CJ5 Tops

CJ5 Tops


Tiffin, Ohio
1974 CJ 5, 6 cyl 3 speed, AMC 20 Rear, Dana 30 Front
Ok so I am in the process of getting my jeep on the road. Just about finished with the rear end, need to put on my new p/s gear box and pump and have to wire up my blower motor so I don’t freeze in the am driving to work. Yes this will be my daily driver (1 mile to work and 1 mile back - small town). So I just wanted to do some research after I put the soft top that the PO put on my CJ.

Background: He told me I had a 76 CJ5....but my title says 74. I have an AMC20 rear end, Dana 30 front. 258 straight 6. Almost brand new fiberglass tub that he or someone put on and an old *** soft top that is an extremely tight fit.

I put my top on a few weeks ago and with it being a little cold out it was even harder to put on. Small crack in the rear window, all windows are extremely dirty or stained. Seams are a little leaky and zippers are detaching from canvas in some areas.

So here are my questions: Has anyone heard of a hard top for a CJ5? Or can you modify a CJ7 hard top to fit a CJ5. Do manufactures give you dimensions so you can make sure a new soft top will fit before you drop $500? What is my cheapest option seeing as I don’t have a lot of $ to drop into a top. Is it possible to use my current soft top as a pattern to make my own or is a pattern that I can get from someone/somewhere to make it if that was cheaper than getting a new one but would of course be a lot more work. Just some thoughts I ran across and figured I would see what pp had to say.
they still make soft tops for the CJ5. Check with Bestop in any major retail Jeep outlet.

If you can find one, ACME used to make a nice hard top.
I had one for a while on a '79 I parted.
I too am looking for a cheap way to get a top. Lots of CJ7 stuff out there but not alot on the CJ5. Whitco tops were bought out and are still avail. but for over 1000.00 it is too steep for me.
I saw article on making a hard top out of foam board and fiberglass that looked interesting, I'll post if I can find the link.
My 73 came with a Meyers hard top from the factory.

They are still around, but that's a lot of weight compared to a soft top. I put a heater under the drivers seat and ditched the hard top. Junk yards have then in junk school buses. Plenty warm and I only run the factory heater of defrost. Works great.

Now maybe a Fiberglas?

A 76 up top will fit but you would need to change the windshield frame and glass.
I am going to use my old "tigertop" as a pattern for a new soft top for our '67 CJ5. But I have an industrial/upholstery type sewing machine and experiance sewing this kind of stuff. :)
The window material, top material, zippers, can all be purchased from online venders - boat repair shops also carry this stuff. I am planning to re-use the frame supports, but some of mine are bent and need repair as a tree fell on that jeep before we got it. :eek: The real trick to making your own top is not to put the snaps on the top until you are actually fitting it on. In other words - don't just install them where they were on the old top, wait to line up with your existing body snaps.

I also have a full metal hard top for an older CJ5 '59, which is heavy, yes, but so was the fiberglass top I had for my '79 CJ7. I have a half cab metal top on my '54 CJ3b. (Pics in my gallery)

There is a whole bunch of info on tops on the CJ3b site at this location:
Hardtops on The Jeep CJ-3B Page

The key to which top you need (hard or soft) between the 1974 and 1976 CJs is determined by the windshield. The windshield on a 74 is straight up and down from the cowling and wider from side to side than 76; the 76 and up windshields lean towards the back rather than straight up and down. Being that yours has a fiberglass tub who knows. 75 and under CJ5 hard tops are less expensive than 76 & up.

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