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soft top

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dclear View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Jan. 2007 at 7:18am
Anyone other than me ever wonder why W/O abandoned that pretty good and easy to use soft-top structure that was used in WWII?  It folded like  baby buggy canopy and was always "there" when you needed it, although the canvas might not have been [where would you store it?]
 
This multiple piece set up they used on CJ's looks "jury-rigged" as all get out.  A half-dozen pieces, some press-shaped, two storage areas, and nothing connected/hinged to keep things in one piece or place.  Fortunately [?] I have all the pieces for mine, except for the pipe running from the middle of the windshield to the back-of-the-front-seats bow, but trying to figure out why they did that makes my head hurt.  Certainly the "later" model looks like it took more engineering and shop time than the simple bows and brackets of the GI model.  Sometimes, maybe, an improvement sometimes isn't.  Could it be? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan. 2007 at 7:48am
Del:
Quote Anyone other than me ever wonder why W/O abandoned that pretty good and easy to use soft-top structure that was used in WWII?
Every time I think about tops.

Don't know the real reasons, but my thinking is:
  • MB tops were never intended to be full-enclosure.  Just an umbrella to keep the GI dry, not warm.
  • Needed to be easy-in & out so they could quickly duck for cover.
  • Needed to be easy-up & down so they didn't have to stand in the line of fire long.
  • The full "winter" enclosure was an add-on for extreme cold weather, but had a clunky door system, would not have gone over well in civilian market.
While later aftermarket manufacturers figured out how to add decent doors to that bow system, apparently Willys didn't think of it.

Sean
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OUTLAW 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan. 2007 at 7:59am
The top on my '46 CJ2 is a cream colored full enclosure. The girl I bought it from says it was on when she bought it 18 years ago. Can't see who made it yet. It's a 3 owner jeep.  It also has the clunky lever door handles that just slide down on the inside as a sort of latch to keep the door from flying open. Truly simple. I know the M38's we used in the USAF Forward Air Control had the same tops, but O.D. The doors and sides just popped off or unzipped and instant bikini top. Those were out of the crate jeeps from a Utah depot. I actually helped put them together back in the 70's. If only I knew now. They were later auctioned off at Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Az. at the MASDC storage and distribution center for about $1500.00 each. Talk about wanting to go back and do it all over again Cry. I'll post some pics when I pick up the jeep next week.    Later dudes.
J.C. OUTLAW
USAF Retired
'46 CJ2A//NUMEROUS OTHER TOYS
SAC MOTTO: "PEACE IS OUR PROFESSION; IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT, WE'LL BOMB THE HELL OUTTA YA".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dclear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan. 2007 at 1:55pm
WOW!  Someone who has actually seen a jeep in a crate.  Best I can do is having seen in 1947 or so, a couple of studebaker 6 X 6's in crates that a mechanic guy bought, assembled and sold off.  I also saw a new jeep flathead motor in a crate in about 1970 here in Milwaukee.  It was at a state surplus disposal "store" but only state offices could buy there--no general public.  I was teaching school administration at the University at the time and never could find a really good justification for ordering it, to say nothing of paying taxpayer money for it.  I have often wondered what happened to that thing.  Probably some park district bought it and still it sits in some warehouse or storage garage somewhere.  We need a real good sniffer, here.
 
 


Edited by dclear - 20 Jan. 2007 at 1:56pm
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Together we can figure it out, after all, it's only a machine, if a man can build it, a man can fix it. {Author: bkruetz}
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe DeYoung Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan. 2007 at 4:05am

Del,

 

The CJ top is very versatile. It can be a 1/2 enclosure, or add another section and be a full enclosure. You can have a top canopy without the back panel to view farm implements. You can easily remove the doors. It breaks down into pieces, folds up, and stores all over the jeep in a fairly compact fashion. I think it's in several pieces so that you didn't have to have several redundant pieces to buy and stow. Imagine buying a full enclosure so you can take the family to church in the rain. Then a buy another 1/2 enclosure so you can use it like a pickup truck. All in all I think the top is a pretty good design considering how the many different scenarios that the CJ had to perform in.

Joe DeYoung
to many jeeps, parts, and accessories to list here, but apparently enough to keep me in trouble with my wife.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dclear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan. 2007 at 5:51pm
Yeah, Joe--you might be right--Buttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
 
I agree that my experience was all WWII "combat" designed--but we did have winterizing kits for the WWII tops, which had doors--about which I recall nothing, except the apparently very costly heater, and the fact that it worked once or twice and then, back to business as usual.
 
Certainly there was NO, as far as I can recall, no "two-seat, back panel" option, which might make some sense for the civilian market, presuming that freddie farmer had only a spouse and no kids.  Not wanting to be argumentative, but I think that designers had their heads in the clouds on this one, and W/O didn't have any marketing department at all which was "in touch."  That said, I doubt that soft top design had anything at all to do with jeep purchases at that time.  I still would rather see the military baby buggy tops for my use, but I realize that I am 60 or 70 years too late to vote.
 
What in heck to do with all those pieces must have something to do with the fact that they are rather a premium item on today's market.  I think they just got tossed--or never opted for in the first place.  BTW--I "need" that longitudinal pipe that goes from the center of the windshield to the first "bow."  If you have one, I'll change my mind on anything I have said so far.
 
del clear


Edited by dclear - 25 Jan. 2007 at 5:54pm
del clear











Together we can figure it out, after all, it's only a machine, if a man can build it, a man can fix it. {Author: bkruetz}
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