I’ve been driving with the hard top all this week. Sure was a battle getting here and it looks like we’re starting to get some more snow now here in Colorado.
Being that I was able to get the front piece mounted with rivets and the catches from rally tops I intended on doing the same to repair/replace the latches on the rear as well.
I was originally going to just use the rear latches the way they were because most of them were still mounted. I went to do a test install and one of the latches broke. I ordered some new latches and some hardware from McMaster Carr.
I got some M5x0.8 All thread since that’s the thread size of the hook latch on the latch. I got some stainless M5x0.8 coupling nuts because they were cheap. I also ordered some new catches from rally tops again.
Another thing that I did that wasn’t really in the plan was that instead of rivets for the latches on the rear hard top I used some expanding rubber rivnuts. The same type I used to mount my custom ABS door panels. The hard top did have some metal reinforcing laminated into the fiberglass.
I did not like the way the hook latch mated into the catches from rally tops.
I did discover that the triangle eyebolts from the cheap Amazon latches I bought had the same thread size as the one on the latch.
The latches are just made of folded steel. Same for the hook on the latch as well.
This means that the threads weren’t perfect and I had to chase all the threads with a tap before it would accept the allthread extensions I had to cut to get the latches to reach the tub of the Samurai.
I drilled a center hole in all of the catches from the cheap Amazon latches so that they could pivot to some degree because the two rearmost latches are angled and I didn’t want the headache of trying to mount the catches at the correct angle.
With the rear piece of the top mounted I had to figure out the mounting for the rear glass. Now this is the most retarded setup I’ve seen from a hard top company. At least rally tops has some legitimate hinges for their rear glass. The glass had some brackets that attach to the tailgate …. somehow. I’ve never actually seen it in person and the few pictures I’ve seen online don’t show details.
I cleaned all the paint and rust of the brackets and repainted them.
I had a plan to mount some flat plate aluminum to the tailgate for the rear glass to bolt to. Me and Abby purchased a bandsaw about a 2 years ago. It’s been sitting outside for about a year and I needed to cut some aluminum plate to make the brackets for the rear glass.
I used some more rivnuts to attach the plate to the tailgate. I marked out the material I needed to remove to clear the gasket when the tailgate was closed.
The drivers side of the tailgate had a raised section to clear the latch mechanism but I needed the plate to attach on the side to provide stability for the rear glass brackets. The bandsaw sure made easy work of all of this.
I ended up buying a piece of polycarbonate to replace that rear glass since the tinting on it and yellowing from age made it impossible to see through.
So far so good. I’m having some issues with the front top piece sealing against the windshield but my gasket is damaged and trying to source a new one is hard.
Now hopefully this winter I can source some Air Conditioning parts.