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- CK5.comThe first thing I noticed about the Can-Back top was it's rugged frame assembly, and how this unique design incorporated an optional rack system for attaching a roof basket, canoes, mountain bikes, off-road gear, etc.. I was also looking for a top that could withstand the Colorado winters as well as being able to take the punishment of off road abuse. One of the main reasons we drive a Blazer or Jimmy in the first place is the functionality and rugged good looks they provide, and the top should be no exception. After reading about all the options and the quality of the fabric used at Can-Back's web site, I decided the Pachyderm model was the way to go.
Can-Back Soft Top (76-91 K5 Blazer/Jimmy)
Covered in Sunbrella fabric to cover over the structure, this soft-top is built to take on just about anything you can throw at it. This is a premier, marine grade, 100% solution dyed, woven acrylic fabric. It's some very tough stuff, and is proven against water, wind and rain, sunlight and fading, rot, mildew and atmospheric chemicals. What you also get is ease of care, great looks, and a knockout appearance.
Two models are available for all popular full and mid size pickup trucks, the first generation 84-89 4Runners, and the 76-91 Blazers. Both models can take on a heavy duty, all steel accessory roof rack system that supports 350 pounds of payload on the Can-Back, and 200 pounds on the Pachyderm model.
• Heavy duty, all stainless steel hoops and spreader bars with black powder coated base frame. (Can-Back model)
• Heavy duty, all steel, black powder coat finished hoops, spreader bars and base frame. (Pachyderm model)
• All weather, marine-grade SUNBRELLA top fabric.
• Roll-up front, side, and rear panels allowing 360 degree access to your bed.
• Truck cab profile eliminates wind resistance at highway speeds.
Roof rack and 200 lbs.
Roof rack and 350 lbs. (Can-Back model)
The first thing I noticed was how well it was packaged from Can-Back, all the parts were bubble wrapped or shrink wrapped, It must have taken them more time to pack it up than it did to make the top itself. All of the parts came clearly marked for easy assembly, even the most novice person would have an effortless time putting it together. As you unpack the boxes you will notice the tig welded joints, baked-on black powder coat finishes and the high quality of all the parts.
With any kind of mechanical ability at all, installation is a piece of cake. All instructions are included with the top and are broken down into 2 basic steps:
1. Build up the frame and bolt to Blazer side rails
Lay out the side rails, foam side down, on a clean flat surface. The side rails are placed with the snaps facing outside the bed and the cleats facing inward. Next place the #1 hoop, starting at the front of the bed on the pre-determined mounting points and loosely tighten, repeat for hoops #2 and #3. Loosely bolt spreader bars from hoop #1 to hoop #2, then from hoop #2 to hoop #3. Position the spreader bars to locate the roof rack either towards the cab or towards the tailgate.
Next, attach cab connector to back of cab. The cab connector is placed so the edge with the snaps closest to it fits against the cab (loosen the cab connector L brackets if necessary to help in bolt hole alignment). Using the bolts supplied, bolt cab connector to cab starting with the 4 factory holes across the top then the one on each side, always making sure the cab connector seal is making good contact with the cab.
With the frame bolted together, lift onto bed rails making sure you have cleaned the contact surface. You can now attach the side rails to the cab connector with the cab straps using the machine threaded snap to bolt the two together, then tighten. Make sure all the bolts are in their correct locations, then tighten the frame completely. Remove the top screws in the side panels to gain access to the underside of the bed rail. Mark the frame side rails with a center punch where you want to position the 4 bolts that will attach the frame to the bed rails. When you are satisfied with your choice of mounting location, use a c-clamp to clamp the frame to the bed rail and drill four 3/8" or slightly larger holes through the frame rail and the bed rail, then use the supplied hardware to fasten the two together.
2. Lay on the fabric, align it with the hoops and snap down the sides
Lay the top out on a clean flat surface and determine the topside from the bottom and the front from the back panel. Place the fabric over the frame allowing all the panels to be completely rolled down. First, only snap the fabric across the top of the cab connector, starting from the center and working your way out. Then snap each corner of the sides down continuing with the remaining snaps. Tighten front and rear tension straps - rear tension straps are pulled over and behind rear hoop then come forward and loop around the next hoop, front tension straps are pulled over and in front of first hoop then go backwards and loop around the second hoop. The rear panel snaps down to the tailgate with a snap strip that’s attached with double sided tape. Adjust tension on the straps to get proper alignment when snapping the tailgate side. The boltrope must always be secure, this is the rope that is located at each end of the top. That's it you’re done.
Rolling up the sides and back
To roll up the sides, loosen the boltrope from it's attaching point in the rear and reattach without going through the side panel. Next, unsnap the top from the side rails, then unsnap the bottom 3 snaps from the cab, (I ordered the roll up kit which allows rolling up the sides a lot easier and tighter for one person) and roll the sides up and attach to sewn in straps near the top of the side windows. To roll up the back window, simply unsnap the fabric from the tailgate strip and roll up and attach to the two straps above the rear window.
I really like the design and durability of this top, two days after installation I got to put it to the test on the "Why To K5" run, it held up to mud, rain and branches being drug across the top. This is a quality soft top with the versatility for today's four-wheeler with top notch service to match, but be prepared for people pulling up along side you asking who made your top. It’s a lightweight, yet durable alternative to the everyday factory shell that allows access to cargo without having to get in and out of the vehicle, not to mention shedding almost 300 pounds in the process. There were only 4 holes that had to be drilled, and they were just in the bed rails, not bad at all, but if the frame rails were just and inch wider they could have utilized all the factory holes. I am told that If Can-Back receives enough orders for the Blazer/Jimmy they will modify the design to utilize all the factory holes similar to what they did with the 4-Runner model. If you require the functionality and durability that only a Can-Back soft top can provide I highly recommend you talk to the friendly folks at Can-Back and order your top today.
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