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Old 07-06-2013, 11:05 PM   #1
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putting up the soft top - easy with two people

while my 2013 soft top has been getting a little bit easier it's still a pain to put up by myself.

there seems to be a tensioning mechanism built into the soft top frame just above the rear roll bar. i have found that by having a second person pull down on the soft top frame in that location immediately provides the necessary reach for the front latches - easy.

without pulling down on that part of the soft top frame it seems as if the soft top does not seat properly onto the plastic frame piece due to the tension. it almost seems as though something in the frame is either missing or assembled incorrectly - but I've seen other frames and they are all the same - like Jeep designed it this way.

anyway this makes erecting the top pretty painless - no need for an upper body workout.

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Old 07-07-2013, 08:22 AM   #2
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If you have 4 door, the 2013 top should be spring assisted. (I thought even the non-premium 2013's were spring assisted). I take my top up and down by myself all the time...not really an issue. The bigger pain is either zipping up the windows when putting the top up, or rolling up the windows when putting the top down.

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Old 07-07-2013, 09:05 AM   #3
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I just discovered that i can latch the sunrider clips first, keeps the header lined up.

I always latch the front first, then clip the sail panels in.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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I took my top up and down twice yesterday (riding with the wife/kids and alone) by myself. Agree that you can just pop the top into the sunrider clips and it's automatically aligned and easy to sit in the driver's seat and just pull/clip in the front.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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It'll get harder once u have a lift/upsize your tires, but you'll be more creative. I put up the top from inside of the back seat.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
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I have a '12 4 dr with half doors, so I take off the window/door guide pieces to open it up more and look better IMO. So that removes the Sunrider latch points. Putting it up by myself is a pain! Best is to stand in the back seat and reach back so I can pull both sides forward together. Otherwise it twists and binds when I go side to side. Also I know you are supposed to "hook" the front latches, then do the sail panels, then latch the front tight... I get the slack concept there, BUT, they don't stay hooked when I go back and do the sail panels!! So I have resorted to latching the front tight and pulling down hard enough on the back roof corners to get the sail panels in. It be a bit of a pain! Luckily with our drought going on I don't have to put it up too often!
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dawhitesJKU View Post
It'll get harder once u have a lift/upsize your tires, but you'll be more creative. I put up the top from inside of the back seat.
Yes! Ya gotta "get small" and get out of the way once you get it up! :-)
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by xjcj5jku View Post
I have a '12 4 dr with half doors, so I take off the window/door guide pieces to open it up more and look better IMO. So that removes the Sunrider latch points. Putting it up by myself is a pain! Best is to stand in the back seat and reach back so I can pull both sides forward together. Otherwise it twists and binds when I go side to side. Also I know you are supposed to "hook" the front latches, then do the sail panels, then latch the front tight... I get the slack concept there, BUT, they don't stay hooked when I go back and do the sail panels!! So I have resorted to latching the front tight and pulling down hard enough on the back roof corners to get the sail panels in. It be a bit of a pain! Luckily with our drought going on I don't have to put it up too often!
I run soft half doors and take that crap off...and put it back on when i put the top up.............
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:49 PM   #9
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I run soft half doors and take that crap off...and put it back on when i put the top up.............
I hear ya... I just don't haul it with me for a weekend on the trails, but need to pull the top up for the occasional shower.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
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I hear ya... I just don't haul it with me for a weekend on the trails, but need to pull the top up for the occasional shower.
Yeah ive done that before. I usually carry doors with me too though....

Bugs the hell out of me to put the top up without the door surrounds and then have to lower it to put em back in lol
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by michiganadam
I just discovered that i can latch the sunrider clips first, keeps the header lined up.

I always latch the front first, then clip the sail panels in.
I also lift from inside the back seat, "get small" (and out!), flip back the top and latch the clips. It's e-z when you do this.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #12
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Yeah ive done that before. I usually carry doors with me too though....

Bugs the hell out of me to put the top up without the door surrounds and then have to lower it to put em back in lol
Indeed! :-) I wouldn't trade my half doors for anything, but the uppers are sure bulky to take with when you are all packed up to camp! Price you pay for how relatively solid they are. I at least often take the front one(s) if I'm traveling a ways for a few days. With the top up and those on (even without the surrounds), it is pretty cozy in the front seat in rain or nasty wind on a long hiway ride to the trail. Gotta love the options!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #13
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I don't usually put the top all the way back, and just the sunrider. What I find though is that it is hard as shit to latch the front, and i often have to brute force it. I think something is wrong, but I can't figure out what. Anyone know?
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #14
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I don't usually put the top all the way back, and just the sunrider. What I find though is that it is hard as shit to latch the front, and i often have to brute force it. I think something is wrong, but I can't figure out what. Anyone know?
After the first few times on warm days, it should work fine.

You're extending the clip out all the way?
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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I've had it since October, it feels like it is getting worse, not easier. Yes, the clips are extended all the way, and I'm scraping paint off the latches to get it to close.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:05 PM   #16
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like i said in the first post - check the soft top frame above the rear roll bar - pull down on the frame there and I bet the front latches reach very easily (although you're now in the back and can't reach). i think the spring assist of the new tops is making latching the front much harder than it should be.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:25 PM   #17
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Reading this makes me want to keep my hardtop. Now that I have a hoist it is a breeze. Miss having the soft top for sudden rain showers.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:28 PM   #18
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I can take off my soft top in less than 3 minutes and putting it back on in 2 or 5 minutes
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:01 AM   #19
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Of I had a two door it would be easy but on a 4 door it's not quite as easy especially once it's on 37's. I have 35's now.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:15 AM   #20
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I don't usually put the top all the way back, and just the sunrider. What I find though is that it is hard as shit to latch the front, and i often have to brute force it. I think something is wrong, but I can't figure out what. Anyone know?
I can't offer advice, only commiserate. I've had the top totally up and down at least a dozen times since March (sometimes left down for days over weekends) and can do that alone in a matter of minutes.

From the sunrider position, I run into the same issue as you. To latch it from there, I still need to unhook the sail panels, which is a complete pain in butt with all the windows in. Its almost less work to put the whole top up and zip the windows in than just use the sunrider feature.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:31 AM   #21
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I've own 3 jeeps, over 15 years. I don't rush it (unless its raining) and it still takes 10-15 minutes.
Maybe less if I get it to grab the latches sanding on the rear bumper.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:31 AM   #22
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I think when talking about or giving advice on raising or lowering the soft top it is important to note what year you are talking about. The addition of the spring assist has taken the raising and lower of the soft top from a complex maneuver that in most cases required a 2nd person or magic to a task that is easily accomplished by a single person in a couple of minutes. Once you get the top on the initial time and get it stretched out a little, it really is quite easy.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:09 AM   #23
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Well i have a 2008 and i stand in the back and throw the header towards where it goes and then hold the back bow from the side and jump over the side of the tub still holding it and latch one of the sunrider latches before letting go of it. or get my GF to help.

Can spring assist be added in the future to our old tops?

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