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Old 02-20-2010, 09:42 PM   #1
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looking for a new top - couple questions?

I have to replace the original soft top on my 2000 TJ. I want something quiet.

I could get a used hard top, but I've heard about sail cloth soft tops being as quiet or even more quiet than a hard top.

I have full hard doors.

Any advice would be great.

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Old 02-20-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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I can't imagine any soft top being as quiet as a hard top. If keeping the noise down while driving is more important than being able to put the top down, get the hard top.

And dynamat

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Old 02-20-2010, 10:45 PM   #3
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Actually, I have heard that the sailcloth tops are known to be considerably quieter than a hard top...I test drove a Wrangler with a hard top one day and it honestly didn't seem that much quieter than my soft top. I do get a lil road noise with my soft top and light flapping at highway speeds, but nothing so loud that I have to yell to be heard. I have a sailcloth soft top sitting in my basement...once it warms up, I'll be able to tell you all how much quieter they are based on personal experience. I figure I'll wait til spring to put it on though...give it an extra winter before it dies.
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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I thought '00-'01's came with the 4 layer sail cloth from the factory.... I am wrong alot tho'
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Get the hard top it take nothing to take it off for the summer..
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:03 PM   #6
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I have an 01' and just recently swapped off the original factory top for a barely used top that came stock on an 06' and the newer top is at least 50% quieter at speeds under 45mph and probably 25% quieter above that. Not sure what the specs are for the material but it is much improved- I'm sure Geoff from Bestop knows more of the details but if you're concerned with noise I'd spend a little extra for a thicker top... and it will definitely be cheaper than a hard top.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:26 PM   #7
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Pros of a hard top - harder to break into your Jeep, quieter than many soft tops.

Cons of a hard top - heavy and for most people, requires two people to install/remove it; if you get caught out in the rain away from home, you can't just lift the top back on.

The cons outweigh the pros IMO... I considered getting a hard top, but then realized I can't travel with my top off unless I want all my gear getting soaked if I hit rain. It's a Jeep...it's not made to be quiet...so I could care less about that (if I wanted something quiet I would have gotten a Civic) plus soft tops just look cooler. lol
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3nt3nc3d View Post
Pros of a hard top - harder to break into your Jeep, quieter than many soft tops.

Cons of a hard top - heavy and for most people, requires two people to install/remove it; if you get caught out in the rain away from home, you can't just lift the top back on.

The cons outweigh the pros IMO... I considered getting a hard top, but then realized I can't travel with my top off unless I want all my gear getting soaked if I hit rain. It's a Jeep...it's not made to be quiet...so I could care less about that (if I wanted something quiet I would have gotten a Civic) plus soft tops just look cooler. lol
I knew I liked you... We think alike. I thought I wanted a hard top too, but then I realized, it's a Jeep. I love my soft top and wouldn't trade for anything.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I knew I liked you... We think alike. I thought I wanted a hard top too, but then I realized, it's a Jeep. I love my soft top and wouldn't trade for anything.
lol yeah...my Jeep is still quieter than everything I use at work. All the tractors are so loud I have to close the windows just to hear the radio when it's maxed out. I can still hear the radio in my Jeep so it must be quieter

Btw...according to Bestops marketing information on 4wd.com and JeepDepot.com

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At highway speeds, the Sailcloth Replace-a-Top™ is quieter than a factory hardtop. That's right, quieter than a factory hardtop! That's not just an improvement, it's a miracle. Sailcloth is a 4-ply material made up of vinyl, rubber, and fabric and reduces cabin noise by 50% at highway speeds compared to the old Jeep 2-ply soft top fabric. Road sounds, wind noise, and annoying top flapping are virtually silenced! In addition, the Bestop Sailcloth Replace-a-Top wears better, is more tear-resistant and resists temperature changes better than traditional top fabrics.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:32 PM   #10
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yeah i agree with s3nt3nc3d i feel that a soft top is better all around. sure its not as safe as having a hard top. but if you have something in there worth stealing, a hard top isnt going to stop anyone.

i feel it comes down to if you like to ride around with the top down or not. it is kind of a pain to take off the hard top by your self.

but if you have to money you can always have both the soft top and hard top just for the heck of it
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:35 PM   #11
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i drove one of the newest jeeps the other day with a soft top and it was amazing how quite it was! those are the sail cloth tops right?
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #12
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I swapped the non-Sailcloth top that came originally on my '97 for a Bestop Sailcloth top and my TJ's interior was dramatically quieter afterwards. Sailcloth tops are not quieter than a hard top but they are much quieter than non-Sailcloth tops are. I do know the first year or two Sailcloth tops used a 4 layer fabric & later switched to a 3 layer. And yes thechink09, all newer softtop equipped TJs come with Sailcloth.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:25 PM   #13
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I don't think sailcloth is quieter than a hardtop, and I don't think that the marketing BS on that site S3nt3nced quoted is from us. And never believe anything marketing people tell you. Um, except for me.

But that said, people do like the Sailcloth. The biggest complaint we get is that it's only available as a Replace-A-Top (for use with factory hardware). They are noticeably quieter.

I can never remember the years, but at some point close to 2000, the stock factory top became sailcloth.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:32 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the comments - I don't believe my factory soft top is sailcloth. It is brittle & torn & starting to come apart at the seams.

I love having the top down in the summer. I would love having a HT for winter. I'll have to keep that in mind. I drive 25 miles each way for work every day. I don't mind the drive but blasting the stereo is making me deaf.

I think I will start with the essentials - soft top & by next winter I will try to save the extra cash to find a good HT too.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:41 PM   #15
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I am just glad that I have both a hard top for the crazy Utah winters and a soft top for the Moab trips in the spring and Fall.

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