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Old 04-29-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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TJ Soft top headaches-help please.

Hi all. I took the hard top off my daughters 98 TJ and put the soft top on. Wondering if anyone can answer questionjs.
First- is it me or does it take 20 minutes or a half hour to take down or put up top? You have to take out a 1/2 inch wrench and unbolt the top piece every time you want to put it up or down? If it starts raining you are going to get wet for sure. When you fold top down do you have to unzip the side windows and detach top casnvas from the side bars?
I ended up with a big wrinckled mess and just removed the whole top. How do you fold it so its neat? Also I might not have the framerail bracket right.The front piece that the rod goes in sticks out further then the door jam and is ripping my rubber door gasket. Also I thing there is supposed to be holders for the rods to slip in on the fron top windshield frame? Mine are missing or broke off? Do I have the frame backwards that bolts on the sides? take a look. there has to be a better way to put soft top up or down then this- What a poor design- unless it's me? sorry for long post. Thank You
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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I have a 98 and my top goes up and down in about three minutes, faster if I'm caught in rain. I only take off the side windows, that is a quick unzip and remove. Then I roll up the rear window and snap in place with the attached ties. I then unlatch the two front header latches (not all the way yet, just lift the latch so everything isn't pulled tight). Then I release the drip rails above each door frame and remove the rear pillar flaps from under their rail. Then it's a simple latch release and the whole top flips up and back. I try to fold the top in layers as I am standing behind my Jeep laying the top in place. I have never actually removed the canvas and there is no need for any wrenches. Perhaps you have a different top than mine.

I have the top like what is in this video umake attached, remove mine almost the same way except I leave my rear window attached and just roll it up where they totally remove theirs.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funnjeep View Post
Hi all. I took the hard top off my daughters 98 TJ and put the soft top on. Wondering if anyone can answer questionjs.
First- is it me or does it take 20 minutes or a half hour to take down or put up top? You have to take out a 1/2 inch wrench and unbolt the top piece every time you want to put it up or down? If it starts raining you are going to get wet for sure. When you fold top down do you have to unzip the side windows and detach top casnvas from the side bars?
I ended up with a big wrinckled mess and just removed the whole top. How do you fold it so its neat? Also I might not have the framerail bracket right.The front piece that the rod goes in sticks out further then the door jam and is ripping my rubber door gasket. Also I thing there is supposed to be holders for the rods to slip in on the fron top windshield frame? Mine are missing or broke off? Do I have the frame backwards that bolts on the sides? take a look. there has to be a better way to put soft top up or down then this- What a poor design- unless it's me? sorry for long post. Thank You
You have a Bestop Supertop (now called the Classic and different from the new NX) The Supertop is very different from the factory top and from posts more of a PITA. Go to Bestop's site and they should have instructions. Also hit youtube. There are videos for using the factory top but i'd imagine there are ones for the Supertop.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:30 AM   #5
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That looks like a Bestop frame which is what I also have. You are right that the top is a little harder to get flat. You do have to take side and rear windows out. As far as the header bar over the windshield...leave that bolted on and just slide the fabric part out of the groove. There is a plastic insert sewed to the fabric that fits in the header bar. There are sockets to stick the upper door rod into (see pictures). And it looks like you have the side rails mounted right...there is a slight amount of adjustment that can be made if you loosen the bolts, but mine are not the best fit at the doors either. I usually take my top off completely, then just fold the rails down.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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I dont have latches- just 2 bolts up on top inside.I guess I have to buy a new windshield frame because my tubes the rods slip in are broke off?missing on both sides. I wonder if I can weld a short pipe piece in up there on both sides to slip skinny rods into. Now that im looking at that there is a plastic piece of trim that is cracked off on both-driver and passenger sides-it looks like there are 3 bolts holding them on- something is missing. Is the piece thats round you put the rod into attached to that trim? Also I guess I would have to loosen the canvas using those slider tensioners first before I try to slip the top off from the front header panel but I would still have to loosen the to bolts holding the header piece on top of windshield? seem like they sandwich the tarp inbetween the windshield top and header. Thanks
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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I have the same top as you and I can drop and put it back up in 10 minutes. Also you don't need any tools or need to remove the fabric from the frame. I just stopped my this morning.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:04 PM   #8
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Dennis
I dont have latches- just 2 bolts up on top inside.I guess I have to buy a new windshield frame because my tubes the rods slip in are broke off?missing on both sides. I wonder if I can weld a short pipe piece in up there on both sides to slip skinny rods into. Now that im looking at that there is a plastic piece of trim that is cracked off on both-driver and passenger sides-it looks like there are 3 bolts holding them on- something is missing. Is the piece thats round you put the rod into attached to that trim? Also I guess I would have to loosen the canvas using those slider tensioners first before I try to slip the top off from the front header panel but I would still have to loosen the to bolts holding the header piece on top of windshield? seem like they sandwich the tarp inbetween the windshield top and header. Thanks
The winddhield brackets are NOT part of the header assembly. They are just two brackets that bolt on to the windshield frame using the original outer roll bar bolts. Here's a close up picture. The Bestop part numbers for those brackets are 380.96 (left), and 380.97 (right) you should be able to order those fairly inexpensively. You should not have to loosen your header bolts to slip the plastic sleeve out of the header. Once the back part of the top is loose from the body it should just slide out the front. The groove it sits in is not clamped down. See pic.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:56 PM   #9
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Here's the installation instructions and parts list for what you most likely have. http://www.bestop.com/installation_guides/51709.pdf
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:38 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your help. I looked in a bag of parts the guy gave me and I found the brackets. I can't believe I forgot he gave them to me. I drove a few jeep dealer parts guys crazy trying to find these aftermarket brackets.
Thanks again.
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