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Soft Tops

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by bamablazer, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. bamablazer

    bamablazer Registered Member

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    I would like to know what the opinions are of those who have installed soft tops, what is the best brand? any problems with leaks? or anything else that might be helpful to someone considering putting installing one.
     
  2. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

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    I have an old Kayline top. It is the kind with the snaps and the sides and back roll up or you can fold the whole thing down into the bed. Specialty Top Co makes them now. It is a nice top, easy to put down and back up. Doesn't leak much, just a little around the windows and sometimes gets condensation on the inside in the early morning. The downsides are that you have to drill a lot of holes in the windshield frame and tail gate. The velcro on the bars over the doors is always coming off when it is hot out and the rear zippers are broken. I do like the fact that if I want some fresh air but the sun is too hot, I can just roll up the sides and back on the fly and I don't have to store them anywhere. Personally, I like the looks of my top better than the Fast-tracks too.
     
  3. TONYP

    TONYP 1/2 ton status

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    I'll be installing a "fast trac" top this weekend (if the wife lets me) so can't tell you about leaks or such, but my neighbor is going to copy the front of it and make me a 1/4 top that will hook into the same spots, should be nice...
     
  4. Big Sean E

    Big Sean E Registered Member

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    I've had the STC Fastracker top now for about a year. It keeps water out better than my 'ol hardtop, and has taken one of New Englands worst winters with aplomb. Downside? Well it takes a little longer to put down and put back up than the snap type. One thing they should also add for both kits is a little window molding which I added to help keep out leaks even more. Get the tinted window option (no extra charge) an you'll keep wandering eyes out of your cargo area. Otherwise you'll love your new top, good luck! If you choose the fastracker, after you install it, notify me 'cause you can damage it if you don't know exactly how to raise and lower it. I've read too many posts of people complaining about how they ripped 'em.
     
  5. mountainibis

    mountainibis Registered Member

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    I put a Fast-Trac top on my Jimmy about a month ago. I haven't been all that impressed with it, but there aren't many alternatives out there. The fit around the windows is pretty sketchy, and the metal rods that support the frames pop out every so often if I hit a bumpy spot in the road.

    Granted, some of this could be from the idiot who installed it ( /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif), and it's hard to manufacture something that will fit 30 year old vehicles perfectly, but for the price they charge, I guess I was hoping for more. It beats a hard top (or no top) in the versatility department, and I wasn't keen on drilling all of the holes for the snap-top design.

    The folks at Besttop have been dragging their feet about making a top for our rides for awhile now. Maybe one day they'll decide to actually do it, and all of our soft top woes will be washed away.
     
  6. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

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  7. Tuff

    Tuff Registered Member

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    I have a besttop softtop. it snaps therefore I had to drill holes in the window frame and the tailgate. I didn't mind so much since I don't have paint. It leaks around the windows also. I like the versatility that it gives me. My hard top always goes on when winter roles around. I believe there are a couple of pics of it in my gallery.
     
  8. mountainibis

    mountainibis Registered Member

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    Oops. I meant the Besttop SuperTop. There was talk awhile back of making it in addition to what they already make for 1st gens.
     
  9. cleszkie

    cleszkie 1/2 ton status

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    I have been using a Bestop soft top for the past 3 years now and feel that it is a marginal top made with marginal materials. My observations after 3 years of very careful use and storage:

    1) As mentioned above, must drill many holes in winshield frame and gate to install.

    2) Leaks a bit around windows due to poor metal frame design (flimsy metal rods, no weatherstripping)

    3) Windows are not zip out style like jeep tops (maybe the Super Top has this feature), and begin to get scratched the moment you remove it from its shipping package.

    4) The velcro quality sucks. They could have used a heavier grade velcro that would last longer and hold better against wind loading.

    5) The zippers on rear corners next to the rear window panel are way undersized. Mine have done the dreaded split from being pulled apart while zipped up (unzipped on both sides of the zipper). They should have used a heavy duty plastic zipper, or at least a good metal one.

    6) The elastic straps that are used to hold the sides and back up when they are rolled up are totally shot. The cheap elastic died about a year ago so it has no ability to hold the rolls in tight.

    7) I think the shiny black vinyl looks like crap compared to the flat black denim material used on the jeep Super Tops.

