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Thread: Home made hard HALF TOP with power windows

  1. #1
    Brighter than the sun... Oman Jeep's Avatar
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    Default Home made hard HALF TOP with power windows

    I've got a factory hard top which has no windows in it - intention is to cut it up and make it half the size. Not sure yet whether I'll be taking it to a boat yard / bodykit place or doing it myself as a teach-myself-fiberglass-work project.


    I want to use an extra large aftermarket sunroof / H2 factory sunroof. In the dunes we are looking up through the roof quite a bit when going up / down the big slopes. I normally have the soft top back.

    I don't want a spoiler type sunroof because it would interfere with a roof rack. For this reason the "half cab" will still extend backwards behind the front seats, looking a little bit like the sound bar on the back of my Bestop Halftop. This gives the sunroof somewhere to go.


    Secondly, when we're in crowded areas I drop the rear window so I can hear what's behind me on a slope, so that I just stop if I don't make it all the way to the top. If it's clear, we swing a u-turn and come down again.

    So I guess what I'm saying is even though it looks like I've watched a bit too much pimp my ride - these things are born out of necessity.

    Here's the first concept sketch:





    What I'm looking for now is if anyone's seen / read any articles from the sport truck / hot rod scene on installing a drop-down window where there used to be a fixed window. That's the major obstacle.



    P.S. I live in Dubai so if this thing leaks it's not exactly a big deal

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    do it......!

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    Registered RedDog's Avatar
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    I like it! A number of cars have had rear windows which lower like that. The Honda del Sol comes to mind.

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    I think I saw an article about a power rear window in one of the truck magazines in the not-too-distant past, maybe Mini-Truckin', something like that? Sorry, can't recall but pretty sure I saw one.
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    Did you do that with Solid Works?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oman Jeep View Post
    I've got a factory hard top which has no windows in it - intention is to cut it up and make it half the size. Not sure yet whether I'll be taking it to a boat yard / bodykit place or doing it myself as a teach-myself-fiberglass-work project.


    I want to use an extra large aftermarket sunroof / H2 factory sunroof. In the dunes we are looking up through the roof quite a bit when going up / down the big slopes. I normally have the soft top back.

    I don't want a spoiler type sunroof because it would interfere with a roof rack. For this reason the "half cab" will still extend backwards behind the front seats, looking a little bit like the sound bar on the back of my Bestop Halftop. This gives the sunroof somewhere to go.


    Secondly, when we're in crowded areas I drop the rear window so I can hear what's behind me on a slope, so that I just stop if I don't make it all the way to the top. If it's clear, we swing a u-turn and come down again.

    So I guess what I'm saying is even though it looks like I've watched a bit too much pimp my ride - these things are born out of necessity.

    Here's the first concept sketch:





    What I'm looking for now is if anyone's seen / read any articles from the sport truck / hot rod scene on installing a drop-down window where there used to be a fixed window. That's the major obstacle.



    P.S. I live in Dubai so if this thing leaks it's not exactly a big deal
    Maybe a truck-like sliding window would be more manageable for the rear, especially since the rear window is so close to your front seats, easy to reach, I mean? I've seen them with power, too :-)

    If you want a drop-down window in the rear you should probably find a module that fits the rear of your jeep and just modify the top you have around it. You're changing the top a lot anyway, the little curved window at the corners look pretty cool and very functional but there's lots of fabrication involved. You can probably find a truck rear cab enclosure with that drop-down feature, like the Avalanche, I believe that is way too big, though, maybe the Ridgeline? Or, you could probably tweak the corner curved pieces of glass to intrude a little more in the rear and use a regular car door, maybe from an older, not-so-curved-glass model (prefferable with a square window, which would maybe mean the rear doors) or even a Jeep door (get the window rails from two old Jeep full doors, cut them up at the top where they start angling downwards toward the front and weld the 2 rears together to form a square frame as big or small as you need, then fabricate the glass to fit at the same shop that's gonna build your corner ones). Just embed the whole assembly as the bottom cab enclosure and mold the cab around it. After all, for your power sliding sunroof you'll do the same, find an existent one that fits and mold your cab around it, no?

    Anyway, it looks interesting and promising, keep it up and good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedDog View Post
    I like it! A number of cars have had rear windows which lower like that. The Honda del Sol comes to mind.
    Yeah there's a little suzuki x-90 (tracker type thing) that has a set up similar to this...the top slides and the rear window slides down.

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    69-72 vettes have a window that rolls down similar to that, it just has a hand crank on it like the side windows

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    Thats kinda cool. You might be better off like mentioned with a manual crank because of space limitations. Then again in my VW golf the moon roof as they call it is powered and its pretty narrow up in the head liner.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiftedSahara View Post
    Did you do that with Solid Works?
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    Ford makes a little 4 door pick up (sport trac - I think.)that has a power slider. They slide down into the cab.

    I test drove one for the wife once, but I couldn't get past the Ford part.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calin.Macrinici View Post
    Maybe a truck-like sliding window would be more manageable for the rear, especially since the rear window is so close to your front seats, easy to reach, I mean? I've seen them with power, too :-)

    If you want a drop-down window in the rear you should probably find a module that fits the rear of your jeep and just modify the top you have around it. You're changing the top a lot anyway, the little curved window at the corners look pretty cool and very functional but there's lots of fabrication involved. You can probably find a truck rear cab enclosure with that drop-down feature, like the Avalanche, I believe that is way too big, though, maybe the Ridgeline? Or, you could probably tweak the corner curved pieces of glass to intrude a little more in the rear and use a regular car door, maybe from an older, not-so-curved-glass model (prefferable with a square window, which would maybe mean the rear doors) or even a Jeep door (get the window rails from two old Jeep full doors, cut them up at the top where they start angling downwards toward the front and weld the 2 rears together to form a square frame as big or small as you need, then fabricate the glass to fit at the same shop that's gonna build your corner ones). Just embed the whole assembly as the bottom cab enclosure and mold the cab around it. After all, for your power sliding sunroof you'll do the same, find an existent one that fits and mold your cab around it, no?

