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My Newish Kayline Top!

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Good news, for the next two days you can admire my new top!  That’s because I will probably not do any updates until then.  I had hope to get some updates out, but it has gotten to late and I have to get up early for a very long drive to Boise and back tomorrow.

It is a Kayline canvas — yes not vinyl — top that I bought for $200!!!  It is in beautiful condition, having sat unused for nearly 10 years. I am very pleased.  I bought it from Daryl, who is a full time firefighter and part time jeep nut in the Bonney Lake area of Washington and whom repairs flatties.  If you need any work done and are near him, let me know and I will forward his number to you.

He was also kind enough to give me and my son Karson a tour of his jeep collection, which includes a recently purchased FC-170 and a jeep truck converted to a tow truck.  So I want to send a big thanks to him!

Here is the top draped on the jeep. Of course, the rear seat and spare tire unbolts and will be removed when the top is mounted; I have an alternative mounting bracket to mount the spare inside the back area when a top is installed.  I am pleased that the contrast in colors doesn’t look too bad (he was selling it cheap because few people want that color).


12 Comments on “My Newish Kayline Top!

  1. James

    Nice top! It will look good when its fitted. I have a nos Kayline Top for my CJ3A. They fit better than a Bestop.

  2. Mike Menning

    Canvas is good ( it will age more gracefully than vinyl ) and the color contrast with the paint is great. The real question is how will you mount the top without drilling a whole bunch of little holes in the tub. I’d think about that a bit before I started drilling. Maybe some angle iron or channel attached to the tub by some footman loops ( at the OEM locations ) and with the receiving snaps in the angle iron. Maybe a velcro attachment like the late model Jeeps. In any event if you snap directly to the body with this top you know the next top will snap in a different place. You may have deduced that I dislike non-factory holes in original or replacement tubs……….you’re right, the only non-factory holes my Willys has are for the seat belts. I’ve been able to avoid all others.

  3. Jonathan

    Top looks great. I saw that come through on CL. It will be a great addition to your jeep. Thanks for the site.


  4. Dennis

    Not to disappoint you but that is a vinyl top. It’s tan denim vinyl on a 1.44 cotton poly backing. The easiest way for most people to tell is the windows are “Heat sealed” to the top, canvas would have to be stiched on. BUT you did get a GREAT TOP at a good price. Be sure to install it outside in the hot sun to help relax it. It will make it go on a lot easier and conform to the bows better. then keep it clean with any good vinyl top cleaner.
    Just for grins I worked for “Whitco” for 18 years and the designer that woks for me is an old Kayline employee, I still bleed Jeep and like like following the work on your Jeep.


  5. mmdeilers Post author

    Dennis … really? How interesting. It looks and feels like canvas (with the grain and all) and doesn’t feel as weak as my old vinyl top. Oh well, lord knows I’ve been wrong before 🙂 … thanks for that info.

    – Dave

  6. Dennis

    That’s why I hesitated to say anything, we had customers call and insist that we had sold/had canvas tops and vinyl tops. Haartz Auto fabrics developed the “Denim Grain” for AMC in 1976. It was part of the trim package changes when they introduced along with the CJ-7. The fist couple years ( to the best of my memory) were a 2.03 pound product and then everyone changed to the 1.44 pound. For the cost savings, plus it seemed like it made a better top. That top will last you may years with just a little TLC that top is at least 15 years now and looks great. There maybe a date code on the top, we used to put in the rear window heat seal at the bottom right, I think Kayline did something similar. We all shared some information back then.
    One of the projects I worked on at Whitco was converting the M-151 tops from Duct to Vinyl Because it didn’t age as well as the vinyl and NBC warfare requirements, we finally used a double coated vinyl material (inside and outside) It’s the same material that is still used on the HUMMER
    Bestop still sells tops for the early Jeeps in Black ,white and a couple of the Denim Colors, Yours is “Tan”
    And they are still using the same patterns they had 25 plus years ago.
    Post some pictures when you get it installed.

  7. Greg

    Dennis, Maybe I should check into it further, but I thought the only color option for the flat fenders from Tiger Top was black. The jeep I’m building will be painted white, and if I can find a tan or dark tan top such as Dave has found here I’d jump on it. Your comments got me to thinking, how hard or costly do you think it would be to have an upholstery shop modify a later model CJ top to fit a 2A or 3A tub? I have to have a top eventually, but if it wouldn’t cost much more to modify a color I prefer as opposed to the cost of a new black tiger top, it may be something I’d consider.

    What about dieing a black one with that vinyl paint? Waste of time and $?

    Any thoughts?

  8. Brian Parmeter

    Hi David,this is “lots of parts Brian”What did you think of Bonney Lake?Its my home town and where I cut my jeep teeth.Next time down find evans creek,your jeep will love it.-B

  9. Mitch

    My Kayline top is a black denim too. So much nicer than the vinyl. I wish Kayline was still in business as they made a much better flattie top than Bestop does. I think maybe marketing was their biggest downfall..possibly price too.. I dunno…Just wish I could still get a new Kayline top…lol.

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