    I've babied my top to get the most life out of it, and performed some mods to keep it functional. I added snaps where the velcro is around the windows to keep it together. I am going to have the zippers replaced with good heavy duty ones, and have the elastic retaining straps replaced with some sort of tie down similar to the tie down straps on the rear of the top used for tension. I also added weatherstripping onto the metal door frames to create a tighter window fit.

    Finally, from the picture, it looks like if Bestop ever makes the Super top for our trucks it will be a fastrack type of design (I don't see any snaps, see a rail at the bottom of the rear window). It also looks like they might be using the nice, heavier black denim style canvas.
     
  10. Topdown

    Topdown 1/2 ton status

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    I have an STC (specialty top co) soft top on my 1st gen. I LOVE it! 3 snaps, the rest of it bolts to the stock top bolt holes and uses J-hooks. I would recommend them to anyone looking. the only drawback I have at all is that my windows are all rotted out and dont stay up but thats hardly the fault of the top... they were the same way with the hard top.

    -Ryan /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  11. Big Sean E

    Big Sean E Registered Member

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    Whatever top you go with (mine again is the fastracker), you might want to find an installer who's done Blazers before. I'm sure my success with the fit and finish is partly due to the fact that the place I went to has done jeeps and chevy soft tops for years. My only problem was a gap around the door windows which was CURED with a little thin weatherstripping edged around the windows (still able to rolldown). Otherwise, even after having survived heavy snow, and full blown direct sunlight(not recommended), the top's still tight, both top and sides.
     
  12. BlazerWheels

    BlazerWheels 1/2 ton status

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    I've had mine (STC Fastrac) on for about 3 months. It was a breeze to install, and it fits great. I leave the windows out most of the time. Put it on then it rained for about a month, no leaks at all. I would recommend it to anyone. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif oh yeah...mine is on a second gen.
     
  13. Topdown

    Topdown 1/2 ton status

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    I installed my own in the driveway with the wife's help. Piece of cake. The instructions left a little to be desired, but I test-fit everything before bolting it all down and made sure it fit clean and tight.
     
  14. rrent

    rrent 1/2 ton status

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    I'm currently running a Bestop - snap on kind. I keep it rolled up (still attached to the rear bar) and riding back on the tail gate. That way I have it should I get into un-expected rain. The fit is as good as it gets and still isn't perfect, but like I always tell people who ask --- its better than driving home sitting on a wet seat.
     
  15. skyblazer

    skyblazer 1/2 ton status

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    I installed the STC fastrack about 3 months ago. Works great. Install wasnt bad. I really like the look of the black denim. The only complaint I have is the side windows slap the hoops toward the back of the top above 40 mph. I think if I ever get some time to work on it, I can do some adjusting and tightening and resolve the problem. Other than that its been all I expected.
     
  16. Topdown

    Topdown 1/2 ton status

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    i experienced the same problem... until I realized that the rear bow was in the middle bolt-hole at the bottom. I moved it to the top-most bolt-hole and poof, problem solved. The top is really tight now on cool/cold days and fits snug on warm ones. Also, now that the rear bow is tighter its harder to get the windows in, but man is it worth it when running down the road.
     
  17. Big Sean E

    Big Sean E Registered Member

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    And please remember to take the lower halves of the front window braces off (unscrew the wingnut) while running the top in its Bimini configuration. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif I've seen too many photos of trucks with it still attached and it looks silly. The only supports that should be seen are the three bows, and the top halves of the window braces that connect from the windshield to the first bows.

    It should look like this.
    [image]
    http://community.webshots.com/sym/image6/7/4/98/76770498mYEMSx_ph.jpg
    [/image]
     
  18. JimmyUp

    JimmyUp Registered Member

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    Good afternoon,

    I am looking at buying a soft top ASAP in anticipation of winter. I am looking at going with a STC top but would like to see pictures of the finished and installed product. Do you have any of your rig? I contacted STC directly and they only have a single picture on their site and the lighting is not good.

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  19. earl87gta

    earl87gta 1/2 ton status

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    In two weeks the best top off my blazer may be for sale. Ill let you know when I take it off the truck. If you dont have one by then it may be a good top for you.
    Earl
     
  20. clubba68

    clubba68 1/2 ton status

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    Earl, do you have any pictures of the softtop?
    -Andrew
     

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