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Old 06-20-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
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Top Swap Torture

I decided to pull the hard top off my 13' Wrangler Unlimited to put the soft top on.....I didn't have a lift so I just unbolted the sucker and picked it up....the top was much heavier than I expected. So I get my top all pulled off and put aside and started to put the premium soft top on there, that job was worse than picking the hard top up off there alone I popped the front clamps in place and left them loose then went to back corner to start them into place....got one side in and couldn't even start to get the other side in place....after 1/2 hour of struggling with it I pulled the soft top back off and put the hard top back in place. I have now officially decided that the hard top is my year round top, I can only go partially topless and after this ordeal I am OK with that.


I don't know how folks swap tops all the time, I don't have nearly the patience for it I guess.

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Old 06-20-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
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Too bad. Soft tops rule. Must have been doing something wrong because the back corners are the easy part. Fire up some you tube videos and watch how it is done, makes it a lot easier.

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Old 06-20-2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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Is it really that bad ??? maybe you should just look into some safari straps or a spiderwebshade... im sure it'll be much easier.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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It could be because it's new...not sure. I was just happy to get the hard top back on there and be done with it after the event that was.



I did watch some Youtube videos and I was following them but this sucker was tight and then some.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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The premium top needs to stretch. The first few times will make a man cry. It's good after a few up-downs.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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Once you get the soft top on the first time it really is simple. Putting the soft top up and down is as easy as putting the freedom panels on. You just need to get it on the first time and your home free.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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you are doing something wrong. I just installed a new premium top solo a couple weeks ago. Not sure what clamps you are talking about but if you follow the instructions it goes on pretty easy. once you get it all on the toughest part is getting the front header clamps fastened but if you slide the front seats all the way forward and put the backs straight up you can get good leverage and it is a breeze. I suggest you give it another go and I can walk you thru it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:09 AM   #8
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Don't give up on the soft top!! It's one of the best features of owning a Jeep!! Try putting it back on when it's sunny and warm. The sun will help the fabric stretch some. Once you get it stretched and installed the first time, the rest of the times will be so much easier. You paid extra for the dual top option, so you may as well get it figured out so you can use it!!
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
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As Greg mentioned, let it sit in the sun and warm up. Get a friend to help. Once it's on and stretches out it'll be a piece of cake and you'll be glad you installed it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:14 AM   #10
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I have a tip for you, you mentioned removing your hard top by yourself which sounds pretty hard. I went to lowes and bought some ratchet straps for about 10 bucks and put 4 eye bolts in my barn/garage then you just hook them on and crank afew times and it lifts right off. Dont know if you have a place for that but its a cheap and easy lift. Dont give up on the soft top I put mine on in about 10 min and it was very easy try putting it in the sun for awhile that will help.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:27 AM   #11
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I'm almost afraid to lower my soft top. It took me about an hour and a half to get mine on for the first time. Getting the rear corners on required my wife to pop 'em into the groove while I was literally pulling down from the top with my entire weight.

I've popped the sunriser shade (wth is it called again?) part back a few times, and each time when I go to close the front latches, it barely reaches and I have to pull down hard, from the inside, and push the clasp to catch on, scratching the metal.

I would think after doing this about four times, it would have stretched a wee bit. Perhaps my issue is that when I put it back down for the evening, it's between 6 and 7 here and it's in the low to mid 70's?

Given the fact that I'm having this much trouble just throwing back the sunriser part, I'm weary of completely lowering it. It took all my strength, and the help of my wife, to get the full top to close when I first put it on.

Does it stretch while it's latched, or just latching/lowering/raising, over and over, actually do the stretching? It's mid-80s today and I really want to lower the top.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad_Dog View Post
I'm almost afraid to lower my soft top. It took me about an hour and a half to get mine on for the first time. Getting the rear corners on required my wife to pop 'em into the groove while I was literally pulling down from the top with my entire weight.

I've popped the sunriser shade (wth is it called again?) part back a few times, and each time when I go to close the front latches, it barely reaches and I have to pull down hard, from the inside, and push the clasp to catch on, scratching the metal.

I would think after doing this about four times, it would have stretched a wee bit. Perhaps my issue is that when I put it back down for the evening, it's between 6 and 7 here and it's in the low to mid 70's?

Given the fact that I'm having this much trouble just throwing back the sunriser part, I'm weary of completely lowering it. It took all my strength, and the help of my wife, to get the full top to close when I first put it on.

Does it stretch while it's latched, or just latching/lowering/raising, over and over, actually do the stretching? It's mid-80s today and I really want to lower the top.
The Sunrider is the hard part, and it sounds like you're on the way with that stretching out. Dropping the roof all the way is easy and will be a breeze to put back up. I've had mine for three months now and it opens and closes easy as you like.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:38 AM   #13
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Last year was the first time I pulled my hard top and put on the OEM soft top. It was a difficult, but worth it. Opening/closing the sunrider over the front seats was also difficult, but it go easier. This year was much easier. Don't give up, it really does get better. Having the soft top on during the warmer months is well worth the initial frustration.

Good luck
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:48 AM   #14
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The Sunrider is the hard part, and it sounds like you're on the way with that stretching out. Dropping the roof all the way is easy and will be a breeze to put back up. I've had mine for three months now and it opens and closes easy as you like.
That's good to know. I'm going to put down the top today and take a long lunch. Next week is supposed to be raining everyday so I'm going to enjoy the nice, warm (AND DRY!) weather while I can.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:48 AM   #15
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Same boat for me. For the first installation, I took everything to the dealership and had them show me.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:28 PM   #16
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After bolting the brackets to the roll bar in the back, getting the door surrounds on, I flip up the top loosely, hook the rear corners and then close the front. It will initially be 1/4" short.

From the drivers seat I reach up and grab the top's front plastic header (rail) sliding my fingers between the rail and top. Then you can rotate the rail and just get the front clamps close enough to hook the footman loop on one side. Close the clamp and that draw the top forward to make the 2nd clamp easy.

Once stretched it is easier until it sits for the winter. Starting at the back then move to the front and twisting the bar is the key I found.

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