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Old 11-27-2007, 04:50 AM   #1
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"Freedom Top" issue

Saturday I took the t-sections off the "Freedom Top" on my JK, to kinda look it over. I took some pictures and re-installed the sections after a few minutes. The weather was not nice enough to ride around like that, on that particular day.

Yesterday, (Monday) we had a fair amount of rain, and I detected some VERY light leaking from the "T" intersection itself, over the rear view mirror.

Is there a molding that needs to swell and set, or a particular trick to replacing the tops so that the molding overlaps in a certain way or something?

I guess I figure that, inherant with removable tops, there is always the potential for leaking, (I'm thinking I may even have MORE potential leaking when I install the Rag Top in the Spring.

Suppose I should accept the "leak potential" and not go back to the dealer with a complaint that I would like them to address? Live with the issue?

thoughts, suggestions, ideas?

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Old 11-27-2007, 06:44 AM   #2
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My new replace a top dpesnt leak a drop.. its nice

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Old 11-27-2007, 08:18 AM   #3
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I'm sorry I cannot help you with the freedom top but I would not settle for it. I would take it to the dealer to make sure it has all of the seals it is supposed to.. and possibly how to reinstall them (if they are worth a damn).

btw.. my soft top has not leaked a drop.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
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I personally don't have a freedom top, .... but when I took the Jeep into the dealer for a recall he told me that they had a lot of those same leak issues.

Take it in.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:31 PM   #5
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Bitch till they fix it! No excuse for that in a new vehicle. Period.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:26 PM   #6
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I too had the same problem, minor leaking (just a few drops). The owner manual says the right top (sitting in driver seat perspective) must be placed down first in order to get proper sealing.

Try that.

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Old 11-27-2007, 02:17 PM   #7
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Mine leaks too. Mostly whens its raining and I start to come to a stop. It leaks just like yours. Right on the dash below the mirror. I have read on the net of alot of leaking issues. I was thinking if I complain enough maybe Chrysler will give me a soft top to shut me up. ????

Let me know what you find out... I hate ot go to my Chrysler dealer bc I didnt buy the jeep from there... Got it Outta NC- about 200 miles away. SO that sucks...
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:34 PM   #8
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Just got off the phone with "Service" at my local dealership where I bought the Wrangler.

They stated that if I come in they will show me how to do it, so it won't leak.

I installed the Passenger side first, (like the manual said) but perhaps I didn't set the molding quite right.

Will let ya'll know what I learned, after I go there (Saturday morning).


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Old 11-27-2007, 10:35 PM   #9
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There does seem to be a technique to it, and some say that if you do it right, it won't leak. Briefly, the steps are

1) Place the right (passenger) panel in place, lowering it vertically. Do not slide into place. Make sure the locating pins mate to the holes.

2) Turn the twist latches to secure the top, then the windshield latch. Seems important that it be done in this order.

3) Place the left (driver) panel, again lowering it vertically without sliding while ensuring the pins mate with the holes.

4) Latch the panel in the same order as the right side - twist latches first followed by the windshield latch.

5) Install the two hand-screws through the sound bar and into the top. Tighten firmly but not too tight.

6) After driving around for a few minutes, re-seat the screws. They can occasionally work loose if not sufficiently tight, but you don't want them so tight that they "twist" the top.

Also important that the panels line up well with the windshield, door frame, and rear top section. Installing panels with the doors closed seems to help.

No guarantees here, and please don't kill the messenger, but some say this process makes a difference.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:41 AM   #10
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tdrew: Thanks....I'll print that out and try it...I DID notice a bit of a mis-alignment issue with the "hand screws" and I MAY have set them in place in a "sliding" fashion.

Also, I had the doors "open" when installing the sections.

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Old 11-28-2007, 08:51 AM   #11
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Update: Wednesday, 9:40 a.m.:

I went down and had a talk with one of the Tech's in the Service Department, and his advice regarding the installation of the Freedom Top T-Sections is:

A) Follow your owners manual
B) We've had lots of folks complain about the leaking
C) The order of lock down should be -
1. Move the Drivers side and Passenger side
Sun Visors outward toward the doors of each.
2. Lay in the Passenger side panel
4. Lay in the Drivers' side panel
5. Do the two "hand screws" first (with no preference
stated about whether you do the passenger or
drivers' side first)
6. (Looking from the rear of the hood, toward the
front of the vehicle), lock the fasteners on the
rear left of the drivers' side panel and the rear
right of the Passenger side panel (not necessarily
in that order; no preference).
7. Lock the two fasteners in the center of the two
panels, (working back to front)
8. Lock the clamps on the front of the panels,
(in no preferencial order).
9. Replace the Sun Visors in their "home"
positions.
10. Run a garden hose over the top to see if
there is any leaking. If there is, then
remove the tops and re-do these steps.

