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Discussion Starter #1
Now before I get chastised for "re-posting" or not searching the forums, let me emphasize that I have spent many hours searching through forums and posts to find a resolution to my dilemma, and have tried some techniques, but no luck yet.

TL : DR move the L shaped latch thingy. fix wind noise.

Let me begin,
'07 JKU. Hardtop. Trying to tighten the hinges (stupid design btw), and also find out if there is a modification where i can move the "L" shaped latch in the front center of the hardtop, forward towards the windshield about 3-4 inches so that i can utilize the front hoop (why else is this thing even there?), ultimately tightening the seam of the freedom top and preventing the awful wind rush when driving on the highway. I have no leaking issues. Just when i drive, the center of the freedom top where the two pieces meet, lifts up and wind rushes under.

I have tried the rubber tubing around the L and R hoops, even took a Koozie and cut it into strips, wrapped it around the hoop and duct taped it tight. Not a huge improvement, but slightly.

Who has an idea/method/hunch that the L shaped latch can be moved forward?
 

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Random Dude
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Now before I get chastised for "re-posting" or not searching the forums, let me emphasize that I have spent many hours searching through forums and posts to find a resolution to my dilemma, and have tried some techniques, but no luck yet.

TL : DR move the L shaped latch thingy. fix wind noise.

Let me begin,
'07 JKU. Hardtop. Trying to tighten the hinges (stupid design btw), and also find out if there is a modification where i can move the "L" shaped latch in the front center of the hardtop, forward towards the windshield about 3-4 inches so that i can utilize the front hoop (why else is this thing even there?), ultimately tightening the seam of the freedom top and preventing the awful wind rush when driving on the highway. I have no leaking issues. Just when i drive, the center of the freedom top where the two pieces meet, lifts up and wind rushes under.

I have tried the rubber tubing around the L and R hoops, even took a Koozie and cut it into strips, wrapped it around the hoop and duct taped it tight. Not a huge improvement, but slightly.

Who has an idea/method/hunch that the L shaped latch can be moved forward?
Sorry, I read that ^^^ 3 times and I have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

Pics would help immensely, 'cuz I'm sober and relatively sharp, but totally lost.

I think this is relevant info. :dunno: : the front center latch should catch the footman loop on the windshield frame.

No idea to what hinges you're referring. I'd be glad to help, but need to know WTF you're talking about. Please advise.
 

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I didn't understand this either...
As far as JK hardtops I've only dealt with my 2012 and I know the earlier ones have some differences but really unsure of what the OP is trying to do.
 

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Forgive me, I tried to be descriptive. When i try to insert the photos, they are WAYYY too large to fit the screen so i uploaded them to imgur.


http://i.imgur.com/oCqUfI4.jpg "L" shaped latch i was referring to, see how it doesn't match with the hoop?
http://i.imgur.com/NuzS7Hw.jpg Padded hoop for the hinge


Thanks in advance
You were pretty descriptive. The "L" shaped thing is right on that loop on my 2012 2 door hardtop. That is why I was confused...
No idea if this was one of the things they changed or If the 4 door top was changed at the same time but mine is quiet and doesn't leak.
Maybe looking at a newer Jeep will give you some ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ronson, I've heard and read that the design changed around 2010. The part that is bewildering to me is why did Jeep include the front hoop if there is nothing to attach it to.. not even my soft top has a connector for it. I'm certainly no engineer, but i figured maybe there is a device/contraption that would grasp the hoop like a claw, or at least apply pressure to it, while pulling down on the roof.
 

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Random Dude
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Pics helped a lot - thank you. I have a '10, and forgot that the '07 - '08 tops don't grab the footman loop on the windshield. Bummer!

One solution would be to put a small toggle clamp upside-down on the passenger-side panel to hold it down via the footman loop.
Example of DeStaCo toggle clamp that might work. You'd have to strengthen / reinforce the plastic panel surface at the attachment point.

Another solution would be to find an '09-up driver-side freedom panel with the revised latch, and move the footman loop ~3 inches to the left of its current location on the windshield frame.
This would be the cleanest and easiest solution, provided you could find that one panel at an auto wrecker (or ?) for an acceptable price.


As for tightening the fit of the panel clamps (as illustrated by your second photo): I'd try pieces of 5/16" fuel hose, and if that's not enough, sleeve over the 5/16" with 1/2".
The clamps on my '10 look different - there are rubber snubbers that act against the loop you have crap wrapped around. Are you sure there aren't pieces missing from your clamps?

