Soft Top Vs Hard Top

buhdontcare

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Lehigh Valley, PA
Hey Guys thanks in advance for all your input!

Just curious to hear the responses from season vets about the pros & cons when considering hard top vs soft top? My vehicle will be used for pleasure on roads in PA. I guess the hard top just looks better?
 

DatGuyC

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Essex, Maryland
By hard top I'm assuming you mean the steel slant back? From what I've heard they are heavy, expensive, leak in the rain, and rattle a lot. Soft top is better for a casual cruiser.
 

orgnal

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Denver, CO
Hey Guys thanks in advance for all your input!

Just curious to hear the responses from season vets about the pros & cons when considering hard top vs soft top? My vehicle will be used for pleasure on roads in PA. I guess the hard top just looks better?
They both leak / let water in when it rains. I can't tell which one lets more water in.

McReddy
 

jeffy777

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VA
Hey Guys thanks in advance for all your input!
Just curious to hear the responses from season vets about the pros & cons when considering hard top vs soft top? My vehicle will be used for pleasure on roads in PA. I guess the hard top just looks better?
For myself a hard top does not look better because it is a hard top. A hard top can be any top that is not fabric. There is several hard tops the military uses.

I imagine you are contemplating a aftermarket hard top. I have only been near a few. They look good. They seem pretty clean. Have not had anyone tell me they are perfect.

I thought I might want an aftermarket hard top when I got mine. Then I got my HMMWV and I like the soft top and I would not change. I am not in the military and have to drive in any condition. I drive when the weather is what I want to drive in. The soft top gives me the most flexibility. My rig is not finished to where I would like it to be so I do not know when I get to the paint phase of my restoration, but the soft top is fun to drive at this time and I think it will be part of the finished product.

Congratulations on getting a HMMWV.
 

3jacks

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Personal preference really. I like both. If you go the hard top route, find a local sheet metal / fab shop and have them make you one. It will be cheaper and will be exactly how you want it.
 

Wire Fox

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Biggest universal advantage I can think of to the hard tops is security. If you put the hard doors on with locking handles and have a hard top, you can reasonably secure your vehicle from external intrustion. Otherwise, the pros and cons get to be more situational to your needs. I like that with a soft top, I can leave all of the soft top structure in place for rigidity, but run without the soft top itself easily for utility or fun. Some of the hard tops are steel, aluminum, fiberglass...they are available as ambulance boxes, "helmet tops", tool boxes, and other odd setups. Some of the more utilitarian designs would allow the top surface to actually bear weight, meaning that you can use the top for setting up a shelter, a maintenance platform, or as a shooting/communications/watch platform. I think that the hard tops are going to offer higher performance for a specific task, but the soft tops will maintain more field versatility. Pick what you want based on your needs!
 

Awol

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The slant back's look flat out badass, but they have their drawbacks. They leak, they're heavy (and the truck has very little power as is), and they trap the heat in the summer. The positives are they look incredible, more secure than a soft top, and is the signature look everyone thinks of when they imagine a military vehicle.

The soft top looks good, but also has its drawbacks. They also leak, they can tear and rip, and they're not secure at all. The positives are they're much lighter than a slant back, can be removed very easily for top down cruising.

I always liked the look of a 4 man soft top with hard doors. It's kind of a nice middle ground between the two setups. Of course, if I found a slant back setup for cheap, that be the route I'd go!
 

orgnal

Member
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Location
Denver, CO
Get one of the military fiberglass wagon roofs that come up for sale often.

My soft top doesnt leak.
I wonder if you are the only one with a soft top HMMWV that does not leak water during rains or if there are other people that have it this good. I have water come in in the gaps between the top and the doors. Not necessarily a problem with the soft top; but the large gaps in many places.

McReddy
 

Action

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East Tennessee
I wonder if you are the only one with a soft top HMMWV that does not leak water during rains or if there are other people that have it this good. I have water come in in the gaps between the top and the doors. Not necessarily a problem with the soft top; but the large gaps in many places.

McReddy
I have a good fit between doors and top. I have seen older tops that leak from the thread holes.
 

erasedhammer

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Seattle
I wonder if you are the only one with a soft top HMMWV that does not leak water during rains or if there are other people that have it this good. I have water come in in the gaps between the top and the doors. Not necessarily a problem with the soft top; but the large gaps in many places.

McReddy
I have the frag 5 armored door seals on my x doors and I get no rain in from my soft top. I've been in some pretty bad rain storms and even then the seals hold up well. The standard x door seals are the crappiest design I have ever seen.
The con of the frag 5 seals is that it makes the doors a bit harder to close because they are slightly thicker, but that is part of the reason they seal so well against the soft top.
 

riderdan

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Central Kansas
You can mitigate one downside of a soft top (water pooling when it rains) by sliding a sheet of plywood between the bows and the top. This makes it semi-rigid and prevents it from sagging as water builds up. Which prevents you from having two gallons of water flow off when you take that first corner after a hard rain. Most of the trucks I drove while in the service were fitted with this "fix" and a standard 8x4 sheet can be held in the center by the velcro that hold the top to the bows.
 

papakb

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San Jose, Ca
Personally I went with a 996 ambulance body. It has the benefit of being watertight, is lockable for storage and they can be used with either the hard or soft doors. I also like the fact that the rear seat backs fold down and there's room for 2 people to sleep comfortably. Another option not mentioned here is the Helmet hardtops. There are about half a dozen configurations of them so lots of choices and they have about another 6" of headroom along with being weathertight.
 

orgnal

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Location
Denver, CO
Personally I went with a 996 ambulance body. It has the benefit of being watertight, is lockable for storage and they can be used with either the hard or soft doors. I also like the fact that the rear seat backs fold down and there's room for 2 people to sleep comfortably. Another option not mentioned here is the Helmet hardtops. There are about half a dozen configurations of them so lots of choices and they have about another 6" of headroom along with being weathertight.
Please share pictures of your ambulance body setup?

McReddy
 

JoeJrTheBarber

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Chicago, IL
When I bought my truck it came as a 4 man soft top/soft doors/etc.
I pretty much daily drive the thing here in Chicago so I am currently convertering to a X-door, slantback roof, and aftermarket "iron curtain" or back window for security and
winter weather driving. All will be seam sealed and welded for a permant fit.

But as everyone else is saying, to each their own..
 

ikoinu

Member
111
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
Please let us know how the iron curtain goes for you. Premium one? Have not heard any reviews.
You're in Chicago, seems to me you might need armor too.

We need another enterprising individual with more skill and time than myself to start producing slant back kits for a profit, undercut the $8000 used market :drool:
 
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