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Old 09-24-2011, 09:01 AM   #1
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Need Hardtop opinions ASAP

Looking at a 2012 with everything that I want except it does not come in Dual-Top. I'm pushing the dealer for options but I don't want to pay too much for it. What can a dealer do for me? Is it worth picking up one after market? I don't mind waiting for the hardtop as it will go on closer to winter but I do need one so I can install a car top storage. What would you do?

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Old 09-24-2011, 09:05 AM   #2
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I would get what I wanted.

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Old 09-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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I would hit Craigslist or the classifieds on the forum...I found a very hard to find 06 unlimited hard top that way...
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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I would go to a different dealer and find one with a hard top, or order one like you want. Personally I wouldn't buy one without a hard top, and I wouldn't pay a dime for the rag top. If you remove the hard top you better be very carefull reinstalling it or it may leak like a sive. I don't think the average causal jeep owner has the expertise or the patience to properly install the hard top and the front freedom panels! I would never buy a jeep if the top or panels had ever been removed. And if you order the duel top option you must remove the hard top to remove the rag top. I don't even think the average jeep tech could do this and do it properly. Not unless you want leaks and mismatched and smashed seals and some type of paint scratches or rub marks on the painted top. It would take 2 techs to start with to do it right, as if one man does it it is sure to have damage. Even sitting this top on anything but clean carpet could damage the bottom painted edge. Mine don't leak, as my top has never been removed and never will, and if it ever does leak it will be sold or traded as trying to get a jeep dealer to fix this problem is a crap shoot at best.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:35 PM   #5
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I would get what I wanted.
Yup!

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Originally Posted by KSCRUDE View Post
I would go to a different dealer and find one with a hard top, or order one like you want. Personally I wouldn't buy one without a hard top, and I wouldn't pay a dime for the rag top. If you remove the hard top you better be very carefull reinstalling it or it may leak like a sive. I don't think the average causal jeep owner has the expertise or the patience to properly install the hard top and the front freedom panels! I would never buy a jeep if the top or panels had ever been removed. And if you order the duel top option you must remove the hard top to remove the rag top. I don't even think the average jeep tech could do this and do it properly. Not unless you want leaks and mismatched and smashed seals and some type of paint scratches or rub marks on the painted top. It would take 2 techs to start with to do it right, as if one man does it it is sure to have damage. Even sitting this top on anything but clean carpet could damage the bottom painted edge. Mine don't leak, as my top has never been removed and never will, and if it ever does leak it will be sold or traded as trying to get a jeep dealer to fix this problem is a crap shoot at best.
Wow. That's a perfect reason for me to never buy a Jeep with a color matched top.

My Jeep is a Dual Top (TJ) and I love having both tops. Hard top for the winter and soft top for the summer. You can't beat it.

Mine's not a leaky JK though.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:41 PM   #6
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I would go to a different dealer and find one with a hard top, or order one like you want. Personally I wouldn't buy one without a hard top, and I wouldn't pay a dime for the rag top. If you remove the hard top you better be very carefull reinstalling it or it may leak like a sive. I don't think the average causal jeep owner has the expertise or the patience to properly install the hard top and the front freedom panels! I would never buy a jeep if the top or panels had ever been removed. And if you order the duel top option you must remove the hard top to remove the rag top. I don't even think the average jeep tech could do this and do it properly. Not unless you want leaks and mismatched and smashed seals and some type of paint scratches or rub marks on the painted top. It would take 2 techs to start with to do it right, as if one man does it it is sure to have damage. Even sitting this top on anything but clean carpet could damage the bottom painted edge. Mine don't leak, as my top has never been removed and never will, and if it ever does leak it will be sold or traded as trying to get a jeep dealer to fix this problem is a crap shoot at best.
The freedom panels arent a chore at all they can go on and off very easy without damaging the seals...I take mine on and off all the time and never had leaks. I have never removed the rear though because I dont have the space to store it.
I will always get a hard top on my jeeps...but I do wish it was easier to take off an store the rear. Ill have to try building a hoist
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:51 AM   #7
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Wow. KSCRUDE...You make it sound like taking the hard top off is hard. It's 8 screws. Me and my wife had it off the second day we bought the Jeep, and it took us less than 10 minutes. It takes 5 to put it back on. I take the front panels off almost every day. That's why it's nice having the unlimited. You can just store them in the back. When you get to where you are going. Put em back on.
Why would you buy a Jeep and not take the top off. I thought it was like a law or something. My kids would have been very upset with me if we hadn't.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:39 AM   #8
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Get it the way you like! There a lot of dealers that will work with you. I love my hard top for our hot wet summers and my soft top for our cool winters.
The Hard top is just bulky it is very easy to take the back cap off with a friend or two. I take my tee tops off all the time and I have never had a leak.
Enjoy your Jeep the way you would like too.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:25 AM   #9
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Do your shopping around online, must easier to find exactly what you want without having to play all the dealers games. Jeep.com let's you search all of the inventory from dealers. I would get the hardtop new from factory instead of buying later. If its used, it could be for sale because it leaks.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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Without taking off the Freedom top all would be Darkness and Chaos!!!

