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Old 02-12-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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Best Bikini Top

I have a 2000 and want a Bikini top for it. I have been looking and do not understand all this. I just want a top that I can put on and take off easy. Also if needed I live in Wisconsin to be able to put my soft top back on quickly. I have a sound bar if that makes any difference.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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I'm a big fan of Bestop's bikini tops, but especially their Safari top that also covers the back area to the rear part of the rollbars. The longer Safari style keeps the sun and rain off the rear area instead of leaving it exposed as a standard bikini top does.

There are two ways of how either top style attaches to the windshield for older TJs like your 2000. Either style involves a 'windshield channel' of which there are two types available, a drill and no-drill style. Jeep changed the windshield frame in 2003 to eliminate the drill-style header attachment method but you do have both methods available for your 2000.

To me, having had both styles, I much prefer the type of bikini/safari top that slides in from the side into the drill-style windshield header (bracket) that is screwed onto the inside of the windshield frame.

The other no-drill style uses what they call a quick connect which clamps to the windshield using the same slots in the windshield that the Jeep tops clamp into. The problem with that style is that it is much harder, in my opinion at least, to get it attached and seated properly to the windshield than they would have you believe. Not to mention getting the bikini or safari top's front edge to stay properly seated in the clamp-on header was always a PITA. I fought with that method for a year or two before going back to the drill-style header.

I hated that method so badly that when my '97 was stolen and I bought an '04 that required the newer quick connect style, I modified my '04 so it could use the older drill-style style mounting method. The drill style windshield header can be left in place when reinstalling the soft top.

So personally, I recommend a Bestop Safari #52530 top with the drill style header #51210.

The 51210 header looks like this...



The long red thing in the photo is just a peel-off covering the seal that seals it to the windshield frame. One of the two pieces goes to the left of the footman loop on the windhield frame, the other goes to the right of the footman loop. They meet in the center over the top of the footman loop. The top of this style header has a slot cut into it that the bikini or safari is slid into from the side which takes seconds to do.

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Old 02-12-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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I have the bestop traditional bikini and like it a lot.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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I really like the Bestop Safari as well. But as Jerry described getting it seated in the channel is a royal PITA. Luckily I put it on once for summer then park in the garage. Can't imagine trying to take it on and off. Souinds like the drill in channel is the way to go.

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What type of modification is required to use the drill in channel on my '03?
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #5
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I have the Bestop Safari top with the no drilll header. I have not been able to get the front to stay in the channel till I get the back secured. I only wanted it for a quick cover up incase it starts raining while we are out topless. So far it's not so quick. I am going to give it another try this summer. The only issue with the sound bar is sometimes it is mounted so close to the roll bar you have to move it a little back to get the strap in.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michigunman View Post
I really like the Bestop Safari as well. But as Jerry described getting it seated in the channel is a royal PITA. Luckily I put it on once for summer then park in the garage. Can't imagine trying to take it on and off. Souinds like the drill in channel is the way to go.

Jerry
What type of modification is required to use the drill in channel on my '03?
I removed the plastic trim from inside the windshield, it just snaps in so it can be pulled straight off. A small part of the channel had to be ground off as shown for clearance and then it was installed as normal. I then replaced the plastic trim pieces over the top of the windshield channel as shown.

This modification is only needed for 2003-2006 models for those who desire to use the older drill style header.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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I have the no drill and it's really easy to install. But I do have a question for those wiser than I. I have to remove the header in order to buckle my hardtop latch. Is there a way around this?
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #8
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I have the no drill and it's really easy to install. But I do have a question for those wiser than I. I have to remove the header in order to buckle my hardtop latch. Is there a way around this?
Nope, you can't have two headers latched to the windshield at once.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:17 PM   #9
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I must be one of the lucky few that has 0 problems with the no drill header. Yeah the first and second time I put the safari top on it was a pain, but evey time after, takes me 10 min or less ( seriously, I have clocked my self casually doing so cause I have time like that )

Any way, the trick is to lay the top out loosely after the header has been bolted on then slide the plastic edge into the header then run the strap around center bar to the loop on wind shied tight enough to keep the plastic edge seated then move on to everything else.

Just my .02. I wouldn't want a drill in header if I knew I would be constantly taking it off then putting back on later down the road.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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Just my .02. I wouldn't want a drill in header if I knew I would be constantly taking it off then putting back on later down the road.
Unlike the no-drill header, the drill-style header is a one-time installation. It stays in place permanently.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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Isn't there somebody that makes a bikini that straps to the roll bars and doesn't use the header? And not the spider shade...but something that will deflect the rain.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:24 PM   #12
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Well open mouth and insert foot for me. I guess I didn't look far enough into it once I saw drill in header.

You learn something new everyday. When I had heard that you cant have a header for a safari top plus a hard top I had immediately looked past all that and went for no drill

Thanks for that Jerry.

