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Old 10-17-2010, 12:01 PM   #1
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Rampage Frameless Top: Jeep Nurse REVIEW

Rampage Frameless Top for Jeep Wrangler

Hello friends! I recently made the move from YJ to TJ with the help of my friends here on the Wrangler Forum. I acquired my “dream Jeep” … the one I couldn’t afford back in 1999… I purchased a 1999 Wrangler Sahara which came with hardtop and hard doors.

I love having a hardtop for security and when dealing with the winter it can’t be beat! I LOVE my soft top though! Living as a single guy I’ve got no help when it comes to getting the hard top off on sunny days. My jeeps have always been too tall to use a garage mounted hoist so I find myself gravitating toward the soft top as a logical choice for me.

I was looking at spending $1000 for a new soft top with frame and hardward. Then of course if I want to switch back to a hard top I need to remove all the hardware and store the top. This is becoming a lot like work!

Enter the Rampage Frameless Top for Jeeps! Why didn’t I think of this? No hardware, no frame and it looks AWESOME in my opinion.

Think bikini top … then think soft top…THIS is a Rampage Frameless top. If you’re already running a soft top then swapping over will be a breeze. If you’re running a hard top then you’ll need a few extra parts including the front windshield channel, rear window bar and the side door wings.

Installation is a breeze as the top slides into the channels the same as a factory or bikini top. The instructions included made for a smooth install. Overall I think the quality of the product is top notch. Perform this installation on a warm day, in the sun or in a warm garage. This top has a TIGHT fit and must be stretched in order to fit properly. I was able to remove and install by myself but an extra pair of hands would have made life a little easier.

Once centered and strapped down this top looks awesome. No flapping like the factory top! There are some very cool mesh storage pockets inside and the two padded support bars in the center make the interior look tough! If this was not enough excitement for one day there is a storage compartment that allows you to remove the windows and store them WITHIN the top. YES that’s right! A storage bag comes with the top. Velcro secures the bag in between top panels. You’d never know it was there! The bag itself is machine washable and has cloth panel separators for each window. NICE!

Remove the windows and you’ve got a SAFARI TOP! Four mores straps and you are TOPLESS! Love it!

Jp Magazine did a write-up on the Rampage top back in March 2010: Rampage Jeep Wrangler Soft Top - Jp Magazine

I’d like to offer my personal experience on this install…

• Make certain the top is centered in the front channel otherwise the rest of your installation will be very difficult and the top will not sit correctly.

• A little bit at a time…whatever you do to one side do to the other. Cinch the straps in INCREMENTS. DO NOT ZIP or CINCH completely on one side and then do the other side.

• For the side windows, secure the Velcro on both sides. Then unvelcro small sections, then stretch and then secure until the roof panel covers the Velcro and the edge is parallel to the ground.

• Rear window straps, there’s three of them. TUG by hand. DO NOT over tighten. The window panel should slide UNDER the roof panel. Fold back the straps and attach the velcro

• Rear window, Zip each side a little at a time…stretch, zip, stretch zip

• Tops edges should be seated in the channels BEFORE inserting the LAST two REAR securing straps.

• Rear straps: make certain the rear window Velcro is not attached when tightening the rear straps. Stretch and pull each side a little bit at a time to make certain top is centered.

This top is easy to manage once you’ve worked with it a little bit. DO NOT make the mistake I did and try to put your windows in when it’s cold. If its 80 degrees when you remove the windows and it’s 60 degrees when you get home your install will be just like it was the first time!

I’ll post pictures ASAP. I love the look and a few people have asked me “Is that a Wrangler?” … this top changes the look of the Jeep and I think it’s awesome!

SO FAR…I’d rate this top a 9 on a scale of 1 – 10. You will notice a seam on the top that has sealer on it. I don’t like the way it looks, but who looks up there anyway. Other than that it looks great. I believe the warranty is 2 – years and I’m thinking this top will outlast the warranty. All this for UNDER $500!

I hope you find my review useful. Feel free to ask questions!

Jeep Nurse

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Old 10-17-2010, 01:20 PM   #2
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Definitely a useful review!

I'm strongly considering this top as well because i love a soft top and love the way the rampage top looks.

I currently have a hard top that i'm thinking of selling to a coworker and just using a soft top, but we'll see what happens...

You should post pics!!

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Old 10-17-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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I thought the door surrounds come with it?? Or maybe I'm thinking of the Bestop Trektop?
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by HyperBuzzin View Post
I thought the door surrounds come with it?? Or maybe I'm thinking of the Bestop Trektop?
My Rampage kit did not come with door surrounds and the instructions indicated hard top owners would have to purchase additional items.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for writing out such a detailed review and instructions. I have been wondering seriously about getting one myself. My original soft top is well worn and the zipper for the rear window barely works. and the only drawback I see to this top is the lack of head room over the back seat, but my back seat probably wouldn't see passengers while the tops up any way. Did you buy the Sail cloth version or just the regular cloth? and you said if the buyer has the soft top already, this top works with the original windshield track?
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TJNewbie View Post
the only drawback I see to this top is the lack of head room over the back seat, but my back seat probably wouldn't see passengers while the tops up any way.
That was one of my concerns at first too...