I've had my front parts off dozens of times and thus far no leaks.

The rear has never been off due to no storage.

I've got an original soft top mint unused condition that I'll never install even if I took the HT off.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:18 AM   #11
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I've gotta roll cage/padding/insulation/CB radio and

I take my "T" tops off-constantly--maybe 3-4 minutes--ya gotta doit

I'd hold out for the "dual" top, thats the only way to get the new one !!

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Old 09-25-2011, 10:06 AM   #12
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I would go to a different dealer and find one with a hard top, or order one like you want. Personally I wouldn't buy one without a hard top, and I wouldn't pay a dime for the rag top. If you remove the hard top you better be very carefull reinstalling it or it may leak like a sive. I don't think the average causal jeep owner has the expertise or the patience to properly install the hard top and the front freedom panels! I would never buy a jeep if the top or panels had ever been removed. And if you order the duel top option you must remove the hard top to remove the rag top. I don't even think the average jeep tech could do this and do it properly. Not unless you want leaks and mismatched and smashed seals and some type of paint scratches or rub marks on the painted top. It would take 2 techs to start with to do it right, as if one man does it it is sure to have damage. Even sitting this top on anything but clean carpet could damage the bottom painted edge. Mine don't leak, as my top has never been removed and never will, and if it ever does leak it will be sold or traded as trying to get a jeep dealer to fix this problem is a crap shoot at best.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:13 AM   #13
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Find or wait for a Jeep with the dual tops.

As stated earlier, get what you want.

As for removing/installing the hard top, a hoist makes it way easier.
I have had no issues with changing from hard to soft top.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:34 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info guys. I'll make sure to get the dual-top even if it means waiting for it. I'm not sure why the majority of dealers in my area are stocking only the soft top models.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:36 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info guys. I'll make sure to get the dual-top even if it means waiting for it. I'm not sure why the majority of dealers in my area are stocking only the soft top models.
Get what you want, and the dual top is a great choice
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:55 PM   #16
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I have a hard top with freedom panels and also a bestop safarai top. I have not had the hard top on since the day I brought it home. I rigged a drainage system for the cargo area for when it rains using a quadretic rubber mat, some rubber hose and the tee cup thing that is supposed to be holding the carpet down. Works for me. Bikini top takes all of 3 minutes off and on, and i just lay my rear seats down to avoid getting them wet. As for the hardtop I take it off and put it back on (sometime early november) with ease by myself. Best of both worlds and I don't fool with the hardware for the softop at all
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:10 PM   #17
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Mine don't leak, as my top has never been removed and never will.
sounds an awful lot like someone sold you a bill of goods... I have taken my hard top off several times by myself. I don't recommend it, because it's bulky, awkward, and you have to hoist it from the center and walk off the back of the jeep with it, and for one person, it's a little heavy (anyone in decent shape could heave it though... maybe 80-90 pounds), but even installing it myself it's not complicated or difficult, and there really isn't very much that you can damage doing it. Might scratch the paint some sliding it around if you're doing it single handed, but if you remove yours, and look at it, there's a lip that hangs over on the bottom that will prevent leaks no matter how much you tard it up getting it on, and the freedom top panels... seriously... that's a 30 second job, and 20 of it it spent storing the panels the only time my freedom panels have ever leaked water in the jeep is when they were left in the garage at home
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:55 PM   #18
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Wow. KSCRUDE...You make it sound like taking the hard top off is hard. It's 8 screws. Me and my wife had it off the second day we bought the Jeep, and it took us less than 10 minutes. It takes 5 to put it back on.
Let's not paint too rosy a picture, here. Taking the top off isn't too bad, but putting it on is not what I would consider "a breeze." My GF just didn't have the arm strength to keep her side up, and ended up sliding it down the side of my 2-day old Jeep. Absolutely not her fault, and the scratches and little dent aren't super noticeable, but I'll never take the top off again without a hoist. It's just too awkward, too much risk that someone's hand might slip or get pinched, and down comes the top.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:03 PM   #19
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Let's not paint too rosy a picture, here. Taking the top off isn't too bad, but putting it on is not what I would consider "a breeze." My GF just didn't have the arm strength to keep her side up, and ended up sliding it down the side of my 2-day old Jeep. Absolutely not her fault, and the scratches and little dent aren't super noticeable, but I'll never take the top off again without a hoist. It's just too awkward, too much risk that someone's hand might slip or get pinched, and down comes the top.
I bet she feels awful
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:19 PM   #20
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I would hold out and get the dual top option. Like everybody says find another dealer.

My wife and I took our JKU top off like the guys say 10min, same to put it back on. Yep she is 5'4" and had a little trouble lifting her side up, but make sure you take the side with wiper motor.

We also have the brand new soft top sitting in a corner, dont know if it will ever go on..
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:20 PM   #21
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I bet she feels awful
Oh, of course she did, and I felt terrible for putting her in such a position. I should have thought ahead. But it's over, move on.

