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post #1 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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JKU top questions....

looking at buying a JKUR (probably 07-08 4dr) here fairly soon. it'll be a 3rd vehicle for us and something to have a little fun at the dunes for the wife when I'm out bombing around in the s10

looking at this one so far (hate the chrome btw)
http://www.kuneschrysler.com/Used-20...WI/vd/14173328

brand new to jeeps so I need to get some info please. it obviously has a hard top. how easy are they to take off? If I replace it with a soft top, how well do the soft tops work during the winter?

I will be getting some sort of netting system for the rear so the dog can't jump out since he is with us often and I want either the hard top to just come off and expose the netting or is the soft top the better option so I can just open it up and still have it with us?

was looking at these
http://www.dirtydog4x4.com/cart.php?...ategory_id=265

if the soft top is the better option, then which one?

I've tried to do quite a bit of reading, but as everyone knows there's tons of bs to sift through in order to find the truthful answers.

and in case you wanted to know, I'll be stuffing 35s and some aftermarket wheels under it so it doesn't look so blah

thanks for any info.



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post #2 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 08:51 AM
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Hard top comes off easy. I used a piece of sliding barn door track screwed to the rafters and a pully to lift off and move for storage.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 10:49 AM
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I have a soft top and I absolutely hate it. It was a huge PITA to put it back on the one time I removed it, its noisy, and in my opinion the hard top looks WAY better.

Id stick with the hardtop personally after seeing how much of a pain the soft top was. Plus my soft top is awfully faded. I really want a painted to match hard top.


and the price on that one you posted seems decent for a rubicon.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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thanks. I kinda thought it was priced decent as well. we'll probably go look at it soon.

sounds like we might just stick with the hardtop then.

we'll see who else chimes in and what their opinions are




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'15 M&M Offroad triplethreat buggy #27

'00 s10
LQ4 6.0, 42s, 1 tons, etc.....RIP

'07 LBZ
Fleece Performance built
dyno'd 518/1040

'08 JKUR (detonator yellow)
35" Duratracs
wifes rig
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 12:04 PM
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If you buy one with only one top make sure its a hard top. A new soft top with door surrounds, etc is a lot less expensive and they can be found on craigslist for a decent price. Hard tops on the other hand are really pricey new or used. The cheapest one I've found thus far was 1800$ on craigslist.

The reason I would like to have a hard top for winter in Colorado is mainly because then I would have a rear wiper and defrost. Also, I'm sure the hard top would be a little better insulated. The heater takes a long time to warm up the big cabin of the JKU with only front vents and a soft top. Why they didn't run vents through the center console to the back like they did in the XJ's in beyond me.

Its also a pain to open the rear window on the soft top to get at my cargo basket. In the summer I took the 3 back windows out and ran the soft top like a Safari top. When it rained we could still go down the highway and my son would stay dry in the back seat. I am actually planning on removing it completely this summer and just getting a bikini top. I'm hoping come spring/summer time I can find a hard top for a bit cheaper and sell my soft top for a little bit more.

As far as noise goes though I have no issues with the soft top. It doesn't flap around make noise itself, it just allows a lot of road noise through because its cloth. Compared to my YJ, CJ, and Samurai its a lot easier soft top to live with. It also folds down a lot easier. I normally just flipped the "sunroof" back and left the rest of the top up. It gave me and the wife sunlight and fresh air but kept my ginger son in the shade. It was also easy to flip back down if the weather turned bad.

I think the soft top is a good compromise but a separate hard top for the winter and bikini top for the summer is the best way to go.

22,000$ seems like a fair price. I paid the same private party for my 2008 Rubicon in August with 70,000 miles on it. Here in CO dealers are still wanting over 25,000$ for any JKU with less than 100,000 miles.

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Last edited by Dutch; 01-01-2014 at 12:07 PM.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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ginger son

thanks for the info. appreciate it. I'm hoping the netting system from Dirty Dog is easy to take out whenever we want. I was hoping to leave the sides in all the time (with the hardtop on) and then just add the rear section whenever the top comes off so the dog is safe.



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'15 M&M Offroad triplethreat buggy #27

