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Old 12-16-2011, 02:15 PM   #1
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Soft top vs Hard top

Hello, all!
I looked through the forum and read several posts on the subject, but still not clear about it.
I am planning to order JKU within a next month, so I am looking at getting one with the soft top. The problem is, I never owned SUV with soft top, so I am hesitant to order one, but I really like something that will last at least monthly top drops. Could someone with experience of dropping soft top tell me if it's a good idea (or opposite). I heard some people have trouble putting it back up and zipping it so top doesn't leak.
Secondly, is there a benefit of having a hard top? I wouldn't be removing a back part of it since it weigh too much, and I would limit myself to opening only front panels. I am not gonna get dual top option for this particular reason.
Any comments are greatly appreciated. I need to decide soon...
Thanks,
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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Soft top = nothing like it, part of the experience and it's why your getting a Jeep.
Hard top = less noise.

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:55 PM   #3
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Soft Top is the way to go.

Your post will probably get allot of different opinions but here is mine . . .

Itís the only SUV in production today with a convertible top. The soft top is what makes a Jeep a Jeep!

Iíve driven many different convertible vehicles for the past 34 years. In fact when I ordered a convertible Mustang from the factory in 1983 I wouldnít let them sell me the air conditioning package because I knew Iíd have the top down whenever I could (I still have the car by the way). As long as you take proper care of the top it will last for years (I guess that is an intro for a whole new thread).

I have a 2007 JKU soft top with half doors. The windows come out easily and it is not too difficult to fold the entire top down. Itís great 4-wheeling in the country and having an unobstructed view is fantastic. I suppose if I lived in a harsher climate I might want a hard top but in the desert southwest a rag top is the only way to go.

Todayís Jeep soft tops are made very well (for the most part) and designed to keep out the weather. Sure they are made out of fabric and plastic but everything is replaceable.

The only major drawback of a soft top that I can think of, is theft (anyone with a sharp knife can get into a convertible). I never keep anything of value in my Jeep regardless of the top being up or down unless they are in a locked box or compartment. In fact I never lock my doors, I just turn on the alarm and let them try the doors and get an earful.

Well, Iíll step down now and let someone else have their say.

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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That works btw ^^
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
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My softtop is being replaced with a hardtop next week. The softtop is nice if you have a garage. Iíve heard itís a pain if its snows hard and its easy access for criminals. My softop was also very loud when I drove over 60. Didnít bother me, I just turned up Barbara Streisand. Iím not even going into the leaking issue. If I ever get another Wrangler it will be leak tested on the lot before I sign anything.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:05 PM   #6
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The hardtop can be very quiet/very rainproof/very security deterrent and makes carrying payloads-easy !

Soft tops are ??

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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Do you get snow where you live? If yes, do you have a garage? The soft top isn't really designed for heavy loads, so if you are in regular snow territory i'd say go dual tops. If snow isn't a problem then go for it, the soft top should be in your top 3 reasons for getting a wrangler.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:24 PM   #8
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My opinion, get both. Hard top for Winter, soft top for summer.
A hoist of some sort makes hard top removal very easy, even for if you are doing it by yourself. The only drawback is storage space for the hard top. Again, a hoist solves that, provided you have clearance in your garage. Or that you have a garage to begin with.

The hard top comes off/goes on once a year. The soft top goes up and down all Summer long.

Best of both worlds. In my opinion.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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Dagooooo will be here soon.

Im kinda wanting a Softi,,,, been over the pluses and miniuses 100 times

then thought of another minus the other day... getting into the trunk,, unlike the Hardtop , poping open,, your going to have to tuck in the softop rails each and everytime,, both opeing and closing,, PITA

But I hope to get both on my next Jeep,,, and sell the Hardtop and make some $$$$$!!!


Then I get a convert,,,, when its not 100 degrees outside,,, and sun isnt beating on me.

But thats what the bikini screen is for , right.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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If you can get both, otherwise I'd recommend the hard top. You can always add a variety of stock and aftermarket full or bikini soft tops. You could add a hard top later, but much more expensive, so better to have it built into the financing.

Plus, much easier to get a soft top through the classifieds.

I have the hard top. I have removed the front a few times. Doubt I'll remove the rear much. I'm also paranoid about it being too easy to brake into with the soft top.

Also, if you're into music, will sound better in a hard top.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Do you get snow where you live? If yes, do you have a garage? The soft top isn't really designed for heavy loads, so if you are in regular snow territory i'd say go dual tops. If snow isn't a problem then go for it, the soft top should be in your top 3 reasons for getting a wrangler.
I live in the mid-Atlantic which gets ice and snow in the Winter so I got the dual tops for the reason you mention. Enjoyed the soft top in the Fall, now have the hard top again.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:59 PM   #12
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What about just getting the hard top from the factory and getting an aftermarket soft top?
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:20 PM   #13
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What about just getting the hard top from the factory and getting an aftermarket soft top?
This is the route I am taking. Looking at the ORH soft top probably order in the next couple of weeks so I have it by spring.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:38 PM   #14
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Get a 2dr Wrangler soft top and you will kill two birds with one stone. You will have a Jeep and you will have what you have been dreaming about.