Still stands that I must be the lucky one with no hassles on the no drill. :-)
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gus54 View Post
Isn't there somebody that makes a bikini that straps to the roll bars and doesn't use the header?
The header is what seals and holds the front edge of the bikini to the top of the windshield. It could only attach to the rollbars at the sides and rear. there is of course no front rollbar on a stock TJ.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:32 PM   #14
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I removed the plastic trim from inside the windshield, it just snaps in so it can be pulled straight off. A small part of the channel had to be ground off as shown for clearance and then it was installed as normal. I then replaced the plastic trim pieces over the top of the windshield channel as shown.
Will that same part# and setup work for my 99 Sahara? I assume I'll have to do that same modification you show? Thanks...
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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Will that same part# and setup work for my 99 Sahara? I assume I'll have to do that same modification you show? Thanks...
It will work in your '99 perfectly. That modification I described above is for, as explained above, only needed for 2003 and newer TJs.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:27 AM   #16
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Do the sides velcro or strap around the sport bar? I don't have factory style door surrounds and was curious how that part hooked up, It looks like they do but no real good pics online. and the rear just straps around the bar?
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:52 AM   #17
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Do the sides velcro or strap around the sport bar? I don't have factory style door surrounds and was curious how that part hooked up, It looks like they do but no real good pics online. and the rear just straps around the bar?
I have the Bestop Safari top. It can be installed with or without the door surrounds. It comes with velcro flaps that go around the roll bar, and tabs to stretch it on to the door surrounds. Mine is really tight if I use the surrounds, and a PITA to get the tabs into them. But, I like it better because if it does rain, without the surrounds the water will puddle and then waterfall inside the Jeep.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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If you are not looking for complete rain and sun coverage, I am a fan of the SpiderWebShade. No header installation required. Everything just bungy cords on. Reduces some wind noise and the regular soft top just goes right over it.



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Old 02-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #19
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I have a Besttop standard Bikini with no-drill header. I have been running this with a duster for about 4 or 5 years now. I did "up-grade" to a wrap around jammer 2 years ago from a standard jammer.

My wrap around jammer is having the window changed to a "zip out" as I have on my halftop. Here in Northern IN where we can have a 30-40° temp swing in a few hours, with or without rain, this combo makes it very easy to deal with whatever we may get.

It all stores easily under the duster but I can be "in the wind/ topless" in a about 2 min. and covered back up in less than 10min.

When my Bikini top does need replaced it will be another, Bestop product...but probably a safari top as I believe that would keep my interior more protected from moisture in the summer with the wrap around than the standard BIKINI top.

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Old 02-26-2012, 02:23 PM   #20
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If you are not looking for complete rain and sun coverage, I am a fan of the SpiderWebShade. No header installation required. Everything just bungy cords on. Reduces some wind noise and the regular soft top just goes right over it.



That is what I'm looking for, keeps the full force of the sun off my noggin' but still lets some sun in!! and when it rains I can still put the soft top up.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #21
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I need one of those!
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:07 AM   #22
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Another vote for the Spiderweb Shade. We have one on my wife's JK and I just got mine in for my new TJ. Best money I ever spent when we put it on the wife's last year. You won't get the rain protection as you do with the other tops but you will get a little. The advantage is when the beating sun is out you won't get completely fried and no header required. When you are done or need to put the top up quick you can with no issues. We ran the entire winter with both on the jeep.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:29 AM   #23
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I love my Spiderweb Shade!!!
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:27 AM   #24
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You guys have just the top it all the surrounds?
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:31 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford

I hated that method so badly that when my '97 was stolen and I bought an '04 that required the newer quick connect style, I modified my '04 so it could use the older drill-style style mounting method. The drill style windshield header can be left in place when reinstalling the soft top.
I have the drill header, but I can't leave it in place when I put the soft top on. The latches of the soft top would crush the channel on the drill header. I have thought about cutting two sections out near the latch slots, but so far have just taken it on and off.

Did I mount the no drill wrong? Seems/Looks right.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:34 AM   #26
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Did I mount the no drill wrong? Seems/Looks right.
Good sharp well-lit photos of your header posted here would confirm that. I've had the drill-type header on two TJs, a '97 and '04, and it stayed in place permanently no matter what type of top I was running. Soft top, hard top, bikini, and safari tops.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:52 AM   #27
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You guys have just the top it all the surrounds?
I just have the top, I know they have the sides as well but I prefer just having the top on and the sides open. I just installed my Spiderweb Shade on my TJ yesterday, now if the rain would just go away!
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
Good sharp well-lit photos of your header posted here would confirm that. I've had the drill-type header on two TJs, a '97 and '04, and it stayed in place permanently no matter what type of top I was running. Soft top, hard top, bikini, and safari tops.
Hehe. Well it is off right now for winter and soft top is on.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:43 AM   #29
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Here's mine. I have a no drill soft top header, latches and bolts. I don't see how a bikini channel would fit up there.

I ask because my bday is coming up and wife asked what I might want, so I baited it by saying "you in a bikini" after the roll eyes and snicker I said "ok, how bout the jeep in the bikini?"

She'll probably buy one but will have no clue on which one. And even after I searched it there is different bikinis, and require different headers. I'd like to do the leg work for her. That and I'd like it to be right first time, no waiting on exchanges or returns.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:44 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Kevbz
Here's mine. I have a no drill soft top header, latches and bolts. I don't see how a bikini channel would fit up there.

I ask because my bday is coming up and wife asked what I might want, so I baited it by saying "you in a bikini" after the roll eyes and snicker I said "ok, how bout the jeep in the bikini?"

She'll probably buy one but will have no clue on which one. And even after I searched it there is different bikinis, and require different headers. I'd like to do the leg work for her. That and I'd like it to be right first time, no waiting on exchanges or returns.
I just bought the bestop safari style bikini from JC Whitney and header. Total of $120.

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