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Old 08-10-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
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Raising Soft Top suspiciously difficult

Hey guys,

I own a 2008 Jeep Wrangler JK X (2 door). I am a long time jeep owner, and upgraded from an older 2001 Jeep Wrangler sport. I never had any problems raising the top with my old TJ, but now with my JK it is incredibly difficult.

When I try raising the roof towards the front, it feels like the rear part of the assembly is weighing down the front, making it incredibly difficult to pull forward. My Soft top's rear window zipper is busted, so I need to keep the rear window rolled when I pull the top forward, could the added weight of the window/window bar really make it that difficult to raise? The ONLY way I can manage to get it back on is if I raise the ENTIRE assembly to the top of the vehicle, at a near 90 degree angle so that I may get the two front sides to "Click" into place into their sockets.

It is incredibly strenuous, way more than I know it's supposed to be, as I watched the video on the official jeep website, and the host does it with barely any effort and even says "It should never require much effort"

Another problem is since I am contorting the roof to get it forward, since it won't go easily, the poles shift and slant so that they rub against the padded roll bar cushions and seats, making scuff and wear marks. On top of the fact that I am putting undue stress on the entire assembly. I am getting very upset, why doesn't my jeep slide into place easily like in the video? Is it because of the weight of the rear window? Help!

Greatly appreciative,
-Adam

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Old 08-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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I would take it to the dealer and ask if someone there can help you with it. Or ask someone with the same car. You might have something installed incorrectly? I know the first time I assembled mine I had the brackets that mount to the roll bars on the wrong sides of the car. It took me some time to figure it out.

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Old 08-10-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
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The only thing is that it was factory installed, so I'd hope that they would know how to install it properly... As an aside, I am taking it to the dealer tomorrow, hopefully they'll be helpful. Does anyone know if the window is left rolled up attached to the rear of the top, does it make raising the roof significantly more difficult? Because as I stated before, in the official jeep instructional video, the guy does it with tremendous ease... (W/o the window still zipped on)
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jk'n View Post
I would take it to the dealer and ask if someone there can help you with it. Or ask someone with the same car. You might have something installed incorrectly? I know the first time I assembled mine I had the brackets that mount to the roll bars on the wrong sides of the car. It took me some time to figure it out.
You said car.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:11 PM   #5
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I have an 06 Unlimited and I am aware that there is a difference. But one thing that they both have are elastic straps that run from the back or the frame to the first rib. If those are not straight, it is H--- to pull it up. As a side note, I can't just lift mine from the side, I climb into the back seat, lean over and grab the header and pull it up over my head from the middle of the Jeep. It is too heavy to pull up from the side. The whole frame contorts.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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^^ OK, let the floggings begin I've been so good lately avoiding the word and then one slipped, must be my computer working against me or my brain hitting the wall too many times because it feels so good when you stop OK, I'm rambling.......
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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I have an 06 Unlimited and I am aware that there is a difference. But one thing that they both have are elastic straps that run from the back or the frame to the first rib. If those are not straight, it is H--- to pull it up. As a side note, I can't just lift mine from the side, I climb into the back seat, lean over and grab the header and pull it up over my head from the middle of the Jeep. It is too heavy to pull up from the side. The whole frame contorts.

Brilliant idea, I think you know exactly what I'm talking about. I'll try that method asap. Any other ideas, thanks for the help all of you =D
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
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I have the four door and don't know if this will help but I open the rear gate, lift the front and first rib, step around to the driver's side and continue lifting. Not any distortion of the bars that I can recall. It is a bit heavy though, probably even more so with the four door because it has an extra rib.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:25 PM   #9
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BTW, I wouldn't trust the dealer to get it right every time depending on who they had do it. My dealer tried to tell me that half way up on the safe zone of the dip stick after an oil change was normal. Turned out they were putting 5 quarts in instead of 6, then adding an extra half quart because it only came up to the bottom of the safe zone. But I'm happy to report that my jeep is now fully safe every oil change now. And I just got done reading my post and didn't say car once errrr once.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:26 PM   #10
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I have the four door and don't know if this will help but I open the rear gate, lift the front and first rib, step around to the driver's side and continue lifting. Not any distortion of the bars that I can recall. It is a bit heavy though, probably even more so with the four door because it has an extra rib.
My Jeep: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Guide

