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Old 01-27-2011, 11:18 AM   #1
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Closing Sunrider Top

Well first of all, I'm pretty excited because I got the Sunrider feature to work.

I ordered the Jeep with the Dual Top package, and removed the hard top initially. I could NEVER get both Sunrider clips (the side ones on the rails) to latch on to the pin. If I tried REALLY hard I could sometimes get one of them to latch, but never both of them. The pins would just not line up with the holes!

Anyway so winter came, I switched to the hard top. I decided that whenever I put the soft top back on I'd go to the dealer and have them look at it.

Now the temps are back into the mid 60's, I switched back to the soft top. And even though I didn't think I did anything differently (just basically reversed the removal procedure), now the pins line up perfectly every time!

Yesterday I flipped back the Sunrider when I went to lunch. Left it open for the ride home, and decided to close it up this morning. It took FOREVER! The clips in front by the visors were sitting a good half inch from the their target clip points. I eventually had to remove much of the rear sections from the gutters just to get some play in the top to pull it forward enough to get the front visor clips to latch on.

Obviously that sort of defeats the purpose of the Sunrider feature, since mostly I'd want that feature as a quicker option to lowering the top for lunch breaks, etc.

So does anyone have any tips that might make this a bit less painful? I feel like as long as the side rail clips are still engaged, it shouldn't be difficult to get the front clips to latch. But it is.

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Old 01-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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I'm sure you tried this, but I might as well mention it.

Are you sure you were opening the latches on the soft top far enough? The latches have an odd design where the farther you open them, the more "reach" they have toward the clips. With mine, I actually have to get my finger out from the space between the latch and the soft top fabric to get it to cover that last half inch of space. If I leave my fingers wrapped around the latch, I'm about half an inch too short.

That lever has got to be fully--fully--open.

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Old 01-27-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
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I had this issue at first too, then i realize that you can actually move the hooks on the softtop to give them another couple of inches of reach, once i figured this out Ive had no issues.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MTH View Post
I'm sure you tried this, but I might as well mention it.

Are you sure you were opening the latches on the soft top far enough? The latches have an odd design where the farther you open them, the more "reach" they have toward the clips. With mine, I actually have to get my finger out from the space between the latch and the soft top fabric to get it to cover that last half inch of space. If I leave my fingers wrapped around the latch, I'm about half an inch too short.

That lever has got to be fully--fully--open.
Yeah, that half inch is with the latch fully extended, i.e. with large "handle" part in position to as to extend the actual clip part as far forward as possible.

When I'm going from a fully dropped top, I make sure the front clips are attached first (not fully closed, just attached) before putting the rear sections of the top into the gutter. But for the Sunrider feature, it needs to be done with the rear already in place.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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Can you reach back and grab the cross bar just above the soundbar and pull it forward? This might give you the extra you need. How cold is it? 60˚ is still kind of cold for the top to fully relax. The top contracts and expands with the temps. If it is out in the sun, you'll notice that it is much easier to lock down.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scooter_Trash
Can you reach back and grab the cross bar just above the soundbar and pull it forward? This might give you the extra you need. How cold is it? 60˚ is still kind of cold for the top to fully relax. The top contracts and expands with the temps. If it is out in the sun, you'll notice that it is much easier to lock down.
I thought about that. When I tried to put the Sunrider portion back up, it was about 50 degrees. But I'm not sure if temp should be as big of a deal for the Sunrider portion, since a) everything behind the door rail clips should be no worry since those clips are holding it down, and b) everything forward of those clips should be immune to shrinking since it's attached to a metal frame that won't change size.

Maybe I'll try again on a warmer day to see what happens.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:23 PM   #7
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Somethings not right. Did you leave the pins that gave you so much trouble in the past engaged? If you did then when you close the sunrider everything should line right up. It might be what MTH is suggesting. The clasps that hook to the windshield need to be completely open.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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If your just doing the sun rider your not releasing the side latches on the rails right? That will cause problems trying to close the top just from the sunrider position
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #9
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Somethings not right. Did you leave the pins that gave you so much trouble in the past engaged? If you did then when you close the sunrider everything should line right up. It might be what MTH is suggesting. The clasps that hook to the windshield need to be completely open.
Yes, those pins remain engaged, which is why this is strange to me.

Even before the Sunrider issue was fixed, I still had plenty of experience doing full up & full down on the soft top, so I know what you mean with the main front clips, but even fully forward there wasn't enough stretch to get them on.

I'll see if I can reproduce it. If I do, I'll take a picture to prove I know how to use the clips.

Quote:
If your just doing the sun rider your not releasing the side latches on the rails right? That will cause problems trying to close the top just from the sunrider position
No, those are definitely staying engaged.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jeffk42 View Post
I thought about that. When I tried to put the Sunrider portion back up, it was about 50 degrees. But I'm not sure if temp should be as big of a deal for the Sunrider portion, since a) everything behind the door rail clips should be no worry since those clips are holding it down, and b) everything forward of those clips should be immune to shrinking since it's attached to a metal frame that won't change size.

Maybe I'll try again on a warmer day to see what happens.
Temp still plays a HUGE role. The fabric can still move the frame and is able to expand and contract. I'm not familiar with the '11 tops but I'm still thinking it's just too cool outside. You say you've had the top up and down many times without problem. The last step of putting the top up is basically moving the top from the sunrider position to closed. There were several times I tried to put my top up in 50˚ weather and had to pull the sail panels off, latch the header, then go back around and pull the rear cross bar down to put the sail panels back on. Once it warmed up or the sun came out, it wasn't a problem until the temp dropped again.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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got my 11 the first of nov and had the same issue with the sunrider top. i had to loosen the sides and back windows to get it latched. i haven't been able to try it again since it turned cold. i figured it was something i was doing wrong and would wait until spring to figure it out. i did notice that when i had the sunrider open the rest of the top seemed too loose and i didn't like the way it looked. also, the first time i put the top up i had to do as scooter trash mentioned and reach back to the first bow and pull it up and over the sound bar to get the extra stretch so i could latch it. i put it up solo. before the 11 i had a tj soft top for 10 years and could put the top up and down in my sleep. the jk top may be better in a lot of ways , but definitely harder for one person to operate. when i watched the video on how easy it is, i noticed they had a second person helping. sorry i couldn't be more help but i will follow you progress until it gets a little warmer in virginia.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:30 PM   #12
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Did you check the bow between the front header and the sound bar? It sometimes gets caught when I flip the sunrider back. Each end of the "bow" has a plastic "U" shape to make it fit to the side rails. If this pops above the rails then the top stops short. Look above and just behind where the driver's head would be. It should be pretty obvious if this is the case. Just grab it and pop it down and into place
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #13
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Harsh winters in Orlando? tell Mickey I say hi
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:07 AM   #14
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Harsh winters in Orlando? tell Mickey I say hi
Harsh is relative.

It's not too bad, but when it gets down into the 20's and 30's I know I'm not going to be putting the top down, so the hard top goes on, and I get to benefit from the quieter ride and better insulation. The other 11 months out of the year, it's all about the soft top.


Oh, and technically the Evil Empire is in Kissimmee, not in Orlando.

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