That's all I can think of offhand. Hopefully someone will chime in here that figured this all out. Best of luck! :beer:


EDIT (you posted while I was screwing around typing):
The part that is bewildering to me is why did Jeep include the front hoop if there is nothing to attach it to.. not even my soft top has a connector for it.
That center footman loop is to tie the windshield down to the footman loop on the hood when it's folded down.
After Jeep figured out that a lot of people had your same complaint, they redesigned the top panels to clamp down in the center via that footman loop on the windshield frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions ExWrench, i'll check out home depot tomorrow and see what i can gather up for the tubing.

As for the missing parts, yes, you are correct, I am missing them. I bought the JK used about 2 years ago and the owner before me had already lost the rubber "feet". I had NO idea they were even supposed to be there until i started doing some research on this issue I've been having. A LOT of people are saying they have misplaced theirs and i was able to find a part # for the item (as opposed to buying new hinges).

Stock Code: 68036552AA

jeep hard top rubber latch feet


I may order these since they're so cheap, but if the piping method works then ill stick with that.
The relocation of the footman loop sounds effective, but I have no experience in welding, and I've heard that the newer model tops have a 4 pin alignment system as opposed to a 2 pin. (2 per side, the pins insert into the pre drilled hole on the roll cage.) How might i be able to reinforce the plastic panel surface?
 

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Random Dude
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The relocation of the footman loop sounds effective, but I have no experience in welding, and I've heard that the newer model tops have a 4 pin alignment system as opposed to a 2 pin. (2 per side, the pins insert into the pre drilled hole on the roll cage.)
FYI, moving the footman loop involves no welding (drill out 2 rivets, drill 2 new screw or rivet holes. trim a bit of plastic, touch up paint, assemble) and could take less than an hour.
Scoring an '09+ front driver-side panel would be the hardest part of that whole project. I'm pretty sure (but just guessing) the cage holes are there for the new locating pins if needed.

How might i be able to reinforce the plastic panel surface?
That's the kind of challenge I'd have to tear into and come up with 3-10 options to consider and evaluate.
If you wanna' do custom shit, you gotta' take full responsibility for it. Be willing to fawk it up entirely and shitcan it.

If you're completely unfamiliar with custom fab., model work, and/or fiberglass, you might ruin parts by implementing an ill-considered option.
That being said, some options might be: fill the hollow section in that area with epoxy resin or attach a plate to the surface.
If you wanna' pursue this route, do it out of stubbornness or sense of adventure, not because it will save you money or frustration.

If I didn't see a non-hack way to make the change that costs less than '09+ front driver-side panel, I'd be looking for that panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well said,Wrench. I'll call up the local junkyards and see what i can find.

-NOTE: the foam koozie with duct tape helped tremendously today on the hinges. no rattle or vibration and definitely a LOT quieter. Probably won't need the rubber feet that you mentioned.

Also, I just got back from Home Depot. Spent an hour digging through fasteners, hooks, etc. Came up with some ideas, some better than others.. biggest problem I've found is that the sturdy methods, tend to be permanent, and the temporary ones don't appear as though they'll sufficiently accomplish what I'm looking to accomplish. Bought some weather stripping and so ill give that a shot as well.
 

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I could take pics of my 2012 panels and holes as well as measure where the holes are but someone with a newer jku should probably do it since there could be differences between 2 and 4 doors.

I just remembered going to the dealership real early one morning to look at new Jeeps without being hassled by salesman. A couple Jeeps were unlocked and one was missing the driver side panel. Now I know why...
 

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I was having a hard time understanding the concern, but now I get it. My 2011 has the latch that holds down on the footman's loop. No issues with noise or top lift at all. Maybe see if you can find someone on here who has mid '10 -14 freedom panels they don't need anymore and buy them or source them from a wrecking yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey fellas, welcome to the thread.

Per Wrench's suggestion, I called the local junkyards and they have nothing for new jeeps. Newest jeep they have on the lot is a '00.

I'll definitely keep trying, and i told them to contact me next time something comes in.

Thanks for the suggestions,
 

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As for tightening the fit of the panel clamps (as illustrated by your second photo): I'd try pieces of 5/16" fuel hose, and if that's not enough, sleeve over the 5/16" with 1/2".
The clamps on my '10 look different - there are rubber snubbers that act against the loop you have crap wrapped around. Are you sure there aren't pieces missing from your clamps?

