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Old 05-10-2011, 01:41 AM   #1
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Bestop Replace A Top Fit

While I was home on R/R I installed my RAT Sail Cloth Top on my Wrangler. It went together pretty easy and everything fit as it should on the hardware. However I have noticed this top is a lot looser tension wise than the fabric on my old factory top.

Anyone else notice this on the Replace a Top? I can't remember if the original was this loose when we bought it in 2002. Does anyone know if the top may shrink up as it gets wet and sits in the sun? Kind of drives me crazy the way it expands and flaps as we drive it, as the original top only had minimal expansion.

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:26 AM   #2
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I just did my top replacement with the Sailcloth RAT yesterday, and noticed the exact same thing. It looks kind of baggy in the back, and there is excess material above the header bar. I sent Goeff a PM this morning about this exact issue and question, and I'll keep you posted when he gets back to me.

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Old 05-10-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Installed mine on Friday and noticed a fitment issue as well, although completely opposite problem, it was very tight. I think my issue is the top hardware and not the RAT.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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Well I got an email back from Bestop today, and honestly I am not very impressed. I sent a detailed email out lining the fit issue and an issue with some small pin holes and got this as a response.

No top will ever fit like the original top the Jeep was born with unfortunately. You are welcome to contact the company you purchased the top from to have them send you a replacement top skin.

I went with a Bestop as I wanted it to fit like the original I bought in 2002. I could have gone with any of the many tops on the market. And the email response I got was a total cop out at best. No suggestions, not even a mention of the holes. I know I could return it, that is obvious. At this point I may just return it and get another brand if this email is an example of the customer service, I don't think I want the product.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #5
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Wow. Considering that they make the OEM top, you would figure that they would fit the same. Meanwhile, I never heard back from Geoff.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:07 AM   #6
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I have seen A LOT of posts on the RAT here and on jeepforum and to tell you thew truth there are a good amount of posts regarding RATs not fitting well. So have no issue and others are too loose or tight.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Neil F. View Post
I have seen A LOT of posts on the RAT here and on jeepforum and to tell you thew truth there are a good amount of posts regarding RATs not fitting well. So have no issue and others are too loose or tight.
You would think that by going with the OEM supplier and ordering the same soft top that was on it you would get a good fit. I could see if I had gone to a super top or something else but this is supposed to be a RAT. That is why I went with it. Sometimes you learn a hard lesson. I am hoping JC Whitney will refund my money and I can go with another top from another company. Maybe I will get lucky and they will make one that fits
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:24 AM   #8
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My Supertop fits looser than I would like also. I know that it is more loose than the factory tops I have seen. I went to it from a hardtop, so I haven't personally had a factory soft top to compare it to.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:12 AM   #9
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I installed mine incorrectly. I just slipped the header bar into the pocket, instead of screwing it on, while resting on the header then wrapping it around. This video set me straight. Now I just have to wait for a day when it's not raining to re-do this.

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Old 05-16-2011, 08:47 AM   #10
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I purchased my sailcloth RAT back in October and I think it is just fine. It was a little loose in the beginning but after a winter it has shrunk down. The window material on the rear window and the upper doors is a little loose but it doesn't really bother me.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:03 AM   #11
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I just got an email for Bestop customer service again. They are now telling me

"Also keep in mind that your hardware this RAT top is going on is 9 years old now, we suggest changing the hardware anywhere between 5-7 years for a proper fit of any top. "

I wish they would have said that before I bought the top, I probably would have just gone with another top set-up all together. And again they are telling me that no RAT will ever fit like the one the jeep was born with, even if I went to Mopar and bought one. I just don't get this my Jeep is the same size, it goes on the same way. I opened the package myself in 2002 and installed the original soft top on the Jeep. Bestop made both tops, they should be identical. I am really regretting this purchase, I thought going with Bestop would eliminate any fitment issues. I guess it is actually worse. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. I have a top that doesn't fit like it should, and I am not sure if JC Whitney is going to do anything with a return or not. Since technically it is the correct part and does fit.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:21 AM   #12
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Call bestop and ask for authorization to return it and exchange it for a SupertopNX or something. Also check with JC Whitney and find out what their return policy is. It's better in my opinion to eat the shipping costs and end up with something you love than resent something that cost as much as a new top does for as long as you use it. Worst case, offer it up for sale and try to recoup some of your investment and then see what you can do. My point is, if Bestop is as smart as I think they are, they'll step in and do what they must for you to be a happy customer rather than a "Cuss- tomer". I had a very nice experience with Electronic Arts and a PC game of theirs just a couple of weeks ago... all it took was a phone call, got my money back and I'm happy. Even tho' the store where I bought the game refused to give a refund, since it had been opened. Needless to say, where the store is concerned, I am now a "Cuss-tomer", but the vendor is tops in my book
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:55 AM   #13
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The two biggest complaints we get, across the board, are "this product is too tight" and "this product is too loose."

Those are difficult to reconcile.

Anyway, we need to make sure products are installed correctly. G-Pur discovered that the extra fabric in his top was due to an incorrectly installed header. That's an easy mistake.

Side note: I installed a Duster yesterday, for a photo shoot, and it looked like crap. I was all bitchy about it, and had this lady from engineering come over, so I could complain, really. She loosened it up, re-adjusted it a bit, and fastened it back up. It now looks perfect. She did this quietly, while I was kvetching, so now I feel really dumb.

Meyers: JC Whitney is a good company, and should take care of you. I don't know their return policy, though, and it is up to them. We work closely with retailers to help support end-users, and we have a great relationship with JCW, so it almost always works out.

If you decide to keep it, let me know. I think I'd want some photos of your header though, just to double check that.

G-Pur: I saw your PM, and will answer that in a bit.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:12 AM   #14
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Geoff is it posted somewhere that you should replace the hardware like customer service suggested? If I had seen that I would have probably just gone with another top style. I figured since my hardware is all in great shape I would be good to go.

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