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Old 07-05-2010, 09:58 PM   #1
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How can i convert from a hard top to a soft top?

I have a 2004 unlimited and right now it has a hard top, but i've come to find that the removal of the top is time consuming and involves multiple people. This means i have to plan in advance when i can take my top off based on the weather and how many people will be around to help me. I want to put a soft top on so i can quickly go topless if it becomes nice out and do it all by myself. But seeing as i'm fairly new to the jeep community i have no clue as to how i would even begin to go about doing that!
Can someone please tell me the steps i would need to take to convert from a hard to a soft top, and where i can buy all the supplies to do so?
Thanks!!

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Old 07-05-2010, 10:00 PM   #2
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Basically you'll need something like this

MOPAR 82208869AC - MOPAR® Sunrider Soft Top for 04-06 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited - Quadratec

That comes with the soft top, the hardware, and instructions to install it

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Old 07-05-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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Soft tops are simple to install. I just replaced my hardtop with a soft top and it took less than 20 minutes to install the entire thing, brackets and all.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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It's really easy. My 2000 Wrangler was Dual Top optioned and when I bought it the hard top was on. I took it off with help and had the soft top on 10 minutes later. My brackets were already on the roll bar though. Easy Peasy.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:39 PM   #5
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So does that MOPAR Sunrider soft top come with the brackets for the roll bar? (and brackets for where the top hinges down in the back to lay flat, sorry i don't really know what to call it)
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
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Those hinge down brackets are the hardware, it folds down and holds up the top. The only thing I'm not sure if the mopar comes with is the windshield header (or however newer tops connect)
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:57 PM   #7
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Okay. I'm slowly learning more about soft tops through my own research here. All i know is that to convert from a hard top i'll have to put the brackets on the roll bar and around the door so it can connect to that and seal shut.

Other than that are there any other major changes i need to do?
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
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Make sure your top comes with the rear window bar that goes across the bottom of the rear window to seal the tailgate. And the two little belt rail brackets that mount on either side of the gate opening.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:22 AM   #9
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Go to Quadratec.com and click on their Soft-top Advisor. There is a lot of information there and diagrams that show the framework for the different tops. There are also frameless tops available. Either way it is a fairly simple task. I replaced my hard top 3 months after purchasing my Jeep and it hasn't been used since.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:17 AM   #10
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I dropped an eye bolt through a rafter in my garage, bought a rope pulley from TSC, & use two ratchet straps as a frame. I can have it off in about 10 minutes on a go day.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:51 AM   #11
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I i like that mopar top that Vaultzz showed me, but i also found this one for A LOT less
Bestop Trektop Soft Top - Jeep Wrangler 1997 - 2010

Would you guys say that this one is just as good? It's a different brand but it still says it comes with the door surrounds and all the installation hardware
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:08 PM   #12
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I think those are frameless?? They look weird.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:16 PM   #13
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Save the hard top for winter. Run it October through March and that way you only have to fool with it twice a year.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:44 PM   #14
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I'm going to college in Florida so i'll want my car topless as much as possible, but having a hard top i'd have nowhere to store it. So converting to to a soft top just makes more sense for me right now
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by adamrr28 View Post
I i like that mopar top that Vaultzz showed me, but i also found this one for A LOT less
Bestop Trektop Soft Top - Jeep Wrangler 1997 - 2010

Would you guys say that this one is just as good? It's a different brand but it still says it comes with the door surrounds and all the installation hardware
It's sort of the same brand. The same company that makes the Trektop makes the MOPAR and Jeep OE tops. And they are an awesome company! The bestest evah!

There are a variety of full tops available for an 04 TJ. My company alone makes three different styles of full top, and a bunch of half tops, Bikini tops, etc. And then there are tops from (gasp) the competition.

So you've got some research to do.

The advice above about Quadratec's soft top Advisor is good. So is stopping at the bookstore and buying their catalog. It's easier to see your options when they're all next to each other in nice color.

Then, you can double check your thoughts with the rabble here.

All "full tops" should come with all the hardware you need. Just make sure it's a full top. For example, we sell something called the "Replace-A-top," which is much cheaper. But it's just the fabric and windows - it's designed to be used with existing factory hardware. You don't have that, so no good for you.

The TrekTop you're looking at is a full top. Comes with everything you need. It's less expensive because it's simpler: it uses your roll bar for support, and does not have the hardware bows. So really clean lines, a different look, simple to put on and take off. Disadvantages would be not as easy to fold down, less interior space, and rear side windows do not come out.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:49 PM   #16
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Thanks so much Geoff.
Besides ordering one online can i walk into my local jeep dealer and order a soft top through them? I'm just trying to think of all my options because i want a soft top as soon as possible and at a reasonable price
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:30 PM   #17
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Thanks so much Geoff.
Besides ordering one online can i walk into my local jeep dealer and order a soft top through them? I'm just trying to think of all my options because i want a soft top as soon as possible and at a reasonable price
Absolutely! Bestop.com has a list of local dealers if you haven't found one yet.

As a general rule, you pay a few dollars more, BUT you get install help, expert advice, and you also meet the people that are very involved in the local 4x4 scene. I like local shops a lot, and think we should all support them.

Most locals don't stock every soft top, since they're large and expensive. But they work with big warehouse distributors and can get them very quickly.

Some of Bestop's tops are on back order though. Trektop, especially, is selling better than expected, and we are not catching up with the orders right now.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:52 PM   #18
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FYI, check eBay. There was a complete, uninstalled, brand new Mopar soft top. Complete with everything you would need for an install. It was black with tinted windows. The guy had a Buy It Now price of $900, but the bids weren't near that yet. This was yesterday, so I don't know if it's still available. Just a thought.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:16 PM   #19
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I guess my biggest fear of buying it online would be that since my jeep is an 04 unlimited its kind of hard to find a soft top for that specific model and that it wouldn't fit
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:30 AM   #20
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As long as it was for an unlimited, it will fit. 04-06
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:38 PM   #21
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Unlimited soft top on Ebay

Take a look at

2004-2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited LWB Soft Top & Frame: eBay Motors (item 260627309176 end time Jul-28-10 15:11:30 PDT)

They are selling new soft tops for 2004-2006 Unlimited. They had 4 and sold 2 for $500 each so you might talk them down from the $750 listed on the ad. About a week ago, they also had just the hardware (i.e. frame, etc) for sale at a pretty good price. But you'll have to call them because its not on their Ebay site. That would allow you to use an after market top on an OEM frame.

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