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Old 08-05-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
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Soft top bows, 97-02 vs 03-06

Did Jeep change the bows on the newer TJ vs the older ones? I know the header is different but are the bows different? I have an 03 and got a Bestop sailcloth replace-a-top for 03-06. The soft top frame I'm using is from a 98 TJ. The new top fits loose on the frame. It's kinda baggy all over. None of the windows seen snug like my old top was. They say to install them when when it's warm and sunny and I did but I think I would of been able to install this one in the dead of winter during an eclipse it's so loose. I know it is on the header right as this is the 3rd TJ soft top I've installed in the past 3 months (not all on this TJ). So I was wondering if maybe the bows for a 03-06 might make the top tighter?

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Old 08-06-2014, 05:22 AM   #2
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There is a tiny bit of a measurement change in the rear bow length but not enough to make a difference. The 97-02 bow is a little longer. I have 04 fabric on a 01 frame. Fits very tight.

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Old 08-06-2014, 10:28 AM   #3
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I had a buddy that had a similar problem on his Jeep...loose replacement skins on his OEM frame. Instead of sending it back, he bought a couple of pieces of the black foam pipe insulation, cut lengths of it and installed them over the framework in several locations. This made up for the dimensional differences and tightened up his top just enough that he was happy with it. He also said that it also quieted the ride down a little for him...IDK if that's true or not.

Good luck with it!!!
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Markrak View Post
I had a buddy that had a similar problem on his Jeep...loose replacement skins on his OEM frame. Instead of sending it back, he bought a couple of pieces of the black foam pipe insulation, cut lengths of it and installed them over the framework in several locations. This made up for the dimensional differences and tightened up his top just enough that he was happy with it. He also said that it also quieted the ride down a little for him...IDK if that's true or not.

Good luck with it!!!
Don't know how he did that. The softop attaches to the bows with snaps/velcro. There is no extra room to add a layer of foam. and still close the snaps.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:19 PM   #5
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I thought Bestop sailcloth was the best top you could get. I'm not impressed with it. I took it off today and bought a hard top and put it on for now. Not sure what I'm going to do with the soft top.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Don't know how he did that. The softop attaches to the bows with snaps/velcro. There is no extra room to add a layer of foam. and still close the snaps.
His soft top had gaps in the fabric in the center, and on each end of the rear bow where the snaps are....and he put the insulation there. He also put it on the side portion of the frame that runs on an angle on each side by the windows. IDK exactly what replacement skins he has, but that is what he did and it works for him.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:43 PM   #7
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Hey Fran if you want I have an 06 soft top frame if you want to try that to see if theres any difference.

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