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Hard top/canvas top swap


Guest MJG
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This will obviously be a two man job but in the absence of my (just ordered!!) Haynes manual or an actual Series III to look at I was wondering how long this takes.

In readiness for the canvass top in the summer/hard top in the winter 'thing' I was wondering how long the change over would take, and do many on here do this?? - or is it just not worth the chew and expense of having both a 'full' rear door and a 'short' door for the canvas top.

Many thanks folks.

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Please apply Land Rover Law #8: Any job will take at least twice as long as you think it will and at least three times as long as anyone tells you it will take.

Going topless is great. It is a fair hassle and if you are doing a full canvas soft top replacement it can take a solid half day to do this. The door / gate change is indeed a hassle, so much so that it is worth it if you can find the top hatch for the wagon so that you don't have to switch back to the safari door when you put the hard top back on, it is a good investment.

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Please apply Land Rover Law #8: Any job will take at least twice as long as you think it will and at least three times as long as anyone tells you it will take.

Going topless is great. It is a fair hassle and if you are doing a full canvas soft top replacement it can take a solid half day to do this. The door / gate change is indeed a hassle, so much so that it is worth it if you can find the top hatch for the wagon so that you don't have to switch back to the safari door when you put the hard top back on, it is a good investment.

Cant see any point in having a canvas on at all in the summer as every time you want to go topless you have to rollup the sides, remove it or whatever depending on "how topless" you want to be. If you are just gonna have canvas on and roll the back up it is not worth the bother of swapping from hard to soft at all IMHO.

Why bother having hard top and a soft top, just have one on in the winter, hard or soft and remove it completely in the summer which is what I do.

A little but of rain ain't gonna kill yer. If it gets really bad just stop under a bridge in acar park or whatever until it stops.

I usually go topless early April - end Sept/mid October.

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Cant see any point in having a canvas on at all in the summer as every time you want to go topless you have to rollup the sides, remove it or whatever depending on "how topless" you want to be. If you are just gonna have canvas on and roll the back up it is not worth the bother of swapping from hard to soft at all IMHO.

Why bother having hard top and a soft top, just have one on in the winter, hard or soft and remove it completely in the summer which is what I do.

A little but of rain ain't gonna kill yer. If it gets really bad just stop under a bridge in acar park or whatever until it stops.

I usually go topless early April - end Sept/mid October.

Thanks for the input ...

Don't know about you but from where I come from it rains, sometimes during the night when my Landy would be parked outside my house. Without a roof of any sort (Canvas or otherwise) it would fill with water, great for a cold bath but not for much else....

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Without a roof of any sort (Canvas or otherwise) it would fill with water, great for a cold bath but not for much else....

I think you have unrealistic views of how waterproof a series is :o:D

Removing the hardtop needn't be a two man job, either unbolt the roof from the sides (sides are the heavy part, roof is just awkward), or just unbolt the whole lot in one go and push it off the back (preferably onto grass/soft ground), thats what I did when I changed the 90 to truckcab :)

Swapping hardtop to truck cab on my series took about 30mins with two helpers, but none of my cars have ever been canvas so I dont know how long fitting hood sticks takes

Lewis B)

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I do this every year, the door is about the worst job takes about a hour use cordless drill to speed up bolts removal

I know its obverious but keep all the bolts washers safe but seperate form other stuff, right plain trying to find them

In hot weather I roll the canvass back over the front seats (so front open), but leave over the tub sometimes its just too hot the shade is required

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I vote for completely topless in the summer too! Fantastic driving around with just the windscreen, night is brilliant aswell being able to see the nightsky above you as you drive along. You'll have no problem with having a cold bath, but if you don't want a wet bum in the morning just tilting the seats forward can stop most of the water settling on the seat, or you could always make a seat cover out of tarp to put on when you're not driving.

I've been using a softop all winter, which is a bit cold, but then it is a landy. Biggest problem is when there's a strong wind and it really gets quite drafty then

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Cheers every body much appreciated - and yes Lewis I do honestly know how damp it's going to get in a series even with a roof on!!!, I think that's part of the 'charm' isn't it???

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Thanks for the input ...

Don't know about you but from where I come from it rains, sometimes during the night when my Landy would be parked outside my house. Without a roof of any sort (Canvas or otherwise) it would fill with water, great for a cold bath but not for much else....

Yes it rains where I come from.

I have a green heavyish duty sheet from Halfords with cringles on the edges that I throw over the top when it is left outside overnight fix it with 4 bungee cords takes two minutes and folds down small enough to to wedge in behind the set bulkhead.

Don't try and kid us you LR is water tight.

Darn sight easier than messing about with a full canvas.

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This will obviously be a two man job but in the absence of my (just ordered!!) Haynes manual or an actual Series III to look at I was wondering how long this takes.

In readiness for the canvass top in the summer/hard top in the winter 'thing' I was wondering how long the change over would take, and do many on here do this?? - or is it just not worth the chew and expense of having both a 'full' rear door and a 'short' door for the canvas top.

Many thanks folks.

I have a Series 3 lightweight and take my hardtop off every summer, generallly single handed. you can split the roof off from the sides to make it an easier lift. It takes about 2 hours all up allowing for undoing all the bolts holding the roof to the sides. You can save about half an hour by leaving the roof conencted and getting a friend to help lift.

Swampandy

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I have a Series 3 lightweight and take my hardtop off every summer, generallly single handed. you can split the roof off from the sides to make it an easier lift. It takes about 2 hours all up allowing for undoing all the bolts holding the roof to the sides. You can save about half an hour by leaving the roof conencted and getting a friend to help lift.

Swampandy

Thanks for that

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a series 3 lwb hard top with windows, and it finally stopped raining long enough in ireland for me to take it off! Ive not taken this one off before, and i would say it hadnt come off for a few years. I timed it out of interest (not down to the second, just casually) and i had the door tops and rear door off in 5 minutes (i make it easy with the back door and just remove the pivot pins/balls/springs rather than the whole hinges) and the whole roof off in just under 15 minutes on my own.

The way i do it, and have done it to various other landies, is to have all bolts undone/seals removed (i always forget the 2 hidded bu**ers of bolts, 1 each side of the rear door!), put some form of ramp into the back (i used a scaffold plank), the using your shoulders to pick it up from underneath, find the balance point (may take a few attempts) and walk it off down the ramp. It is best to have some form of stand ready (4 axle stands will do), to save having to crawl out from underneath the roof, but i never bother.

Im not a strong man, and a lwb top with windows is about as heavy as you will get, but it is manageable.

I have cloth rangie seats in the front of my series, but i just throw a water-proof sheet over the cab area over night and weight it wit a few big stones.

as for the soft top, i wouldnt bother.

hope this helps

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  • 14 years later...
On 10/18/2021 at 2:15 AM, Bannerelk said:

Any leads on the best price for a Series 3 soft top, short?

Don’t go by price, or you’ll end up buying another better one very soon.  Undercover Covers are the only maker I have never heard complaints about.  Exmoor Trim do some good stuff, but their rag tops are poor quality Chinese made - I had one and it was a poor fit, let daylight through, and faded within a year to a lilac colour on the seam piping.

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