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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Ragtop Wagon


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31 replies to this topic

#1 singletrack

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 06:07 PM

I'm new here, so I thought I'd share. I did this last spring, it was the first real mod (besides the mp3 player and industrial-strength bike rack) that my `88 got.
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The kit was $350 from Street Beat Customs in Pheonix. If you've never cut a big friggin' whole in your car, I highly recomend it. Just measure about 25 times, grab the sawzall and cut. The kit I got measures 40" by 35", or something like that. I chose this size specifically so it'd fit niclely between my bike-carriers and load bars.

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Let me make this clear: This roof does not leak ever, period. Well, unless you point a hose at the seams, but hell, I don't wash my car. With the fairing on the roofrack it's very quiet too, even at speed.

I placed the rag starting about where the dome light is (was). This way I still have actual roof over my head. This is good because: 1) If it starts raining, only the dog gets wet. 2) If it's brutally hot, you're still sitting in the shade. This is key here in the desert. 3) There's no way I could get a pipe lit at highway speed otherwise. Also, I sleep in my Roo alot, so having it in the back means I can look at the stars.

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The height of the roof is perfect for hanging out the top limo-style, or perhaps a turret mounted .50 cal. Hmmm....

I did the trim with 1/8" aluminium, the final product is very clean. Wasteland thought it was a rare factory option when he first saw it.

Blue skies outside, blue dogs inside:
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Anyway, if your car has a roof, this is definetly the coolest thing you can do with it.

#2 subaru_styles

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 06:47 PM

yeah!!:banana:


i dig it. awesome work..

#3 sparkster58

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 07:22 PM

:cool: I love it but let me tell you..up in seattle that rag top wouldn't last a wk in our weather period......unless you had a garage......you don't see many convertibles up here..but other than that...... YOUR WAGON ROCKS .......sparkster:banana:

#4 Numbchux

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:07 PM

yea, I think it would get raped my minnesota winters, but still, I WANT BAD!!! Is there a website for this dealer? If not, where else might I find one? even if I have to put a tarp over my car every time I come home in the winter, it'd be totally worth it in the summer!!!

-Chux

#5 singletrack

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:08 PM

:cool: I love it but let me tell you..up in seattle that rag top wouldn't last a wk in our weather period......unless you had a garage......you don't see many convertibles up here..but other than that...... YOUR WAGON ROCKS .......sparkster:banana:


Thanks

Down here we get like 9" of precipitation a year. Basically, I open the roof in April, and close it in October.

I had the car back east a month ago and got caught in some wicked storms off the Great Lakes - real hard rain. It didn't leak then. Still, I don't think I'd wanna have one in a wet climate cause I'd hafta open and close it all the time.

#6 singletrack

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:09 PM

i dig it. awesome work..


That's coming from the guy with the prettiest L-series I've ever seen.

Thanks.

#7 singletrack

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:16 PM

yIs there a website for this dealer?


Yeah, www.streetbeatcustoms.com. CAUTION: You'll hafta sift through the wings and bodykits to find the ragtops.

There are a couple others out there, but everything else was like a $100 more.

#8 WoodsWagon

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:18 PM

Nice dog! The roof (or lack thereof) is great. That would be great in the arid SW. Great job.

#9 SubaSkeet

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:22 PM

i was thinking about something a little while back, but now im getting a rack/basket so itd be kinda pointless fer ma ca. awesome job, and if i get another wagon id definitely consider the "open" option. heh, nice dogs too.

#10 Numbchux

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 10:32 PM

How airtight is this? I'm very seriously considering this to go with my project for next summer, but it would probably be a part of my winter daily driver, so I might have to find a way to insulate it better. Any ideas?

Is yours vinyl or canvas?

very cool!!!
-Chux

#11 singletrack

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:22 PM

Is yours vinyl or canvas?

Mine is canvas. Stronger and cheaper than the vinyl (eech), plus it gives it a bit of the mad max/military surplus look. I don't know about air tight, but there isn't a noticible draft when driving in cold weather. When it's closed there's no more wind noise than with a normal roof, so it must be pretty well sealed. I'm sure the [roof rack] fairing helps alot with that; also SBC gives you a pretty lousy piece of weather stripping for the front/latch side. I replaced it with a nice thick piece of resdential strip, problem sloved.

In terms of actual insulation, your gonna still lose a lot of heat out the roof. Not enough to ever bother me, even when winter-camping in the mountains. If you get the optional headliner you could prolly stuff that with some thin insulation. I just turn the heat way up.

There's another option, though. The way these kits are made, it's pretty easy to remove the canvas and the rail/latch parts, leaving just the frame. It would be easy to find the right sized piece of plastic/fiberglass/wood to cover the hole, and some nuts and bolts to hold it down. Then you could have a hard top for the winter.

#12 Numbchux

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:55 PM

There's another option, though.


I love it! I'm sold. I, too, have a roof-mount ski/bike rack with a fairing so I don't think the wind noise will be a problem. I think I may put mine a bit further forward, I love having the open air directly above me, and with the fairing, I think the rain would be pretty effectively deflected.

Thanks a ton!
-Chux

#13 baccaruda

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 01:33 AM

AAAARGH
words cannot express how jealous I am that someone did this before me. I've had a link to a vendor in my favorites for a couple of years now. safari wagons are the best!
more pics please?

#14 singletrack

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 03:10 AM

AAAARGH
words cannot express how jealous I am that someone did this before me.

:grin:!

more pics please?

