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Old 4th November 2009, 20:23   #16
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The best Jeeps are the ones that run open-top . Or atleast, only a partial bikini / soft-top. Better in offroad situations (superior visibility).

It's easiest to get a hard-top for a 540 or a Gypsy. Simply because they are / were readily available. However, for a Jeep like the CJ340 that sold in very limited numbers, they are impossible to come by. If you want practicality, you wouldn't choose a 340 in the first place.

Good thing about hard tops : Security, can fit an air-con, protection from the elements and better sound insulation. The flip side? One more source of rattles & squeaks (especially Mahindras), can get very HOT (unless you are running an air-con), poorer visibility (negative for offroading), longer time to take off (vis a vis soft-tops) and additional weight.

I do think that my Jeeps soft-top + doors is an appropriate middle-of-the-road solution:

Hard Tops for Off Roaders.-200903-off-roading-38.jpg
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Old 4th November 2009, 20:31   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreerajunnithan View Post
Eagerly waiting for the results Tini, as you suggested, steel can be the cheapest way. I thought about getting a scrap body of Armada and use the top and rear door (and somehow adjust the length of top to aligh with Jeeps's length). Separate spare mount is an excellent idea. I have one doubt regarding lowering the height, i am sure it will look nice. But don't you think that head room for rear passengers will reduce a lot? Please clarify.

Thanks
--Sree--
I think the cheapest option is to do the body like you see in many jeeps in rural tamil nadu. They look like a canvas jeep but under the canvas is a sheet metal frame. The rear door also gets extended all the way to the top with a rear glass. This is the most cost effective solution and the looks of the jeep are still like a soft top.

Regarding lowering the top height. If you use the OEM side facing seats there maybe a problem of the passengers knocking their heads. But I have changed it to a forward facing seat between the rear wheel wells that is set lower than the oem seats so this is not an issue.

@GTO. The visibility issues can be addressed to a large extend by using the largest glass/openings that can fit your design.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 4th November 2009 at 20:33.
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Old 4th November 2009, 23:49   #18
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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
....@GTO. The visibility issues can be addressed to a large extend by using the largest glass/openings that can fit your design.
Yup! Glass has its advantages. A canvas rear panel with a clear plastic window can be a real pain in the asterisk. Plastic seems to attract dust and clear plastic windows scratch up easily. If the sun is behind you all you see out the back is a golden glowing opaque wall. If you are on a 500 meter rock ledge on the Manali-Leh road and you have a monster Tata truck coming at you forcing you to back up, you may actually come to hate plastic windows with a passion. Please do not 'go brilliant' on me and tell me you can roll it up or take it off. I sort of know that.

But I digress. This thread is not about 'hard' versus 'soft' top. It is about how to get a hard top done correctly.

Last edited by DirtyDan : 4th November 2009 at 23:58.
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Old 9th November 2009, 20:15   #19
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Default Hard Top Design

Sharing the plan which i have in mind.

First design is without reducing the windshield and B Pillar height and second one is by reducing the height by around 3 inches. I liked the second design.

Thanks to Rohan (JEEPGEORGE) from jeepthrills.in who designed it.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks
--Sree--

Hard Tops for Off Roaders.-mm540-body3.jpg


Hard Tops for Off Roaders.-mm540-body4.jpg
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Old 9th November 2009, 22:56   #20
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Sree:

Cutting and lowering is definitely better. I'll post pictures of my jeep by the end of this month after the work is done.
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Old 9th November 2009, 23:05   #21
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Dear Sree,
Second design definitely.
Just one question, would it not reduce the head room at the back seat?
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 10th November 2009, 02:30   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreerajunnithan View Post
First design is without reducing the windshield and B Pillar height and second one is by reducing the height by around 3 inches. I liked the second design.

Let me know what you think.

I have already done it on my Jeep, the B piller's height was redused by aprox 2 inch. See the below photo in the same angle of your design...
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Old 10th November 2009, 09:06   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starter View Post
Dear Sree,
Second design definitely.
Just one question, would it not reduce the head room at the back seat?
Cheers,
Deepak
Starter, yes headroom will be reduced, But look at the above picture of Naren's Jeep. The back seat is placed between the wheel wells instead of the face to face Bench seats which are fixed on the wheel wells. The trade off is, you will lose seating capacity. only two can comfortably sit on that seat.

Thanks
--Sree--
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Old 20th December 2009, 14:13   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_3007 View Post
Hard Top - Just A thought - Following things come to my mind

1) Which is the best suited hard top for MM550 ? Is there any company recomended or company fitted top available?
Roplas used to suply the OEM fibreglass hard top to Mahindra and I belive they have gone out of business so getting a new one will be hard. besides, they don't look that great any way except for one model that came with big side and rear glass.

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Originally Posted by Ricky_3007 View Post
2) Installing hard top will have any effect on FE?
Metal top will increase fuel consumption marginally due to the heavier weight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_3007 View Post
3) During Off road any issue?
Hard Top will be more expensive to repair if damaged during off-road use and also the added weight will be a disadvantage when you go off-road.

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Originally Posted by Ricky_3007 View Post
The reasons behind this thought are
a) AC fitting
b) Better Security

Is there any soft top option available with which I can install AC . I like the way Fazal has put the new soft top on his new Jeep. I am bit confused. Pls help . I am attaching the pic of my Jeep .
Pls note the current soft top will be removed immed.after sorting out this .

Tarkesh
Security is definitely an issue with the soft top but A/C can be fitted with Soft top. My mm540 was air conditioned with Soft top. There is some leakage but since the cabin is very small you can stay cool. Obviously it will not be *** efficient as a hard top.
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Old 20th December 2009, 15:16   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Sree:

Cutting and lowering is definitely better. I'll post pictures of my jeep by the end of this month after the work is done.
Hi,

Your hardtop is it still under production? When can we c the final output??

sali
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Old 20th December 2009, 15:57   #26
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I quite liked the top on RedMM340's MM550. Raj Kapoor at Noida did the work and it cost 75,000RS.



Saw this one in Patiala. Looked as if they had added an extra window in the middle.

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Old 21st December 2009, 12:28   #27
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Quote:
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I quite liked the top on RedMM340's MM550. Raj Kapoor at Noida did the work and it cost 75,000RS....
Even i also liked that top a lot, but, my goodness never knew it was this expensive!!!!
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Old 21st December 2009, 12:39   #28
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If you want more ideas for hard tops, see here:

Hardtops - Tops and Accessories for Jeep & GM, Ford, Dodge Trucks by Bestop

Download their installation guide to know more details.
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Old 22nd December 2009, 04:58   #29
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Originally Posted by beejay View Post
Apologies for the back to back post. Here they are.
Is this Jeep sold out ?

Was the hard top done at Ostler ?
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Old 22nd December 2009, 08:23   #30
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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Roplas used to suply the OEM fibreglass hard top to Mahindra and I belive they have gone out of business so getting a new one will be hard. besides, they don't look that great any way except for one model that came with big side and rear glass.
there is a company in MIDC Bhosari here in pune that still makes ROPLAS style FRP bodies on order. They also do it for the Gypsy: very different from the standard Gypsy hard top but quite nice.

The company is actually in the business of making FRP boats. Will get the postal address in a day or two.
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