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Old 12-27-2006, 11:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Question Hardtop question

I need to purchase a hardtop for my '04 TJ.
Any thoughts/comments/recommedations on brands that are out there?

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Old 12-27-2006, 12:06 PM   #2
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don't know how quick you want it....look on craig's list or watch e-bay

We have a factory hard top....no major problems.
good luck

got rid of the husband.....bought another Jeep

my new spotter
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Old 12-27-2006, 12:23 PM   #3
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I'm a newbie to the forum and to my 04 Wrangler (which means I know nothing ) but I'll tell you what I know.

I'm using the OEM Bestop hard top. I don't have other tops to compare it against, but frankly, I'm not impressed. In fact, my top is sitting in the yard. It's not significantly quieter than the soft top -- unless I'm driving in a strong gusty wind at highway speeds. In that case, the soft top does get flappy. Otherwise, most of the wind noise generated with the hard or soft top seems to radiate from the rubber seal that runs the width of the top of the windshield.

The rear window seal seems primitive. If I stand next to it and the front door is shut the back window is air-pistoned outward! That means that the truck is pretty air tight and the mechanical design that secures the rear window shut is lacking "robustness" to say the least. I can't think of another car I've seen that does that.

The top is pretty heavy and that weight doesn't really do much in terms of quieting the truck.

Other than an impossibly poor design to clamp the top to the windshield rail (a design also shared with the soft top), I can say that the Bestop is good. It might have been a good idea if Bestop installed fasteners on the hard top allowing one to hoist the top off. Otherwise taking off and installing the top is a four man job.

Word to the wise -- do NOT lose the sliding nut assemblies that go into the rails that the top is bolted to. The previous owner of my 04 lost them, and those little plastic pieces are $13 apiece!

In my humble newbie opinion, the hard top is really only useful for security of valuables left in the car. The achilles heal of the Wrangler. To solve that, I removed the rear seats and installed an "Extendatrunk" which provides locked storage.
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Old 12-27-2006, 04:21 PM   #4
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Hmm, we have the factory hard tops for both our TJ and YJ and they are much quieter than soft tops, not just eliminating top flap noise but also road noise.
We live in the frozen northwest so hardtops are very usefull in the winter but I'd rather just have a soft top in the summer for ease of going topless.
"But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782

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Old 12-27-2006, 04:47 PM   #5
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i'd get a factory top that came off a jeep that had one from the factory.
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Old 12-27-2006, 04:53 PM   #6
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I have a new soft top -- this top has the weightier vinyl (which makes it a PITA to put up, or to get windows into). I would put my hard top on instantaneously if it made a significant difference in noise level, but it doesn't. I have it stored in a Bestop hard top rack with cover. Now to be sure -- if I'm doing 70MPH -- indeed, the hard top is quieter, but all around, it's not much better.

I live in California and the hassle of having to grab a few people to put on the hard top (or remove it) just isn't worth it, given what it provides (inconvenient access to the sun, added weight, and marginal noise reduction) -- especially since I installed locked storage.

On the other hand, the soft top has one annoying deficiency -- no drip rail. In a solid rain, 20-40% of any water collected on the top WILL rol right into the cabin when I open the door.

LOL -- maybe i should sell drdjeep my top!
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Old 12-27-2006, 06:50 PM   #7
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I have the factory hardtop on my 2000 and it is noticeably quiet in a couple of ways...1: the wind noise from the windows flapping is gone when the hardtop is on but after putting it back on for winter 2: i noticed more noise from the tires with the hardtop on so my take is 50/50 some good some bad...I will do the hardtop thing in the winter and soft top in the warmer months just cause i can....my 2 cents worth of air!

New Jeep- 2007 Wrangler Rubicon JK, 3.8L, Auto
Black soft top, AWESOME BABY!

OLD JEEP-Red 2000 Wrangler Sport, 4.0L, 5 spd., Black Hardtop,and Soft top BFG 30 x 9.50 All Terrain T/A'S
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by robjeep View Post
I have the factory hardtop on my 2000 and it is noticeably quiet in a couple of ways...1: the wind noise from the windows flapping is gone when the hardtop is on but after putting it back on for winter 2: i noticed more noise from the tires with the hardtop on so my take is 50/50 some good some bad...I will do the hardtop thing in the winter and soft top in the warmer months just cause i can....my 2 cents worth of air!
Sweet looking truck.

Yeah -- you know, this might be a lot more complicated than I thought. The seal on my TJ (sealing the front of the top to the windshield) may be worn and it could be that my interior noise level is generally so high because of that seal that I can't discern the improvement you and skeeter are seeing. or hearing, I should say.

i don't know. I'm not one to whine, but the whole use model for the hard top doesn't seem too well thought out. In the second month of ownership of my TJ, I was actually drawing up plans to build a mobile top hoist and weatherproof storage container -- the fact being that the top is so bulky and heavy that it's not the kind of deal where you can pull it every sunny week that comes your way. I punted on the idea and bought a Bestop storage rack. I rustle up a few folks when I need to remove/install the top.

I saw some goofy things on the web as I thought about how to build something to make removal and storage of the top something i could easily do with no help. Some folks installed hoists in their garages! I considered it until I realized that it would block out all of my lighting, tie up 3 feet of headroom and also include the danger of possible injury to a kid if the damn thing fell -- given the earthquakes that happen here in california.

If someone with a little time and an off-shore manufacturing management expertise wanted to -- I'll bet they could put together a nice product marketing plan: A product that costs under $200 -- you roll it over to a Jeep, attach a strap here and there and you can lift your top off, rotate it, lower it and roll away with your top. Cover comes with the deal. It's basically a combination of the Bestop top storage rack, a small hydraulic jack and a few tubes and straps.

But besides the point -- doesn't your Jeep look better with the soft top? Am I the only guy who thinks a Jeep looks cooler with the canvas?

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