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Old 05-30-2013, 12:02 AM   #1
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need advice on my soft top

I just recently bought my 2001 wrangler, it came with the hard top on and had the soft top rolled up in the back. Yesterday we took the hard top on and went to install the soft top, it took a few hours but we finally got everything figured out properly. The only thing is the clips in the front at the windshield will not clamp down no matter how hard we tried. The top is latched in place and all we need to do is get the clamps down. We were tokd by a local delaership that its a possibility that the top has shrunk too much and we won't ever be able to get the clamps down. We don't know for sure but were thinking the soft top has never been used before and is probably at least 10 years old. Does anyone know if its possible for it to shrink that much? I feel like we made so much progress already that it would be crazy that the clamps won't shut over time. I'm new to owning a jeep so I have no experience with soft tops at all. Has anyone ever had one shrink to the point where they can't use it anymore? Or do you think a few days to a week in the sun will allow me to clamp them down?

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Old 05-30-2013, 06:42 AM   #2
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Try leaving it out in the sun for a day or so the heat should allow you to stretch it just enough to get It clamped down in place. Also try clamping it down differently. Try putting front in first then back. And if you do get it on leave on in sun for a few days. Good luck and welcome to the forum.

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Old 05-30-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
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Try taking the back window out and taking the rear corners off, clamp the front THEN put the rear window in and put the rear corners back in the channel. That's the only way I've been able to get mine on.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:57 AM   #4
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I am X2 on the sun route. Makes a huge difference. As one of the posters said undo the corners on the rear tub and make sure the front will latch with no pressure on the top. Make sure there is nothing physically wrong with the latches themselves or what your are latching them to. You should be able to get this done. Any soft top Jeep guy will tell you the top is a PITA your first couple of times. I can get my tops up now after years of practice in 5 minutes, but I have developed my own tricks over the years. Good luck, let us know if you have success.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:12 PM   #5
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We were able to get them down after around 2 days of some hot weather. Any advice on how long I should leave it all clamped down before tying to out the top down? I dont wanna put it down and have the same trouble and worries the next time I go to put it up again.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigwhite11 View Post
Try taking the back window out and taking the rear corners off, clamp the front THEN put the rear window in and put the rear corners back in the channel. That's the only way I've been able to get mine on.
That's how I have to get mine most times
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:02 AM   #7
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I'd always clamp the header in, then pull down on the rear bow to get the sails fastened down, then I'd put all the windows in. Never had an issue that way, aside from zippers.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindel View Post
I'd always clamp the header in, then pull down on the rear bow to get the sails fastened down, then I'd put all the windows in. Never had an issue that way, aside from zippers.
This is my method as well, and was also my first indication that the owners manual is complete crap lol
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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You'll have a lot of frustration if not a downright lack of success if you insert the top's rear corners before inserting the two front hooks. The best way is to insert the front hooks into their slots without actually closing the latch. Then insert the rear corners, THEN close the latch to tighten the front hooks.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
You'll have a lot of frustration if not a downright lack of success if you insert the top's rear corners before inserting the two front hooks. The best way is to insert the front hooks into their slots without actually closing the latch. Then insert the rear corners, THEN close the latch to tighten the front hooks.
The way I read OP, this is what he tried to do but couldn't get them to clamp down due to the tightness of the top. I have the same problem so I just go ahead and clamp them before hooking the rear flaps, gently pushing down on the back bar while doing so to get some slack
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolexjones View Post
We were able to get them down after around 2 days of some hot weather. Any advice on how long I should leave it all clamped down before tying to out the top down? I dont wanna put it down and have the same trouble and worries the next time I go to put it up again.
I would say leave it for a week or so. Let it stretch a bit. I have driven around without the windows in without problems, if you need that kind of Jeep fix
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTBalla34 View Post
The way I read OP, this is what he tried to do but couldn't get them to clamp down due to the tightness of the top. I have the same problem so I just go ahead and clamp them before hooking the rear flaps, gently pushing down on the back bar while doing so to get some slack
Re-read what I said. Connect the hooks into their windshield slots before any tension is on the top. Don't latch the hooks yet, just insert the hooks. THEN insert the rear corners which tensions the top, then the front hook latches can be closed to tighten the hooks that were inserted earlier.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN05Wrangler View Post

I would say leave it for a week or so. Let it stretch a bit. I have driven around without the windows in without problems, if you need that kind of Jeep fix
Yeah I was gonna wait a few more days and take my windows out when I get the chance. Its super hot here and I can't wait to put the top down.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Re-read what I said. Connect the hooks into their windshield slots before any tension is on the top. Don't latch the hooks yet, just insert the hooks. THEN insert the rear corners which tensions the top, then the front hook latches can be closed to tighten the hooks that were inserted earlier.
That's what I tried to do and they wouldn't close. I had them hooked into the slots and then got the back corners attached and that's when the latches wouldn't close.
All it needed way a day or two in the sun and I got them closed.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Re-read what I said. Connect the hooks into their windshield slots before any tension is on the top. Don't latch the hooks yet, just insert the hooks. THEN insert the rear corners which tensions the top, then the front hook latches can be closed to tighten the hooks that were inserted earlier.
I assure you there was no confusion on my part...

Reread what "I" said. He and I both tried to insert the hooks without clamping them, tuck the rear, then clamp, which was your advice and the manual instructions as well. It doesn't work as well as clamping first then tucking the rear at least on my rig and obviously the OP's as well

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