'00 s10
LQ4 6.0, 42s, 1 tons, etc.....RIP

'07 LBZ
Fleece Performance built
dyno'd 518/1040

'08 JKUR (detonator yellow)
35" Duratracs
wifes rig
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1tfrot View Post
If I replace it with a soft top, how well do the soft tops work during the winter? ... if the soft top is the better option, then which one?
I've had mine for almost 3 months now (stock "premium" soft top), and I can tell you that that it is livable in the winter. It's quiet, holds heat well, and doesn't baffle or flap at all. However, there are cons that you need to consider:
a) it's a PITA to clean with all the salt and road grime that works it's way into the cloth;
b) the rear window sucks to unzip when your hands are freezing;
c) you can't just squeegee the rear window at the gas station or use Windex and a rag - it has to be washed clean to avoid massive, deep scratches... ask me how I know ;
d) the rear window plastic will snap if you try to fold it up over the roof when it's too cold... again, ask me how I know! Luckily for me, Jeep covered it under warranty no questions asked;
e) you have to be diligent about not letting snow pile up on the top as it will be quite hard to take off if/when it freezes and because it may damage/rip the cloth (I think it would take a lot of snow to do that, though);
f) you have to use soft-top conditioner every now and again to prevent/reverse UV damage and aging;
g) if you get a soft-top that began life as a soft-top and then you want to get a 2nd hand hard top, you'll have to install the hard-top wiring (defroster and wiper arm) and washer hose, which can be tough if you don't have the patience for electrical work.

Basically, getting a soft-top over a hard-top is like getting a cat instead of a dog... it might be more convenient when you want to leave for he weekend, but there are a lot more maintenance in he long run! If you can get a hard top from the start, do it. You'll pay less for an aftermarket soft-top, you'll have the wiring/hose there when you want to put the hard-top back on and you won't have to worry about complaints like mine!

Tyler R. - Ansonia, CT
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cochepaille View Post
I've had mine for almost 3 months now (stock "premium" soft top), and I can tell you that that it is livable in the winter. It's quiet, holds heat well, and doesn't baffle or flap at all. However, there are cons that you need to consider:
a) it's a PITA to clean with all the salt and road grime that works it's way into the cloth;
b) the rear window sucks to unzip when your hands are freezing;
c) you can't just squeegee the rear window at the gas station or use Windex and a rag - it has to be washed clean to avoid massive, deep scratches... ask me how I know ;
d) the rear window plastic will snap if you try to fold it up over the roof when it's too cold... again, ask me how I know! Luckily for me, Jeep covered it under warranty no questions asked;
e) you have to be diligent about not letting snow pile up on the top as it will be quite hard to take off if/when it freezes and because it may damage/rip the cloth (I think it would take a lot of snow to do that, though);
f) you have to use soft-top conditioner every now and again to prevent/reverse UV damage and aging;
g) if you get a soft-top that began life as a soft-top and then you want to get a 2nd hand hard top, you'll have to install the hard-top wiring (defroster and wiper arm) and washer hose, which can be tough if you don't have the patience for electrical work.

Basically, getting a soft-top over a hard-top is like getting a cat instead of a dog... it might be more convenient when you want to leave for he weekend, but there are a lot more maintenance in he long run! If you can get a hard top from the start, do it. You'll pay less for an aftermarket soft-top, you'll have the wiring/hose there when you want to put the hard-top back on and you won't have to worry about complaints like mine!
perfect, we're dog people anyway

looks like I'll stick with the hardtop and then look into a bikini top for summer just for rain purposes.

thanks



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'15 M&M Offroad triplethreat buggy #27

'00 s10
LQ4 6.0, 42s, 1 tons, etc.....RIP

'07 LBZ
Fleece Performance built
dyno'd 518/1040

'08 JKUR (detonator yellow)
35" Duratracs
wifes rig
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 05:23 PM
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I didn't think of the wiring, mine was originally a hard top model but the PO kept the hard top for his other JK.

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2008 Unlimited Rubicon: 37's, 3" Synergy Springs, Artec trusses, 5.38's, Winch, PSC/Poly Cage, Bumpers, TNT Alum belly skids, and other doodads
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-01-2014, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
I didn't think of the wiring, mine was originally a hard top model but the PO kept the hard top for his other JK.
Actually, I just discovered that mine was originally a hard top, too... found the wiring and washer hose tucked under the plastic in the back! Makes it easier for me next winter when I buy a used hard top off of Craigslist.

Tyler R. - Ansonia, CT
Silver '12 JKRU
6-speed, soft top, 2.5" TF Lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Smittybilt SRC front bumper, Superwinch TS9500 winch, M.O.R.E. oil pan/trans skid, Skid Row exhaust loop skid, Dominion evap relocation,*Smittybilt Oversized Tiire Carrier and Cibie headlights.
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 12:15 AM
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I have a factory soft top and hard top. I will say that the soft top is nice in the summer when you want to take the top down real quick. I did not find it difficult to remove or install when switching tops. With the convenience of a soft top being nice and all, it still doesn't come close to comparing against the benefits of the hard top. It is warm and dry in the winter (Utah). Like Cochepaille mentioned, scratched windows and replacing broken windows from the cold just gets old. I went through that process countless times with my previous TJ. At least one window would be replaced every year. It starts to get expensive real fast. You also have a bit more security with the hard top, not sure if that makes a difference, but worth mentioning. In my opinion, there is no question about it. Hard top FIRST. You can get a soft top later for less money.