So to solve that little dilemma, i took my seat (mounts, hardware, and belts) out the other day and sold it haha
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jeep Nurse View Post
My Rampage kit did not come with door surrounds and the instructions indicated hard top owners would have to purchase additional items.
i have the sliders that are considered a hard door and the reason i did not go with the frameless. I lucked out and got a brand new(w/factory seals) mopar top w/all hardware for $350 off of craiges list-took him 2 weeks to accept my best offer but since there seems to be a limited number of hard door jeeps out there i kinda thought he'd have problems selling it.
the one that supplies all the needed hardware for the frameless is these guys Jeep Wrangler TJ Canvas Caps and Toppers - Softopper
so far i'm happy with my frame type-just found out it has a sun roof. unfortunatly winter is comming and i'll be puttin the hard top back on-least i had a few weeks with it
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:33 PM   #8
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Pictures

Here is a link to my Picasa account... the pictures can be enlarged.

Enjoy!

Picasa Web Albums - Sal Badalamente - Sahara
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:36 PM   #9
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Great review and very spot on!

I just bought mine from Quadratec (the Tent Sale for $350). The rep. actually hooked me up with free grab handles and locking tow strap.

Overall I like the top a lot, I don't love it, but I'm happy enough with it. I bought it as a replacement for my hardtop (which I sold for $650). The install is fairly straightforward, but it is a pain in the ass. Everything has to be done in increments or it will never line up properly. My rear window's zipper snapped in half (the zippers are very cheap), but Quadratec sent me a replacement next day . No leaks and Rampage has addressed this by improving the Viking top with removable bars.

Noise is the number one soft top concern. The rep told me that it was quieter then the OEM soft top and I'm inclined to agree. I can have a normal conversation. The bars have a tendency to slap against the roof, but you can fix that by removing the bars or putting plumbers tubing over them.

It's not a go-topless top. It takes a few minutes to break it down and reinstall it, something that I'm going to miss with the frameless. At the same time, it converts to a bikini quite easily. In the summer I'll probably store the windows and run as a bikini in the rain and remove it when I'm mudding. The rear windows are probably the biggest pain in the ass. I'll get pics tomorrow.

My biggest concern is how the sound bar fits ('99). It's TIGHT around it and I'm concerned about wearing. You also can see the bulge sticking out.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:46 PM   #10
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Burton160 is on with his opinion...I wondered about the sound bar wearing too.

Another point...I went through the touchless carwash today and NO LEAKS. Pretty happy with that.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TJNewbie View Post
Thank you so much for writing out such a detailed review and instructions. I have been wondering seriously about getting one myself. My original soft top is well worn and the zipper for the rear window barely works. and the only drawback I see to this top is the lack of head room over the back seat, but my back seat probably wouldn't see passengers while the tops up any way. Did you buy the Sail cloth version or just the regular cloth? and you said if the buyer has the soft top already, this top works with the original windshield track?
I had a hardtop so I needed a windsheild channel...

Here is a link to Quadratec...scoll down for instructions. This will work with a factory soft top channel.

109535 - Rampage Products Frameless Trail Top with Tinted Windows for 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ - Quadratec
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:16 PM   #12
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Does this top work with soft upper doors and which ones match the sailcloth top rampage puts out?
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by knnphillips View Post
Does this top work with soft upper doors and which ones match the sailcloth top rampage puts out?
I don't have enough information to answer this question.

Hit up Rampage...they were very helpful Rampage Products
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:30 PM   #14
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It should work soft upper doors. The ONLY concern I can see is that it might not be as water-tight as the hard doors would be. I only say that because another frameless top company says that on their website.

109735 - Rampage Products Sailcloth Trail Top with Tinted Windows in Black Diamond for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ - Quadratec

There's the sailcloth version, it's $100 more. Me personally I'm happy with the regular material. The rep. explained it to me but I forget the numbers. It's thicker then the stock cloth that came on the earlier TJs. I find it quiet enough.

It does not work with the original windshield track bar if your bar is the type that screws into the top. The bar it requires is the slotted type that bolts on to the windsheild top, used often for bikini tops. You'll also need door surrounds that come with soft tops. And the rear tailgate bar piece.

