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Old 05-14-2013, 02:09 AM   #1
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Freedom top misalignment question

Hi all,
The color-matched freedom tops on my JKUR are misaligned slightly with the driver side top about 3/8 of an inch off to the rear when looked at from the side standing on the rock rails.

Given several other threads about leak issues (especially in the front middle between the tops) I was hoping someone could help me understand how to resolve this. I thought perhaps it was because the interior plastic twist bolts were over-torqued pulling the top out of alignment but that's not it - they apparently just sit that way. Is this something I can resolve myself or does it require a trip to the dealer?

Would rather get this fixed now vs. wait to find out during a rain shower...

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Old 05-14-2013, 04:13 AM   #2
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Mine has been the same since brand new, I have taken fredom tops off several times and when putting them back cant align them.
Mine leaks in the middle front above dash

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Old 05-14-2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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mine were misaligned since day one too. Maybe a quarter inch fore and aft different. Mine have been off and on now probably 20 times and never a single leak. If I follow the "back to front" re-installation method the offset of the panels is less and one time even but still never had a single leak as long as I made sure to seat the panels carefully so that no part of the weather stripping was folded or kinked.

I to put them back on I put on the passenger panel in lateral locating pins first and then lower down the inboard part of the panel kind of jiggle it a little so it seats perfectly where it's trying to locate to with the weatherstripping on the freedom top and windshield. Then I get in and while holding the panel down with my left hand turn the "L" bracket by the seatbelt (back attachment point). I then hold down the panel with my right hand and lock down the clamp on the footmans loop on the windshield. Driver panel goes on pretty much the same, outboard pins first and letting it drop a couple times as it comes in contact with the other panel and the roof with a little jiggle. Then in the Jeep I don't pull down on the driver outboard side while rotating the rearward L bracket so as I turn that one it forces the panel slightly forward to be more even with the passenger panel. Then I do the L bracket that connects it to the other panel, then the L bracket at the windshield, and finally the clamp. I then put in the 2 screws but only until I get resistance. I don't crank them down at all.

In my case, whether lucky or not, I've not had a leak either from the factory or from any of the 20 or more times I've reinstalled the panels. Mine's a 10A by the way.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:43 AM   #4
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Lucky I Guess

Mine never have leaked (knock on wood) and are perfectly aligned. But, I haven't taken them off yet.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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Thanks all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorsti View Post
mine were misaligned since day one too. Maybe a quarter inch fore and aft different. Mine have been off and on now probably 20 times and never a single leak. If I follow the "back to front" re-installation method the offset of the panels is less and one time even but still never had a single leak as long as I made sure to seat the panels carefully so that no part of the weather stripping was folded or kinked.

I to put them back on I put on the passenger panel in lateral locating pins first and then lower down the inboard part of the panel kind of jiggle it a little so it seats perfectly where it's trying to locate to with the weatherstripping on the freedom top and windshield. Then I get in and while holding the panel down with my left hand turn the "L" bracket by the seatbelt (back attachment point). I then hold down the panel with my right hand and lock down the clamp on the footmans loop on the windshield. Driver panel goes on pretty much the same, outboard pins first and letting it drop a couple times as it comes in contact with the other panel and the roof with a little jiggle. Then in the Jeep I don't pull down on the driver outboard side while rotating the rearward L bracket so as I turn that one it forces the panel slightly forward to be more even with the passenger panel. Then I do the L bracket that connects it to the other panel, then the L bracket at the windshield, and finally the clamp. I then put in the 2 screws but only until I get resistance. I don't crank them down at all.

In my case, whether lucky or not, I've not had a leak either from the factory or from any of the 20 or more times I've reinstalled the panels. Mine's a 10A by the way.
Doc - mine is a 10A also. Thanks for walking me through your routine. Good to know that it hasn't caused a leak for you. Did you ever talk to your dealer about it and, if so, what was their response? Doesn't sound like something that can be easily resolved short of replacement panels, etc.

Hitting summer in SoCal so the chances of experiencing any rain in the near future are slim. Perhaps I should just hit it with the hose...
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnvilXC View Post
Thanks all!



Doc - mine is a 10A also. Thanks for walking me through your routine. Good to know that it hasn't caused a leak for you. Did you ever talk to your dealer about it and, if so, what was their response? Doesn't sound like something that can be easily resolved short of replacement panels, etc.

Hitting summer in SoCal so the chances of experiencing any rain in the near future are slim. Perhaps I should just hit it with the hose...
I have the same issue, going into the dealer Friday to address. This should be no ddifferent than a misaligned door. these are not cheap vehicles, the body shop should adjust the fit period. I'll let them fiddle around with then and ensure it is written up on each order for record keeping. Heck I'll ask them to pull a different white panel form another rig as well as examine evry one on their lot.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:08 PM   #7
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mine seem to not align perfectly at the front, along the top of the windshield...not really bad though, you can just see its not a perfect straight line across the front.
I had my fisrt leak the other day ...torential downpours and i got a few drips up front in the mifddle over the mirror..but it turns out i didn't have the handle up there turned all the way. i gave a little more twist and it stopped.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:27 PM   #8
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If I get a leak in the front middle it's usually around the torx bolt that holds middle forward latch to the drivers panel, water gets in the weep hole on the back of the drivers panel and migrates to the front causing the drip. If you have a water sloshing sound in your top it's because water got in your weep hole. Take the driver's panel off and drain the weep hole. Some have plugged this weep hole with silicone sealant for that reason. Cleaning your weather seals off before panel replacement with 303 also helps with leaks. Just some things to consider.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for the additional input folks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwarfiel View Post
I have the same issue, going into the dealer Friday to address. This should be no ddifferent than a misaligned door. these are not cheap vehicles, the body shop should adjust the fit period. I'll let them fiddle around with then and ensure it is written up on each order for record keeping. Heck I'll ask them to pull a different white panel form another rig as well as examine evry one on their lot.
Yep - I'm going to see if I can swing by my dealer this weekend to have them take a look at it and see what they can do. I have the same thoughts since this is the top of the line - a simple visual QA should have picked this up and ideally resolved it before it it left the factory.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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My third JK with hard top but first painted top. It's the 10A and was misaligned from day one(noticed the next day) but no leaks. Tried taking off and replacing, but nothing fixes it. It only sucks when I'm removing the Freedom tops and notice it!
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:19 PM   #11
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Replying just to save for reding later. Haven't taken my ht off yet but I haven't had any leaks yet either. Knock on wood.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:27 PM   #12
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Yep - I'm going to see if I can swing by my dealer this weekend to have them take a look at it and see what they can do. I have the same thoughts since this is the top of the line - a simple visual QA should have picked this up and ideally resolved it before it it left the factory.

Was wondering what dealer did when you brought this to their attention

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