As I mentioned on the previous page, the straps to tension the top to the rear corners of the body were missing on my top. Technically, half the strap was missing (the adjustable part) but since I didn't know what the entire strap looked like, I simply told Thor (via e-mail) that I was missing the straps on both corners.
On Tuesday, when I got home from work, I had an e-mail waiting from Viking Offroad. It had gone out first thing Tuesday AM. Thor was on vacation and Leroy was responding to my weekend e-mail. He was filling in and wasn't familiar with exactly what I needed and so asked if this could wait until Thor returned the following week. I told him not a problem as the bungee cords were doing just fine.
The next day, upon arriving home from work, I've got another e-mail from Leroy waiting for me. He had gotten hold of Thor and informed him of my problem. Thor instructed him to send me a replacement top. It was waiting for me on Friday when I got home from work. Leroy had included a return UPS label so I could return the first top when I got them switched around.
Rather than try to figure out specifically what was wrong, Thor went the extra mile and just sent a replacement top. While I believe that Leroy and I could have resolved the problem with a bit more communication, that became a non-issue with the new top on the way. I honestly believe that most any other company would have sent the minimum necessary to fix the problem (which would have been OK)....but I now realize that Viking Offroad is not just any other company. Kudos to Thor for fixing this small problem in a very big way!
And now, time to install the rest of the top.....
Saturday (just a week after I first started installing the top),
I opened the box with the new top in it. The straps were there (OK, so now
I know what I was missing) along with the entire top and so was the return UPS
label. Once I saw how the adjustment strap was configured, and what part
was actually on my top, I was happy to find that all I needed to do was transfer
the lower portion of the strap from the new top to my top. There was no
need to remove my top and replace it with the new one. A few minutes
later, the bungee cords were removed and the lower straps were threaded into
place and attached to the top.
Here is a close-up of the strap and specifically the metal hook
that attaches to the groove that retains the plastic rails. The install
instructions caution you to not exceed 35 pounds of force when pulling the
A reader of one of the Jeep forums asked how well the rear
window and top all fit together, so I snapped this photo to give folks an idea
of how well the fit is at the rear of the vehicle. The window zippers (on
both sides of the rear window) are fully covered by a flap held down with hook
and loop material. The top of the windows is also sealed over with a flap
held with hook and loop as well.
Zooming back just a bit to get another shot of the rear with
window and tail gate closed and the top straps now in position. I can't
see water intrusion being an issue at the rear window area unless you are in
hurricane type conditions.
OK....just one more photo and then I am done. This one shows the fastback shape that I now have since there is no factory soft top hardware to shape the top like a box. (and that's a good thing!)
That is it....I have a fully functional top with great fitting seams and corners. It doesn't flap like the factory soft top did and I can essentially turn it into a safari top with just a few minutes of effort. Now all I have to do is wait for that first scratch on those incredibly easy to see through tinted windows. <grin>
OK....I lied....I had to add one more photo. I wanted to
see how things looked with the hard doors installed. It's been a couple of
years since I had them on. I blew off the dust, washed them down, and
bolted them to the hinges. All in all, I think they look pretty darn nice
with the new top!
4x4 Off-Road Homestead Firearms RC Models