OEM hardtop or Aftermarket - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-20-2014, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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OEM hardtop or Aftermarket

Well I have spent a year looking for a used hardtop locally or at least a decent driving distance and came up with a big fat 0. I am taking a loan out from the bank to purchase either an OEM top from the dealer or I am thinking about buying a Bull Dawg after market hard top. After all said and done the after market one would be about $1000.00 cheaper and its a one piece instead of a 3 piece freedom top. I keep hearing horror stories about the freedom top and water leaks so I am leaning towards the Bull Dawg hard top. Love the looks of it. Just wish I could find more reviews about it. Kinda scary ordering something so far away with out being able to take a 1st hand look. Anyone out there have any experience with the Bull Dawg hard top?
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-20-2014, 09:55 PM
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Too bad your not in Dallas, I just put my non leaking freedom top up for sale on craigslist.

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post #3 of 11 Old 10-21-2014, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stretch79 View Post
Too bad your not in Dallas, I just put my non leaking freedom top up for sale on craigslist.
This is how its gone for over a year. All tops are like 1000 miles away. I can find tons close to me but all of them have been for the 4 door unlimited models. I need one for a 2 door.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-21-2014, 06:13 AM
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New or used, it has to be shipped. Figure shipping from Dallas to ND.


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post #5 of 11 Old 10-21-2014, 07:15 AM
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Mine is a 4 door, he is looking for a 2 door. Just realized that.

You might call Collins Bros jeeps, they have a ton and prolly have experience shipping these things.

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-21-2014, 08:42 AM
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I live in Chattanooga where Bull Dawg is located. I'd rather have a single piece top for my two door too. I will strongly consider them over OEM when I buy a hard top in the next couple years. I don't need the defroster, sprayer, or wiper on mine. I'll research that more before I make a decision. It's at least $350 in parts and several hours of my labor to replace the stalk and add wiring for all those accessories.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-21-2014, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjfawb0 View Post
I live in Chattanooga where Bull Dawg is located. I'd rather have a single piece top for my two door too. I will strongly consider them over OEM when I buy a hard top in the next couple years. I don't need the defroster, sprayer, or wiper on mine. I'll research that more before I make a decision. It's at least $350 in parts and several hours of my labor to replace the stalk and add wiring for all those accessories.
The wiper is pretty much worthless, small sweep area and if you have anything more than a 33" spare the window's pretty much blocked anyway. The Freedom Tops on mine have been off maybe twice in five + years, the second time when I installed a cage a few weeks ago. The Bull Dawgs look like nice tops.

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post #8 of 11 Old 10-21-2014, 09:40 AM
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My Freedom Top ( like a lot of them) leaked a little bit too... right up at the front in between the panels. Water would drip onto the upper dash right above the stereo head unit.

But that being said, I think that serious consideration should be made in regards to how much the hard-top will be used.

I wouldn't have ever considered any other single-piece hard-top because of the absolutely awesome aspect that I could run without the top yet still retain the front panels. That to me was a fantastic option to have. I could have the Jeep completely open including having the doors off, but keep the front panels in place which provided a great amount of shade. That shade can be much needed and appreciated in terms of keeping the sun out of your eyes and the heat off of you and your front passenger.

Had I not had the rear portion of the top off so often as I did, and maybe if I lived up north where the temperatures weren't so brutal, then maybe the freedom-panels wouldn't have been such an insanely useful and appreciated option... dunno. But here in Texas it was simply wonderful to have those front panels providing some additional comfort throughout the year.

Just something to consider. If you plan to have the top on most of the time then everything I've said is probably not going to be as important.

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post #9 of 11 Old 10-22-2014, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjfawb0 View Post
It's at least $350 in parts and several hours of my labor to replace the stalk and add wiring for all those accessories.
ER, uh, . . . no. It isn't. The part is just under 200 if you don't have heated mirrors, and 135 if you do, here: http://moparonlineparts.com/advanced..._description=1

You can pretty easily install it yourself in a couple of hours' time. It's not complicated. You'll have to add in the dealer flash to upgrade the computer and the cost for that will vary by area -- what the market will bear.

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post #10 of 11 Old 10-23-2014, 07:53 PM
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Might want to wait to see what SEMA has in store from Bestop soon.

http://tawallaccess.com/2014/10/17/b...014-sema-show/

Who knows?

By the way, my brother lives in Grand Forks and I graduated HS in Wahpeton. Last year of the WOPS, if you get that reference.

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post #11 of 11 Old 10-24-2014, 01:58 AM
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I just recently purchased a new 2014 Rubicon. I opted to go for a hard top on the new purchase. I was interested in the dual top group but could not find one close enough in the color I was after(Anvil). I figure it is cheaper to add a soft top down the road then a hard top. I have had my jeep out in some pretty heavy down pours since I purchased it and have had zero leaks. Both freedom panels have been off since I brought it home so I could run a Sat antenna line, and just wanted to see how the top cam apart.

My vote would be for a factory multi piece hard top as I think it was pretty well thought out design. I can see me removing the rear section next summer and storing it and just keeping the fronts with me as a sun shade. I think the 1 piece design leads opens the door for too many chances to break something as the top is put off and on because of the awkwardness of the shape and size.
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