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Can-Back Installation - 1st gen 4Runner

Old 01-07-2006, 09:30 PM
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Can-Back Installation - 1st gen 4Runner

Can-Back Installation - 1st gen 4Runner
By Mark Rael

Three boxes contained my top and the excellent Can-Back rack.
The packaging couldnt have been better and everything arrived without damage or even a scratch. In fact you have to have patience when opening everything up because it takes a fair amount of time to carefully cut through all the miles of packing tape and bubble wrap Can-Back uses. And I'm glad they do.

Taking the hard top off takes all of 15 minutes.
Obviously you need to disconnect the wires to the wiper motor and the tube that squirts window cleaner. You dont reuse your old hardware when installing a Can-Back top. Just a quick wipe down to the top of the bed and I'm ready to start installing the ragtop frame components. was at this point that I started wondering where the heck the directions and new hardware were. After a mad search they were discovered tucked deep into the shrink wrapped top fabric bag, without the slightest clue that they might be in there. Grrrr.

The various rails and hoops are labelled and fit perfectly.
Once you get started the frame and hoops go together in the easiest possible way. Everything fits, everything works like its supposed to, and it all seems to be made of quality material. The two main rails have a thick foam rubber backing on the bottom of them that provide a leakproof seal with the top of the bed. Can-Back uses anti sieze compound and locking nuts, and many of the hardware pieces are shipped with fasteners pre-attached (finger tight), which is really cool, and saves you from having to scrounge around in a bag of loose nuts and washers like a starving racoon.

No drilling required!
Its a thoughtfull design that allows the Can-Back top to go on without any drilling whatsoever. All you will need are a few standard tools and about 45 minutes. Once I realized how well the kit and the instructions were put together it was relaxing to just bolt everything up. The manuals that come with the top have photos to illustrate certain points. The basic assembly sequence is: left and right main rails.. then the 'button hoop' that attaches to cab.. the 3 remaining hoops.. then the spreader bars. Once its all put together you go back and torque it all up tight.

Snapping the fabric on.
The top material itself comes with a little brochure from the people that make it and explains its virtues. The fit of the top was perfect and it snapped on without incident. Once you have it buttoned up you crawl inside and use the provided tensioning straps to smooth out the wrinkles. The proper sequence is to first tension the entire top using the rear most tensioners and then come back and tension the section from the cab to the first hoop. Unlike the other top on the market, the Can-Back top is not affected by weather changes and will always button up or button off without hassle.

Basket case.
I went with a basket more for its possible use to me in the future rather than because I seriously need one on a day to day basis. Its also true that the Can-Back top is special because you have the option of a rack and basket.. thats how strong it is. Throwing the spare on the rack is nothing, and it also makes a good mooring for a Hi-Lift jack. There are steel baskets and there are aluminum baskets. Can-Back sells the heavy duty steel Confer basket which fits the rack like a glove but I went with aluminum. It didnt fit like a glove. It worked, but a couple of holes needed to be drilled. In the picture below the rear most mounting bracket is held in place by the large basket tube, which was drilled. This was required because otherwise the basket is too short and you'd need to buy the 18" extension Yakima sells to make it fit.

Last edited by Bob_98SR5; 01-07-2006 at 09:34 PM.
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