That's all I can think of offhand. Hopefully someone will chime in here that figured this all out. Best of luck! :beer:
This was my first thought too! I don't remember my 07 all that clearly (sold it 3 yrs ago when I got a 2012). But I don't remember it being metal on metal there.
 

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There is supposed to be a rubber pad on that clamp. I have an '08 top on my '12. They did change the tops in 2010 but your '07 top should be the same as my '08. FYI, there is no center clamp on the pre-2010s. The "L" latch just ties the two panels together. If you get the rubber pads on the two cam-over clamps, your issue should go away. Bottom line is you need to be able to provide the additional thickness to pull the top down against the gasket. The surest way to do that is with the OEM rubber pad, but whatever accomplishes the end result.
 

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Random Dude
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Maybe see if you can find someone on here who has mid '10 -14 freedom panels they don't need anymore and buy them or source them from a wrecking yard.
Quoting so JKCTAZ's awesome suggestion doesn't escape you. People on JKO break stuff all the time, benefit from it.
If someone flopped into a rock or tree and wasted their hard top, they might list the freedom panels here: For Sale - Jeep Parts
Also consider posting up your need for an '09+ driver-side freedom panel (or the pair) here: Wanted - Jeep Parts

Actually my 2009's hardtop freedom panels latch to the footman loop center windshield. Just sayin'
My understanding also (internet knowledge only) is that the change occurred for the '09 model year.
 

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There is supposed to be a rubber pad on that clamp. I have an '08 top on my '12. They did change the tops in 2010 but your '07 top should be the same as my '08. FYI, there is no center clamp on the pre-2010s. The "L" latch just ties the two panels together. If you get the rubber pads on the two cam-over clamps, your issue should go away. Bottom line is you need to be able to provide the additional thickness to pull the top down against the gasket. The surest way to do that is with the OEM rubber pad, but whatever accomplishes the end result.
What he said. You are over complicating the fix. Get the rubber feet and call it a day. Other rec is when you install the two panels push fwd on them towards the windshield while engaging the latches. If I just slap mine in it is noisy and some drops if it rains but nowhere even close to lifting up etc.

I have zero issues if I take my time and push them fwd like I suggested. Those feet aren't hooks and they need those pads to get the proper pressure applied.:beer:

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Hopefully this goes without saying, but all the stuff I mentioned should be "Plan B".

These guys have your "Plan A" right here:

There is supposed to be a rubber pad on that clamp. I have an '08 top on my '12. They did change the tops in 2010 but your '07 top should be the same as my '08. FYI, there is no center clamp on the pre-2010s. The "L" latch just ties the two panels together. If you get the rubber pads on the two cam-over clamps, your issue should go away. Bottom line is you need to be able to provide the additional thickness to pull the top down against the gasket. The surest way to do that is with the OEM rubber pad, but whatever accomplishes the end result.
What he said. You are over complicating the fix. Get the rubber feet and call it a day. Other rec is when you install the two panels push fwd on them towards the windshield while engaging the latches. If I just slap mine in it is noisy and some drops if it rains but nowhere even close to lifting up etc.

I have zero issues if I take my time and push them fwd like I suggested. Those feet aren't hooks and they need those pads to get the proper pressure applied.:beer:
Before sacrificing another beer koozie or roll of duct tape to the booty-fab gods, please fix the (now) known issue of missing parts.
It looks like just replacing the missing parts will fix your problem. Please try that first.​

Unless you install the missing pedals, you'll never know how well Jeep made your bicycle. Adding training wheels is ill-advised at this juncture. :laughing:
 

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Actually my 2009's hardtop freedom panels latch to the footman loop center windshield. Just sayin'
My understanding also (internet knowledge only) is that the change occurred for the '09 model year.


Okay, for posterity . . .

@da20captain, do the edges of your rear glass line up with the edges of your tailgate, or is the rear glass wider than the tailgate? My understanding was that the wider glass began in 2010. I also thought the center latch began the same year. I think you might be able to supply "the missing link" with your '09.

I'm also under the impression that the footman loop was moved at some point. I was thinking in '12, but it makes sense that it would've begun with the new interior in 2011. If you could post a photo of your center footman loop/latch, it would be appreciated.

At any rate, my '08 top has no center latch and I would assume the '07 didn't either (OP said his was '07). It seems odd that they would change the tops in '09, '10, 'and again in 11 or '12, but I'm always happy to be re-educated. :)
 
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