That is the video I keep referring to, and notice how the man stays on one side and is easily able to slide it on over? Well like you, I need to step around to the opposite side of the jeep while maintaining my hold on the rib. The problem is, then the other side of the assembly refuses to lift further, and I just keep going side to side unable to lift. The weight is excessive, which is why I am wondering if something isn't right... I am not a soft-top novice, I've had one for years (albeit it a TJ) but never had a single problem. The difficulty in raising the top is driving me nuts, I think I will try the rear seat method, but still, it is insane how easily that guy is able to lift his! What gives?? Is that normal for the rest of you??
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:34 PM   #11
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I don't know if this makes any difference but I am 6 ft tall. When I lift from the rear I can lift it pretty far. Then I step to the side and when I do the original lift, it seems to reach a somewhat of a balance point, I can't recall now but will pay attention the next time I put it up but I think I may lift the rear bow a bit at the same time. When I step around to the driver's side as the support goes up I aim for the track and it clips in on the driver's side then I go over to the passenger side and arrange that one into the track and clip that one in. Then I usually stand on the doorway and lift the front and pivot it forward.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:43 PM   #12
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I am on the shorter side: 5'6, and unfortunately the 2 door doesn't have those wonderful sliding racks. Just the same though, I'd imagine it to be easier than the 4 door... I don't know, but it is a complete SOB to get on, and I am losing patience, hence me taking it to the dealer tomorrow to look at it. I bought it from them a month ago so hopefully they'll be helpful, and not like a typical dealer...
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:07 PM   #13
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My Jeep: 2008 Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Guide

That is the video I keep referring to, and notice how the man stays on one side and is easily able to slide it on over? Well like you, I need to step around to the opposite side of the jeep while maintaining my hold on the rib. The problem is, then the other side of the assembly refuses to lift further, and I just keep going side to side unable to lift. The weight is excessive, which is why I am wondering if something isn't right... I am not a soft-top novice, I've had one for years (albeit it a TJ) but never had a single problem. The difficulty in raising the top is driving me nuts, I think I will try the rear seat method, but still, it is insane how easily that guy is able to lift his! What gives?? Is that normal for the rest of you??

first of all, as stated earlier, you WILL (if you are alone) have to get into the back seat to lift up the roof.
second, you didn't notice that bad hair cut guy had help getting the roof up? watch the pair of hands quickly as he gets the roof up. i believe he has some lady helping him.
you can't lift it up on the side by yourself. to heavy.
do what bad haircut guy did and have someone help you.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:14 PM   #14
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first of all, as stated earlier, you WILL (if you are alone) have to get into the back seat to lift up the roof.
second, you didn't notice that bad hair cut guy had help getting the roof up? watch the pair of hands quickly as he gets the roof up. i believe he has some lady helping him.
you can't lift it up on the side by yourself. to heavy.
do what bad haircut guy did and have someone help you.
hahaha you just made me crack up, I can't believe I didn't notice that creepy slender hand peaking from the side of the frame. Good eye there haha, and thank you for concluding with that advice, your post was both informative and amusing lol. He kind of looks like an old hitler jugend or something.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:15 PM   #15
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Are you pulling the Two Bow and the Three Bow up at the same time? If you don't pull the Three Bow up as you're pulling the front part of it, it will hang up in the rear, and appear as though it's too heavy. I noticed this the first couple of times I did my 2-Dr JK, and I went back and watched the Video a couple of more times. Hope this helps! Once I get the Three Bow moving forward, the whole top just seems to literally, fall into place. If this doesn't work for you, can you possibly take some pics with your top down, and focus on the Two Bow and Three Bow? They may indeed be mounted incorrectly.

One last thought... you're not connecting the Sail Panels (rear panels) before you fully raise the Top, are you? Like I said... just a thought.

