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Old 04-23-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
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Soft top through winter

Hi All,

I want to hear from people who ran their soft top through winter. How bad was it? Cold? Drafty? Damage? Lack of rear defrost? Scraping ice?

I rang a soft top with rear glass and defrost through a couple winters and it seemed to age the top real fast. Otherwise had no issues with the glass and defrost. Would the wrangler soft top perform the same?

I like the soft top and don't really want to buy a hard top if I don't have to.

Thanks!

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:32 PM   #2
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I don't scrape the windows as they clear quickly once the heater gets going. During a heavy snow I'll clear the top after 3 inches or so accumulates to keep weight off of it.

The recirculate function of the climate control will pull some cold air in through the various cracks with the vacuum it creates.

I can't tell that the winters have had any adverse effects on the top at all. It's pretty tough.

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:42 PM   #3
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This is my first wrangler here in upstate NY, but a lot of my friends have them and not one sticks with the soft top over the winter. They all have the hard tops, which really makes it into a more livable vehicle when it's in the singe digits. Naturally the ultra cold and snow will also wear the top faster.

Robert
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:47 PM   #4
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I spent 1 winter with just a soft top in northern New Hampshire. It actually wasn't that bad. I had a few gripes: you don't want to let much snow accumulate on top so if we got 18" in a night I may have to wake up a few times to broom it off the top. Also the back window gets tons of road crap on it. I would just wash it with lots of water at a gas station but not squeegee it to prevent scratches. It's also hard to open when it gets too cold and the zippers get too salty. My biggest problem was that it was hard to load all of my ski gear in it and that's the biggest reason I got a hard top. I was never cold tho even at -25F
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:19 PM   #5
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I do it in Tahoe, but a garage helps.

Biggest issue for me is the sludgy back window after a few storms. Just not clean back there to deal with the tailgate too.

But I'm good with it. Plenty warm, I don't even have to think about it with the Jeep heater.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:16 AM   #6
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No problems here with the record breaking snow we got. I'm hard of hearing so the noise doesn't bother me. I like the connection with the outside the soft top gives me
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:51 AM   #7
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Jeep #8 here, going through many, many NJ winters. Jersey and the tri-state can be pretty brutal when it comes to winter my friend. I have had soft doors on most of them as well, along with the soft top. Frankly, there isn't much difference between the soft and hard top when you first get in in the morning on a brutally cold winter day! It's been sitting all night and it is freezing! Warms up pretty fast though...Winter *is* pretty hard on a soft top though. I am always careful not to scrape the plastic windows and scratch them up. I have a jug I fill with very warm water. I bring that out with me when I am ready to go to work. I dump the warm water on each window and the ice/crud are gone quick. Have done it too the windshield too, when it is really bad. Don't want to dump water that is hot on the windsheild or it may crack. Never had it happen to me but....Other then that, I have had no issues with a soft top in the most brutal cold....
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:57 AM   #8
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Window protection is key. The jeep does heat up quicker which is nice. The ice melts rather quick off the windows . I use a telescoping windshield brush for support in heavy snow. Right up from the center console
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:01 AM   #9
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I have a 2013 with the premium soft top. Record snow in the north east as well as cold. It was no issue at all. Make sure you do not let snow pile up more than a few inches.

It still looks as good as new.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Make sure you do not let snow pile up more than a few inches.
My post
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:40 AM   #11
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No issues at all all winter long. I live in Florida.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:45 AM   #12
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You can't call a season winter unless there's snow
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:50 AM   #13
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Wrangler has to be a great vehicle for warm climates. I am going to get like 3 months if I am lucky. Then ratchet down the hatch and crank the heater.

I am thinking of running the soft top year round... For the cost of hard I will just buy a new soft top in 5 years.

Mopar makes hard tops out of unicorn horns so I understand the price.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:49 AM   #14
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This winter was one of the worse ones in recent history here in NJ. I have the regular soft top on mine, and had no issues whatsoever. The heaters in the JK are like small nuclear reactors, and I never got cold while riding inside.

Like it was mentioned before, once the heat comes on, the windows thaw off quickly. I'd go outside to warm up the Jeep, turn on the defrosters and heat, and everything would be peachy when I was ready to go. No damage or anything all winter.

