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#1 Red Green Jr

Red Green Jr

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:53 PM

i have been looking for a fastback style soft top for a long while. the only place that sells that style is a site called soft-tops.com. the only problem is that those are listed as only 1980 and up. i asked the guy if that would fit a 1978 and he said if an 80's hardtop will fit a 78, then the soft top will. does anybody know if a late model hardtop, or any top, will fit a 78?

thanks
1978 bronco ranger xlt
351M, edelbrock performer intake and 600cfm performer carb
newly rebuilt C6, np205
ford 9in rear diff with 31in mud terrains

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#2 Yardape

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 07:12 PM

i have been looking for a fastback style soft top for a long while. the only place that sells that style is a site called soft-tops.com. the only problem is that those are listed as only 1980 and up. i asked the guy if that would fit a 1978 and he said if an 80's hardtop will fit a 78, then the soft top will. does anybody know if a late model hardtop, or any top, will fit a 78?

thanks


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#3 brandcole73

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:32 PM

I tried to put an 85 topper on my 78 one day, just to find out once and for all....NO it does not fit, the back of the cab is a different contour.
I tell my son, don't worry about the other cars, but don't lean of the bronco!
1978 Bronco Custom, 400m

#4 79RAGTOP

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 06:00 PM

NOT SURE IF STILL IN BUSINESS BUT SKYLER ALSO MAKES THE FASTBACK SOFT TOP. GOOD LUCK!!

#5 Ranger429

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 05:01 AM

NOT SURE IF STILL IN BUSINESS BUT SKYLER ALSO MAKES THE FASTBACK SOFT TOP. GOOD LUCK!!


They went out of business a long time ago.

A newer hardtop is different.

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79 F250 Ranger XLT '70 429 Thunderjet, balanced and blueprinted, mild cam, DOVE head's with roller rockers, stealth intake, holley 770, Dana 60 F+R with 4.10's, Custom 6" lift and 36" Fun Country radials
79 F-250 Crewcab 4x4 Under restoration

Did FORD still make a truck after 79?

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#6 Broncobill78

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 06:57 AM

As the others have said, no. 78' & 79' swap between those two years and 80'-96' are interchangeable but you can't swap hardtops between 2nd generation (78/79) trucks and anything else. That radius of the front curve (right behind the doors where the body tub goes from vertical to horizontal) is different. The tops *almost* swap but not quite.

However, all this info is pretty useless if what you're asking is "will an 80-96 fastback softtop fit a 78/79 ?" and if *that's* the question then the answer is yes it should. Dimensionally the tops are almost identical it's the radius of that curve that really keeps them from interchanging and that's something that doesn't matter when dealing with a softtop. The dimensions you care about are the width of the body tub and the length (or distance) from the back of the steel roof to the tailgate and those numbers are very very close. I'm not going to say with absolute certainty that it can be done but I'd be very surprised if it couldn't. The top might be a bit tighter than it would be on an 80-96 but I don't think it'll be tight as a drum.

As an alternative the fastback softtop isn't a very complex design and you can easily have a local boat shop or auto upholstery place do it. I had one made that way for my first 78' and it cost me $200 from a guy who did boat covers. I had it made from a rubberized marine canvas and it worked great. It used a simple rail on the roof (the leading edge of the softtop bad a nylon rod 1/4"x4' sewn into it and that slid into the semi-circular rail to secure the front) and snaps for the other 3 sides. He added the snaps every 10" or so and I just installed them on the body to match. Having one of the full convertible style tops fabricated that way probably wouldn't be cost effective though. I know Jeff's just came out with the full-top variety for the 80-96's but it's more expensive than the fastback and truth be told I personally don't like the style, I prefer the fastback.

If you *are* interested in the full convertible top then you can ck out Jeff's & give them a call to ask if they think there's enough material there to make it work with a 78/79 which is dimensionally larger by just a little bit. The list the top as fitting 80-91. It'll fit 92-96 as well but has no provisions for the rear seatbelts or 3rd brake light so they don't 92-96 as an application. Might be that there's enough slack in the top to make it work with a 2nd generation trucks but Jeff's doesn't want to advertise it that way because some guys would be bound to complain about the tight fit. If nothing else it's worth picking up the phone to ask them about it.

http://broncograveya...ted_windows.htm

Right now I have a 79' & an 88' in the yard so I just went out & measured the two tops for the sake of comparison & having actual numbers. I wish I had something to measure the radius of that primary curve with but I don't. Here are the other numbers. Taken at the very bottom rear of each truck, where the cap meets the tailgate, the 80'-96' cap is 72" while the 78'/79' is 70.5". The length of each cap was measured at roughly the halfway point between the top & bottom, the 80'-96' was 61" and the 78'/79' was 63". Measured diagonally from the top/front to the bottom/rear the 80'-96' cap is 74" and the 78'/79' is 75".
Dave

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84 Mustang GT (Great car to lose your license with, I recommend it for those trying to do so)
74 Ranchero (429, c6, Currie enterprises 9" w/Mickey Thompson cheater slicks, 1970 Torino shaker hood scoop)
82 Bronco (Canadian truck, kilometer speedo, dual batteries, hi-output heater, dual factory block heaters/etc)
78 Bronco (400, 33" Fun Countries, fastback softtop)
79 Bronco (460, 36" Ground Hawgs, frame-off rebuild)
84 Bronco (bone-stock beater)
73 Bronco (I only had it 2 wks before flipping & crushing it.)
76 F-350 (390, 40" Super Swampers, ugly ugly ugly fire-engine green/yellow cab w/faded purple bed)
78 Bronco (460, 38.5" Ground Hawgs, Dana 60's, boxed frame, frame-off rebuild)
86 Bronco (only truck I've ever had fall thru the ice & just plain disappear. no end of hassles from the ins. co.)
91 Bronco (25th anniversary edition, red w/grey leather everything interior, 31x11.5's)
88 Bronco (33x12.5's)
79 Bronco (Current project, 4" lift w/weenie little pizza cutters)

Looking for 78/79 parts, please let me know if you have one you're parting out.



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