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Old 08-08-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Question Hard top over soft top folded back?

Hey guys, I've finally found a TJ and will be picking it up later this week. It's got a factory hard top as well as an almost new Bestop on factory frame/hardware. I'm trying to plan ahead for picking it up, and am hoping to avoid taking a trailer to bring the hard top back.

My question is, if the side and rear windows are removed and the soft top is folded back nicely, will the hard top go on over it? I feel like I've heard that that's how they were shipped from the factory if they have both, but I could be wrong. It's not ideal and I'm sure there could be some rubbing if it goes, but I'm trying to avoid A) taking a trailer 3 hours each way if I don't have to, and possibly risking damaging the hardtop with it off the Jeep or B) making a second trip at a later date to get the hard top.

Also, I suppose I could take the soft top off completely (if the frame and top could fit inside somehow) and then drive it home with the hard top on. But I'd rather not if I don't have to, since I'll want the soft top on the Jeep for the time being. Thanks for any help/insight you can offer

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Old 08-08-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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I did it on my 03 but I removed the shocks that keep the rear window up until I got it home

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Old 08-08-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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If done properly the soft top should almost entirely fit below the rails. Only the header is above, and you should be able to fit the hard top on with care. See the pic of my soft top folded down. The roll on top is my cloverfield window roll. Just carefully remove your windows and lay in the back. Take some towels with you to layer between them so they don't scratch.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:00 PM   #4
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Should be fine being the the soft/hard top Jeeps rolled off the factory with the soft top folded under the hard top.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:07 PM   #5
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If you have full doors you'll have to remove the door surrounds
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses guys, sounds like I should be able to do it.

dfry - thanks for the pic. Any secret to doing it properly? Or just folding the top evenly as you bring it down? Thanks for the tip about scratching the windows too.

What tools are required to take the door surrounds off of the full doors? (if any)
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:29 PM   #7
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Glad to help. No real secrets. The owners manual details it pretty well. Once the drip rail retainers are free and the header latches are loose, remove all the windows. Fold the rear sails inside-out over the top and fold sides inward. As the bows fold down make sure to tuck the top between them. Just takes a little practice. Be sure the drip rails are folded in as well. I made three paracord straps to wrap around and contain my top to minimize the spaces it takes.

No tools are required to remove the surrounds. They are held on by two large knobs.

Also, one tip for putting soft top back up, is to clip the header latches into their slots, but don't tighten down. This will make it easier to attach sails, etc.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfry View Post
Also, one tip for putting soft top back up, is to clip the header latches into their slots, but don't tighten down. This will make it easier to attach sails, etc.
I learnt that the hard way
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:20 AM   #9
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Great thanks guys, gonna give it a shot when I pick it up. Should be later tonight
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #10
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I tried to do it but couldnt. Be prepared to removed the rear window struts just in case, maybe I didn't have to top folded tight enough but I couldn't get them to clear.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:40 PM   #11
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I tried to do it but couldnt. Be prepared to removed the rear window struts just in case, maybe I didn't have to top folded tight enough but I couldn't get them to clear.
Okay, thanks for the heads up. And it seemed like it would have gone if the struts were removed?
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:06 PM   #12
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It did fit, I drove home with it on from the guys house, it was dead of winter in NW Oregon. I just meant I had to remove the struts.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:10 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the help everyone, it worked out fine. Hard top went on (snug, but it went) and I got it home just before midnight.

The PO didn't think it had a chance to fit, but said we could try it. Shocked the heck out of him when we got it done

I'll post pics when I get the chance in the daylight (if I can, not sure I have enough posts...).
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:32 AM   #14
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Good job! Enjoy!
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:34 AM   #15
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And by the way, I've been posting pics since I joined, don't think it matters
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:08 PM   #16
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Here's phone pic from bringing it home last night, let's see if this posts:



Can't wait to get to work on it (repaint flares, headlight bezels, tint, etc.). I haven't decided if I like the top, or if I should paint it black eventually...
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:18 PM   #17
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I can never get my top folded down as far as some can, my rear window doesnt come out, and it doesnt fold down right. it takes about 3 mines to remove the 4 torx to take the frame off. so if worst comes to worst store it in the jeep somehow and then keep the hard top on.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:18 PM   #18
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I believe back in '97...when I bought my first one, that they used to actually sell 'em with a "dual top" option - that came w/ the soft top installed and hardtop over.

I think they dropped this option the next year. Maybe to get a better price on the separate soft top... maybe because it was too diffucult to make this work for most people.

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