Bestop Strapless Bikini and Header Channel

Bestop Strapless Bikini installed - side view - Click to Enlarge

5/25/07

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD! - Click here for details!

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!

    

 

Sometime last year (or was it two years ago...) my friend Carl gave me a Bestop Strapless Bikini top (52521).  It was all dirty and drab looking but it was not in any way damaged that I could find so I took it home and promised myself I would, clean it up, buy the header channel and get it installed the next time I took my hard top off.

This would be that time.  I had a false start and ordered the wrong header.  I realized it before it even arrived and so refused delivery when it came and ordered the correct item (Bestop 51210).  Within a couple days the correct header channel had arrived.

 

Bestop Windshield Channel Installed - left

Bestop Windshield Channel Installed - center

Bestop Windshield Channel Installed - right

Bestop Windshield Channel Installed - right near latch cut-out

Left Windshield Channel - Click to EnlargeRight Windshield Channel - Click to Enlarge
Screws

Following the instructions, I installed the header channel.  Here are the instructions:

Header Channel Install Instructions | Bikini Install Instructions (PDF Files)

Locate the Left and Right Windshield Channels in the parts kit. Orient them with the open edge up, the foam gasket in the channel facing the windshield and place them along the top inside of the windshield. The cutouts at the outside corners of the channels are round to accommodate the sport bars. The ends with the rectangular cutouts will and must butt up together to form an opening around the footman loop attached to the windshield frame at the center of the windshield. The other cutouts in the channels will fit around the header latches.

Mark the locations of the five mounting holes in each channel. Center punch and drill a 1/8" hole at each location. Install both channels using (10) #8 x 1/2" Self-Tapping Phillips Head Screws.

Tools Needed (link provided below)

  • 1/8" Drill Bit and Drill Motor
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Center Punch

Windshield Channel Location

I had downloaded the installation instructions for the header channel and the bikini but they were almost unnecessary because all that was required was to drill ten holes with a 1/8" bit in the correct places and then screw in the self-tapping screws provided.  With that out of the way, the bikini just slides into the channel and straps around the sides (not sure why they call it "strapless"...) and it's on there.

Bestop Windshield Channel Installed - the mystery channel configuration - note round channel with dowel-like insert from bikini
Bestop Windshield Channel Installed - the mystery channel configuration - note round channel with dowel-like insert from bikini

Installing Bikini in Header

I found the hardest part to be getting the side edges into the door surrounds.  This thing was tight.  I figured out the best way for me was to partially insert one side from the front toward the back and to partially insert the other side from the back to the front.  Once started, they went much easier though they were still a bit tight.

Bikini Installed

The top cleaned up very well with some Simple Green and some Armor All.

Bestop Strapless Bikini installed - side view

Bestop Strapless Bikini installed - rear overhead view

Bestop Strapless Bikini installed - side view

Bestop Strapless Bikini installed - front overhead view

Bestop Strapless Bikini installed - door surround channel

 

Header Channel Install Instructions | Bikini Install Instructions

   

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