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Bestop’s Supertop for FJ40 Land Cruisers

Bestop Supertop for FJ40  Soft tops have been around for as long as cars have. The early soft tops that covered the first “horseless carriages” were built by some guy that’s long dead, and he would have more than likely worked in an environment barely suitable for humans. Those old canvas soft tops that rolled off of the assembly line over 100 years ago were built in steam powered factories and were sewn together with foot powered sewing machines. While the basic principals of soft top design have remained constant over the last century, many advancements have been made in their development. Take, for example, the new Bestop Supertop for our FJ40 project rig and let’s compare it to the soft tops that came out of Henry Ford’s assembly line. Both soft tops share a basic design of metal bows with fabric stretched across them. The also shared the ability to fold out of the way when the weather was warm.

This is where the similarities end, however. The Bestop Supertops made today sport many advanced features and qualities that ol’ Henry Ford couldn’t have even dreamed of. For example, Bestop Supertops use premium fabrics that are mildew- resistant, contain UV inhibitors and are designed to retain their shape and appearance over many years of use. Their heavy-duty zippers are molded and made to zipped open and shut thousands of time and, all of their hardware is chemically treated and powder coated to resist even the most pervasive rust and corrosion. Supertops can also come configured with specially made tinted windows to help keep your rig cooler, reduce eye strain and make your rig stand out in a sea of soft- top bearing Jeeps, Cruisers and Broncos.

 

Installation – Bestop’s Supertop for FJ40 Land Cruisers
Time: 3-4 Hours
Tools Needed: Phillips screwdriver, drill, drill bits (1/8″, 5/32″ and 3/16″), 10 mm wrench, measuring tape, hammer, adjustable wrench, center punch, scissors/razor blade
Difficulty:
 

Installation

It’s a good thing they have these new features since winter has set in and our old, dried-up, cracked, dilapidated soft top was about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Its once-supple vinyl had become stiff and brittle, and abuse suffered by countless off-road adventures had ripped scraped and discolored a few of the windows and the vinyl too. It needed to be replaced in a big way, and Bestop fit the bill, in a big way.

Bestop Supertop for FJ40 We started our installation by removing our old soft top and its hardware, and then we cleaned and prepared the rest of the FJ40 for the new Bestop soft top.
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Next, we made a few measurements on our Land Cruiser to make sure the top would fit correctly. We measured from the top outside corner of the windshield frame to the back edge of the Land Cruiser. This measurement should be right around 81″.
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Bestop Supertop for FJ40 With all of the prep work and measurements done, it was now time to bolt the Belt-Rail™ and rear corner retainers into place. The Belt-Rails bolted into place nicely, utilizing the existing, pre-threaded factory holes. The rear corner retainers however required some additional drilling and a lot of filing to get the holes to align properly.
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 With the Belt-Rails and rear corner retainers bolted in place, we screwed the windshield retainer into the top of the windshield (not pictured). We then bolted the rod brackets into place, using the hardware from our old soft top (Bestop’s kit did not include the bolts for this step).
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Bestop Supertop for FJ40 It was now time to measure and mark the main bows, which will be bolted on top of the Belt-Rails. We did this by making a mark with a marker, then by dimpling the metal with a center punch. We then drilled the appropriately sized holes and then bolted the bows into place.
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Bestop Supertop for FJ40 The last steps of the hardware installation were to install the two supplied Footman loops in the corners, and bolt the door strikers into place.
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Bestop Supertop for FJ40 We then put the soft top fabric on top of the Land Cruiser by first sliding it into place on the windshield retainer then snapping it to the rear-most bow, hooking the horizontal and vertical flaps into place, and then pulling the soft top sides over and under the Belt-Rails. Finally we adjusted the rear bow to a tight-fit position, pulled the straps on the Footman’s loops tight, and zipped up the rear window.
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Our last steps were to assemble and hang the Bestop doors. Following the directions, we installed the paddle door handles and adjusted them to create a good, solid closure against the door striker plate. After you’ve hung the doors, you’ll need to “adjust” them by bending the metal frame so that it creates a snug fit (but not too tight) and seals out the elements.
Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Your Bestop Supertop soft top for your FJ40 is now completely installed, and ready to keep you warm, dry and clean! Step back and admire your fine handy work.

 

 

The Verdict

Bestop Supertop for FJ40 Mildew, UV and stain resistant black denim material, superior craftsmanship, chemically treated and powder coated hardware that resists rust and corrosion, and all for under $650 (without doors). The tinted rear windows – although not currently available for FJ40 Land Cruiser models – add a dramatic touch to the soft top while also reducing the interior temperature during the summer months, and reducing eye strain when it is overly bright outside. The thick and tough black denim material, coupled with the thick and supple door seals really keep the heat inside the vehicle nicely during the coldest, windy days, making it a perfect addition to your rig during nasty weather.

The overall fit, finish and construction of the Bestop Supertop are far superior to any other soft top we’ve tested. You may, however, need to make a trip to the hardware store to pick up a few miscellaneous bolts and screws, and our corner rails needed some adjustments as well – a small price to pay though for a soft top of this quality.

Bestop touts “The Bestop® Supertop® soft tops have become the standard against which all other soft tops are measured…”, and you know what? We agree wholeheartedly. To find a soft top for your rig, be sure to contact them with the information below.

Bestop Inc.
2100 W. Midway Blvd.
Broomfield, CO 80020
Phone: (800) 845-3567
Web: www.bestop.com

About Rick Webster

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