Measurements & Chops - Adapting the Westfalia Top

The first step to adapting the Volkswagen Westy Poptop to the Jeep Cherokee was to brainstorm the initial measurements and chops needed to bring it down to the size of the smaller Jeep body. The factory sized Westfalia top from any early 70's era VW bus naturally sits about a foot and a half too long over the jeep's roof (remember, VW buses, not having hoods, have a much longer roof, and are therefore equipped with both a longer pop-up portion as well as a luggage rack). Additionally, with the factory height, the slanted edges of the pop-top cause it to be just a bit too wide to sit snug on the jeep's rain gutters, and  would sit crooked without modification. 

The complete Westfalia top comes with a luggage rack that positions  either in front or behind the poptop (depending on the model year of donor bus). In my method of adapting the roof, I set the luggage rack aside and had no use for it. Without the rack to use as a seal, the top will have one side completely exposed, but don't worry about that yet, that will be a later step involving fiberglass reconstruction... 

The first chop that you will need to measure and cut will be to adapt the length of the roof. This can vary in length depending upon personal preference, but in my case I cut off ___, which gave me close to full coverage, but left extra clearance room for the liftgate (make sure that when the lift gate is up it does not come in contact with the top, therefore leave the top a few inches shy of the rear edge). 

I found it easiest to cut this section with a fine toothed jigsaw. Pay special attention to marking and cutting a straight line. If you have not yet removed all the hinges and canvas, do so before proceeding to this step. Typically the top will have two 1x1" wooden support beams in both upper corners, if your jigsaw is not able to cut through them, proceed to cut the wood with a hand saw. Do not remove these beams, as they provide support and we will be using them later on. 

With the rear section trimmed to fit, the height of the top now needs to be adressed for a proper fit on the jeep rain gutters. This step will vary on the model year of westfalia top that you are adapting, so I cannot say the specific height for each case, but it is generally between 2-3 Inches. In my case I chopped it a few times for a more exact measurement, but my end cut was just about ___. 


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