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Old 08-15-2013, 09:51 PM   #1
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YJ Soft to Hard Top Swap

Hi All,

First Post. I've done some research and it looks like going from a soft to a hard top on a YJ is fairly easy. I'm not replacing the doors for now (will deal with no windows and just the lower halves for the moment.

There is an opportunity to buy a YJ Hard top for $200 about 1 hour north of me; I'm going up saturday to inspect and maybe buy it. Seeing as my 95 has never had anything but a soft top; how do i need to prep the car to bring the Hard Top back home?

any help is appreciated; i tried looking but didn't see a step-by-step or list anywhere.

Thanks,

SW

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Old 08-15-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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I have an 87 and just went to a soft top for the summer. It's fairly simple to go to a hard top and the main thing is just the removal of the rails all around, including the one above the windshield. Bring the hex bolts and square nuts from the side and rear corner rails with you along with the screws from the rail above the windshield and you'll be in good shape. If you want to do it right when you put it on and not have to redo it when you get home you may want to get some weather stripping to go between the hard top and the the rest of the Jeep. Just some simple single sided tape weather strip will do the job. Just stick it to the underside of the hard top edges and you'll get a decent seal. If you can't find the perfect size don't worry because it's easy to trim it down if it's a little too big.
Veterans, chime in here if I missed anything.

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Old 08-15-2013, 10:44 PM   #3
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You also must drill holes on the top of windsheild frame.. depending if you have wiper and defroster you might have to wire something up.

Jant
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
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5h and 87;

I don't have wiper/defroster on the unit I'm looking at buying.

The big concern is being able to drive it home on the interstate, and doing as little modification to the car as possible. I'm going to leave the soft top and soft door halves at home....what else should i leave (5h you hit on this well--looks like anything that the ST clips into needs to go?).

-top of windshield, sides of windshield, rear and rear side slots for the soft-top to clip into?

This will all have to be done either at the sellers house or in my garage---first time doing this
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:51 PM   #5
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You are right. It is pretty simple. I haven't messed with my soft top hardware in about six years, but I'm pretty sure the following covers it:

Remove the brackets along the body and the front windshield that the current soft top lips into. The hard top will be sitting directly on the body.

The top has a long, thin sheet of metal that screws into both your windshield frame and the top. If you drive home slowly you can figure out if you want to do that eventually or go with something like this: Lange Originals 020-289 - Lange Originals Kwick Hardtop Release Kit for 87-95 YJ Jeep® Wrangler - Quadratec I just ordered one so I'm not sure whether it will make life easier. (All of the holes that have been drilled in my front windshield frame over the years contributed greatly to the fact that I am in the process of replacing it now.)

The two hardtops I've bought both had hardware. My jeep originally was soft top only and the holes were already there for the mounting bolts and backings.

If I've forgotten something I'm sure someone will step in.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Huntsman View Post
5h and 87;

I don't have wiper/defroster on the unit I'm looking at buying.

The big concern is being able to drive it home on the interstate, and doing as little modification to the car as possible. I'm going to leave the soft top and soft door halves at home....what else should i leave (5h you hit on this well--looks like anything that the ST clips into needs to go?).

-top of windshield, sides of windshield, rear and rear side slots for the soft-top to clip into?

This will all have to be done either at the sellers house or in my garage---first time doing this
You got it and the the weatherstrip is no big deal just to get it home. I would just bring enough tools just in case you miss something. If you get the hex bolts on the sides and rear corners and the screws above the windshield in you will be in good shape.
Then when you get home you just need to design your hardtop remover if you are going to be taking it off and putting it on by yourself
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:09 PM   #7
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Nah I'm gonna keep it 100% hardtop but I'm keeping the original softtop and half doors in case i sell the car; so I'll be keeping the hard top on 24/7 (though I'll probs take the full doors off in the summer).

Thanks for all the help, guys. Do any of the soft-top mounting areas have to be taken off outside of the front? Rear passenger sides, the two small lips flanking the rear tailgate, etc?

Also, another good piece of info would be what tools exactly are needed for all of this removal. I'm very mechanically dis-inclined.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:11 PM   #8
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oh, and I am saying prayers right now that the seller has the mounting hardware (nuts, bolts, etc).
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:17 PM   #9
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It's pretty easy...take all the rails off and reuse the bolts and screws from the soft top hardware. They go in all the same holes so you should already have what you need to bolt it on.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:17 PM   #10
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To get it home you just need the 8 bolts/nuts that mount it to the rear of the tub. You don't need it to scre to the frame atop the frame. It will jiggle side to side on the way home but its fine. Drove mine a whole year before it drove me crazy. Why are you going to a hard top? just wondering.

