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Old 03-02-2014, 10:48 AM   #31
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$450 for a used factory soft top a good deal? (Not premium) All hardware but a few bolts that I believe I can pick up for a few bucks
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:56 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo2487 View Post
$450 for a used factory soft top a good deal? (Not premium) All hardware but a few bolts that I believe I can pick up for a few bucks
I just picked up a factory top from a guy that hadn't been used and paid $250 from an ad I found on Craigslist. I would have easily paid $450 for a top in good condition considering how much a new top with hardware costs. If you have the hardware, especially the surrounds, that's not bad at all. IMO anyway.
By the way thanks to all who contribute! This information is extremely valuable for the novice guy like me! So glad I found this page.

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Old 03-02-2014, 11:03 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHawaiiSurfer View Post
I just picked up a factory top from a guy that hadn't been used and paid $250 from an ad I found on Craigslist. I would have easily paid $450 for a top in good condition considering how much a new top with hardware costs. If you have the hardware, especially the surrounds, that's not bad at all. IMO anyway.
By the way thanks to all who contribute! This information is extremely valuable for the novice guy like me! So glad I found this page.
Make sure you come back and post again after you install and let us know if you learned any tricks or found any good install videos or anything!
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:33 PM   #34
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Building a MOPAR Sunrider top from scratch

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarBrite View Post
Make sure you come back and post again after you install and let us know if you learned any tricks or found any good install videos or anything!
Great thread; thanks Star; nice to know you have that nice new Celtic Jeep rolling!

If anyone needs help on assembling their soft top from scratch, I'll throw in some lessons learned. I bought a MOPAR sunrider top as an OEM accessory (completely unassembled). Khaki top was not available with the semi-assembled dual top option, just black. So I got it in pieces in a box. I understand the Bestop kit is pretty similar, but this one was branded MOPAR.

Original plan was to let the dealer assemble and install it, and I would toss the hardtop in a buddy's pickup. They were busy and I was in a hurry, so I just tossed the box into the back of the Jeep and took it home.

Took me most of the next day to build it, but it came out nice. It was not entirely intuitive. You definitely want to do it on a warm day; that new material needs heat to stretch. Outside in sunshine is best. I was lucky; had a sunny 85 degree day in late December.

Recommended tools: it will help to have a lightweight electric screwdriver rather than a heavy duty driver drill, so as to not strip out the sheet metal screws in the relatively soft frame tubing. You can use a hand screwdriver, but it will take time.

Tip: it was easier to work inside my JKU with the back seat folded, so I had plenty of room to move around.

MOPAR instructions: whoever (or whatever software) wrote the MOPAR instructions almost certainly never assembled one, and I doubt he was a native English speaker. Maybe the French directions were better. The diagrams were helpful, but some stuff just didn’t work for me. Here are my work-arounds:

1) Header assembly:

The suggested method for attaching the top fabric to the header bar (two piece sandwich assembly) was to tape it in place, but the tape I had didn't hold. So I just worked the top channel carefully into the header by hand, not tightening the screws on the inner header plate until everything was secure and aligned. The little needle mark on the fabric for center was a big help; be sure to line this up carefully.

2) Framework assembly:

I found that assembling the frame in place on the Jeep worked a lot better than the suggested method of assembling framework upside down and then lifting entire assembly into place. I was working solo. It went together fine piece by piece on the Jeep; even with help I think I would assemble it in place, just to make sure everything went together correctly. Like building an erector set project.

3) Attaching fabric to bows:

Before screwing the fabric flaps to the bows under the top (with a couple dozen little panhead sheet metal screws), I left the top up for about a week, just to make sure everything had stretched into place right. I found some of the needle alignment marks were off some; to get the top straight I needed to adjust where the fabric tabs screwed in.

4) Lost parts:

Of course I dropped one screw which disappeared under the Jeep seat and carpet and spent an hour finding it. If I were doing it again I would buy a few extra panhead screws in advance just in case.

