Have tried everything. Jeep is parked in hot sun at moment and top is warm to the touch. Have been stuck 1/4 - 1/2 inch from latching since last night. Have spent total of two hours tugging and pulling. Have read the threads and not finding anything that helps... Do I just take to dealer?
The latch seems to have difficulty reaching the red hook due to the very firm weather seal bumping against the soft top notches (two hard pieces of plastic that protrude out from the sides of latch).
And make sure the freedom top at the hinge spot is latched into the side right above the door. I had a hard time making mine reach until I noticed that one side did not get locked in.
This was the problem for me when I was putting the top back on for the first time. With the Sunrider part of the top angled upward, pull those clips into place and then fold the sunrider down. Never again will you have a problem getting to the hooks.
1. Make sure the handle part of the latch is all the way back. (Which you did).
2. Unhook the rear corners if need be. (Which you did).
3. I found this out the hard way...after fighting with the top for hours. Get into the passenger (so the steering wheel isn't in the way) seat. Slide it all the way forward. Tilt the seat back up all the way up (90 degrees). While you may feel squished, you can now get maximum forward leverage in order to get the top latched.
Before I did #3, I struggled for hours one night. I'm 215 pounds, and I was actually hanging from the soft-top bar, but I could not get it to move forward another 1/8th inch to latch because I was pulling it downward, and it is hard to get forward leverage if your seat is leaned back.
Just put my premium top on for the first time last night I did struggle with the front latches but to me the rear corners are the toughest part to stretch and put in. When you get those, the rest of the installation was not too bad. And a previous poster said before, make sure you tuck in the rear door/ window correctly, it is different than the rest of the installation on the body/tub.
Good luck. Awesome top once you get it installed.
2013 Commando Green Unlimited Rubicon with Warn winch, Tnt Midwith front bumper and TnT adventure rear bumper, 4" OME lift Tnt short arm kit, full skids, front axle truss etc..., Rock Sliders, Rigid2 lights, teraflex tire carrier and other stuff
My first attempt to latch was a bear. Oddly the final trick was pushing the top sideways a bit and moving from latching the driver's side to the passenger side first (but not all the way, just getting the hook engaged), and then moving to the drivers side.
Then clamp all the way about 30 min later
Building and managing websites with the Umbraco CMS
My 2013 JKUs is about 5 months old. It took quite a few times for it to loosen up. It is still very tight to latch it up but it does get easier...especially when it is warm. When I purchased the Jeep I wanted to get out of there..but my sales guy insisted that he show me how to operate the soft top. I am glad he did as he told me about the rear zip in windows flaps. Lots of people have come it to claim warranty on the zip in windows to get turned down because they did not install them right. It was worth the extra 30 minutes for him to show me how to do it right. So far no problems and I take the top off as much as I can now.
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
AEV Pintlers, front and rear bumpers
GY Duratracs 33s
JW Speaker 8700s and 6145s and Recon LED Tail Lights
IPF 900XS with HID conversion
Trek Armor Seat Covers
10A Rubicon Lift
I had a helluva time with mine when it was new last year. 17 yrs with a TJ, and I thought I knew stuff :P
I did the rear flaps last - was next to impossible. I struggled hard. Did read to get the corners on first, then latch... which I did this year when I switched tops - no prob. Might have had the latches partially hooked... don't recall.
Took me a few weeks to figure out the side windows weren't in right.
As I found out last year w/ the freedom top... I never bothered taking the whole top down! So once the back was on... it stayed on.
Maybe this summer won't be a bazillion degrees everyday!
I've had my soft top on for about a week and a half. It has stretched out some and it took me about a week to get the knack of it. Plus it has been through enough crazy Chicago weather that it is already seasoned. High yesterday out here in the burbs was in 90's, the day before, the low was 31.