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Old 02-22-2011, 06:43 AM   #1
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First post...and a basic question

I'm looking at what will be my first Jeep....a 2011 Wrangler Sport. It has a hard top and I was curious how difficult it is to remove / install the hardtop. How long does it take and are there any negatives to rmoving/installing multiple times?

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Old 02-22-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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In terms of number of steps, it's easy -- there's six screws that come out, turn a couple of levers to remove the two Freedom panels, disconnect the rear wiper motor and fluid line, and lift the main section up and off.

In reality, that last part requires a minimum of two people, and is a real pain. The only negatives to doing it multiple times is when you inevitably make little mistakes that leave marks on the Jeep or the top. And if you're like me, marking up a brand new Jeep causes lots of cursing and frustration-induced shortening of your life span.

I have both tops, and if I'm honest with myself, I don't see the hard top going back on anytime soon -- it's nice, but the soft top is faster, easier, doesn't require a ton of storage space, and is always there in a pinch if you get caught in the rain.

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Old 02-22-2011, 06:50 AM   #3
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Welcome! I'm a soft topper, but I've delt with a hard top before. It can be done with one person (with much difficulty), but Ideally two is recommended. Also with hard tops you will need a place to put it when it is off, they are not small...
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:52 AM   #4
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Does take long two or even 3 people would make life a hell of alot easier for you....infact i dont know if you could take the back part off yourself, but the two split pieces for the front are a breez, the only thing about the hard top that i have found is that it scratches easily bc it is fiberglass(i think) find a good place to store it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:20 AM   #5
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Here is a video of the hard top removal

This is a 4 door, but I imagine it is the same. Like Trunz said the front part is easy. Takes just a few minutes one one person. So far that is all I have done. It is pretty nice with the front tops off (for the front passengers). If you don't plan on having people in the back often you could just roll with the front tops off and not worry about the back.

They make hoist systems to assist with lifting off the tops if you have a garage to hang them in. Then it becomes a one person job.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:41 AM   #6
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Love my hard top during the winter but want a soft top for summer. It isn't that hard to remove hard top if you build or buy a hoist. It makes a complicated process where you worry about scratches into a easy and painless job that one person can do
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:46 AM   #7
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I've never had my hard top off but Welcome to the Forum!
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:17 AM   #8
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I have 4dr 08 with both tops, never use the soft top. I have a lange hoist in garage. It literally takes 5 mins to remove top, as well as storing it snug to roof. I store front panels behind rear seat just in case of weather change. The soft top took me longer to remove by self, and took up more space stowing in rear. When we added the 2dr '10, we just got hard top. Like the other posters said, if you have a garage, a hoist is something to consider.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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Why would u want a top that requires a hoist to remove?? Hell....I removed my soft top almost a year ago and survived the winter with a bikini for the rain. I might be different from some folks on here..but I wouldnt even consider a hard top. It bugs me to even have to put the bikini on.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #10
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My jeep lives in the Nevada Desert-I wouldn't have anything but the hardtop-

I have a Racor hoist and it's easy to remove the top and re-install-

In -10*° to 115°temps-it's hardtop for me !!

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:24 AM   #11
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I bought the Jeep with a hard-top, and I was ok with that, since it is the more expensive of the two and I bought it this winter. Here in the Northeast, the winters are rough and the weather is unpredictable, so I figured the hard-top would be the way to go. I definitely want a soft-top now that the weather is getting nice. I'll find a place to store the hard-top for the summer.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:22 PM   #12
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My wife and I can handle removing the hard top together. Like the others said. You can't do it by yourself without a hoist. 6 screws are a pice of cake. disconnect the power and fluid supply, then lift off. it is not overly heavy, but it is bulky and tricky to grip at first. Then once it is off, where do you put it?

You can build a dolly easy enough on your own to stand it on and roll it around. Or build a hoist.

Hardtop hoist/storage write-up

If you are buying new, it is worth spending the extra bucks on the dual top option. Just have it from the get go and never look back. I am sure some will disagree. It is possible to add either a hard or soft top later. But much less a pain in the ass to just buy with dual top in the first place and drive it home that way.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #13
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My first two Jeeps were soft real complaints other than the back end of the TJ's top finally ripped/woreout when cruising around with the windows down and sides off. Zipper finally broke, but I took it to a tailor and they fixed it fairly cheaply...but put the zipper on backwards. PITA. I did say cheap, right?

Hardtop for '10 Rubicon. Taken it off once...piece of cake. For me and my Dad. Alone it would be sketchy I think. As stated above storage is the issue. I park in a parking garage not a house garage. It wont fit in my apt...or storage closet.

From a safety/theft perspective...oviously theft wise the hard top is better in theory. But if someone wants in your Jeep bad enough..wont matter either way. Safety...again, in theory.

I just purchase the Bikini from Bestop...goes on tonight actually. Hopefully wont have the hard top on for a couple months.

Personal preference...I like the Hard Top better than the soft, especially with the two front panels easily removeable. If those weren't there I'd def go soft top.

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