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Old 11-23-2010, 09:41 PM   #1
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2011 question on tops

I am considering buying a Wrangler Unlimited, I have owned both hard and soft top CJ jeeps before. I live in Florida and with my old jeeps I never had more that a bikini top on it (no ac) I want some comfort now and I was planing on getting a soft top model again, but when i watch the video it almost seemed easier and less trouble to undo 7 nuts and take off the hard top. If storage isnt the issue what are your thoughts on the tops? Thanks for your thougths really wondering from you hard tops that remove them regularly and those soft tops that go up and down alot. My old CJs were so easy......

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Wrangler Forum--you're in the right place for all stuff Wrangler related.

My two cents is that to remove/put on the hardtop on a JKU you will need either (a) two people or (b) one person using one of the ceiling mounted winch systems. By contrast, while it's nice to have two people to put the soft top down, you can definitely do it solo.

That said, keep in mind that the "official" Jeep tops aren't your only choices. Aftermarket companies, such as Bestop, offer all kinds of permutations of soft tops that could be more tailored to your geography.

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Old 11-23-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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I really like my Hard Top but if not for the snow and winter I doubt I would have one. They only need a few screws to take off but they are very awkward to handle even with two. I have even taken it off by myself once but it wasn't fun and there is no way I could put it back on. The biggest problem with just a hard top is that if you take it off and a rain storm hits, Buying a soft top for next summer.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:09 PM   #4
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I had a soft top CJ7. The new soft tops are night and day better. You won't regret getting a soft top.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:52 AM   #5
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I had a soft top CJ7. The new soft tops are night and day better. You won't regret getting a soft top.
I agree. I got the dual top option and for everyday scenarios the soft top wins every time. It's faster to put up and take down, and it can easily be done with one person.

The hard top requires two people of reasonable strength and takes longer than the soft top. Plus, once you leave the house you're stuck with the decision you made (on or off) until you get back home.

I live in FL too and I know how the weather is. All week I've gone out with my soft top down because the weather.com hourly forecast showed "0.0%" chance of rain all through the day until well after I would get home from work. Two of the last five time this has happened, it has started raining and I've been able to put the top up in time no matter where I was.

I have to say though, as good as the soft tops are (and you'll be surprised how quiet they are these days), the hard top still has its place. I like it on the highway for longer trips, and for those two weeks a year or so where the temperature dips below 50 around here, it'll be nice to have. But in hindsight, I don't really think it was necessary.

Of course, if you're the type that will never really take a top down (that doesn't seem to be the case) then the hard top would probably be more comfortable overall.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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The issue with removing the hard top frequently isn't the bolts: it's the size and weight. Those things are really awkward.

2010-2011 Wranglers use what they call a "cable top" on the factory soft tops. It's a spring and cable set-up that snaps shut over the top of your doors, which makes it even easier to use than earlier JK tops. The giant sunroof feature is also nice.

BUT, the complication you see in that video, the thing that makes the soft tops hard to use, is the four door issue: after you lift the top up, you've got a looong ways to go to get to the windshield. So that's an extra bow, and an extra fold, and an extra latch. It also makes it difficult to raise the top solo, especially if you're short or lift your Jeep. So people stand in the center of the Jeep to do it, etc.

Soft tops on Jeeps are tough, because of the square design and the family-style rollbars. I've got a little Alfa Romeo, and I can open and shut the top without leaving the drivers seat. But it's tiny.

-----------------
If you buy the Jeep with just the hard top, and change your mind, there are tons of aftermarket options. Ours are the only ones worth thinking about.
Kidding. There really are all sorts of Bikini's, sunshades, full tops, etc.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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I have the 2011 unlimited. I wanted both tops but ended up with the soft top. It really is quiter than you would think. I personally dont like just folding the front piece back because I dont like the way it looks with the cloth folded etc. I prefer it all the way down or up.

I am glad I got the soft top though because of the trouble I would have to go trough removing the hard top. Plus you have to store it.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
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WOW thanks for all the great opinions, that is what I needed. You guy bring up some great points for me to consider, I frist wanted the soft then started thinking hard top. Now I am back on soft top. I was told you can leave the top up and remove all windows and take the doors off and its like the old bikini top almost. Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flharleycop
I was told you can leave the top up and remove all windows and take the doors off and its like the old bikini top almost.
Yep, do it all the time. Works great. You can also fold the top back so as to just expose the front seats.

