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Old 10-29-2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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Angry HardTop Install help!!!!

Okay, this seems like a stupid problem, but I must be missing something.

Im installing my freshly redone TJ top on my 02 Sport, and do not know what im missing. I set the top on, and get the two clips on the side into the front window molding. Top lines up flush on the top of the window channel. But, the front latches have WAY too much slack to even think about latching. I mean, I can latch the latch, and it wont even get close to applying pressure to the top. Am I missing a seal??

I didnt remove my soft top seal from the windshield. This is an OEM top also.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Im headed back outside to cuss at it some more.

Mike

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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You say the rubber seal is still on the header??? If so then you need to post a few pics because with the latches cinched down there should be no gap at all.

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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from what you describe your seal has to be gone. it should snap snug. Were you running a soft top, did the seal stick to the header on it ? Just a thought.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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Nope, the seal is still on the header. Ill go grab a few pics.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:51 PM   #5
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Okay heres the pics. The top is set up on the header, and I have 1/4" gap between the latch and the hole in the windshield.

Seal is there on top of the windshield

What in the world can I be missing?
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:03 PM   #6
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Do the 6 torx bolts along the side of your Jeep line up and go through the holes? If in fact that is an OEM top, I'm not sure about the latches - mine were black - yours are either stainless or not painted. You apparently have the header weather stripping in place. How does the back look?
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:04 PM   #7
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What about inside the top itself along its front edge? I sold my hard top last year so I can't look to make sure but I thought it had another seal inside its front edge.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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Yeah, the picture I took was of the stainless latch. I pulled the latches off the factory soft top and put on on the other side. Same issue.

No, I never had a seal on the underside of the front of the top. For that matter, I dont know if one ever existed. I called Jeep today and they said there was only one seal on there.

The rest of the top lines up perfectly. I have the center and the front holes lined up, but dont have a match in the rears. The glass I ordered fits perfectly, no issues there.

Ill snap a pic of the back.


Quadratec said the latches are all the same between hard/soft top.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #9
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more pictures
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Could the holes where the latch goes into be stretched out. I just checked mine and they are a small oval. In your second picture, the hole looks oblong. I may be wrong, but mine are alot smaller. That would take tension off of the latch. I actually cut a vacuum hose in half and put them in the opening to give mine a little more tension cause I had wind noise, not anymore.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:20 PM   #11
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Have you had your windshield down recently??? It looks like the windshield frame is not back far ?????
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:21 PM   #12
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Snap a few of the windshield hinges!!!!
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:49 PM   #13
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Hinges, inside and out
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:57 PM   #14
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Is your TJ an unlimited?
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:58 PM   #15
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nope, sport
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #16
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Ok, down to the shed I go. I'll look at mine.

Do all the bolts line up and go in with the top fitting like it does in the first pix?
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:09 PM   #17
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The first two on each side do. The rear does not line up. It is approx 1 in off.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tevbax View Post
The first two on each side do. The rear does not line up. It is approx 1 in off.
That is normal I think cause mine is the same way.What does it look like or do when you cinch the clamps down(or push them up actually)???????Does it draw it down at all???
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slf41002 View Post
What does it look like or do when you cinch the clamps down(or push them up actually)???????Does it draw it down at all???
It wont even begin to cinch down. There is a 1/4" gap between the hook and the window frame when it is in the hole.

More info: Im assuming this is a factory top as it has factory glass in the sides, indicated by the factory stamp.

On that note,the TJ back glass will only fit a TJ correct? I mean, wouldnt I have SERIOUS fitment issues if this was incorrect??
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:22 PM   #20
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I assume the first bunch of pics you put up that the 4th and 5th pics are with the top slid back???The top if were it goes on the 3rd pic though.Is this correct????
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #21
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Ok, got it.

Your "front" bolt holes are right behind the door frame. There are "slotted" holes between the front and second (middle bolt) where a plastic clip goes. I think you have the "front" bolts in the slotted holes for the clips. They have about 1" of "play" if you have a bolt in there. So, unbolt it and do everything BUT remove the top.

Line up the top where it's supposed to go in the front and clip the clips. They aren't supposed to do much except hold the front down and in place on the gasket.

Then, check the rear bolt holes and they should be lined up. See if that's the ticket.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:47 PM   #22
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Yeah, tried again. No go. The ENTIRE rest of the top lines up. The rear glass sits correctly, the bolt holes line up, the doors align, everything fits together besides these MF'n latches.

I think im gonna go TJ hunting tomorrow.... find another one with a hard top to pull up next to and compare it to. Im out of ideas.

Thanks everyone for the help!!!! I really appreciate it!
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:01 PM   #23
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Ok, but if you got the front of the top to line up on the rubber seal ok this time, I think it's just an issue with you latching it.

They ain't tricky per say but you have to have the latches in the window frame when the latches are like 2/3 closed and then keep them in the frame while you push the handle forward to snap them in. The snap tight enough to be "firm" (for lack of a better term) but not so tight that you really have to push all that hard...

The biggest concern I had was the photo you posted with the front of the top not touching the window frame on top. So if that's "normal" now, I think you are good to go minus messing with getting it latched.
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:09 PM   #24
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This IS in the correct position correct?

Reason I ask... is because this is the point where everything lines up.
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:10 PM   #25
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Sure looks like it in that pic.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:16 PM   #26
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So todays search for a TJ with a hard top yielded little results. I looked at it again.... and decided to weatherstrip the CRAP out of the header. I also took the hose suggestion, and put a piece in the slot to take up some extra space. It latches and stays, but is not really that tight. I put the remainder of the bolts into the tub.... and am going to go with that for the moment. Im going to take my other set of latches, slice the latch in half... take out 1/2 in of material and weld it back together.

So really... im pretty stumped. As far as I know, there is only one set of latches for this thing. There is no seal on the hard top... and it only uses the factory header seal to seal against. I never thought putting a hard top on could be such a pain. Looking back, I have almost spent more time trying to do the install than I spent repainting and glassing the crack that was in it.

Once again, thanks everyone for the help!!!!!!

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