Got a 2002 Wrangler Sport in need of a new top. Currently has a soft top that is falling apart. I live on a island and while the weather is uniformly good we do get regular and frequent showers, as in 2-3 times a day without warning which is no big if your heading to the beach, but if your on the way to work or church it presents a bit of a issue. Because we get a lot of wind coming off the ocean, its usually a blowing rain.
I like the idea of a soft top and I have owned convertibles in the past and taking the top down was a matter of unzipping the back window lay it flat, undo the latches, fold it flat and go. But the one time I took the Jeep soft top down, it was like a 40 minute exercise in frustration. Putting it back up that evening proved to be equally if not more difficult.
Iíve been thinking of one of these routes and wanted to get the groupís thoughts.
Soft top (Been looking at used in the $ 300-600 range)
Preferred approach, but I am concerned about how often it will need to be replaced in a tropical environment with lots of humidity and salt air. Also, if itís such a hassle to put up and down as it was with my initial experience, (unless Iím doing something wrong) it will never come down as I will have to put it up and down all the time as we get rain year round. There's not a day that goes by where it isn't raining someplace on the island. It can be anythign from a light sprinkle for a few minutes, to a sudden downpour that lasts 30 minutes.
The issues I have with them are (1 They are almost as much or more expensive than a full soft top. (2 No protection for passengers sitting in the rear
3 piece kits (Safari bikini top, windjammer and Tonno)
Issues 1) my wife doesnít like it because any passengers wonít be protected, 2) I live in a condo and have no place to store the back seat 3) Since the Windjammer doesnít seal around the front passenger section the wind blown rain will get into the front compartment of the Jeep since once I replace the top it will be in the driveway and not the garage.
Hard Top (looking for used new is out of my price range)
Issues (1 Expensive (2 with my busy schedule I know it will rarely be taken off which defeats one of the reasons I bought the Jeep in the first place, I like open air driving. Plus I am concerned that if I take it off and it starts raining things like the stereo, gauges etc will get wet and damaged, (2-3 inches in a hour is not uncommon).
Multi-piece hard tops
Great idea, but out of my price range
Half hard top
Again out of my price range, plus requires mods to the cage and again no protection for passengers.
What I would really like is
A. A soft top that is a snap to take down, (10 minutes or less)
B. 3 piece combination kit where the rear seat can remain in place under the tonno, with an optional bikini top that will protect passengers and a windjammer that will keep out the driving rain.
I am totally new to the world of Jeeps so what I want may exist and I just donít know about it or Iím looking in the wrong place.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated; Iím getting tired of almost drowning every time I step on the brakes from the tidal wave that washes forward from the water that accumulates in the tub. :-(