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Old 06-09-2013, 09:33 AM   #1
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Hard Top removal,,, or Not?

Will I have problems with leakage, fitment of my removable roof panels after reinstalling hard top? Want to take it off but afraid nothing will fit afterwards. I have 2010 sport.

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Old 06-09-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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Will I have problems with leakage, fitment of my removable roof panels after reinstalling hard top? Want to take it off but afraid nothing will fit afterwards. I have 2010 sport.
Just took mine off Friday. It is a 2 door 2013 model, and I don't see any problems. I have had the front panels off several times without any leaks. The rear has locator pins, so lining up should be spot on. I also did the spot mirror trick on my A/C vents so I can see if anything is on the side of me.

I say go for it.

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Old 06-09-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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Will I have problems with leakage, fitment of my removable roof panels after reinstalling hard top? Want to take it off but afraid nothing will fit afterwards. I have 2010 sport.
I do not know why you would. Put it back on straight and screw it down.

Not sure how much this matters, but I lay the bolts or screws out in order so i put them back in same holes. Figure fit is better.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by nealwiley View Post
Will I have problems with leakage, fitment of my removable roof panels after reinstalling hard top? Want to take it off but afraid nothing will fit afterwards. I have 2010 sport.
2013 sport JKU here, done it several times... Idk if you have the organizer/storage in the rear for te bolts as well
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by nealwiley View Post
Will I have problems with leakage, fitment of my removable roof panels after reinstalling hard top? Want to take it off but afraid nothing will fit afterwards. I have 2010 sport.
I have a 2010 sport, The top has been on and off a few times and the freedom panels have been on and off too. No leakage problems at all when the tops are back on.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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Removing the top won't contribute to leaks. If it leaks, it leaks but it won't be due to taking the top on and off. It's too much fun not to take the top off. Just wet the seals with lithium grease every few months and that will help with leaks
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Same with me. Off and on, no problems. Just put the freedom panels on and line them up properly. There should not be any problems at all unless you have bad weather stripping or it's not put on properly.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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Just wet the seals with lithium grease every few months and that will help with leaks
This is great advice, keep your seals in good shape and you'll be good to go.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:58 AM   #9
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The first time I took mine off of my 2013 JKR I didn't tighten down the huge screw on the drivers side that connects the freedom panels with the rear top. It was snug but not as tight as I could make it.. We had heavy rains that night and the next morning there was a very very little bit om leakage (maybe an ounce of water if that) but I realized it was because I didn't tighten them as far as I could. Since then I have taken them on and off several times and been through heavy rains with no leakage....

Part of the awesomeness of having a jeep is to take your top off.... just do it and don't look back
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:10 PM   #10
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Thanks, its coming off!
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pingjockey View Post
The first time I took mine off of my 2013 JKR I didn't tighten down the huge screw on the drivers side that connects the freedom panels with the rear top. It was snug but not as tight as I could make it.. We had heavy rains that night and the next morning there was a very very little bit om leakage (maybe an ounce of water if that) but I realized it was because I didn't tighten them as far as I could. Since then I have taken them on and off several times and been through heavy rains with no leakage....

Part of the awesomeness of having a jeep is to take your top off.... just do it and don't look back
I run mine without the big screws all the time and no leaks at all. I've taken mine off 10+ times and no issues. The big screws have very little to do with the leaking.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nealwiley View Post
Will I have problems with leakage, fitment of my removable roof panels after reinstalling hard top? Want to take it off but afraid nothing will fit afterwards. I have 2010 sport.
We removed ours on our 2013 the other week for a few days but put it back on due to the rainy forecast. It's my wife's DD and she has a thing about driving back and forth to work in the rain. I don't know why - she gets wet in the shower.

After we reinstalled it there haven't been any leaks, although we've had some major thunderstorms since then.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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I run mine without the big screws all the time and no leaks at all. I've taken mine off 10+ times and no issues. The big screws have very little to do with the leaking.
Wow, I had no idea... I can see the big screws causing the freedom tops to make a tighter seal as I see them compressing down. I figured that was my issue....


Does anyone else just leave the big screws out?
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:17 PM   #14
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Does anyone else just leave the big screws out?
Yep I figure I'll them in come winter but for now I've had to bounce between topless/hard top due to spring rain.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:00 PM   #15
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My CG JKU is the first Wrangler I've owned with a hard top. I removed the freedom panels today for the first time. Wow, what a nice alternative. Not quite topless, but better than a sunroof.
Panels went right back in place. I don't anticipate any leaks.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:13 PM   #16
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I experienced a leak after reinstalling my panels a few times but it seemed random. Sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't. The location of the leak was always the same though, at the very front near the windshield, right in the middle where the two panels meet. Very annoying as the water would spill right onto my radio. I have recently started something new. I install the panels in the same order like you have to, passenger first then driver side. But I latch the drivers side panel down first, and then latch the passenger side down.