Jant
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:31 PM   #11
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Rear passenger sides, the two small lips flanking the rear tailgate, etc?
Yes. Take them off.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:43 PM   #12
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To get it home you just need the 8 bolts/nuts that mount it to the rear of the tub. You don't need it to scre to the frame atop the frame. It will jiggle side to side on the way home but its fine. Drove mine a whole year before it drove me crazy. Why are you going to a hard top? just wondering.

Jant
1) i live at home, am trying to move out and face the prospect of not having a garage or anything to secure the car. Id like to effectively lock it.
2) i carry valuables on occassion (not often) and would like to lock them
3) midwestern winters suck and id like to have a hardtop.


85% of it is securing the car and items. Id like to not replace the rear seat with a bolt down and i hate the lock box (id like that space back for camping and hunting gear).

I end up having the ST up 95% of the year anyways.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:01 AM   #13
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I just added a hardtop to mine, the only thing that has been missed is you may to adjust the windshield angle slightly so the top sits properlt across the rear of the jeep.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #14
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Yeah itll be nice to be able to lock....i love my jeep but that was becoming a "buy another car" problem.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:52 PM   #15
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So, if you can see the pics below, will i need to drill anything?

Obviously i need to deattach the lip/groove retainer for the softtop. Are the holes and screws the same for the harddtop?

The images ive looked up ive had a hard time discerning whether the hardtop attaches to the vertical piece of sheetmetal (untapped) or the horizontal (tapped for metal lip).

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Old 08-16-2013, 06:44 PM   #16
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Underneath that black piece are holes...use the same screws you took out of the black piece and use them to screw the hard top down...the holes line up perfectly. You're over thinking this
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:54 PM   #17
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Underneath that black piece are holes...use the same screws you took out of the black piece and use them to screw the hard top down...the holes line up perfectly. You're over thinking this
driving 1 hour 30 minutes; trying not to make a second trip

But hey, I'm getting the top for $200. now for the full doors...
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:56 PM   #18
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Every time you call a Jeep a car....................a Puppy dies.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:58 PM   #19
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The hard top screws in from the back side of the windshield frame, not down, you will have to drill small holes just above where your sun visors are attatched.
__________________
95 YJ 2.5 5 speed 33" Mud Rovers SOA
A frustrating WORK IN PROGRESS
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The hard top screws in from the back side of the windshield frame, not down, you will have to drill small holes just above where your sun visors are attatched.
x2..you will also have to remove the channel off the top of the windshield frame that the soft top attaches to..I drove one back from florida a few weeks ago with only 2 bolts holding the entire top on..1 on each side behind the front seats..so you don't have to have every little bolt in it just to get it home
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:21 PM   #21
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Oh man, I hope I told you correct info, my Jeep has holes above the visors in same general location, albeit inside the Jeep, as the windshield mounting strip. I think there should be at least one hole in there in the center? Anyways like harley said if you have it bolted down in the back you are good to go.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #22
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Yeah i think were good. Just found out that guy is in MI not WI....so back to the search
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:49 PM   #23
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Yeah i think were good. Just found out that guy is in MI not WI....so back to the search
that was a very cheap price if it is in excellent condition..might be worth seeing what shipping would cost
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:00 PM   #24
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Yeah i think were good. Just found out that guy is in MI not WI....so back to the search

Mind passing along the info on this hard top to me? I may be interested.

Thanks
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:04 PM   #25
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Mind passing along the info on this hard top to me? I may be interested.

Thanks
Near caledonia?
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #26
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Wrangler Jeep Hardtop For Sale

tell him Sean sent you. He's a really nice guy and he's asking 200 for a great top.
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #27
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There she is. Top will be painted tan; dont know what to do with the doors.

Rear liftgate is rusted to shit but i have the glass. Any suggestion for a rear liftgate replacement?

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #28
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best bet is probably to find a replacement if yours is too far gone to repair so that it looks and works as it should..check junkyards or maybe ebay
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #29
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Is this the one from Caledonia?
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #30
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No this one is from Belvidere I'LL.

I bought it so im in it 100% now. Oh well at least the doors are immaculate.

Can you guys ID what model/ year this is? Need to figure out what even to look for.

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