Or, you could go the 2wd four door soccer mom route....,
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basecamper

This is the route I am taking. Looking at the ORH soft top probably order in the next couple of weeks so I have it by spring.
Or by one used/new craigslist
Half the cost of OEM
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:08 PM   #16
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Or by one used/new craigslist
Half the cost of OEM
Yep that too.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:55 PM   #17
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Soft top = nothing like it, part of the experience and it's why your getting a Jeep.
Hard top = less noise.
Well said
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:42 PM   #18
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My soft top IS a dual top:

In winter it keeps snow outta my face.

In summer it keeps the wind in my face.

EDIT: I do have a garage, btw.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:31 PM   #19
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What about just getting the hard top from the factory and getting an aftermarket soft top?
x2. I have the dual top and if I had to do it again, I would have gotten the hard top and bought an aftermarket top. THere are a number of options and many of them are made with the same materials used by Jeep.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:32 PM   #20
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Get a 2dr Wrangler soft top and you will kill two birds with one stone. You will have a Jeep and you will have what you have been dreaming about.

Or, you could go the 2wd four door soccer mom route....,
I have read a number of your posts. Not sure if it's me, but your style of writing makes you seem like a jerk.

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Old 12-16-2011, 09:56 PM   #21
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Ughhh, these kind of threads never end up well.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:56 PM   #22
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I have read a number of your posts. Not sure if it's me, but your style of writing makes you seem like a jerk.

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It's not just you.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:05 AM   #23
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I ordered with the dual top option.

I'm now considering selling my hardtop.

Without a pulley to get the hard top off (the garage door placement is such that a pulley system won't fit in my garage) putting on the hardtop is such a pain in the ass that I usually am very angry by the time it's done. And invariably I end up with a couple more scratches on the top or the tailgate. It's so maddening that I don't ever want to do it.

On the other hand, the soft top does everything I need it to. Sure it's louder -- but not THAT much louder. It stays tight and doesn't get noisy on the highway like some of the older tops do. It's completely dry in the rain (knock on wood). When it gets cold, the soft top retains the heat well enough for the heater to do its job.

The only thing about the hardtop is the fact that I can mount the kayaks to it. Once I sell the hardtop, I'll have to invest in a small trailer for them.

Caveat: I park in a garage, and it doesn't snow much here in FL.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:08 AM   #24
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Evidentally you haven't read about the RACOR HD Hoist and several others --simple/balanced/one man op-


Quote:
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I ordered with the dual top option.

I'm now considering selling my hardtop.

Without a pulley to get the hard top off (the garage door placement is such that a pulley system won't fit in my garage) putting on the hardtop is such a pain in the ass that I usually am very angry by the time it's done. And invariably I end up with a couple more scratches on the top or the tailgate. It's so maddening that I don't ever want to do it.

On the other hand, the soft top does everything I need it to. Sure it's louder -- but not THAT much louder. It stays tight and doesn't get noisy on the highway like some of the older tops do. It's completely dry in the rain (knock on wood). When it gets cold, the soft top retains the heat well enough for the heater to do its job.

The only thing about the hardtop is the fact that I can mount the kayaks to it. Once I sell the hardtop, I'll have to invest in a small trailer for them.

Caveat: I park in a garage, and it doesn't snow much here in FL.
They will keep the hardtop against the ceiling--outta the way-

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Old 12-17-2011, 06:50 PM   #25
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Thank you so much for your posts! I am so glad you supplied me with so many important points. Honestly, the only problem of the soft top is thief accessibility. I drive with latest radar detector and GPS, it will be a hassle to lock them up every time. I want to drop the top as often as I can, so the only remaining question is: does JKU soft top survive weekly ups and downs? How easy is it and will it promote leaks if I do it often?
Thank you!
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:38 AM   #26
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Evidentally you haven't read about the RACOR HD Hoist and several others --simple/balanced/one man op-




They will keep the hardtop against the ceiling--outta the way-

JIMBO
I don't know... the garage door opens and slides back far enough that I dont think I can put a hoist directly over where the rear of the Jeep sits. The door would hit it every time it opens. I know about the hoists, I just don't think I can fit one.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:10 AM   #27
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Then you've gotta short garage-


Quote:
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I don't know... the garage door opens and slides back far enough that I dont think I can put a hoist directly over where the rear of the Jeep sits. The door would hit it every time it opens. I know about the hoists, I just don't think I can fit one.
The RACOR works in 99% of the garages and has been posted on this forum, my only pics show it, but not with the top stored-



If you can park your jeep in the garage, then by backingin----you can store the hardtop on the ceiling/RACOR

Good luck

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Old 12-18-2011, 08:25 AM   #28
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I bought mine with just a soft top originally. I spend most of my winter in upstate NY where it is the snowiest region in the states and northern NH. The soft top is fine but if you park it outside in the winter you have to clear the snow off every 3-4 inches. Needless to say that could be 4-5 times in one storm. Now that I go to college in upstate NY I wanted my jeep to be safer, more secure and I don't want to have to brush the snow off till I want to use it. I went and bought a hard top on Craigslist for $1250 and it is very very quiet but like others said, the convertible feature is a big thing that makes it a jeep and I will be taking the hard top off as soon as it is warm enough to drop the top. That should be April some time
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:38 AM   #29
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My soft top got broken into at a Titans game a couple weeks ago. I ordered a hard top the next day. I'm looking to sell the soft top, but I'm not sure how much to ask for it.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:57 PM   #30
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I'm going through this same thought process right now. I can see and understand both points of view very well. I guess it really comes down to personal preference, but hard to know what I'll like without having both. Aaarrrgh.

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