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Old 08-17-2010, 01:20 AM   #1
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Soft top to Hard top?

Hi! I'm looking into getting my first car, and I want a Jeep Wranger. Everyone I talk to says "Get a Hard top!" They say soft tops are bad for may reasons, including excessive noise, they rip/tear easily, and it makes winters brutal.

So I've been shopping around on a lot of different dealerships in my area, and all the jeep wranglers I love have soft tops, and all the Hard top jeeps I'm not too impressed with. So my question(s) really is(are), can I not buy a Soft top jeep and just buy a hard top for the particular model/year? or are tops not interchangable? Is there any additional special hardware I have to buy besides the top to make it compatible?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Old 08-17-2010, 01:26 AM   #2
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Yes if you have a hardtop you can also put a soft top on the jeep and vica versa.
What i did is buy a hardtop jeep and look into buying a softop for the summer. Main reason for this is that a hardtop is $1500 and a softop is $600. So if you buy a hardtop jeep for the price of a softop jeep you'll be saving money..if that makes any sense.

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Old 08-17-2010, 01:32 AM   #3
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Yea Im looking at the price differences and it's massive. I just cant find a Hard top with the features im interested in. I'll find one eventually.

Is there additional Hardwear I'd have to buy to make the change in tops?
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:44 AM   #4
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The soft top is def noiser and colder in the winter. I guess it all depends on where you are from too. What year Jeeps are you looking at? I live in New England at its nice to have a hard top for the cold winters here. Not too mention the plastic windows when cold can crack if you are not careful. Overall I think you should buy a hard top with your Jeep then down the line buy a soft top. Like TjTheo said, its much cheaper to do it this way.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Wrangler View Post
Everyone I talk to says "Get a Hard top!" They say soft tops are bad for may reasons, including excessive noise, they rip/tear easily, and it makes winters brutal.
Everyone you know must not own a Wrangler............

Soft tops aren't that loud, my stock top is 9 years old and still in very good condition, no rips or tears, and at sub zero temps, I stay pretty darned cozy.... just sayin'.

As far as the other advice, yes it is less expensive to go from a hard to soft top. Hard tops are harder to remove, and you have to have storage for them when you want the top off. You can get a hard top from the same generation, doesn't have to be the same year. There are a million soft top options, besides factory. Ideally dual tops would be the thing to do, but you have an option or two with a Wrangler.....

To go from a soft top to a hard top, all you need is the top and the bolts, and wiring harness, and a switch. (If you want the wiper and washer to work). To go the other way, you need the top and what ever bows, header, tailgate bar and door surrounds the top you decide on requires.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:30 AM   #6
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I sold my hard top and havnt looked back for a few reasons. I often didn't have a second person to remove it, that became a major headache after awhile. I also knew that the heater and air conditioner fitted on jeeps is superior to other units. Plus if my air ever decides it doesn't want to work anymore I'll be prepared. Noise factor isn't really an issue with full doors. All the hard top is made of is thin plastic and no insulation. Finally you don't have to spend a fortune for a soft top. Got mine new off eBay for 200 plus free shipping, what a deal. So I hope this helps you make a decision
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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Everyone you know must not own a Wrangler............

Soft tops aren't that loud, my stock top is 9 years old and still in very good condition, no rips or tears, and at sub zero temps, I stay pretty darned cozy.... just sayin'.

As far as the other advice, yes it is less expensive to go from a hard to soft top. Hard tops are harder to remove, and you have to have storage for them when you want the top off. You can get a hard top from the same generation, doesn't have to be the same year. There are a million soft top options, besides factory. Ideally dual tops would be the thing to do, but you have an option or two with a Wrangler.....

To go from a soft top to a hard top, all you need is the top and the bolts, and wiring harness, and a switch. (If you want the wiper and washer to work). To go the other way, you need the top and what ever bows, header, tailgate bar and door surrounds the top you decide on requires.
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Agree with InfernoGirl! You can also pick up a nice used hardtop from your local Craig's list like I did for a lot less money!
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:24 AM   #8
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I bought my jeep with the hard top in November. The following February, I purcased a soft top for it and I have never used the hard top again. It is just taking up valuable storage space. My soft top is quiet and as IG said, the heating and a/c in these Jeeps will freeze/melt you pretty quickly so that is not an issue. Noise is not a big factor either. I would suggest that you purchase the Jeep that you want with the soft top. Justification: 1) it is easier to install an aftermarket hard top than a soft top, 2) there are people like me who will never use their hard tops again and throw them on Craigs List to get rid of them and 3)the soft top will let you experience that top down, door off feeling that is Jeep any time without having to phone a friend for help. Just my opinion!
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:51 AM   #9
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Again I think it depends on where you live in the country. Where are most of you from? The south? Up here in the Northeast in New Hampshire it gets COLD. at time minus 20 with the wind chill. Mornings you wake up and its -2 or -5 below zero. Its nice to have that hard top then. I agree no insulation but at least it has glass windows which def helps and its easier to clean the 2 feet of snow off it.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:03 AM   #10
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I'm in Indiana, we get snow and sub zero temps for weeks at a time. Depends on what your accustomed to. Previously, I drove a Suburban.... Took a week and a half to get warm.... TJ heats up in no time, compared to the 'burban. Granted I think sometimes a hard top would be nice, but I don't feel it's needed to survive winter. I just think the OP could give a soft top a shot, and then in the spring, when they are cheaper, if he feels he needs one, he can grab one for less $. It's heading toward the time of year now when hard tops are in demand.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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Where in Indiana Inferno girl? I lived in South Bend for a while not too long ago
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:43 AM   #12
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--YUP, depends on where you are and how you use the jeep