    Anyway, it looks interesting and promising, keep it up and good luck!
    Calin
    I'd like the windows to be glass because then the V-kool thermal tint will adhere better. Otherwise it's going to be some kind clear-plastic alternative (polycarbonate?) That situation will depend on what manufacturing facilities I can take advantage of locally.

    Another idea for the rear window would be to use a second sunroof module... This would be nice because it would give me a rear window vent function. Question is - can a sunroof module handle being vertical? My concern is whether it would think the weight of the glass was an obstruction and the safety mechanism would stop it from closing.

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  13. #13
    Brighter than the sun... Oman Jeep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tappel View Post
    Ford makes a little 4 door pick up (sport trac - I think.)that has a power slider. They slide down into the cab.

    I test drove one for the wife once, but I couldn't get past the Ford part.
    Unfortunately virtually all the cars that have a rear drop down window aren't sold here! Or they don't come in with that option...

    H2 SUT or Older Toyota 4Runner tailgate is my only real option...

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    Later 70's broncos and late Toyota 4runners have rear windows that go up n down, most are power, start looking there. Maybe you could use the motors/mechanisms.
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    What about a simple power window conversion kit from our host?? Couldn't you make one of those work for a custom piece of glass in the back??
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    Having put an entire moonroof from a Volvo 850 wagon in a Dodge Ram before and fabricated the headliner to look factory, complete with the Volvo factory switches in the pod over the rear view mirror, I don't think you have enough room in the TJ.

    The cassette that houses the moon roof drive cables, drain tray, drive motors, and tracks for the panel to retract into is about 2.5" thick not including the headliner.

    Not to mention that I wouldn't even attempt it in a removeable roof option.

    I know you don't care about leaks, but the drain trays have a drain line from each corner that gets routed down through the A and C pillars to get rid of any water that collects because they all leak.

    Installing the cassette was by far the easiest part. There is a trim frame that welded to the Dodge roof and both had the exact same curvatures so no issues there. Then crossmembers had to be fabbed to attach the cassette to to stop the roof from sagging from the extra weight and those had to be glued in place on the underside of the sheetmetal roof. No biggy there.

    The hard part was dealing with all the details to make it look factory. Adapting and color matching the switch pod, fabbing up the headliner to fit both, installing the factory Volvo grab handles with the small lights in them, and then finding a way to trim everything out.

    Your rendering only shows the pretty side. Do one of the inside and see how much room it takes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kizer View Post
    Thats kinda cool. You might be better off like mentioned with a manual crank because of space limitations. Then again in my VW golf the moon roof as they call it is powered and its pretty narrow up in the head liner.
    I'm definitely going for electric on both panels. The rear one is no issue for space because the seats are angle backwards anyway, giving a lot of space at the bottom. Subwoofer / Speaker enclosure will then take the space between the mid-gate and the seats.

    For the top... I was going to emulate the Brute style a little bit and have a raised section around the sliding top. Also keep in mind the TJ has a huge amount of head room space to begin with, and I would need to re-do the roll cage anyway so re-doing the center hoop with a drop in the center wouldn't be too bad. I would be making up for the lack of the rear section by running tubes down between the windows.

    I don't want a center overhead console, and may double-up the tubes running on either side of the sunroof.

    The cage would then go down through the dash and to the floor, and tie-in with a brace running down the sides of the seats forming a complete box around the passenger space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
    Having put an entire moonroof from a Volvo 850 wagon in a Dodge Ram before and fabricated the headliner to look factory, complete with the Volvo factory switches in the pod over the rear view mirror, I don't think you have enough room in the TJ.

    The cassette that houses the moon roof drive cables, drain tray, drive motors, and tracks for the panel to retract into is about 2.5" thick not including the headliner.

    ...

    Your rendering only shows the pretty side. Do one of the inside and see how much room it takes.
    If I remember correctly the Mazda I had about 10 years back (mx6) used to have a power sunroof that was opening to the outside of the roof. The main reasons I believe were the lack of interior head room and the length of the roof -- it was a 2 door coupe, the roof was quite low and the back was quite slanted, no room for the sunroof inside. It was pretty horizontal when opened, probably room enough for a rack above. I'm sure that kind of Mazda was sold around your parts or the world. In any case, the sunroof opening on the outside would negate the need for that awning at the back. I believe in your case that would be a bonus, since it would give you better visibility through the rear window.

    I'm not sure why polycarbonate, I believe auto glass (safety laminated glass) could be found or custom ordered. For the rear, as I said, a pair of full size Jeep doors (regardless of the year, condition or shape), cut the front upper corners away and weld the rest together to be square (make sure the bottom is also cut to fit your rear, behind the seats), cut the glass for your rear window at the shop (here there are shop that can fabricate custom auto glass, maybe you can find them there, too?) and use maybe a "regular" Jeep power window assembly sold for a couple hundred bucks or so (A1 Electric comes to mind). Then fabricate the fiberglass rear around the newly created frame... Bob's your auntie!

    Check the picture for what I mean (sorry, my Paint is by no means close to your design): one door is blue, the other black, you stitch them together, you end up with the outside square...

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    that design reminds me of 70's toyota land crusers with the rounded windows.
    very cool idea!
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    Your mom's gonna be PISSED!!!

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