Dirt Performance Aluminum Top
WHY? In the immortal words of your high school health instructor: "protection." While the stock roll cage provides a decent margin of safety it doesn't do much to keep the raindrops from fallin' on your head. The roll cage does, however, provide a nice platform to support many different types of tops. One low-tech bargain solution is to bolt on a 3'X4' piece of plywood; tops of canvas, aluminum or plastic are available from factory and aftermarket sources and will also work quite nicely. I first tried a canvas top but the tight trails and Central Texas brush country were pretty hard on it so I decided to try something a bit more rugged. While cruising online for Rhino goodies (a bad habit I need to break) I came across a nice-looking hardtop made by a company in Tennessee called Dirt Performance. They offer a number of different tops and I chose one rolled from 3/32" bright tread aluminum. The price was $186.95 and shipping was free.
SERVICE. Top-notch. Immediately after ordering I received a confirmation email. Two days later I received a shipping notice complete with tracking number; the top arrived at my door three days later. That, my friends, is the way internet selling should be done. The top arrived at my door well-packed and undamaged and the metal surface was covered with a plastic film to keep it from being scratched. I found that amusing since I knew that it would soon be abused, but I appreciated the nice touch. The top looked to be well-made, with drip edges front and back. Stainless-steel mounting hardware and instructions were included.
INSTALLATION. Really easy--should be accomplished by the average home mechanic with a set of hand tools. The installation instructions were clear and precise but not really necessary. Mounting holes are pre-drilled and fit perfectly to the eight rubber-cushioned clamps included. The top also had rubber insulating strips pre-installed to cushion it from the factory roll bar. I had the unit in place and tightened down in about ten minutes.
RESULTS. Really nice. This top is amazingly rugged and stands up well to obstacles such as overhanging tree branches while keeping me out of the weather. I also like its appearance. The rubber cushions make the unit rattle and squeak-free, even in the roughest terrain.
WORTH THE MONEY? It was for me. There are cheaper alternatives but for my purposes this unit was the best combination of appearance, form and function.