How Much Does An Early Bronco Top Weigh?

If you have an early Bronco, meaning if you have a Bronco made between the years of 1966 – 1977, you’ll know that they come stock with removable tops. This makes it incredibly convenient to change the look of your Bronco depending on your mood or the weather. With the top on or off, there’s no arguing that a Bronco is one of America’s favorite classic vehicles. But if you keep going back and forth about wanting to have the top on or off, there’s one big question you should be asking yourself.

How much does an early Bronco top weigh? Full cab steal hard tops for early Broncos weigh around 180 pounds and full cab fiberglass tops weigh around 100 pounds (full cab fiberglass tops for early Broncos are pretty rare since they crack easily). Half cab steel hard tops weigh around 90 pounds and half cab fiberglass tops weigh about 45 pounds.

Many Bronco owners find themselves moving their Bronco tops around pretty frequently, depending on the climate they live in. There are a lot of other things to consider when moving your Bronco top around to ensure there is no damage made and that your Bronco top can give you the best coverage while in use.

What Are The Dimensions Of An Early Bronco Top

The dimensions of an early Bronco have made it incredibly convenient to use this vehicle for many different things. A lot of people found this car to be a great way to haul things by being able to take the top off. Other people found it to be a great family car by adding a back seat to it. Because they made the top somewhat light, Ford made it easy for people to turn their Bronco into whatever they needed at the moment.

Early Bronco tops were made from steel or fiberglass with liners inside as a way to dampen any outside noise. However, you’ll see any recently made early Bronco tops being made from other materials with extra linings inside as a way to better control the outside noise. The initial Bronco tops made didn’t do a great job with that.

The downside to the early Bronco top is that it doesn’t prove to be sturdy in the event of an accident. Because of it’s easy accessibility, you sacrifice some safety. If a Bronco were to roll over, the top would provide essentially minimal coverage. That is unless, of course, you install roll bars. Luckily, it is actually quite possible to install roll bars while still maintaining the original, vintage look of the stock top.

It’s important to take special care of your Bronco top. Any damage inflicted on it can cause a world of headache. If you attempt to take it off and accidentally dent one of the corners, your top may no longer fit snugly on the rest of the body.

How To Remove An Early Bronco Top

Because of the odd shape and bulkiness of a Bronco top, it is usually quite difficult to remove by yourself. In fact, is dangerous to remove by yourself and it is always recommended that you have the help of at least one other person.

There are several ways to remove the top of an early Bronco, but there are a few steps you have to take before the actual removal.

First, you’ll need to get inside the bed of your Bronco. Keep both the back windshield and the tail gate open during this process. You’ll need a 1/2″ socket and small socket wrench as well as a 1/2″ wrench. Place your socket on the bolt and use your wrench to keep the other side of the bolt stationary while you unscrew it from the top.

Broncos come stock with seven bolts on the left and right side of the top that connect to the rest of the body (so 14 bolts in total). A lot of people only put in about four bolts on each side, especially if they take the top on and off frequently. Don’t cut corners when it comes to securing down your early Bronco top. Always replace all seven bolts on each side every time you put it back on.

Next you’ll need to remove the bolts connected directly to the windshield frame. There are seven additional bolts on this part of the top and they can be removed the same way as the other fourteen. Again, people try to cut corners on this and only put in two or three bolts when they put the top back on. Always put every bolt back when you put the top on; you don’t want to risk any damage when it comes to your windshield.

If you notice any of your bolts becoming rusty, replace them immediately. It’s a matter of maybe a dollar. Take your bolt in to any hardware store and measure it to make sure you buy the correct size.

Once you have your top unbolted, you can use the help of at least one other person to hoist it off the Bronco. I have seen several people actually mount some ratchet straps into the studs of their garage ceiling and use that to hook onto the Bronco top and raise it off the vehicle. That makes replacing it much easier because all you need to do is lower it back on after you back the Bronco underneath it.

Where To Store An Early Bronco Top

There are several safe and easy ways to store your early Bronco top. It’s important you know where you’re going to store it before you take the effort of taking it off. Make the necessary measurements and have it’s dedicated place of storage ready so it will be an easier process for everyone involved.

The first place would be to store it on several hoists hanging from your ceiling. This form of storage is incredibly easy because all you need are some ratchet straps and some hook eyes that are screwed into some studs on the ceiling (as mentioned before). This form of storage is very simple because it’s kind of like an all-in-one-go motion. You use the straps to pull the top off and you just simply leave it hanging on the garage ceiling.

As a disclaimer, make sure that you have at least four straps latched on to the Bronco top if you store it this way. You need to also have the support of at least four screw eyes that are screwed correctly into studs in the ceiling (dry wall will NOT hold and sustain the weight of your early Bronco top). Make sure that the straps are securely fastened on your top and that no accidental bump will make it fall off.

If you’d like to store your early Bronco top like this but don’t necessarily want to do it the DIY way, check out this storage ceiling hoist that would work excellently.

The second method of storage is simply laying it on the ground. Obviously, you will need some extra space for this. If you choose this method of storage, whether it be in your garage, car port, or storage unit, make sure that you place it on top of an old blanket that you don’t use anymore. This will ensure that you don’t scratch it up on the bottom.

After you’ve placed it on the ground, get a quality cover or tarp and place over it. This will prevent possible scratches and dirt from getting on it. If needed, put signs around it so unsuspecting people don’t trip over it or sit on it.

Don’t ever store your top on it’s side; this will likely damage it’s shape or warp it while also running the risk of breaking the windows.

How To Care For An Early Bronco Top And Make Them Last

There are several steps you need to take in order to make your early Bronco top last you for years to come. The first thing you can do is always make sure the top is level any time it’s not on your Bronco. This, again, will prevent any warping and shape damage that would ultimately make it unusable.

Second, stay on top of all the rust. Bronco tops are susceptible to rust; If you notice any rust forming (which will usually be around where the bolts go or somewhere inside the bed), attempt to spot sand and spot paint to prevent rust from spreading further.

Take an effort to clean your Bronco top several times a year. Because they get handled so much, they get dirty almost just as fast as your actual Bronco. Try hosing it down and/or using a lint-free microfiber cloth to get the desired shine.

If you have a fiberglass top, stay on top of any cracks you see. There are DIY methods to fix fiberglass, but you can also just take it into the shop to get it fixed. Cracks in fiberglass will just get bigger and cause a problem down the road.

Related Questions

Can an early Bronco be a daily driver? It is possible to have an early Bronco be a daily driver, though you would likely need to do some heavy modifications to it. Otherwise, it will break down frequently and likely not be very comfortable for the driver.

Are there any early Broncos that have four doors? Unfortunately, there were no four door Broncos manufactured by Ford, only the stock two doors. However, there have been several people who have made their own modifications and turned their Bronco into a four door vehicle.

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