I have a factory replacement soft top (smitty built) on my 97 TJ. I am thinking about getting a hard top for winter weather. If I do, will I need to take the soft top off completely?? Frame and all or just the fabric?? Just curious. I've found a used one that is the same model year and color as mine and its a good deal, so I'll probably buy it regardless. Just looking for some informed guidance.
Remove the entire soft top and frame. Much easier than than removing fabric from frame.
Once I have the top folded back and unhooked from sport cage mounts, I use small zip ties to keep the two frame pieces together, and one big zip tie around the top. It keeps it all together and makes it easy to lift out of the Jeep and store.
It's certainly not necessary to remove the roll bar brackets however I did because I was occasionally catching them when lifting or lowering the top on and off. Just easier for me not to deal with them.