BTW, I raise my Top by pushing it up from the rear, after I've opened the Tailgate. It's much easier than trying it from the side by myself.

Cheers!

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:20 PM   #16
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I'm able to get it by myself up from the side. I lift all the bows together until they are all above the roll bar and them pull things forward. It seems easier once the bows are actually up.

Also, I usually keep the back window attatched and rolled up and is hasn;t made a difference than I've noticed.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:25 PM   #17
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first of all, as stated earlier, you WILL (if you are alone) have to get into the back seat to lift up the roof.
second, you didn't notice that bad hair cut guy had help getting the roof up? watch the pair of hands quickly as he gets the roof up. i believe he has some lady helping him.
you can't lift it up on the side by yourself. to heavy.
do what bad haircut guy did and have someone help you.
Freak, we're both from Jersey! I'm from Union County.
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:47 AM   #18
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Make sure you have the sun rider sliders pushed all the way back in lock. This makes a HUGE difference. I noticed that myself. It goes straight up. I just push it from behind. Also it helps to get on the back bumper. I can get my top up in less than 5 minutes. Thats my 2 cents.
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:57 AM   #19
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I open my tailgate, stand on the bumper and lift the hoops up so they can pass the sides of the roll over frame..Once all is clear (be sure the rear hold down straps are not twisted or shifted..) I lock the sides in first, then secure the front latches..Oh yes that video is "perfect" why.. there is another person helping out on the other side whilst raising the top...
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:05 AM   #20
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I have an 06 Unlimited and I am aware that there is a difference. But one thing that they both have are elastic straps that run from the back or the frame to the first rib. If those are not straight, it is H--- to pull it up. As a side note, I can't just lift mine from the side, I climb into the back seat, lean over and grab the header and pull it up over my head from the middle of the Jeep. It is too heavy to pull up from the side. The whole frame contorts.
x2 on that method. I stand on my back seat, and stretch out each arm to grab each side assembly and than it for the most part lifts up pretty easily and rests on top of the Jeep. I can than get out and fold down as usual...Once I figured this out, it is muchhh easier..
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:25 PM   #21
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Freak, we're both from Jersey! I'm from Union County.

so if you need help just drive up the pike!
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:45 PM   #22
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back flaps of 4 door soft top dont fit

I have a 2008 4dr Rubicon and am having the hardest time with my soft top. First I was a previous Jeep owner and know my 1989 laredo was never this difficult. This seems like a 2 man job. When I finally get the top up I find that the tail/back flaps will not fit all the way and I have to bend the rear row bar to even have a chance of getting the back peices semi-attached. inevitably when I am driving they dislodge and are flapping everywhere creating a distracting noise and visual. I am thinking of going back and demanding a new soft top as well as a demonstration by their guys of how to easily raise this up. anyone seeing the same with theirs?
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:13 PM   #23
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I have a 2008 4dr Rubicon and am having the hardest time with my soft top. First I was a previous Jeep owner and know my 1989 laredo was never this difficult. This seems like a 2 man job. When I finally get the top up I find that the tail/back flaps will not fit all the way and I have to bend the rear row bar to even have a chance of getting the back peices semi-attached. inevitably when I am driving they dislodge and are flapping everywhere creating a distracting noise and visual. I am thinking of going back and demanding a new soft top as well as a demonstration by their guys of how to easily raise this up. anyone seeing the same with theirs?
On the following link, select "Chapter 3 To Lower the Soft Top", or "Chapter 4 To Raise the Soft Top."

Wrangler Soft Top Video's (Link)

Hopefully these video's will help!

EDITED TO ADD: ARE YOUR CHECK STRAPS IN THE REAR GETTING TANGLED UP???

Best of Luck!

Cheers!