On the plus side, I have my first ding out of the way and it was my fault. I much prefer that over some random door ding in a parking lot.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:18 AM   #22
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Let's not paint too rosy a picture, here. , too much risk that someone's hand might slip or get pinched, and down comes the top.
This is a true statement. The wife did get her finger pinched. We were getting really good at taking the top on and off in mere minutes, and we rushed it. Stupidly having the rear doors closed while we were putting it on. She got her finger pinched pretty good when it got caught between the door and the top as I was moving it into place. My bad.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mr. Fish

Let's not paint too rosy a picture, here. Taking the top off isn't too bad, but putting it on is not what I would consider "a breeze." My GF just didn't have the arm strength to keep her side up, and ended up sliding it down the side of my 2-day old Jeep. Absolutely not her fault, and the scratches and little dent aren't super noticeable, but I'll never take the top off again without a hoist. It's just too awkward, too much risk that someone's hand might slip or get pinched, and down comes the top.
MrFish: very cool of you for worrying more about you GF's fingers getting pinched over the scratch.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:13 AM   #24
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The 2012 leaking top thread is already 113 posts long and has been viewed by over 4020 members. So maybe Captain Fun Buzz does have a valid point. I just know what I read. Now I see jeep owners are being injured trying to remove and replace the hardtops. And jeeps are being damaged just like I said. From now on XPADREX just call me CFB for short. I put over 700 miles on my jeep this weekend, and had it washed at the Blue Beacon truck wash last nite and still no leaks. And no air leaks at 70 to 80 mph. Hard top all the way for me!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:55 AM   #25
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I would go to a different dealer and find one with a hard top, or order one like you want. Personally I wouldn't buy one without a hard top, and I wouldn't pay a dime for the rag top. If you remove the hard top you better be very carefull reinstalling it or it may leak like a sive. I don't think the average causal jeep owner has the expertise or the patience to properly install the hard top and the front freedom panels! I would never buy a jeep if the top or panels had ever been removed. And if you order the duel top option you must remove the hard top to remove the rag top. I don't even think the average jeep tech could do this and do it properly. Not unless you want leaks and mismatched and smashed seals and some type of paint scratches or rub marks on the painted top. It would take 2 techs to start with to do it right, as if one man does it it is sure to have damage. Even sitting this top on anything but clean carpet could damage the bottom painted edge. Mine don't leak, as my top has never been removed and never will, and if it ever does leak it will be sold or traded as trying to get a jeep dealer to fix this problem is a crap shoot at best.
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The 2012 leaking top thread is already 113 posts long and has been viewed by over 4020 members. So maybe Captain Fun Buzz does have a valid point. I just know what I read. Now I see jeep owners are being injured trying to remove and replace the hardtops. And jeeps are being damaged just like I said. From now on XPADREX just call me CFB for short. I put over 700 miles on my jeep this weekend, and had it washed at the Blue Beacon truck wash last nite and still no leaks. And no air leaks at 70 to 80 mph. Hard top all the way for me!
Wow people . Get or make a hoist (it should cost less than $100). If you don't have a garage or carport, find a friend. I can take it off or replace it perfectly and leak free by myself in less than 10 minutes, and that's not even trying, With a little hustle I could probably do it in 5. I replaced the torx bolts on the back tub with "wing nut style" bolts, the only two bolts I need the ratchet for are the front ones. As far as the two front panels, I take them off and replace them nearly every day, sometimes several times a day. If you have a leaky top, you have a leaky top, it has nothing to do with "overuse damage". The front two panels are so easy to do correctly that I usually simply place them down and my 2 and 4 four year old children do the rest (I just double check the thumbscews for tightness). If you are too scared to take off your top for fear of damaging it and getting stuck with a leaky Jeep, why did you buy a wrangler? No ill will meant here, to each there own, I guess- just so long as it makes you happy...

As a disclaimer, I personally would never buy the body matched top myself, 1. for personal cosmetic opinions, and 2. I can see how you could easily scratch that paint if you are careless removing or replacing it.

For my purposes, the hardtop is the way to go. I can take off the front panels in less than a minutes, store them in the back for quick replacement. When the weather is looking good for 2 days or more, off comes the top (and usually the doors). I am speaking again as someone with a garage, if I did not have a garage to install a hoist and store my hardtop from the ceiling in, I would likely be feeling differently. I also appreciate the security as I regularly park my Jeep at an out of the way trailhead for an overnight (or longer) backpacking trip, and it would make me feel pretty sad to come back to a knifed soft top.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #26
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freedom top misalignment

yesterday after hard steady rain ! (yes, finally a hard rain in Dallas area !)
I had a puddle in rear seat Driveway is uphill park for Jeep, so at that angle a small leak on left side. Discovered left side top not completely square when I reinstalled in the dark about a week ago ! Took off, in rain, repositioned and no leakee... Just need to pay attention next time

Had just installed leather interior last week, so the timing was excellent, just wiped it out with sponge and towel.. Done !

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