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post #1 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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soft top tips

I finally took off my hard top and put on the soft top for the first time and damn my brother busted our asses to get it to fit. I love not having any top on but there are times I need it up but it seems the hastle is not worth taking it off. It is the first time this top has been opened and I hope that it just needs to stretch out. Its there any tips one how to make this easier. Thanks
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 08:07 PM
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Latch the front first then hook the back, its much easier to hook the back than trying to pull down the front and latch it and get a good seal.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 08:28 PM
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also stretches easier when its warmed up. let it sit in the sun for a bit.

easiest way to do the side windows: start the zipper about an inch or two, then put push the edge into the front slot, then zip the rest of the way, then insert the bottom part.

my advice is based on the four door...so may be different for two doors

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post #4 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 08:30 PM
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It gets easier... through trial and error, you'll figure out the best way. I can do everything from door surrounds to windows in about 10 minutes without even hurrying.

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post #5 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 08:49 PM
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It gets easier... through trial and error, you'll figure out the best way. I can do everything from door surrounds to windows in about 10 minutes without even hurrying.
x2, repetition helps

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 08:51 PM
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First few times are a little more difficult but it will stretch a bit and most important of all you'll eventually know where to pull and/or push to get it in place.
Unlike a previous poster I would not latch the front first since it will make the job in the back much tougher.
The job is much easier if the soft top is nice and warm while receiving some direct sun light. The most difficult spots are the C-Pillar rail at the rear doors and getting the zippers around the corners ( the rear window zipper can be rough on your knuckles btw ). For the C-Pillar rail make sure that you pull down hard to have the roof section in that area seated down before trying to clip in the bottom and for the zippers you'll have to pull the roof corners to get them to go around the corners.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otnoc311 View Post
Latch the front first then hook the back, its much easier to hook the back than trying to pull down the front and latch it and get a good seal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejwil View Post
also stretches easier when its warmed up. let it sit in the sun for a bit.
easiest way to do the side windows: start the zipper about an inch or two, then put push the edge into the front slot, then zip the rest of the way, then insert the bottom part.
my advice is based on the four door...so may be different for two doors
^^^

I have an Unlimited. First step is to get a friend to help to at least put the top up.
If no one is available to help, then I:
Climb in the rear door, stand in the rear floor board, reach over the rear seat to pull the soft top up and into it's place. Make sure the latches for the sunrider option (just above the C-Pillar) click into place, and that the cross bar just in front of the sunrider latches goes into place against the frame of the top. My cross bar never lines up by itself, I always have to line it up manually.
Latch the front.
Do the back corners next. Usually have to pull down on the rear cross bar, just above the rear window, while putting in the rear sail panels into the tub rail.
Install the side clips to the surround channels next. Start with the ones above the front door, then the rear door (if an Unlimited).
Next, install the side windows. I use the same method as mike posted above.
Finally, the rear window. I put a small carabiner in the loop for the zipper. Makes for much easier zipping-unzipping. Make sure the rear window is centered, which makes zipping the top corners of the rear window much easier. Off to one side will make the opposite side harder to zip.

With some practice, you will get the hang of it.


That being said, I run a Bestop duster on the back of my JK. So, I just skip the last parts about putting in the windows. When I run the soft top up, I leave the duster to cover the rear cargo area.


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post #8 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 07:07 AM
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When you guys are talking of latching the front first, do you just do it where you put the catch hook on the loops but leave it loose, and then do the back and then go and finished locking it into place up front, that's how I do it and how I have seen it done on a few youtube videos and that seems to help.

Pay attention to all the details on how it sits and what not as they can be a little tricky and you might get some major wind noise if it's even a little out of whack. Most of all it's a rep type deal where the more you do it the easier it gets, both from it stretching a little and you gaining the experience. I also second the notion if you need to get in and stand in the back to help pull the top up, I'm 6'6 and it's even a bugger for me to set it up right from the ground as it doesn't always want to flop into place, but rather twist a little side to side.

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post #9 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 07:53 AM
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Takes me maybe 5 minutes to put it up.
I don't get in the bed but I can see how anyone under 5'8" might have to (mine in lifted too). I do it myself. Eventually as my shoulder degenerates more I will need my wife to help. That's the problem with degenerative osteoarthritis. It keeps degenerating.
I know my former master took a while to put her top back up the first time and that was with help. She has an '11 JK 2 door.

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post #10 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butkus34 View Post
When you guys are talking of latching the front first, do you just do it where you put the catch hook on the loops but leave it loose, and then do the back and then go and finished locking it into place up front, that's how I do it and how I have seen it done on a few youtube videos and that seems to help.

Pay attention to all the details on how it sits and what not as they can be a little tricky and you might get some major wind noise if it's even a little out of whack. Most of all it's a rep type deal where the more you do it the easier it gets, both from it stretching a little and you gaining the experience. I also second the notion if you need to get in and stand in the back to help pull the top up, I'm 6'6 and it's even a bugger for me to set it up right from the ground as it doesn't always want to flop into place, but rather twist a little side to side.
No, I latch them down completely to get a good seal on the header then go to the back and pull down on the crossbar and hook the corners

aka- Brian
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 07:42 PM
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I'm gonna have to try that, mine has seal pretty good but there's a little bit of wind noise at times.

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post #12 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 07:55 PM
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I'm also in a 4dr but it takes just a few minutes to go up or down. Hell, getting all the folds right when putting it down takes longer than anything else. It'll loosen up over time but, as was mentioned, planning ahead so you can do it after it bakes in the sun for 20 minutes will help a lot.

I also think hooking the back first is easier. I don't always do it that way, though. The front latches are longer than the lip on the rear flaps so it's less effort to get them hooked. Plus, I can grab the inside and pull down to make it easier.

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Last edited by diver_matt; 06-03-2011 at 07:57 PM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 08:46 PM
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When its really hot out I just zip out the windows and leave the top up to keep the sun off my head...
Does't take long to put the top up or down once you get the hang of it.

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