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Old 03-10-2009, 08:45 PM   #1
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Cool Hardtop vs. Soft top

Hello Fellow Jeepers out there! I need some advise. I bought a 2002 steel blue Jeep Wrangler with a factory hardtop about a year and a half ago. I just took my hardtop off the other day to add a safari top, duster, and cab curtain. I hate them. LOL The top leaves a huge gap between my full steel doors and the roll bar. It looks horrible! So now I am seriously considering selling my hardtop for a really nice new soft top. But then I will have to leave the soft top on in the winter as well. Was wondering what you guys think I should do because I am torn...


Thanks!

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Old 03-10-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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i much rather the soft top. i live in NJ ans have the soft top on both my cj and my tj. the soft top does fine in the winter. the snow does not affect it and it stays just as warm inside as it would with the hard top. one thing to consider is security. the hard top provides more security than the soft top. i don't live in a high crime area nor do i leave anything of value in my jeep so i am not bothred by the security issue. although with a soft top you never have to worry about locking your keys in you jeep . idk, i just prefer the soft top.


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Old 03-10-2009, 08:58 PM   #3
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In case you didn't see my other post...

If you like the look of the bikini, duster, and curtain, but don't like the gap - then sell those instead of the hardtop. Instead, buy the Bestop Halftop which sounds like you should've gotten from the beginning. Then, you can keep the Hardtop for the winter.



Bestop 53819-15 - Bestop Halftop™ for 97-02 Jeep Wrangler TJ w/ Factory Hardtop - Quadratec
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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yes I did see your other post and thank you for your comment. Basically the only reason I opted for the safari top, duster, and jammer is because I didn't have a lot to spend on a full softtop so this seemed like the cheapest way to enjoy my jeep without blowing a lot of cash. I do like the safari top...just not the gap it creates with my doors. Thanks again for your response.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:42 PM   #5
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yes I did see your other post and thank you for your comment. Basically the only reason I opted for the safari top, duster, and jammer is because I didn't have a lot to spend on a full softtop so this seemed like the cheapest way to enjoy my jeep without blowing a lot of cash. I do like the safari top...just not the gap it creates with my doors. Thanks again for your response.
Yeah, unfortunately the Bestop Halftop isn't Halfprice, lol. You could get a set of door surrounds that will significantly lessen the gap. (The door surrounds are the pieces that a softtop snaps into, it's worth a shot because if you decide to go w/ a softtop you'll need them anyway)
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:45 PM   #6
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Here's a pic of the door surrounds I was talking about. You can see how they'd lessen the gap.



Also, there's another company that makes a top similar to the Bestop Halftop that's less money... I think Quadratec carries that also. I'd recommend going to their site and signing up for a free catalog if you haven't already.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
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i run both hard and soft tops.. nothing beats a hardtop in the winter..

heck look around and post your bikini top for trade for a softtop..

i bought a half top like the one pictured about and traded a guy for his softtop.. i had one but it had holes and crap in it which is why i bought the halftop.. but i hated how the halftop didnt cover the speakerbar in the back
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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highway trips and winter = hard top for me
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
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For Me its hard top in winter
then NO top/doors
so i would keep the hard top
they are harder to find
someone is always selling thier soft top
what does that tell you
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:06 AM   #10
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Yeah, definitely loving my hardtop MOST of the time. There are times I wish I had a softtop (and plan on getting one soon), though. But it's hard to beat the security of a hardtop. I used to carry lots of expensive gear and needed to be able to lock it up and make it secure, something that's a no-go with a softtop.

Check on craigslist for a softtop in your area. That's what I'm going to do when I get moved back out to California. You never know, you might get a good deal!!
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:01 PM   #11
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I have the hard top for the winter. Then I have the soft top for most of the summer. When it's not excruciatingly hot for any lengthy period of time, I'll put the safari top on.

I bought a factory top complete for $250, which is about the going rate for a later model top from a TJ.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:28 PM   #12
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Keep your hardtop, they dont wear out like a soft top will, its less noisy better gas mileage, more security, looks nice, and they are really expensive so if you did regret selling it its going to cost you a pretty penny if you decided to get another one, I use mine for the winter, and I have a softop for the summer and its great having both. I would just save up and get a soft top and have the best of both worlds
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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I agree with everyone who says keep the hard top and get a softy for summer. I sold my hard top to buy a soft and while I don't regret it, it would be nice to have the other top for winter...only to make the soft top last longer for me.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:17 PM   #14
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Yep, all good advise here. Only reason to ditch the hard top is that you don't have anywhere to put it. IF you have a place to put it, keep it.

I have these girly southern california winters and I still where my hard top in the winter. I go three stages:

Winter: Hard top.

Early spring and late fall: Safari top and leave the doors on (with the full doors, you can keep a little heat in the jeep even with the safari on).

Spring, summer and fall: Safari no doors and sometimes pull the safari off too (takes 5 minutes).
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:37 AM   #15
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I have both crime and weather issues with soft tops. I am in Central NY, I work at a ski resort and live in a dorm most the time. Hardtops are a lot more secure, my softtop got broken into and I still can't find white windows. The hard top you also don't have to worry about tapping on if it snows or rains before you get out so you don't get showered.

Keep the hardtop, they have less things happen to them and are harder to break into. Soft is great for summer, warm weather when you know you want to put it down.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:08 PM   #16
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I my softtop got broken into and I still can't find white windows. .

Here is a complete white top soft top - JeepForum.com
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:40 AM   #17
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I have a 98 sport with the Best Top soft top,I love it but its very noisy on the interstate,my friend has the 99 sport with the Hardtop,its quite inside but its not as fun in the summer
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:05 PM   #18
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I have a 2000 TJ that I just went the whole winter in (cold snow) the soft top. Very little if any difference from the hard top. will probably sell the hard top this year.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:09 AM   #19
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Bought my tj with only the soft top and 1/2 doors after running my yj for 5 years swapping the hard top with the soft top. No regrets, removing the hard top was a chore and I do not see any difference in heat retention.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:36 AM   #20
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Enter my vote for the soft top...hardtop = every other car out there.

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