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Old 05-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Convertible V.S. Tin Top?

I'm in the market for my first sammy. Folks here are awesome, thanks to all who've helped so far.

I'm looking for all to chime in with opinions.

I live in Oregon. My Sammy will be a daily driver as well as recreational rig. I think the idea of a convertible is very cool. However, I also really like the look of the tin top, possibly even better. Along with that is the question of rain and leaking. How "water tight" are these soft-tops in a downpour (Oregon residents especially chime in!)? Any other pro/cons of either/or?

Thanks
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i have a 87 soft top live in central cali... no problems when i wash it or when it rains.i would try for a hard top beeing u get snow but if soft is all u can find go for it ebay got cheap replacement tops for them too about 150 bucks and up.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There is nothing like removing the top and enjoying those days when the weather is perfect! When you drive to Cannon Beach you should really have the top off!

You can get a hardtop to put on for the other 8 months of the year when the pacific northwest is wet and gloomy.

Tony
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was actually in Oregon in a windy downpour in my Sami. I got some minor leakage from each corner of the top while driving. Looks like it would be easy enough to stop with some foam weatherstriping. I don't get that leakage with the usual light rains.

I also get some minor leakage from the front top part of the door, where the top folds over the door frame. I replaced the door seals and it still leaks there, but I think I may be able to adjust the doors or frame to stop it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I researched this before I decided (even though I knew I had to have a ragtop) because I actually added AC to mine (still sorting the bracketry and comp mounting).

Tintops generally have less road and wind noise, are more secure, better at keeping weather extremes on the outside so heat/AC work a little better, are much less fun.

Tony
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tin top vs Rag top.
If you want to play your tunes and keep the equipment speakers and such safe and dry.
If you want to carry a conversation without a stretched vocal chord (shout)
If you want to run A/C efficiently or a heater when its cold out.
If you want to keep any gear you couldn't do without.
If you like your feet dry.
Tin top is for you.
If you like the branches in your eyes and mouth.
If you don't need to see out of scratched, sun coloured, don't wash if grit present, almost windows that can shatter in the cold and be slashed with almost anything from girls fingernails to broken bottles and ubiquitous knives.
If you never carry anything of great value and leave it in the rig.
If you like waterpark like supprizes from sudden rain, snow drifting on your knees while driving in a blizzard.
Top down on hot days, wind in hair and in eyes on sunny days and treasures blowing out the back when being passed on the hiway by 18 wheelers then the soft top is for you.
Had both, like both for the reasons stated above.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ha ha! So then I guess the question becomes: Does the awesomeness of having a convertible 4x4 outweigh the negative aspects? Probably a personal choice.

What about using a hardtop during the crappy weather? Looks like you can get them new for around a thousand bucks. Suzuki Samurai Hardtop Molded From Custom Fiberglass
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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All those things about ragtops are true. I'm very much accustomed to owning roadsters and motorcycle frequently so exposure to the elements is a plus for me. Its what your comfortable with. If its between 50-90deg I want the top OFF, a little sun, rain, dust, heat is preferable to being boxed in. It may be motorcyclist mentality (not to be confused with those guys that actually put motorcycles on a trailer).

I drove a street legal Meyers Manx around Seattle for 4 years, no top, no heater, no radio, no doors and very little wind protection, TONS of fun. My guess is if you ride you will probably really enjoy the option of removing the top. This would surely not appeal to everyone but I wouldn't have it any other way. There are easy workarounds for most of these disadvantages (except security, that's a deal breaker if you MUST leave valuables in it)

Of all the folks I have met in the British Car Club, VW club and other motorcyclists (not to be confused with motorcycle owners) some people LOVE ragtops and open air driving while others just prefer hardtops. I now live in South Dakota so I will be getting a hardtop to install during winter months and use the canvas top for the other seasons, although it will probably spend the vast majority of its life rolled up in a dufflebag in the floor.

A safari top is a great option to keep the trees (mostly) out of your face in off road situations, light rain or midday summer sun. Its easy to carry and fast to put on. I dislike clutter in my vehicles so there really isn't much that can get sucked out by the wind.

With the doors on I don't get unreasonable wind and with the top on there is VERY little leakage in heavy rain, but its a new top.

I just installed Rattle Trap XXX inside the doors, sides, floors and firewall and followed up with new carpet and ABS door panels, the rest of the interior (and exterior) was painted with Rustoleum bed liner so I expect it will be an improvement for road noise and temperature extremes. The doors make a nice solid thump when the close now instead of that hollow tin sound.

My point is a lot of this comes down to personal preference but if this is the kind of thing that appeals to you then the disadvantages are well worth it and in most cases have workarounds.

Tony
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Tin tops are less prone to (but not immune from) RUST.
It seems to be easier to find a real nice tin top over the rag.
I have the best of both worlds. A rag with a hard top...Boxcar...
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That is a great looking Sammi Boxcar!! Love that cage.

I cant wait to find a top like that, I have at least one more winter in the Black Hills and don't want to brave it with the canvas top.

thankfully fiberglass hard tops are available for ragtop models!!

Tony
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