My jeep lives at 4200 ft, Nevada desert--had the top off once, it ain't coming off again

Heat/ dust/ bugs/ tarantulas (lots ofem)-rain within 30 minutes on a hot day/ 50 mph winds and tumbleweed !!

My hardtop is very comfortable in the heat/cold--

You're comfort zone is up to ---YOU---

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Old 08-17-2010, 12:14 PM   #13
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I stay snug and cozy w/ the soft top and the jeep heater works so good it'll melt your skin off. (my opinion)
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:33 PM   #14
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I agree Kspike that the heater is great, they are but you are in NC. It doesnt get that cold there. In New Hamphire we have mornings where it is -2 to as much as -10 below zero. ITS COLD! Nice to have a hard top and full doors then.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:39 PM   #15
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Heh Heh, yea in the Nv desert it gets from 115°



Down to -7°



With this fog and rain-Lickitysplit



I'm thankful for the hardtop !!

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Old 08-17-2010, 12:40 PM   #16
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Some jeeps are dual tops hopefully you can find one of those
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:41 PM   #17
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Where in Indiana Inferno girl? I lived in South Bend for a while not too long ago

Opposite end of the state, on the Ohio river....
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:42 PM   #18
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Are you buying new or used? If new, then the hard to soft is a good deal, but like everyones said you can find a used either on ebay, craigslist ect. If you're looking used then you might be able to find a Jeep that comes with both, as I did. The hard top is great in for the winter and long road trips thats it. It's a hassel to remove and store. I was staioned in Fl and lived in an apt it sucked bc i had nowhere to store the top, played with the idea of renting a storage unit.
Go soft top, you wont regret it, it's not that loud and the heaters work great!! AC, well you wont have to worry about that bc the top will always be down!!
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:43 PM   #19
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Jimbox...WHY DO YOU LIVE THERE?!!! The weather seems insane, MOVE!
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:44 PM   #20
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My bad....didn't even think about constant weight of snow when I posted. I was born and raised in Tucson, az so I would likely die in sub zero temps. As it is, i'm uncomfortable below 50 degrees. Lol...best of luck with your decision! Wavey
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:46 PM   #21
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Heh Heh, I don't live there !!


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Jimbox...WHY DO YOU LIVE THERE?!!! The weather seems insane, MOVE!
My jeep does !

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Old 08-17-2010, 12:48 PM   #22
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Poor Jeep, mine would die
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:57 PM   #23
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No disrespect to soft top owners but ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????

Before I bought my 07' Sahara hard top I test drove a 09' soft top and I could hear EVERYTHING. I could hear the tires hit the potholes, I could hear the asphalt as I increased speed, I could hear engine noise from cars that I passed/passed by me, I could hear the plastic windows flapping, I could hear the tires hit each bump in the road on the highway.........

Hell no.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:01 PM   #24
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So you're saying you drive a hummer?
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:01 PM   #25
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No disrespect to soft top owners but ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????

Before I bought my 07' Sahara hard top I test drove a 09' soft top and I could hear EVERYTHING. I could hear the tires hit the potholes, I could hear the asphalt as I increased speed, I could hear engine noise from cars that I passed/passed by me, I could hear the plastic windows flapping, I could hear the tires hit each bump in the road on the highway.........

Hell no.
It's a Jeep, you gotta be tough to own one! Imagine life with no power windows, door locks, or mirrors.....
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:05 PM   #26
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Somebody should help you with ENGLISH translations !!


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So you're saying you drive a hummer?
He stated he had an '07 Sahara--don't you think thats a JEEP ??

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Old 08-17-2010, 01:08 PM   #27
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LOL he could be confused. Either that or he couldnt afford one so he got the hard top Jeep
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:10 PM   #28
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Heh Heh, I could afford a HUMMER or two and I have a hardtop jeep !!


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LOL he could be confused. Either that or he couldnt afford one so he got the hard top Jeep
There is definately some confusion here, but it ain't in the JK owners !!

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Old 08-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #29
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There are times I turn the radio off just so I can hear those noises. Music to my ears.....
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:19 PM   #30
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I guess you do look where you live Jimbox!!

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