If we were getting heavy snowfall, every couple of inches or so, I'd go outside and brush the snow off the top though. No need to have 8 inches of snow sitting on the soft top if I can avoid it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #15
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I'd go outside to warm up the Jeep, turn on the defrosters and heat, and everything would be peachy when I was ready to go.
I still don't understand why people feel the need to let a fuel injected jeep "warm up" like we used to have to do with carbs. All your doing is wasting gas and letting carbon build up in the engine. Turn the jeep on a drive for 5 minutes and it will fully heat up itself.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:08 AM   #16
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Biggest thing I noticed was the "white" salt residue in the seams, even after repeated warm baths in shop. I have it almost removed now. Have never scraped a window yet and don't plan to so I don't think window damage will b an issue. When it "has" to sit out, I use block heater and it warms up real quick. No real issues with defrosting/ice either. Heat is not an issue either and I like the outdoor noise all year long actually. Would not trade it!
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ada111 View Post
Hi All, I want to hear from people who ran their soft top through winter. How bad was it? Cold? Drafty? Damage? Lack of rear defrost? Scraping ice? I rang a soft top with rear glass and defrost through a couple winters and it seemed to age the top real fast. Otherwise had no issues with the glass and defrost. Would the wrangler soft top perform the same? I like the soft top and don't really want to buy a hard top if I don't have to. Thanks!
I've had three Wranglers with soft tops and I've lived in northern Michigan and northeast Ohio all of that time. The biggest problem I've had is slush and salt freeIng on the back window. I handle it like a couple of others have: when I get where I'm going, I pour some warm water on it and then carefully wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth or two. No other problems with snow or being too cold inside or things like that.

Make that FREEZING on the back window.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:05 PM   #18
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Removing a hard top in the summer is a much greater pain in the ass than dealing with a frosty rear windshield on the soft top during wintertime.

It gets ass-cold in the winter here, but that's what the heater is for. There was never a time when the heater wasn't enough to keep it nice and toasty inside. There were no leaks, and it is not drafty.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:10 PM   #19
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My TJ is 10 years old with over 165K on the clock...came with a ST...works fine...so well that when we got the '12 JK we got ST...and again no issues....had sub zero temps this past winter....did install remote start but other than that...no issue from the ST.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:52 PM   #20
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In Connecticut. Stock Rubi soft top. No issue. Of course keeping it garaged helped. But it did collect an inch or two when out during storms. Snow broom worked fine!
As was said here earlier, the crud gets sucked up on the rear window, but it wipes off. Ice doesn't stick too well to a flexible surface -- but don't slap or scrape it.
Heater was always effective..
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:01 PM   #21
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I still don't understand why people feel the need to let a fuel injected jeep "warm up" like we used to have to do with carbs. All your doing is wasting gas and letting carbon build up in the engine. Turn the jeep on a drive for 5 minutes and it will fully heat up itself.
Next time it hits zero or below outside overnight, take a quart of the oil you use in your jeep, leave it out, and check out how thick it is in the morning. Now imagine your oil pump trying to push that goo through the small passages.

When it's very cold, I'll always try to warm up until the engine comes out of fast idle. That's just me though.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:27 PM   #22
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Next time it hits zero or below outside overnight, take a quart of the oil you use in your jeep, leave it out, and check out how thick it is in the morning. Now imagine your oil pump trying to push that goo through the small passages.

When it's very cold, I'll always try to warm up until the engine comes out of fast idle. That's just me though.
^ agreed
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:45 PM   #23
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Just to throw my hat in the ring, I have a 2000 TJ (soon to be a 2015 JKUR) with one replacement Bestop soft top that has been used and abused. It is just now starting to get to the point where one of the window seams needs to be replaced. I think I replaced the factory soft top (that was falling apart) in 2007-8ish. All that being said it sat outside all winter during our heavy winter in north NJ. I had a max of 8-9 inches on the soft top at one time for about a day and had no issues (that doest include the many inches/downfalls before). In looking at the premium soft top of the 2014 JKUR it seems thinner and not as tight but my bestop did excellent through this rough winter. I myself have been debating all soft top or dual top for the new order. Being originally from FL all this snow is new to me.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:30 PM   #24
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i had the soft top al winter here in NJ,was a nasty winter,no problems for me,i dont know when i'll pput the hard top back on,maybe never or when the soft top get damage.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:33 PM   #25
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I still don't understand why people feel the need to let a fuel injected jeep "warm up" like we used to have to do with carbs. All your doing is wasting gas and letting carbon build up in the engine. Turn the jeep on a drive for 5 minutes and it will fully heat up itself.
Because my Jeep sits outside in my driveway and I like to get into a warm vehicle? I don't like driving with a jacket on, so yeah, when it's in the negatives, I like to hop in and take my jacket off and not freeze. Plus it melts the ice on the windows. Sorry if you're offended by it, but not too sorry.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:23 PM   #26
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Because my Jeep sits outside in my driveway and I like to get into a warm vehicle? I don't like driving with a jacket on, so yeah, when it's in the negatives, I like to hop in and take my jacket off and not freeze. Plus it melts the ice on the windows. Sorry if you're offended by it, but not too sorry.
I live in Labrador canada where it can get down into the -60s when it gets that cold your oil gets really thick and if you don't let your vechile warm up you will certainly break something and where out your motor before it's time not everyone lives in the tropics.
Although I wish I did
:wishing for warmer weather:

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