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Old 08-27-2009, 06:26 PM   #24
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X2 and yes you do have to pull down on the bow to attach the valances. That is waht keeps them tight. Just make sure that they are centered in the corner. After you have them tucked under the lip of the tub, push in on the very bottom edge to make sure that they are secure. I bought mine and had it installed by the stealership and they couldn't show me how to do it. So good luck there. I don't know how long you have had the soft top, but keep in mind that they do stretch a little and it will get easier. Mine is a 2 door and unless I stand on the bumper or in the back seat, it is a 2 person job to put it up.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:35 PM   #25
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X2 and yes you do have to pull down on the bow to attach the valances. That is waht keeps them tight. Just make sure that they are centered in the corner. After you have them tucked under the lip of the tub, push in on the very bottom edge to make sure that they are secure. I bought mine and had it installed by the stealership and they couldn't show me how to do it. So good luck there. I don't know how long you have had the soft top, but keep in mind that they do stretch a little and it will get easier. Mine is a 2 door and unless I stand on the bumper or in the back seat, it is a 2 person job to put it up.

JD!

Have you tried opening the Tailgate Door, and Lowering/Raising the Top from the Rear? I do mine all of the time, just standing at the rear of the Jeep, and Pushing/Pulling on the 3-Bow to get it Up/Down, and it's a snap. Once I have the 3-Bow up and away from me, it's easy to walk around and snap in the front clips, or, pull the canvas back and tuck it in as I'm lowering it.

Give it a try the next time you're Lowering/Raising it.

Best of Luck!

Cheers!

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Old 08-27-2009, 10:49 PM   #26
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I have a 2008 4dr Rubicon and am having the hardest time with my soft top. First I was a previous Jeep owner and know my 1989 laredo was never this difficult. This seems like a 2 man job. When I finally get the top up I find that the tail/back flaps will not fit all the way and I have to bend the rear row bar to even have a chance of getting the back peices semi-attached. inevitably when I am driving they dislodge and are flapping everywhere creating a distracting noise and visual. I am thinking of going back and demanding a new soft top as well as a demonstration by their guys of how to easily raise this up. anyone seeing the same with theirs?
I had an '07 4-door Sahara and the soft top was a bear to either take down or put up, so much so that after the 1st summer I said to heck with it, put the hardtop on and took off the Freedom Panels when I wanted some "open air." I was surprised because I had formerly had TJs with soft tops that I got very adept at and did not fear. I am back in a JK 2-door soft top and it is just like old times with the TJ. The 4-door adds so much length it makes the soft top cumbersome, and I also noticed I didn't really get the top down effect anyway because of the doors, "sport" bars, etc. That's my .02
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:47 AM   #27
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Try this video. There is one for four doors and two doors. Helped me a great deal with my four door.

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Old 08-29-2009, 10:03 AM   #28
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...... The ONLY way I can manage to get it back on is if I raise the ENTIRE assembly to the top of the vehicle, at a near 90 degree angle so that I may get the two front sides to "Click" into place into their sockets. .....
well, that is the way to do it actually, you should first fix the front part into the sockets and then the back of the top, the side windows and the back window.
btw, you are speaking about raising the top after using it in sunrider position or after totally folding it down? if after sunrider, you should not disconect the two buttons on top of the doors, they keep the top in place and when you are trying to close it back you get the feeling the top weighs back (happend to me the first time... actually the entire top moved backwards while I was driving and I needed help from two people to pull it back...)
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:54 PM   #29
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TJ top

I have an 02 TJ with the Bestop. It is a work out to get the front latches to make it down to the slots. I have to push on the front of the frame with a long handle, and fight it for about 5 minutes just to get them in the slots. Something's gotta be wrong or no one would ever take the darn thing back down. Is there any kind of tension adjustment on the TJ, or some trick I am missing?
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:57 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by dflow
I have an 02 TJ with the Bestop. It is a work out to get the front latches to make it down to the slots. I have to push on the front of the frame with a long handle, and fight it for about 5 minutes just to get them in the slots. Something's gotta be wrong or no one would ever take the darn thing back down. Is there any kind of tension adjustment on the TJ, or some trick I am missing?
Yes , those latches will go down farther if you lift the other part of the latch up further . I had the same problem as you, then figured it out now its easy . If you're not sure what I'm talking about I can send a pic .

Also do not attach the back of the top into the rails near tail gate before you attach the front latches . Hope it goes easier

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