Hasn't leaked since! Luck? Maybe, but for now I'm chalking it up to creative genius lol.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:29 AM   #17
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My CG JKU is the first Wrangler I've owned with a hard top. I removed the freedom panels today for the first time. Wow, what a nice alternative. Not quite topless, but better than a sunroof.
Panels went right back in place. I don't anticipate any leaks.
Oh well. Hoping for no leaks was wishful thinking. Everything in the glovebox got soaked as well as the sound bar over the driver's seat. I'll take them off and try to reposition them. We're in for more rain here, so hopefully it does he trick.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #18
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My Freedom panels come out all the time and I have had the hardtop off only once so far. I have left the panel screws out for weeks at at time and so far no leaks and we have had some torrential rains the last few days.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #19
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I don't want to jinx myself but, no leaks on my '12.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:31 PM   #20
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I have a 2012 and have taken the top off multiple times. During the summer I run without the big screws so I can pull the freedom top off fast after work. No leaking yet. It is also great to run with the freedom top on and the top off. Enjoy being topless!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:23 AM   #21
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every time I take mine off I have all kinds of leaks

not a single leak when it is back on!
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:11 AM   #22
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I didn't realize hardtop leaks were even a problem. I have had my panels and the hard top on and off many times and don't recall ever having any leaks.

My soft top (supertop NX) will leak in a heavy rain; but the hard top always seals up tight.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:58 AM   #23
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Wow, I had no idea... I can see the big screws causing the freedom tops to make a tighter seal as I see them compressing down. I figured that was my issue....


Does anyone else just leave the big screws out?
I didn't leave them out at first but now I am not even sure where they are. Somewhere in the garage probably unless the missus "cleaned up". I leave the door hinge bolts off during doors-off season, too.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #24
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Both my wife and I take our freedom panels off and reinstall without the big screws. Neither of us have had leaks. We go through automatic car washes as well.

If you get leaks just get some clear silicone grease and grease all of the seals. I plan to just as preventative maintenance.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:03 AM   #25
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Our entire top has been off once...just to do it...and the freedom panels out many times. No leaks that I have seen. The big screws have been out for a while too...still no leaks. I was a little nervous on a 600mi roundtrip freeway trip w/o them, but it was fine. Just go for it, it's built to handle some exposure to the elements anyway.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:12 PM   #26
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Have any of you bought either the Mopar or Bestop HOSS dolly for the top when it's off?
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #27
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Have any of you bought either the Mopar or Bestop HOSS dolly for the top when it's off?
I have the Bestop dolly.

Works fairly well. A few pointers:

Secure your rear glass...I used some duck tape.

Put some painters tape on your Jeep just below the pillars in the rear. The dolly kind of clips onto the bottom of the pillar. There's padding inside the clip to protect your roof but what's to protect your Jeep when it slips while you are lining it up?

It comes w a single strap. I added some bungee backups.

Choose wisely where to store it. Initially I had it on the deck of my condo. I had done the measurements...no problem. Until I realized that the dolly added to the height, which made it too tall for the doorway, so me and my buddy had to tilt it. Lets just say I'm going to have some touching up to do when my hard top goes back on in the fall.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:48 PM   #28
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Wow, I had no idea... I can see the big screws causing the freedom tops to make a tighter seal as I see them compressing down. I figured that was my issue....


Does anyone else just leave the big screws out?
I leave mine out most of the time. Sometimes I just screw them in for no reason. However, when screwing them in DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN and there is no need to do so.

I had some minor drips from the front seal on the occasions when I washed it shortly after screwing these in in a gorilla-finger-tight manner. But, there were no drips in the same circumstance if I just screwed them in with a couple inch-pounds of torque (just "light-touch" tight). It's apparent to me that if I torque the big screws down too much it causes some front seal separation or reduced contact-sealing that isn't readily seen.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:48 PM   #29
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The first time we removed the Freedom Tops I had read things on here about not tightening the screws down too much when reinstalling. I loosened the first screw about 1/2 turn and then tightened it again to get an idea of how tight it had been. That thing from the factory seemed quite tight and I would almost have had to use a tool to turn it any further.

Anyway, we've always screwed them back in fairly snug and the tops do not leak.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:01 PM   #30
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Anyway, we've always screwed them back in fairly snug and the tops do not leak.
I agree, just make sure the seams are uniform and screw those back in snug. If you notice, screw one in and it lowers a tiny bit, you want the tops to be level with all gaps uniform.

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