Soft Top Quick ReleaseDate: 2001, Dec 15
by Wade Ripkowski
Fed up with removing three screws / bolts with three different tools to get the soft top hardware off of the Amigo, I came up with this quick release system. It eliminates two of the screws and tools to remove the front portion of the mounting hardware. You used to need a torx screwdriver to remove the back one, but after mine got stripped from repeated use I was forced to complete this release system.
The first picture is of my quick release system in place. The second picture is of the parts required for the system. The third picture is of the factory slow, er NO, release system. As easy as it was for the front portion, Isuzu could have spent another day on the design and come up with a solution for us. Their brochures depict the Amigo with it removed, but the manual states otherwise.
Take a trip down to your local Lowe's or Home Depot (I got the front portion stuff at Lowe's and the rear portion at Home Depot), and buy the following parts:
Universal Clevis Pin: 7/16" x 2". The overall length doesn't matter, although you won't want it much longer than 2-1/2". It could just as easily be 1". I couldn't find a short one with the correct diameter of 7/16". The part Lowe's sells is made by Crown Bolt, Inc in Cerritos, CA. The UPC number is 0-30699-88038-6.
Rubber Grommets: 31/32" x 1/2". I couldn't find a 7/16" grommet that was appropriately sized, so the 1/2" was the next best thing. This part could easily be substituted with a plastic washer. The key is the width, at 31/32" (for the particular clevis pin I bought). The width must reach from the inside of the Amigo's mounting tab (forward hole) to the first hole in the clevis pin. The part Lowe's sells is made by Pik-A-Nut. The UPC number is 080358838609. The Lowe's part number is 793736 (L132).
Hitch Pin Clips: 9/64" x 1-15/16". This piece is important. You dont want one that is so strong its hard to put in and pull out. The 9/64" measurement is the diameter of the metal used to make the clip. The clip should slide easily into the holes of the clevis pin, but require firm tension to pull it out. The part Lowe's sells is made by Pik-A-Nut. The UPC number is 080358835776. Lowe's part number is 793313 (L114).
Rear Option 1:
Metric Hex Bolts: 4mm-7 x 16mm. For the quick and easy solution, the length is important as the head of the bolt will keep tension on the plastic connector (keep it from seperating and becoming loose. The 16mm was perfect even though it is a tad longer than stock (1mm maybe). I chose the hex head bolts because I can easily grip them with my fingers to tighten and loosen, thus I no longer need ANY tools to remove the top hardware. The part Home Depot sells is made by Crown Bolt, Inc in Cerritos, CA. The UPC number is 0-30699-35568-6. I dont know Home Depot's part number, but they come in a three pack and only cost .14 cents.
Rear Option 2:
Metric Hex Bolts: 4mm-7 x 25mm. For the solution that requires a tad bit of work, but is ultimately easier to use. This method will also require NO tools to remove the top hardware. The part Home Depot sells is made by Crown Bolt, Inc in Cerritos, CA. The UPC number is 0-30699-36688-4. I dont know Home Depot's part number, but they come in a two pack and only cost .23 cents.
Nylon Spacer: 1/2" x 1/4". You can substitute these for longer ones as you will have to shorten them anyway. Just don't get anything shorter than 3/8". For these I used a sharp razor to trim off 1/8". You want the length to be 3/8". The part Home Depot sells is made by Crown Bolt, Inc in Cerritos, CA. The UPC number is 0-30699-87168-1. I dont know Home Depot's part number, but they come in a two pack and only cost .33 cents.
Remove the existing two piece plastic housing which has a phillips head screw and a hex head bolt. Note the which side of the Amigo's mounting tab the soft top hardware is on (inside or outside).
Insert the clevis pin from the outside vehicle through the soft top hardware and the Amigo mounting tab.
Slide the grommett over the clevis pin from the inside as far as it will go.
Push the hitch pin into the hole of the clevis pin which is closest to the grommett (so it all fits together tightly).
Rear Option 1 Installation:
Use the 16mm hex head screw for the rear connector. Spin it tight with your fingers.
Rear Option 2 Installation:
Thread the 25mm hex head screw into the nylon spacer. You will likely have to grip the spacer with pliers while turning the bolt with a socket. Make sure the spacer is threaded all the way to the head of the bolt. No need to overtighten.
Use the new assembly in the rear connector. Spin it tight with your fingers.
REAR BOLT UPDATE:
This first picture is of my factory stripped bolt. The metal Isuzu used seems to be very soft.
This second picture is of the first new bolt along with the stock one.
This third picture is of the new and improved rear bolt.
After trying to tighten the first design, I found it a little too difficult to grip when it was close to the plastic. This new design allows something to grip onto and after testing, I can easily spin it on and off.