The other thing I failed to mention is the windshield footman loop. There is a strap that goes around it BUT if your footman loop is like mine where it does point UP then the strap is going to be near your head. You're going to have to replace the footman loop and I have no idea where to find a replacement.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by burton160w View Post
The other thing I failed to mention is the windshield footman loop. There is a strap that goes around it BUT if your footman loop is like mine where it does point UP then the strap is going to be near your head. You're going to have to replace the footman loop and I have no idea where to find a replacement.
Do you have picture of this? I'll post one of mine...
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:54 PM   #16
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I can get one tomorrow but basically mine sticks straight out about 1/2 inch. BEcause of this that center strap doesn't sit flush against the soft top it's about 3 inches below it.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:59 PM   #17
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I can get one tomorrow but basically mine sticks straight out about 1/2 inch. BEcause of this that center strap doesn't sit flush against the soft top it's about 3 inches below it.
Mine is the same...
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:51 AM   #18
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This kinda shows the other style. It points upwards like a stinger bar, and it's how they show it in the Rampage pictures. This loop allows the strap to sit flush.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:15 AM   #19
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Show me as another Rampage Bowless Softtop satisfied owner. My hardtop is hanging by ceiling hooks in the garage and probably won't be installed all winter.

My wife and daughter like the new top as well.

Just a comment on wind noise; with the full doors installed and the rear windows removed (just the bikini top) there is very little wind or noise. You could almost light a candle at 60 mph and not have it blown out (exageration, I know, but it's very nice).

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Old 10-18-2010, 09:57 PM   #20
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Great pics! would like to see pics of it in bikini top mode. I thought of another question; is the rear window unzippable/removable without removing the side windows? for loading stuff into the back, over the tail gate.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:28 PM   #21
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Yes, the rear window can be unzipped and removed without removing the side windows, I've run it this way.

Two of the reasons I bought this top instead of the Bestop Trektop are that the Rampage uses the factory door surround, which (reportedly) are much better than the Bestop suplied surrounds, and you can remove the side windows, which you can't do with the Bestop version.

Today looked like rain so I installed the windows - second time I've done it and it took ten minutes. This top is SO versatile!

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Old 10-19-2010, 07:53 AM   #22
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Thanks for for the answers, and the pics. My tj is the same color as Jeep Nurse's so I got a great idea of how mine will look. but please post pics of the bikini/back window out when possible.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:20 AM   #23
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Ask and you shall receive.

In the pic showing the rear view you'll see that the lower left-hand corner isn't secured correctly. It's got a tuck-in tab but I just hadn't secured it properly.

There is minimal flapping whilst going down the road but, of course, there is some movement.

Sorry about the parking lot pic, some of us have to drive our rigs to work.

Now, let's see if I can attach a couple of pics...

Randy
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:21 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by TJNewbie View Post
Thanks for for the answers, and the pics. My tj is the same color as Jeep Nurse's so I got a great idea of how mine will look. but please post pics of the bikini/back window out when possible.
This top is also available is spice which is my FAVORITE top and interior color!

I chose black because the top looks so good in "Safari" mode I want to get matching safari doors for the summer...black to match the top

Just my 2 cents here...
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:16 PM   #25
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i have a lock box that goes from roll bar to windshield, so my footmans loop is gone. the lock box does have a place for the footmans loop on it but its on the under side of the lock box near the roll bar side (think if u drew a line strait up vertically from center console) thats where the footmans loop can be moved to.. do u guys think that will work at all with this top??
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:30 PM   #26
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I love my top. Too bad I'm sellin the jeep.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:27 AM   #27
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Noise

I just installed my soft top, and not sure if it was done properly. The windshield channel header has play when pushed forward or back, and when I go any faster than 35 MPH, the top flaps and hits the two fiberglass poles. If I remove them, there is still a good amount of audible flapping that is pretty annoying. Anyone have tips on how to snug down the windshield channel or secure some of the flapping?
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:51 PM   #28
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I have heard that they leak alot is that true?
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:42 PM   #29
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I have heard that they leak alot is that true?
I have had this top a couple of months with no leaks fwiw.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:19 AM   #30
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I have a 98 TJ, and am considering making the switch from my after market hard top to this rampage frame less top. The after market top that the previous owner bought is awful (fleetair). Leaks massive amounts of water from the sun roof, door channels, and rear window. I cant afford to buy a new hard top.

I have half doors, so my first question is if I should buy the soft upper frames, and skins, or if I should keep the hard uppers that match the hard top. My second question is to verify that my amazon cart has everything I need coming from a hard top with no hardware to make the change. Here's what I have in the cart, so far.

Bestop door surrounds (can someone explain why I need these?)
rampage windshield channel
rampage trail top frameless/ bow less TJ
bestop tailgate barkit
rampage replacement window frame (optional)
Rampage window skin (optional)

Let me know if anyone can think of anything else I need for the switch, and what you think about the windows. A couple notes I live in the wettest city in the US Hilo, Hawaii, so rain is a big problem. I am trying to keep this as low cost as possible.

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