It was worth the trouble as I really like the Khaki diamond top. Quality is excellent; no leaking in some heavy rain. The K9s are happiest with it down!
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:11 PM   #35
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Thanks for your writeup on your sunrider install. It'll no doubt come in handy.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:30 PM   #36
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Thanks, baxterpass! Those are JUST the kinds of things I was hoping we could collect here.

And thanks to tabber for making this a sticky for us! I can't believe I forgot to say it earlier!
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:46 PM   #37
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45 days

cant wait to have it warm up...-4 degrees today
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:41 AM   #38
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Windchill here this morning is 9*!!! This is NOT what Texas weather is supposed to be like!
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:30 AM   #39
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Thanks to dallasjku for posting this video in another thread!

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Old 03-03-2014, 09:33 AM   #40
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Taken from thread: Premium soft top reinstall pain in the a**:

Quoting Doctorsti (thanks!):

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarBrite
Heh... Be careful letting salesmen loose on your jeep! I asked mine for a lesson the night I picked up and they were so clueless I asked them to stop before they broke it or scratched my paint.

Maybe ask if someone in the service department can help you out. I'd trust that they might have at least a tiny bit of experience with them, while salesmen might NEVER open or close a top.

Good luck!


Yes, this. I would not let a dealer touch my top. I'm sure some out there are way more knowledgable then I but there are also just as many if not more who don't care if they sell a Compass or a Rubicon.

I know on the passenger side I have to push up on the header a little bit as I close down the latch to it's final position so as to not pinch the weatherstripping up and get a leak. I found this out through much trial and error and if I put a little upward pressure on the header bar as I am pushing down the latch it doesn't pinch up the gasket.

My procedure for getting my top latched last summer the first couple times was partially latch the front with the sail panels not attached, pull very hard down on the rear bow to pop in the sail panels, install rear side windows and only zip the tops a few inches install back window and zip mostly closed, finish the side zippers, finish the back zippers and tailgate bar. Latch the front down fully.

Now if I opened the sun rider even on a hot day I would have to unzip rear side windows partially, unzip rear window partially release the sail panels and then latch the header half way (latches hooked but open) then go through the process again to close it fully. It was that tight for a month or more in the middle of summer.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:58 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarBrite View Post
Thanks to dallasjku for posting this video in another thread!

Great demo.

I've actually found it easier if you hook the front latches into the frontman loops, but don't pull them shut until AFTER you've installed the rear and side windows. It allows a bit more play and makes zipping them easier.

Then pull the latches closed.

If you install the windows before setting the hooks, you're in for a real challenge getting the hooks to the frontman loops becomes nearly impossible.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:01 AM   #42
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Thanks, nuke! I'm sure everyone will benefit from your critique of his process!

You may wind up the recipient of more than a few PMs when I try to open/close my top the first time.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:21 AM   #43
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This is a great post.

I just got the Quadratech summer top combo that was posted. Need to wait for warmer weather to install it, but I'm looking forward to the openness. I'm glad you mentioned the option of not cutting into the padding. I'm hesistant to do that since my Jeep is brand new, so I'll see how that works out. Planning on trying to waterproof the fabric with a good sealer too.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:08 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillshmill View Post
This is a great post. I just got the Quadratech summer top combo that was posted. Need to wait for warmer weather to install it, but I'm looking forward to the openness. I'm glad you mentioned the option of not cutting into the padding. I'm hesistant to do that since my Jeep is brand new, so I'll see how that works out. Planning on trying to waterproof the fabric with a good sealer too.
I was looking at that top before as well. Was wondering how it would perform in the rain so I could run it permanently in the spring/summer
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:36 PM   #45
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Thanks for the info in this thread! I think it even made me more confused than ever in some ways.