It's dark now, so I'll hafta take some more pics tommorrow, but here's one more I snapped today. It doesn't show much, but you can see where it's placed on the roof. Kinda. Also, with the roof rack on, the hole is basically invisible. Good for security. The hatch belongs to my roomie, Dustyrider. As a Washingtonian you might recognize it.
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safari wagons are the best!

I've got 225/14's sitting in the shed (aka the busted van in the pic) and my lift should be here this week. Maybe. THEN it'll be the Safari Wagon.

#15 singletrack

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 03:51 AM

I love it! I'm sold. I, too, have a roof-mount ski/bike rack with a fairing so I don't think the wind noise will be a problem. I think I may put mine a bit further forward, I love having the open air directly above me, and with the fairing, I think the rain would be pretty effectively deflected.

At highway speed the fairing definetly doesn't let the rain in. Any slower and I'm diving over the seat to close the thing when a storm comes outa nowhere.

SBC makes the 35" width up to 60" length I think, which is enough to do the whole roof. The measurements are the frame size, the actuall canvas overhangs the fame by like 1.5", so a 35" x 40" needs 38" x 43" of roof.

L-series have a nice flat (front-to-back) roof, which makes the whole thing easier. Make sure you allow 8" or so behind the frame of the rag for the canvas to "stack", and don't get to close to the front of the roof, or the curve will change and you'll hafta notch the frame to make it fit.

Taking your headliner out to cut the roof is a good idea, although I left mine in. If you leave it in, you'll hafta trim it with something. The Aluminium bar-stock trim I used looks, dare I say it, bling-bling. If you take it [headliner] out, you can cut it to fit the inside (smaller end) of the frame, and finish the job with the supplied pinch moulding. Also, in alot if not all wagons the headliner thins out in front of the dome light for extra headroom; if you pass this transition it'll be harder to make it look clean.

It defiently worth to find a trashed car with no headliner so you can see what you've gotta cut. Use a fresh blade, and mask the outside of the cut so you don't jack up your paint. WORK REAL SLOWLY. SBC has the manual online, it's pretty informative.

I accidentally cut the wiring for my dome light with the `zall, and it was a bitch to get my map lights working again. Measure over and over and over till you absolutely friggin sure you got it right. Then, before you cut, measure it a few more times. Have a friend measure it, too. Also, the roof beams in you car are probably crooked, they where in mine, and in my parts car. It really freaked me out when I finished my long cuts and had hit the back rafter on one side but not the other. I thought I'd ruined my car. :eek:

#16 Guest_Vickaroo_*

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 10:35 AM

THAT IS SOOOOOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!!!!!! :brow: I want one for my DRTYGRL, and my 2 rotties would just dig it!!! Hmmmmm looks like Im going to have to do some bigtime talkin to chef tim for this one... Thanks singletrack for sharing this... Oh and by the way I love the pups!!!!! Vicky

#17 sasquatch

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 10:42 AM

Holy crap that is cool!!!!! My dogs would freak! Thanks for showing!

#18 dustyrider

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 10:43 AM

Nice dog! The roof (or lack thereof) is great. That would be great in the arid SW. Great job.


hey whats up 91 loyale!!!

i used to live in greenville new hampshire. :)
where you at in mason. if your age is right then i dont think we know one another. whats up fellow subaru owner. if you check this out drop me a line.

oh and the tan hatch looks so nice doesnt it:lol:

peace

new hampshire "live free or die":-p

#19 spanky_pete

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 11:03 AM

Nice work, I really dig the way that looks. :D If my wagon didn't have rust in the wheel wells too, this would have been a great project to cut the bad spot out of it's roof. My dogs would love it too.

#20 bushbasher

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 11:36 AM

It really freaked me out when I finished my long cuts and had hit the back rafter on one side but not the other. I thought I'd ruined my car. :eek:


I've really noticed that there isnt a straight piece in the whole ea82 body. It's really tough to measure things out. Your top is cool. I looked at an MGB GT with a factory ragtop roof once, it's really amazing how it opens up the car. I think it would do wonders in a wagon, but still be fairly safe because the pillars are still there unlike a straight convertible top.

#21 All_talk

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 02:34 PM

it's really amazing how it opens up the car... but still be fairly safe because the pillars are still there unlike a straight convertible top

Safe, we dont need safe,:D we need cool fun in the sun... my soliution, take one '59 VW convertible and chop the top, makes for the coolest short windshield, but you don’t ever want to flip this one.

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BTW, the "cloth sliding sunroof" was an option on the early VeeWees, I have one to put in my '57 Sedan, they also came in the 21/32 window deluxe busses, very sweet (not my bus, but I wish)

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Gary

#22 NorthWet

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 03:17 PM

Hey, If you are REALLY careful cutting the hole, can you reuse the cutout piece as a hardtop? Trim it up nice, matching paint....

My wife would FREAK if I took the sawzall to a car roof. Especially if it was HERS!!!!

#23 Numbchux

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 03:29 PM

Hey, If you are REALLY careful cutting the hole, can you reuse the cutout piece as a hardtop? Trim it up nice, matching paint....


hmmmm.....that too is a very good idea, or my friends suggestion, plexiglass, then you'd have a little greenhouse action on those sunny winter days.

-Chux

#24 sasquatch

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 03:38 PM

I just might be the first person in the NW to do this mod (I'll let my Seattle brethren know how it goes). I'll have to show my wife.

We have this pattern where I come home wanting to mod one of our cars or turbo-charge something or buy another car....her job is to tell me 'no' (normally). This is cheap enough though....

#25 Wasteland

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 05:09 PM

"Wasteland thought it was a rare factory option when he first saw it."

Hey, I was drunk that week:drunk:! That is a killer Mod can't wait to see it lifted with those 225's!




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