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Old 07-13-2013, 11:52 AM   #1
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Question Help removing hard top

I just picked up a 02 TJ at a local dealership. It was a good find, 1 owner, retired, garage kept, 110k highway miles, never had the hard top off, pristine condition.

I've removed a couple hard tops before, but this one is STUCK. Never have I removed a hard top with a rear defroster though. Unlocked the front brackets up by the windshield, unscrewed 3 bolts on each side in the back, and unclipped the electric wire. I don't see anything else holding this sucker down.

I got inside the back, put my back up against the roof, and pushed harder than a chick in labor. Nothing. I gave the front portion of the roof a few good bangs with my palm, this thing isn't budging. I'm thinking that maybe 11 years baking in the sun the seals between the top/body have melted and its on there pretty good.

Any ideas on how to remove it without doing any permanent damage? Attached some pictures. Maybe there is a clip or something I'm missing?
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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You're going to have to get something in between the top and the tub to pry gasket up to break its seal to the tub

Man that looks really clean, nice find!

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Old 07-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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Let's hope the previous owner didn't consider that top 'permanent' and sealed it with silicone.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Let's hope the previous owner didn't consider that top 'permanent' and sealed it with silicone.
That is what I was thinking..or even something worse like epoxy or polyurthane glue. I would maybe use a plastic putty knife (from the inside) and work it around between the tub and top.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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Wow... I never considered the previous owner might have done something like that. The plastic putty knife idea was a good suggestion, going to give it a shot.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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sounds like the rubber gasket has fused the top to the body......i'd use a wire, pulled tight between the outside and inside (this is a two-person job), run it along the bottom of the top....that will break the seal and not damage either the top or the body.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Another good idea, thanks Mark.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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I was able to run two ratchet-straps under the top, and then used an engine hoist to pull up until it came loose. I ran the straps in the back window, and out where the door closes against the top. Didn't take much with the hoist, but like you...I couldn't get it off with just my back.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:02 PM   #9
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Thanks to Ricky @ Jeepers Den, I was able to get it off. There was heavy duty 2-sided tape in there, and he had some plastic pry bars to help loosen it up. It took a little bit but it's finally off. Thank God it wasn't silicon.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:32 PM   #10
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Celebrate! Drive around topless!!

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