I have been having a hard time with the soft top. It is tighter then a drum and after 3 weeks isnt getting much looser. Getting the top out of the sunrider position by myself has proven impossible and i dont always have a second pair of hands. So this is what I have come up with as a way to help get it on and maybe help stretch the top a bit.
This is a 36 in bar clamp I got from Lowes. I inverted it to make it a spreader and did the following.
I have done it 2x now and it works like a charm pushing the top far enough forward to get the clamp on. I still think this thing is too tight, I shouldnt need to do this but for those struggling this will help.
I did the same thing, except I used a small 6", and instead of "Spreading" I Clamped using the metal loop in the middle of the roof line (The one used for the hard top Clamps) and clamped in the middle of the soft top bar. BE ADVISED: once you get to fit one of the roof levers on it's hook, remove the bar clamp before you close the roof lever, because the bar clamp will lose it's grip and fall on the center console, And if you're lucky like me, it will strike the Navigation screen and scratch it.
The 6" bar clamp fits nicely under my seat. But I don't need it anymore, I can clamp it down by myself now.
BE ADVISED: once you get to fit one of the roof levers on it's hook, remove the bar clamp before you close the roof lever, because the bar clamp will lose it's grip and fall on the center console, And if you're lucky like me, it will strike the Navigation screen and scratch it.
Yea I figured that might be the case so I remove the spreader before i clamp it down.
If you unzip the rear window it can help lessen the tension.
Also, make sure the pins are seated in the tabs over the door - the ones you have to release to completely drop the top. If the pins aren't seated in there you'll have a tough time getting the front hooks secured.
And you do know that the clamps extend if you open then wide - right? If you open them to almost 180* they should reach and will then tighten it down as you close the clamp.
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I am opening the clamps all the way and even then they dont quite reach. I am only talking about flipping the top back not completely taking it down. I dont think I should have to take the entire back portion off every time I flip the top back. (although I did that last time and it still wasnt loose enough) I will double check that the pins are seated. But this thing is a pain in the neck to use. So much so that Im not using as much as I should.
Yes I do have clamps like those, those are the ones above the WINDSHIELD I will be referring to in the paragraph below.
When you open you SunRider top, you should slide the long barrel locks (or whatever they are) above each door, then you should move you visor out of the way and unlatch the two clamps above the windshield. Afterwards you either flip it back yourself or gas it down the street and wait til the wind catches it and flips it over. By doing that you never release an tension on the top because there are these magical little clips that hold the top into place and prevent it from flipping back all the way (picture below of clip).
What could be the reason your top has so much tension on the "CLAMPS" above the "FRONT WINDSHIELD" is because the "CLIPS" above the "DOOR WINDOWS" are not in place. If you have ever taken your top all the way down you would have had to remove these clips and likely forgot to just re-clip them afterwards. Now I did a little bit of research when I was having this problem and found that not everyone actually has these said clips I am referring to. I personally have the "premium top" so this may be a feature of them only.
If you do have the clips above the doors though, what you need to do is fold back the SunRider top and then stand on the door seal, while looking from above you will pull forward on the top until you're able to latch them into place (if it is too tight then disconnect the back window). After that you should be able to fold the SunRider back over and latch with ease.
See that little guy with three ripples on? that is the CLIP above the DOOR WINDOW
Uhm if you dont have those clips then you don't have a sunrider top, or atleast you dont have the upper door frames that go with it, which is what the clips are on. And if you used the sunrider without those clips clipped, it would be essentially impossible to put back up.
If you have the sunrider top frame, you'll have two big plastic slidy things just in front of where those clips are. You slide them and they lock it up, which is how it should be when you put the top all the way down. You slide them the other way and they uncover a hinge that folds the front part in half for the sunrider to work. You also need to accordion the fabric when you do it, and if you do it right it kind of makes a little well where the wind doesnt affect it much...and it wont droop on your head. You also need the back window open if youre going more than about 45. you could rip the top off doing it wrong.
So, let us know what you find. Do you not have the sunrider feature at all, or do you just have the wrong upper door frames?
Wait a second, you do *have* upper door frames, right?
And uhfive, you must be short. If i ever tried "gassing it down the street" to open the sunrider, the fabric would cover my face....
I have the same problem with my factory Premium top, although not nearly as bad now that it has stretched some (after about a week). It seams to be just an incredibly taught fit. On my first attempt when it was new, it took all my strength to pull the the middle cross-bar (bow?) forward enough to allow my GF to hook the clamps. I had to put the rear corners in FIRST otherwise there was going to be NO WAY for me to pull them down the 4 or so inches short they started out as.
It has gotten better with time and temperature, but I still cannot get the tailgate bar to rotate to the completely latched position...