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With winter approaching I've been thinking of a way to stay a little warmer this year. I don't have $1K to drop on a fiberglass hardtop to keep the heat in, so I'm trying another option. I'm going to attempt to build a half-cab enclosure. I figure that if I reduce the area that I need to heat down to just the front seat area then the little tracker's heater should be able to keep up in the cold weather.

Well tonight I pulled all of the soft top hardware and the rear seat. I then started to build a framework for the half cab enclosure. I was using 3/4" square tube and an electrical conduit bender to make the bends. I like the direction this is going but I might try and see I an associate has a 3/4" square die for his Pro-Tools 105 bender that I can borrow and then I would re-do the framework.

I plan to install nutserts into the 3/4" tube and then drill the flange and bolt them in place from the inside. After this is done I will have some 16 or 18 gauge sheetmetal angle pieces bent. These will be welded to the tube frame to make a place to mount a sheetmetal skin. I need to check the local glass store and see if they stock a rubber gasket that I can use to mount a plexiglass rear window into the vertical section of the sheetmetal skin. Oh, I'll also use weatherstripping between the tube framework and the body of the tracker to try and seal things up as tigh as I can.

There will be a bulkhead that will run from where the skin transitions from vertical to horizontal down to the floor where the rear seat used to attach to the front brackets. I hope to build this so that I will have a useable and weather proof trunk area. We'll see how this goes.

For now here are a couple of pictures. Don't worry I'll fix the upper corners of the framework by rounding them out and then capping them so that the modified bikini top wont wear through at those points.




 
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