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Old 03-23-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
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Wrangler Soft Top Highway Failure

Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, but has anyone heard of Wrangler soft tops detaching on the highway?

I am concerned that my Wrangler Soft Top could fly off in a heavy wind on the highway. This is my first Jeep (a 99 TJ with a fairly new Bestop), and just don't know what could happen.

Most of all, I worry that the leading plastic insert edging on the Bestop front plastic channel could pry off from the right or left edges. The top sure makes a helluva racket at 65 mph or higher.

What is a safe highway speed with a soft top? 70 mph OK? Have you heard of soft tops blowing off Wranglers on the highway?

How about when external wind speed is considered, like 40 mph winds. Or should I just slow down to a maximum combined wind speed of 70 mph - 30 mph winds + 40 mph highway speed = 70 mph.

Also I have questions about added strain with any combination of a) roll the windows down b) remove the doors c) unzip / remove windows.

For example, I see guys flying down the highway with soft tops and side windows removed, but the rear zipper window up, or all the windows unzipped. Is that risky?

And last but not least, is there something that would warn you your soft top is about to blow off, such as detachment at edges of front channel etc.


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Old 03-23-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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Happend to me on the PA turnpike.. Part of the reason was i dident install it right but the damn thing ripped right off... flew to the side of the road thankfully but still scary.. Bestop I'm told is a little flimsy when mounted becaus eof the frame.. I have a sunrider top that somewhat flaps in the wind.. I'm thinkin about ditching it and getting another stock soft top..

2000 wrangler
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Have never had an issue 3 jeeps and 18 years of mostly soft tops...the key IMO is to be sure it is installed correctly.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Mine literally made it through a hurricane outside, which I think is faster than it's top speed ;-p
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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I have a pavement ends here top (bestop cheap-o version) which I worry about all the time. The top doesn't fit right on the drivers side and if it's very windy out it lifts and I can see light coming in. I can't seem to find the reason for the bad fit.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
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I went whelling with a guy and when he pulled into the meeting spot he was flapping in the breeze.. funny look on his face...after further review it was installed at the header wrong.
JP2611 is totaly right. Proper install is everything.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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10 year old OEM soft top still works fine, seals tight, and behaves properly at speeds >80mph, despite having been on for a few winters and having gone through many a carwash over the years. So unless you have a crap top or did something profoundly wrong in installing it, I don't see any worries with highway use or use in high-wind areas.

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