When I asked about the molding, (presuming rubber
molding on the sides of the panes), and the potential for
distortion that would not reseat well after a bad install, the Tech indicated that these are "foam" and there was
no danger of "shaping" them badly, promoting a bad seal, that would not correct itself, with a proper install.

When I asked about the "Steps" that "tdrew" offered in this thread, (having printed them out from his offering and shown them to the Tech, he did not afirm the steps as shown by "tdrew" (sorry, man..no offense intended; just stating what I ran in to) as "accurate."

So there ya go, ya'll..I'll retry the tops at some point. Perhaps this weekend. (Makes me think I should run year round with the Rag Top.....lol).

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Old 11-28-2007, 09:03 PM   #12
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Hey, no offense taken!

I think the main points are panel alignment and placing the panels without sliding them. If it was warmer outside, I'd go out and test both methods and see which works better. But I'm a wimp!

I find it the whole issue kind of interesting. Seems that some folks never have leaks, while others live with constant leaks. Lucky for me, I haven't seen any leaks, but I've only had the top off a couple of times. Maybe with some wear, that will change. Time will tell...
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:17 AM   #13
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The Service Tech DID say that "leaking" was an issue he'd seen with other customers, so let's hope that the proper install methods will alieviate the problem. Otherwise, perhaps I SHOULD run year round with the Rag Top. (they leak too?)

Seems a shame to pay for a "Hard Top" that I wouldn't be able to use, but the "leak" is soooo small that I'm not deeply disappointed.

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:09 AM   #14
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Removed the hard top so I could get to the soft top and put it away for the winter. I was in a rain storm last night and so far no leaks. I was careful when I put the hard top back on, and I was in a warm garage. I wonder if the temparture has anything to do with how well the seals mesh when installing?
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgnellett View Post
Bitch till they fix it! No excuse for that in a new vehicle. Period.
Thats what i was going to do first, but...

1. I have to go to dealer, and leave my car for at least a day (no free loaner, so i have to pay for rental)

2. Pretty much loose a day of work.

3. They will not fix it (i left it at the dealer twice already)

4. The time and money i lost by taking a car there would have already paid half for a hard top. =)
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:42 AM   #16
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Update: The Service Manager stated today that I should be getting a Service Recall on the Freedom Top (most likely a molding change in either size or type), so hang tight gang!!

Also, when I considered and inquired about an alternate Hard Top that was one piece, (without the removable panels), they stated that "due to the increased size of the 2008 (5 inches), the older Hard Tops for earlier models won't fit on the 2008."

I had the Service Department run a "leak test" and they stated that they "couldn't replicate the problem," so I wonder if the seals (moldings) on the panels may have seated themselves?



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Old 12-29-2007, 04:48 PM   #17
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ther has been a dozen bullitens on this issue and one just issued last week for them to REPLACE all the weather stripping under the top with all diferent stripping they may have finally realized the cure for the problem i tooo have the leaky top and have had it in 4 times for it
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:14 AM   #18
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I work at a Jeep dealer

I have had good success by replacing the long weatherstrip at the front of the rear section and both weatherstrips on the roof panels in the center.....

It is absolutely KEY that when installing the Tops that they be put on so that the lil rubber tab at the rear of the small sections is OVER top of the "WELL" in the long weatherstrip in the rear

Also start your tighten dow procedure with the rear most outer latch and work your way forward...then latch the windsheild and finally tighten the Two soundbar screws down as tight as you can by hand........g
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:02 PM   #19
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cool going to try that they have come out with a COMPLETE gasketreplacement for the tops at jeep dealers just came out last week the guy who sold me my jeep happens to be a personal good firend for little iver 19 years so i get pretty reliable info from him all the dealers were sent a disk (CD) with new upgrades on it and they should be sent the new gasket/ weather stripping too \

Butch
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:26 PM   #20
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I had this problem the first time I replaced the top, but have done it since a "Kajillion" times without leaks. Make sure you don't over-tighten the two black head screws to the overhead bar. That's what I did wrong the first time. It causes too much stress on the front clips and makes it leak. Hope this helps-worked for me...assuming you don't have a gasket problem.

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