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2000
    Posts:
    387
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hagarstown, Maryland
  3. cleszkie

    cleszkie 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2001
    Posts:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Santa Ana, CA, USA
    I have been using a Bestop softtop on my 72 K5 for about 2 years now. My observations are as follows:

    1) Fit around front door glass is marginal, but will keep most rain out. Fit around bed area is good. It doesn't rain much in southern Cali, so my top is mainly a sun shade.
    2) The quality of the velcro is marginal and the zippers on the rear "hatch" are way too light-duty in my opinion. They could have gone with a heavier gage zipper. I've had to add snaps where the velcro used to hold.
    3) The quality of the stitching and material is not as good as their Jeep tops. The windows cannot be replaced without replacing the entire top, so you need to baby it if you want to be able to see out the windows a year after you buy it.
    4) The top does not fold down. It must be dismantled. This consists of unsnapping the top from the truck at the winshield and around the bed. Next, fold the vinyl and store it somewhere safe. Then, remove the top supports over each door openning, and fold down the two bows over the bed. The bows cannot be folded with the vinyl in place. It sounds like a hassle, but you get pretty good at it after a couple times.
    5) Due to the relatively high cost of the soft top, I keep it stored away most of the spring, fall, and summer in order to prolong its life. I run topless most of the year. Then again, I live in SoCal, so most other parts of the country would require more top-on days.

    Hope this helps. Just my 2 cents. Despite the negative points of the Bestop, I wouldn't trade it for anything (except maybe a custom Can-Back top).
     
  4. ChrisM72beast

    ChrisM72beast 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 29, 2001
    Posts:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Granada Hills CA.
    I have a Fast-trac top. It's o.k. but not great. The design doesn't seem to be well thought out. I'll start with the pros first then the cons.

    Pros)
    a)I like that you can order the top with either tinted or non-tinted windows.
    b)You can unzip all the windows which is kinda cool.
    c)It does not require drilling on the exterior side. Only the tailgate gets holes you would see if you took off all the hardware and put back on your hardtop.

    Cons)
    a)Directions from hell. We called the manufacturer and they admitted the directions were shakey.
    b)Design. On the sides where there is a metal gutter, the plastic that holds it is heavy duty. On the rear and where the front window meet they used this little strip of rubber. Sometimes when I drive the top window portion comes a bit loose. They should have used the same material throughout.
    c)Quality. The stiching is not that strong and with the poor design somethings got to give...the stitching. Also on one window I have a hoop zipper and on the other it's a regular one. WTF? Run out of zippers?
    d)Ease of intallation. Wasn't the worst but with lousy instructions, A weird design and a temperture standard(it must be over 72? degrees outside in order to install) it was not fun.

    Final thoughts.
    I'm going to keep this for a year or so but my plan is to use this as pattern for a custom and better designed top. It will cost bucks but you get what you pay for.
    I think if you baby the Fast-trac you can get some years of enjoyment but I don't know if it can handle(like most soft tops) harsh weather or driving conditions. Once you get past the flaws it's not bad yet not great.
    On a scale from 1 to 10 it gets a 4.5 IMHO.

    If you want some pictures let me know, I'll e-mail them to you.

    Chris M
     
  5. Storm24m

    Storm24m 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Posts:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Knob Noster, MO
    So does anyone know of a soft top that (for a 1st gen) that does fold down?? Do they exist?
     
  6. 70jimmy

    70jimmy 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2000
    Posts:
    5,962
    Likes Received:
    252
    Location:
    Released from Pueblo, told I belong in Southpark
    I have a Kayline soft top that was built in 1985. Good at keeping rain out and not much noise. I have used it continuously for 2 years before I had a decent hard top. Windows do get foggy look.

    Kayline was bought I believe by Specialty top. It does fold down and can be done by one person in less than 5 minutes. snaps to windshield frame and top of tailgate. You attach rails to bedsides that have snaps attached and 2 hoops also attach to bedsides or you can have your roll cage built to specs and forget the hoops.
     
  7. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Posts:
    858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    I have an old kayline like 70jimmy described. The sides and the back also roll up like a safari top. The windows are totally foggy looking. It's easy to put up and down.
     
  8. Storm24m

    Storm24m 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Posts:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Knob Noster, MO
    Here is the reply from Specialty top themselves for others that are interested.

    Dear Sir:

    Yes, both type of top will fold down. The fasttrac top is quicker to fold as there are very few snaps to contend with. However, you should zip the panels out before you fold the top. I would say that it takes about 2 to 3 minutes to fold the fasttrac top, once you have done it a few times. The snap top probably would take 3 to 4 minutes, once you have done it a few times. I am sorry, but we do not have any pictures of the vehicle with the top folded down.

    We use a flat rate on shipping, and it would be $39.95 for either top via UPS ground.

    Thank you for your interest, and I hope this helps.

    Sincerely,

    Blake T. Robinson
    Secretary/Treasurer
    Specialty Top Co.
     
  9. 1HIHUM

    1HIHUM 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Posts:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fremont, CA
    First let me say it's been a long while since I have been on the board! But it's good to be back! Second, I have a Bestop, which I have used YEAR'ROUND for almost seven years now. I can still see out the windows (not clearly, but the're not fogged out either) Just in the last year have I had any problems with the zippers. I have a much easier time keeping the rain out with my soft top than any hard top I have ever seen. The only quality problem I have ever really had is the straps at the rear of the top that keep it tight when the sides are up, they have pulled out of the top a couple of times(easily repaired). It does fold down without taking the top, or bows off of the truck. I simply unsnap the sides and front, leaving the top snapped to the tailgate and rear bow. I fold the sides into the top , and fold the top in towards the truck, laying it over the two bows. The windows are protected pretty well,you get to enjoy the top down, and it's ready to go up at a moments notice! My only complaints are that the sides don't zip out(easier on the windows, and the driver. Rolling up the sides can be a bitch if your truck is high),and the vinyl stretches and contracts with the heat and cold, making it easy to put the top up when it's hot(not what you want!) and harder when it's cold( impossible is more like it if you install it as tight as I did) Other than that I can't complain. I am about to replace it this year, funds permiting. And I am thinking of talking to a local shop about using my current top as a pattern, only making the new one with zip out sides and rear. Anyway good luck with your top.
     

Share This Page