I ordered my 2014 JK with a hard top (I live in the frozen tundra it seems) and decided I would like the Trektop NZ. But someone mentioned that the windows are stiff, and won't roll to store in the Jeep when I'm on the road. Is that always true, or is there a way around it?

I actually prefer the OEM sunrider premium top, if it folds back easily but I didn't order it with my Jeep. I'm probably one of the few that doesn't like the look of the frame-less slanted back, but the price on the TrekTop is pretty good and I won't have to deal with the frame off and on. But we get rain coming up often where I live, and I have to have the windows with me for times like that, plus I go out to my cottage several times a week and don't want to mess with not being able to keep my windows with me in case of a quick rain.

Argggh! So now I'm once again going back and forth!
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:42 PM   #46
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Are the OEM premium and Black Twill Supertop NX more or less the same? I believe Bestop makes the OEM tops so I am assuming one equals the other? Any advantages one over the other?
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:05 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
Are the OEM premium and Black Twill Supertop NX more or less the same? I believe Bestop makes the OEM tops so I am assuming one equals the other? Any advantages one over the other?
Yup, they are pretty much the same....and yes, Bestop makes the OEM top. When you order dual tops, the boxes with the hardware say Bestop on them.


Advantages? Really only big one for the OEM top.....it already comes put together.

There is more work involved in terms of putting the Supertop NX together. If you buy a take-off top, you don't have to deal with trying to screw the sailcover (cloth) to the frame and stuff.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:42 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panthermark View Post
Yup, they are pretty much the same....and yes, Bestop makes the OEM top. When you order dual tops, the boxes with the hardware say Bestop on them.


Advantages? Really only big one for the OEM top.....it already comes put together.

There is more work involved in terms of putting the Supertop NX together. If you buy a take-off top, you don't have to deal with trying to screw the sailcover (cloth) to the frame and stuff.
Hey Mark...

You know more about the tops than I do. Does the NX have the spring assist like the OEM Premium top? That would be another big factor I could see in people's decision making. Or does that even matter with the way the NX folds?

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:59 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarBrite View Post
Hey Mark...

You know more about the tops than I do. Does the NX have the spring assist like the OEM Premium top? That would be another big factor I could see in people's decision making. Or does that even matter with the way the NX folds?

Thanks!
That is a good question.

But we have to differentiate between the tops.

There is:
Trektop
Trektop NX
Trektop NX Twill

Supertop
Supertop NX
Supertop NX Twill

The Trektop is the "slant back" version, while the Supertop is the OEM version.

None of the Trektop top models have spring assist.

I'm not quite sure about the Supertop models. I've seen a lot of conflicting info on them. I don't think they do based on the their instructions, (they are missing the spring unit), but that could have changed.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panthermark View Post
That is a good question.

But we have to differentiate between the tops.

There is:
Trektop
Trektop NX
Trektop NX Twill

Supertop
Supertop NX
Supertop NX Twill

The Trektop is the "slant back" version, while the Supertop is the OEM version.

None of the Trektop top models have spring assist.

I'm not quite sure about the Supertop models. I've seen a lot of conflicting info on them. I don't think they do based on the their instructions, (they are missing the spring unit), but that could have changed.
Hmm... I wonder if bestop would be forthcoming with that answer if I sent them an email. Or maybe they have a nice comparison they would share...

I think I may try that!



Ugh! Two day lead time for responses...
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:07 PM   #51
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Good grief...I hate spammers.....and they like this thread.

FYI all...

If you see a post from a new poster with a user name that does not make sense, (Like jghedhxjh), and their post is something small that looks familiar...(they will usually just copy part of an earlier post in the thread), don't quote them.

They have hidden spam links in thier post (it might even be a smiley). You might even notice it if you were to quote them....you will be like "why is that odd URL in hidden in their post?"
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:08 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarBrite View Post
Hmm... I wonder if bestop would be forthcoming with that answer if I sent them an email. Or maybe they have a nice comparison they would share...

I think I may try that!



