Originally Posted by amol4184
Thanks. Yes it has indeed been late
but no worries because the update on experience matters a lot. I went ahead with Vin4x4 FRP HT for our Thar. As opposed to what they promised, the HT needs a lot of modifications done and is not a straight fit. On top of that, we installed the HT right in our house, a complete DIY operation and took almost a month to get it right. It was an experience of a lifetime. I donít think Iíll ever do it again.
Anyway, the top needed lot of sanding, grinding, cutting (especially ill fitting rear door) and front portion of the HT that goes above drivers head. What was not told to us was that the rear seats donít fit with this HT - they need to be moved a little and screwed into new holes. You also lose head room. None of that was included in the communication with Vin.
The sealant bottles sent to us were all expired long ago. The plates that hold the HT in place from inside were horribly engineered and rusty. The glass cutouts were incorrect. I spent hours sanding the cutouts until glass pieces fit snuggly.
That front portion of the HT is held into position by aforementioned plates. My dad who was an engineer from old times saw it and immediately declared this thing is not going to hold if it hits a pothole. To take care of that, we drilled extra holes just above the windshield and fastened the HT there too.
Every drilled hole, edges where HT touched the body, all contact patches we filled up with black industrial grade silicone paste.
Despite all this home grown engineering, the sides of HT which are supposed to fit snug (just behind doors) never did so. To fill that gap, to stop dust and avoid any rattles we inserted tapered foam cut to shape into it.
This rear portion of HT is also held in place by absolutely poor quality angular plates from inside. After fitting those we discovered that those support plates were vastly inadequate. So to bolster it, we drilled extra holes from outside the body (above rear wheel arch) and screwed the top with titanium M8 bolts all around.
Finally the rear door and OMG. The less I say the better about it. We probably spent a week just to fit that damn thing. Even then, when we poured water on top it entered inside from top of the door. To deflect water, I got an L shaped plate and cut it to length of the door. On the ends of that plate, we got some little channels made and installed to let water drip from sides. This solution worked rather well, to our surprise. Additionally, 3mm sticky foam strips were installed all around the ridge where door fits into place. These strips stopped dust, smoke and extra noise.
I am sure I am missing a lot of other hacks we had to do. Sorry for a long post sounding like a rant but I have been wanting to do it for very long time and your reply just made me do it.
So howís it holding, you may ask? Answer is: fabulously. The Jeep looks fantastic. No creaks, no squeaks. Took it to my usual mechanics and they all said this couldnít have turned out any better even if you got it done from a body shop.
But will I buy anything from Vin4x4? Not a chance in hell. That HT turned out great because all the sweat we put in.
75k for such abysmal, poorly engineered product? You got to be kidding me. We put efforts worth 75k grinding the thing.
I wish I responded earlier but I think I was in one of the stages of Grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) after making a bad decision to go with the FRP. So by the time I came to accept the sub-par decision, it was too late for you
Ah. the rear door, I don't even want to get started, I have spent a decent sum just to stop water ingress and rattling of the rear door, it was trial and error and a never-ending vicious cycle.
I'd, however, say you did the best thing by installing the hardtop yourself, in the process you took no shortcuts and the workmanship would have been 100X different to what Vin was able to do.
Abysmal work quality is an understatement:
Things I had to do after getting the hardtop installed:
1. Central lock was installed but didn't work 1 hr post delivery- Reason: Poor wiring and heck the terminals weren't even bolted properly to the battery.
(Don't even want to get started on the shortcuts that were taken)
2. Hardtop starts leaking near the b pillar on the 3rd day. The reason was attributed to expired sealant tubes that were used which cracked and leaked. Hence vehicle went back to Vin for another 4 days and the process of removing the old sealant, relaying the sealant, and painting was done again.
3. Back door starts rattling no real solution is offered by Vin, hence trial and error of the beadings start and one solution works as a DIY. Never went back to get it fixed because all the other niggles that were sorted would start again with the mediocrity of workmanship.
4. The windshield starts moving around on uneven roads, Vin confirms they haven't touched the windshield at all. Mahindra ASC conveniently points to the hardtop and dismissed the warranty claim
5. The rear door and spare mount was the biggest joke, attaching images- you can see what is done.
6. So all in all the next 2 months were spent just fixing rattles, creaks, wind noise, and other small issues.
Post all of these self-generated ways to keep myself entertained in the name of DIYs had smooth sailing for about 2 years until the door cracked and the sealant started giving up.
This time around I definitely didn't want to go back to Vin to fix it and turn the clock back 2 years repeating all that I had gone through already.