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Old 03-24-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Not recommended for Freedom Panels

I do not recommend forgetting you propped them up on your rear bumper and backing over them with your 35"s. It tends to make them crack a tiny bit and makes them leak.

That said, should I replace them or just scrap the hardtop altogether and replace it with the soft top?

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Old 03-24-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Damn! That makes for a bad day!

As for the soft top question, that is up to you. Not sure how much freedom panels are going for, but a TrekTop NX can be had for under $600 or you can try to source an OEM top on the list of craig's.

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Old 03-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #3
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Oh crap moment for sure!

Have you tried your insurance company for help?
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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Oh crap moment for sure!

Have you tried your insurance company for help?
I don't think Geico considers ADHD a valid reason for running over your own Jeep, and I don't think Anthem BC/BS will replace the panels.

I haven't priced out new panels, but after the rain I might look at them and see if I can at least patch it up for now.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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I can say the same for Golf clubs. Luckily the bag was the only thing damaged.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:32 PM   #6
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Whether or not you go soft top or opt to get the compression-challenged Freedom panels replaced depends on your personal preferences. You have to weigh certain things like level of road noise, potential for leaks, overall security, windows that you can't use a scraper on in winter, being able to remove/replace top yourself or with a helper, storage...it's such a complex decision.

I skipped the dual top option, and went straight to the soft top. No regrets.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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How badly are they cracked?
Could some epoxy fix it??

Post pics of the panels....
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:45 PM   #8
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Are those tops a type of Plastic, or is that Fiberglass ???? I wonder if Fiber glass cloth and resin would repair those panels at least Temporarily . ???
I have one too, and anything can happen..
You might get lucky ( I never do ! ) and be able to lay em down and maybe epoxy them back into position, then use some cloth and resin to seal em up and maybe hold em together.
Might try Bondo too.....
Another Idea...If you are able to get the panels useable again, you could always cover up the inside repair with some Foam panels, help strengthen them and cover up the gobs of epoxy or bondo or what ever.. Also add a little insulation to the panels.
I'm good and cobbling things back together and covering it up !!

Good luck !....... "BH"
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:50 PM   #9
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Sounds like a factory defect to me. Jeep should at least give you a storage bag or something for the freedom panels.

If I recall, Daggo had a catastrophic failure of his soft top. Sounds like a similar type of issue.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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Or perhaps, since backing over them caused the cracking, maybe running over them in a forward gear will uncrack them.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:55 PM   #11
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How badly are they cracked?
Could some epoxy fix it??

Post pics of the panels....
I'd take some pictures but as it is currently raining, I think I'll hold off. I was able to take a look when there was a break in the weather, and it looks like there is a crack in the top, and the water is getting in through there and running out through the hole in the inner corner on the driver's side. I think I can fill the hole as I see no purpose for it (let me know if there is) and then try to seal the crack so it doesn't get in at all.

The other issue is that it must be kind of bent, because when I clamp the latch down above the visor, it either doesn't wedge on there or has to go all the way, which uses a lot of pressure. That makes it a little uneven looking at the midpoint from the outside. Fortunately the rain doesn't seem to be getting in through there. With the volume of today's rain, if it hasn't leaked from there by now, it probably won't.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:00 PM   #12
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perhaps, since backing over them caused the cracking, maybe running over them in a forward gear will uncrack them.

Just a thought.



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Old 03-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #13
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Or perhaps, since backing over them caused the cracking, maybe running over them in a forward gear will uncrack them.

Just a thought.
Well, I kind of backed over them partially - I tend to stop when I hear I've backed over something (fyi - don't park your bike behind my vehicles ) and once I saw what was happening I stopped and went forward. One was resting on top of the other, and with the tire coming off the top one, the bottom one was violently projected across the parking lot and is all scratched to hell.

I probably could've put them in the storage bag, but for as much as I throw them on and take them off, it's a pain in the rear end to use the bags each time.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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sounds like a great excuse to buy the jeetops!
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #15
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Definitely look into Craiglist/ebay for some used ones. It's probably worth saving the pita of trying to fix them...
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klkb View Post
I don't think Geico considers ADHD a valid reason for running over your own Jeep, and I don't think Anthem BC/BS will replace the panels.

I haven't priced out new panels, but after the rain I might look at them and see if I can at least patch it up for now.
I have been surprised in the past about things insurance will cover.

Found this on moparpartsamerica.com

[ 3 ] BODY HARDWARE / REMOVABLE TOP / TOP & COMPONENTS / Top panel top panel HARDTOP, 2 DOOR, black Right

MSRP Core ? Online Price $392.00 $0.00 $277.30


[ 3 ] BODY HARDWARE / REMOVABLE TOP / TOP & COMPONENTS / Top panel top panel HARDTOP, 2 DOOR, black Left

MSRP Core ? Online Price $355.00 $0.00 $251.34

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Old 03-24-2012, 08:12 PM   #17
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I think for the combined $525-ish, it's more cost effective to spend $600 on the soft top. I'll be doing that soon anyway. I stopped the leak for now, so when it's all dried out I'll seal it up. I'll just patch it, think about getting new panels when it's time to put the hardtop back on in November/December.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:06 PM   #18
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Can you get by with just replacing one of the panels? $250-$280 might be an easier pill to swallow. It would at least be worth a call to your insurance company. Comprehensive coverage is there for this type of situation. If your deductable is less than the replacement parts you should at least check into it. Just double check how the claim will affect your insurance costs long term. Worst case, it's not covered.

And yes, the storage bag is a pain to use.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:06 PM   #19
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Duct tape works. Approved by nascar
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:35 PM   #20
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I remember seeing some Freedom Panels on auction thru eBay when I was tooling around the other day.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:18 AM   #21
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I just traded my hardtop straight up for a soft top.... I guess you know my vote! I LOVE MY SOFT TOP!
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:36 AM   #22
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Spend a few bucks on the freedom Panel replacements with the built in skylights! Something like 900$
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:56 AM   #23
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Spend a few bucks on the freedom Panel replacements with the built in skylights! Something like 900$
Part of that deal is you have to send them your panels as a "core"
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:27 AM   #24
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Duct tape works. Approved by nascar
+1 best invention man ever made....cept for the JEEP!

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Old 03-25-2012, 10:10 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsvet74 View Post
Sounds like a factory defect to me. Jeep should at least give you a storage bag or something for the freedom panels.

If I recall, Daggo had a catastrophic failure of his soft top. Sounds like a similar type of issue.
Yes, my soft top leaks terribly! http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/tot...ft+top+failure
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:26 PM   #26
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+1 best invention man ever made....cept for the JEEP!

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Old 03-26-2012, 08:06 AM   #27
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I've got some black shoe goo my husband uses on the soles of the worn out shoes he loves. It'll just take a little bit of that, and I'll see if I still need to plug up that hole in the front by the visor. That still doesn't fix the part of it being slightly bent, but I can deal with that until I get the soft top.

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