Ugh! Two day lead time for responses...
I tried to look real quick on their site, but I'm at work....and for some reason people kept wanting me to work.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:12 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panthermark View Post
Good grief...I hate spammers.....and they like this thread.

FYI all...

If you see a post from a new poster with a user name that does not make sense, (Like jghedhxjh), and their post is something small that looks familiar...(they will usually just copy part of an earlier post in the thread), don't quote them.

They have hidden spam links in thier post (it might even be a smiley). You might even notice it if you were to quote them....you will be like "why is that odd URL in hidden in their post?"
Thanks for the heads up! I reported one of those jokers yesterday, but couldn't figure out what their deal was!

My bad for replying to them in the first place. This thread was the first place I saw him/her/it, and at first I thought they were just a n00b that didn't know what they were doing. I won't make that mistake again!

Sorry for interrupting you while you're at work. But it should almost be 5:00! Or at least it's 5:00 somewhere!
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:16 PM   #54
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^No worries, it is more like work keeps interupting my web surfing!

The spring assist tops have this (on the right):


I'm looking for that in the Supertop instructions....but I don't see it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:59 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Thanks for the info in this thread! I think it even made me more confused than ever in some ways.

I ordered my 2014 JK with a hard top (I live in the frozen tundra it seems) and decided I would like the Trektop NZ. But someone mentioned that the windows are stiff, and won't roll to store in the Jeep when I'm on the road. Is that always true, or is there a way around it?

I actually prefer the OEM sunrider premium top, if it folds back easily but I didn't order it with my Jeep. I'm probably one of the few that doesn't like the look of the frame-less slanted back, but the price on the TrekTop is pretty good and I won't have to deal with the frame off and on. But we get rain coming up often where I live, and I have to have the windows with me for times like that, plus I go out to my cottage several times a week and don't want to mess with not being able to keep my windows with me in case of a quick rain.

Argggh! So now I'm once again going back and forth!
Here's the deal with the Trektop NX Windows.

The rear window is just like the OEM in that it has no built in frame and will roll up just like the OEM. The side windows are a different story.

Because the Trektop NX is a frameless top, they have reinforcement built into the side windows that provide support where the sides wrap around the roll bar. It's a hard plastic piece that slides into pockets on each window. Unlike the OEM side windows and the rear window, the side windows of the Trektop NX is a triangle shape. So one side of the triangle has the hard plastic support brace. One of the other sides has the hard plastic "L" that fits in teh door channel and holds in the front side of the window. Therein lies the problem with trying to roll the side windows. You could remove the plastic support brace and roll the windows, but it would be cumbersome and then you have two long large plastic pieces to also store with the windows.

That's about the best solution you could hope for if you want to roll the windows. If you don't need use of the cargo area, you can always lay them flat and tie or weight them down. Layer some fleece blankets between each window.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:55 PM   #56
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I sold my hardtop and im getting the Trektop NX tomorrow. My plan is simple...come spring I'll remove the windows and put them in the basement and run bikini, then come fall put them back on the jeep. I'm pulling the carpet and plugs and dont care if it rains. I'll put the doors back on if it's going to be a long hard rain.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:21 PM   #57
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Just bought a OEM soft top used with all hardware for 450. Now I just need to wait for the weather to turn here in Maryland!! And need to build a hard top storage cart
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:22 AM   #58
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For those looking at replacement windows:

The rear window in the 2011 was made bigger. Side windows are the same size. So make sure what year the replacement windows are for!
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:04 AM   #59
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Is there a way to know what year your soft top frame is from? Like I said i purchased one used so don't have a box or definitive year that I know of
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:13 AM   #60
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Did you see the picture panthermark posted above? That is the spring assist bracket, which is only on 2013-14 jeeps. If you don't have that, it's pre-2013.

There was a window change in 2011 that made the rear window bigger. I am not sure how much bigger it got, but that should help you limit it to 2011 or pre-2011.

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