Any of the above help keep the toddlers in the back out of the sun!
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:04 PM   #10
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I have a JK short, with the 3 piece hard top. Looking at @ a Jeepkini for the front. But just taking the front tops off, doors off and opening the rear hatch is actually rather satisfying. Not quite nude, but close enough without getting arrested.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:51 PM   #11
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i am planning on buying a 2011 but have seen a lot of comments about the 3-piece hard tops leaking?? i have gone back and forth on the whole hard top vs soft top thing. just feel that the hard top has more security, when the top is up or if i have valuables or my dog in there! ahhh decisions. i am still back and forth.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kkruzer View Post
i am planning on buying a 2011 but have seen a lot of comments about the 3-piece hard tops leaking?? i have gone back and forth on the whole hard top vs soft top thing. just feel that the hard top has more security, when the top is up or if i have valuables or my dog in there! ahhh decisions. i am still back and forth.

The thing about complaints is if you have one you voice it and if you don't, well there is no need to. I have the hard top and have no leaking problems what so ever and I would venture to say that most don.t. There are many soft top owners that complain about leaks too but I doubt every soft top leaks.

I really like my hard top fall, winter, and spring. A lot better then soft. But when it come summer, well I am thinking of getting the new Trektop if they every get it for the JK.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkruzer View Post
i am planning on buying a 2011 but have seen a lot of comments about the 3-piece hard tops leaking?? i have gone back and forth on the whole hard top vs soft top thing. just feel that the hard top has more security, when the top is up or if i have valuables or my dog in there! ahhh decisions. i am still back and forth.

my mustang soft top leaks, my jeep hard top does not (yet, knock on wood). luck of the draw.

Besides, if u get it new, warranty will cover leaks (i think)
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:22 AM   #14
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I have the three piece hard top and the Beat Top soft bikini.

Hard top was required for me living in Colorado. It keeps the Jeep warmer and (knock on wood) hasn't leaked yet. I can remove/install my hardtop by myself with four tie downs which I've attached to my garage beams.

The soft top is great for summer but there are times where I take it off and roll with no top. I keep the two hard top panels which fit over the front seats in bags i made in the back just in case I get caught in some bad weather.

Personally I'd get a hard top and buy a soft top off someone. Here in Denver there are at least three on craigslist which are still in the box for a great price.

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #15
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i haven't heard of any hard tops leaking.

i have a 3 piece hard top and took it through the car wash this past weekend and it didn't leak at all
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:01 AM   #16
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I have the hardtop and after mods, it's quiet, handles 115° heat/-7° cold, doesn't leak, no problem with the cell phone use on freeway, very secure-

I keep my jeep in the desert and I really have no use for a soft top !

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Old 12-08-2010, 08:17 AM   #17
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I love the dual tops. I'm in the northeast. Mid October to early May hard top. Works better with snow and ice. If we have a warm day take out the two front panels out. Rest of the year soft top. And no windows most of the time. And then when there is a call for good weather No Top.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:04 PM   #18
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Adding soft top

I recently bought a 2011 Wrangler sport 2-door with the Freedom hard top. I live in So. Cal. and will want the top off, or down, much of the time. I would like to buy a soft top that I can leave on 7 or 8 months out of the year and put the hard top in storage. What soft top should I get? Is it easy to self-install?
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:16 PM   #19
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Once the softtop is assembled, installation is easy. Assembly, not so much, but it didn't cause a divorce either...
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:21 PM   #20
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I recently bought a 2011 Wrangler sport 2-door with the Freedom hard top. I live in So. Cal. and will want the top off, or down, much of the time. I would like to buy a soft top that I can leave on 7 or 8 months out of the year and put the hard top in storage. What soft top should I get? Is it easy to self-install?
If it's going to be your primary top, you want a good one. Something like this or this. Frankly, I (and many others) only have a soft top, and they're fine to leave on year round.

I've never removed a hardtop and my Jeep came with the soft top already on, so I've can't help on the difficulty level. However, I understand it's pretty easy--just make sure you've got two people to get the hardtop off.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:37 PM   #21
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hardtop for the winter (Montreal canada)
Soft top/ no top for the summer

its worth having both, like getting a convertible with a hardtop option :P
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #22
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ya living here in Canada I ordered the dual top option for my 2011 2 door, its just good to have both options.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:13 PM   #23
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Thanks! I think you nailed it for me.

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