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post #12 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 12:33 AM
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The hard top is killing the Jeep. NO JEEP SHOULD EVER HAVE A HARD TOP. All year long, any day over 55 degrees and I've got the top down. With a hard top its just a clucky SUV. They come alive with the top down. Even better with the doors off. Just my .002.

Hard top is a PITA to remove so you'll do it one or two times and the rest of the year you'll be one of the countless Jeeps I see running around town in nice weather all butted up. Just sad.

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Last edited by TEXASKEV; 01-02-2014 at 12:36 AM.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 01:42 AM
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Due respect to TEXASKEV, but my 1980 CJ-7 that I had in the mid '80s came from the factory with a hard top only, and NO A/C! Unless you want to join the die hards that say the CJ-7 isn't a "real Jeep," then I'd hardly say the hard top is killing the Jeep -- 34 years later!

I ordered my 2012 JKU with a soft top only, primarily because I wanted to keep the initial cost -- and the payments -- as low as I could and still get the functional options I wanted. As someone else already said, the soft top on the JKs is much better than the older Jeeps, and with the "premium" tops since 2013 they have gotten even better.

I didn't find the top difficult to remove and reinstall, but the rear window was a pain, and that tailgate crossbar made it difficult to load practically everything.

I have since acquired a hard top as well. I paid $800 for it and picked it up semi-locally. I did have to add the harness for it though, since the Jeep did not originally have the hard top. No big deal; just a couple of hours of work and about $150 from Mopar Online Parts. If you're patient, there should be no need to be paying $1800 for a take-off top. Just laugh at the guy who thinks it's worth that, and the sucker who'll pay it, and wait for someone with more sense to come along. Trust me, they will. I've seen several in the $1k to $1200 range, and even more for $1500. Again, just don't get in a rush. If you plan on having both, I would agree with the above recommendations to buy it originally with the hard top and add the soft top later.

I'll use mine just like I did my CJ: Hard top in Winter, soft top in Summer. The soft top is hands down a better solution if you plan on going open-air or topless in warm weather. You can take it off by yourself, without a hoist, and storage is no issue. You can't say that for a hard top. BUT, here's an odd caveat: U-haul WILL NOT rent you a trailer without a hard top.

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post #14 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TEXASKEV View Post
The hard top is killing the Jeep. NO JEEP SHOULD EVER HAVE A HARD TOP. All year long, any day over 55 degrees and I've got the top down. With a hard top its just a clucky SUV. They come alive with the top down. Even better with the doors off. Just my .002.

Hard top is a PITA to remove so you'll do it one or two times and the rest of the year you'll be one of the countless Jeeps I see running around town in nice weather all butted up. Just sad.
Nice thought but in a colder climate than Texas, the soft top really sucks for a DD in the winter. One of the main reasons I bought a Jeep was to go topless & doorless while kicking ass offroad. But for 4-5 months in the winter, I put the hard top on. It's quieter, warmer, more secure and more practical. But, I wouldn't want to put it on and off a lot.

Not sure what your budget is or where you live but I have both tops and I'm really happy with the option. I would recommend it. I only swap them out in the spring & fall. If you do plan on having both, it will probably be cheaper to buy a Jeep with a hard top and add the soft top later rather than the other way around.

I'm not super thrilled with the factory soft top either. Might be worth looking at after market options to see if you can find a better one. IMO, I'd recommend against the sunrider option if you can find an after market top without it. I like the sunrider on the hard top but on the soft top, I either have the top all the way up or all the way down and I never fold back the sunrider. The hinges that allow the sunrider to operate are a major weak point (made out of plastic) and they're expensive.

This is a tangent but make sure you have a plan to protect the side & rear panels on the soft top while you have the top down before you scratch up the windows. There's a few commercial options or you can DIY something. Just make sure & think it through.
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 08:34 AM
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Blah Blah Blah, I'm grumpy and old
My '48 Willys CJ2 had a hard top for it. This one is an aluminum one made by an aircraft company in Kansas, and you could get steel ones from Sears and Willy's back then. You're point is moot.




And if you think folding down a JK soft top is a pain. ere is the soft top for my Willys.



Once top is removed store bows here


And here


I hope you brought some wrenches and that there is no cargo in the back of the Jeep because you have to remove the doors with the top (unless you leave all the bows in place) and the top and doors will barely fit in the back.


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post #16 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 09:13 AM
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Here's a top for sale. It's $1,200

http://www.jeepasylum.com/showthread...t-back-Hardtop

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post #17 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 09:40 AM
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The hardtop definitely has utility, but if you wheel year round they aren't a good solution (at least not in the PNW). I have have seen trees take out like 6 different hardtops.

I sold mine and don't really miss it.


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post #18 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 09:40 AM
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-02-2014, 10:20 AM
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I heard Soft Tops are Gay

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post #20 of 20 Old 01-08-2014, 04:00 PM
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I heard Soft Tops are Gay

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