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Old 08-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #1
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Soft top removal issue; 2000 TJ.

So when I bought my Wrangler it was missing the sholder bolts for the bows to attach to the rollbar. I bought those and installed it in the spring. Now I have (finally) ordered a hard top hoist so I can get my hard top off of the shop floor and I'm going to put the it back on the Jeep today, while I have help, so that when the hoist gets here I will be able to set it up. I found that when I tried to remove the sholder bolts from the sport bar bracket recently that two of the nuts inside there were turning and the bolt(s) wouldn't break loose. (one on each bow) At that time I went to the dealership and tried to order just the end piece. Apparently I have to order the entire bow to get what I need. This is how I took it off today so I can put the hard top on:

This is a bad solution for a few reasons. One is that the plastic will wallow out eventually and the screw that goes through the bow into the end won't stay in there. Secondly, if the hoist works out like I want it to I will probably try to sell the soft top. Obviously the new owner will likely need the sport bar brackets and end pieces but I can't take them off of the Jeep as it sits now.

I guess I could remove the two that will come off and cut the other two off. Then I could put the two good ones on one bow and order the other bow new. That's the only idea I've had and it sucks. Anyone else have a better one?

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Old 08-29-2010, 06:19 PM   #2
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:25 PM   #3
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Indeed it will. Thank you very much!
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Just went through this on my wife's 97 tj. Inside the plastic junk pieces attached to the roll bars are brass threaded inserts that are molded/melted into the plastic. The steel torx bolts corrode into the brass, thus can't be removed without the brass spinning inside the plastic...thank you Chrysler for your fine engineering skills (I enjoyed the obvious fun when AMC was around, but that is another story). The only option you have is to CUT the plastic anchors off and replace with the above mentioned, better-engineered pieces, which, for what they are, aren't that cheap either. The option I chose was to remove the roll bar pad GENTLY out and off those pieces and remove the anchor plate that holds the plastic bow anchors to the roll bars. Be careful, or you can rip the holes that are there in the pads for the metal tabs for the plastic bow anchors, I ripped 2, but I don't mind. They are just a little larger now. I drilled my bow tubes and plastic anchors out where the rivet was and put a brass tube, (can't remember the size, I have it from my model boat racing days for stern drives) into the plastic anchor and trimmed it so it would allow the bow tube to still slide over and lined the holes up and ran a machine screw and nylon lock nut through the tubes and plastic anchors that fit into the brass tubing. This way the plastic won't ream out from the wear and tear from the machine screw rubbing inside. That was my fix...worked for me.
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