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Old 09-21-2010, 10:05 AM   #1
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hard top creep?

I recently bought a used OEM hard top for my TJ that fit like a glove. However, in the ~250 miles I've now driven since the install, the top seems to have crept forward to the point where my (full steel) doors are rubbing...about 2/3 of the way up. I wouldn't care but its starting to wear the paint off and also my girl (very petite) has a hard time shutting the door tight.

short of sanding and re-painting the top, is there anything I can do? the fiberglass is really thin at that point, so sanding is sketchy at best. only other thing I can think of is putting no-slip rubber foam on the tub rail but that's no guarantee and I don't want to deal with the mess of adhesive when the hardtop comes off next spring.

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Old 09-21-2010, 10:19 AM   #2
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Are you using crimp mounts or the OEM bolts? You should have something that goes through the holes in your bed rail to hold it in place.

EDIT: Mine even has these white triangle plastic pegs right behind the front doors to help keep it from moving forward or backward.

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Old 09-21-2010, 10:20 AM   #3
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I have the same issue.

I just figured it was a common "jeep thang"

And I've got my top socked-down pretty tight on the mounting hardware (after-market bolts).
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Lossen the bolts, pull it back a little and retighten the bolts.

Earlier top/jeeps do not have the locator pins.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:31 PM   #5
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Put the top on and place the latches in the slots but do not snap them down.
Bolt and tighten the top down. Then snap the latches
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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thanks

to everyone (esp Mopar) for the tips. I'm using after market bolts; something I cooked up: flat head allen bolts with rubber washers on the topside of the tubrail, threaded nylon washers with a lock nut on the bottoms. So c-clamps aren't the issue. I will try the bolts-first-then-visor clamp approach suggested by Mopar and let you all know if that helps.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:41 AM   #7
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You sure your hinges aren't causing the door to sag?
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:25 AM   #8
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Factory does not have rubber washers. I can see some compression issues.
You hit a bump and the heavy top compresses down on the washers. I know it would be slight but in fact what is happening is the bolt becomes loose for a moment. This may allow the top to become loose enough to move. (a fraction of an inch at a time)
Even with my after market bolts I only use steel washers.
Just a suggestion.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparnut View Post
factory does not have rubber washers. I can see some compression issues.
You hit a bump and the heavy top compresses down on the washers. I know it would be slight but in fact what is happening is the bolt becomes loose for a moment. This may allow the top to become loose enough to move. (a fraction of an inch at a time)
even with my after market bolts i only use steel washers.
Just a suggestion.
x2
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:42 AM   #10
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Make sure the windshield is in the proper position.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:18 AM   #11
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Yea, grab some large bolts and nuts because it's really nothing more on the OEM hardware. The rubber grommet is more then likely allowing it to move. That said, I've had the same problem with rubbing, but my door isn't difficult to close.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil F. View Post
Lossen the bolts, pull it back a little and retighten the bolts.
I do this every time I reinstall the hardtop. It's no big deal. I got the wear on the same exact part of the hardtop too from my full steel doors.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:36 AM   #13
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The hard top's correct position is fully forward. It is clamped to the windshield frame first which pulls it all the way forward, then the rear bolts are installed and tightened. The problem you are describing is nothing more than the doors are out of adjustment. Loosen the hinges slightly and adjust the doors so they are positioned properly. Don't loosen the hinges too much, you want them snug and just enough so you can move them slightly with some kind of a no-mar tool. I taped up a big flat screwdriver to adjust mine.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:35 AM   #14
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My hard top has a plastic retaining clip that should prevent the top from sliding forward or backward. I agree with Jerry it sounds like your doors need adjustment.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:47 AM   #15
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My hard top has a plastic retaining clip that should prevent the top from sliding forward or backward. I agree with Jerry it sounds like your doors need adjustment.
that's more work than anyone wants to do for something so small and irritating.

Mine isn't that bad, I doubt pulling the hardtop towards the rear of the car a couple 16's of an inch to get the door the clear is a bad or wrong thing to do especially when all 6 bolts and the front hinges are in and tight. Why would I want to adjust the doors to end up having a hard time for the lock latch to mate or have the door rub on the top or bottom.

Playing with the doors irks me. I've done it to the passesnger door and lost only 20 mins of my life, but it was the most irritating thing ever. It takes 2 seconds to adjust the hardtop.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #16
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thanks for all the tips...I know my prob is not the washers, it was doing this before my current bolt set-up and as you can see they are on the topside of the hardtop rail above the tubrail; so the tension on them is more than enough.

I don't think it's the doors as the only point where they touch is the one in the pics above. The rest of the door has a very consistent ~1/4" gap between the doorframe and the hardtop.

Also, the top is set slightly off set forward as you can see where the top is slightly forward of the tubrail/half door center point.

I went out today and noticed the seal is bulging badly on the top corners (pass and driver - even to the point of chipping/flaking the hardtop.) I released the clips and they were tiiiiiiight. I am beginning to think it's the top clasps that need to be adjusted, or lengthened somehow? obviously I can't move the top any more forward given the fact that the top is already forward the door frame slightly, and is already rubbing as I mentioned.

I have got to release some of that pressure on the front clasps...I think Kilroy had a good idea with the windshield adjustment? prob is I'm a newb so don't know how to adjust the windshield. Just looking at the physics of it all a slight rearward tilt of the windshield would probably alleviate all these problems. Problems is how to make that happen....and more importantly make it stay that way.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:06 AM   #17
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Once again, you need to stop trying to pull the top back and away from the windshield. To me, that is inviting the top's fiberglass to eventually crack and fail where the front clamps are. The top is supposed to be clamped to the windshield first, then the rear bolts just hold the top at that location. There should be no tension or gap between the windshield frame and top.

You also cannot do a minor angle change to the windshield frame angle in an attempt to fix what is still a door alignment issue. Yes, aligning the door is a PITA but sheesh, just spend the time to do it right and you won't have to keep worrying about this. I spent an hour aligning my doors and that was it. End of problem.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:57 PM   #18
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Well the rubbing on mine is not NEARLY as bad as BigEZ's.

I don't think what I'm doing is wrong at all. I don't need to spend anymore time on it than I do. I remove the hardtop weekly anyways. Judging by those pictures, your hardtop looks up foreward far. Mine doesn't hang over the tub edge. It looks like you're missing the rubber boots that fit on the tub ends as well - not that I think they would help your issue
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:40 PM   #19
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Jerry -
I haven't tried pulling my top back at all; but as you can see my top is already set farther forward than the tub frame (albeit slightly.) obviously I can't pull the top any further back, as too much stress is on the front clasps as is.

seriously, the problem appears that the windshield is angled too far forward so that when the claps are latched the entire top is stressed- it's the only thing that explains both the door rub and the latch issues. I shimmed the door up slightly and all it does is change the point of contact b/t the door frame and the hardtop, and does NOTHING for the latches. And yes, I did latch the fronts before putting the bolts in....and there were no issues with aligning the top holes to the tub bolt holes.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:24 PM   #20
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just drove about 30 miles to and fro in howling wind with the front clasps off...wind noise wasn't any worse than normal (definitely better than a softie,) and the seals on the top front looked better...not so protruding. doors still rubbed, but not too bad. if i loosen the bolts, push her back, then re-tighten them w/o using the front latches I think I'll be OK. kind of ghetto but what other choice do I got?

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