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Old 06-22-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
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Soft top in the Winter

I know this subject has been beat to death, and I have done a search, my problem is most people who reply saying the soft top is great in the winter doesn't really know what winter is untill they live in North Dakota, -25 degree temps, 30 to 40 mph wind. I am debating on selling my hard top cause i have no room for storage if i decide to get a soft top. I have seen a few windows crack on some soft tops when its really cold. I do not know if these tops are factory or from bestop. Are Best top windows any better then the factory ones?
Also i know a guy who has a 97 with a softop. He wants to trade me for my hard top. His softop looks like brand new since it has been stored for the last 8 years. I think with that softop being 14 years old it has to be some ageing going on and will not be as strong as a brand new one. What do you think.
Everyones comments are welcome.

PS the softops that i really want is one of 3
1 Bestop Supertop NX
2 Bestop sunrider
3 Bestop Trektop NX

are these better then the factory tops? and which one would you choose?
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:23 PM   #2
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From what Ive heard Bestop makes the factory. If I was you I'd keep the hard top. Where I'm at I wish I had a hard top in the winter and it dosen't even get below zero.

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Old 06-22-2011, 08:27 PM   #3
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I have the Bestop Sailcloth soft top on my TJ. It works fine in a Michigan winter (admittedly not quite as harsh as North Dakota. I haven't had any cracking problems, but you don't want to bang anything into them when it's that cold or they might crack. Trading a hardtop for a soft top is not a good deal, though. You can buy a new soft top for $500 - $600. A used hard top is usually more expensive than that, even in well-used condition. I'd keep the hard top and buy a soft top and try it. If it doesn't work out, you can always go back to the hard top. If you give it up, your screwed -- looking at a $2,000 investment for a new one.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:35 PM   #4
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A 97 factory soft top is not worth much, maybe $200 from what I have seen for sale. Your hard top in Wisconsin is a $800-1200 item. And I bet in North Dakota it is worth every penny you can get for it. Sell it to him for $1000 and buy your soft top you want. A 97 soft top is less than half as good as what is made new today.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMA_Rider
From what Ive heard Bestop makes the factory. If I was you I'd keep the hard top. Where I'm at I wish I had a hard top in the winter and it dosen't even get below zero.
^^^ this
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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I would keep the hardtop.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy1970
A 97 factory soft top is not worth much, maybe $200 from what I have seen for sale. Your hard top in Wisconsin is a $800-1200 item. And I bet in North Dakota it is worth every penny you can get for it. Sell it to him for $1000 and buy your soft top you want. A 97 soft top is less than half as good as what is made new today.
X2 for what you could sell your hard top for you could easily buy the new bestop with factory hard ware and go whistleing to the bank afterwards...
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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I have a soft top on all year in North Jersey. Temperatures can get decently low, and we got hit hard by snow this year. My soft top (which came with it from the factory, its a 2004). It handles well with the cold (while not as cold as it is by you). It hasn't cracked or anything. But in your situation, the hard top sounds to be a better suit.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:26 PM   #9
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Not North Dakota---That being said-I have experienced below zero temps in my '04 sport-I have had it since '04. I have also had a LOT of snow dumped on it with no problem (36" one storm last winter). There are times I think, yes it would be nice to have a hard top,but not enough to make me purchase one.
It does take some time to get it warm in the winter, but when it is sub zero every vehicle is cold at first.
I did sell my soft-top to another Forum member-I have a halftop and glass uppers that I use in the winter now. I did install seat heaters this past winter-I must be getting old.

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #10
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i would keep the hardtop and get a soft top too...plus you would be on losing end if you traded the guy for his soft top. through it up on CL..will be gone in a week and u will have plenty of money to spend on a good quality soft top with some left over.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:04 AM   #11
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I would keep the hardtop.
x2
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:13 AM   #12
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near and below 0 is very cold in a soft top. jeeps have good heater though so if you can bear it, and want to, go for it. It usually gets 15 at the lowest here in PA but we have quite a few mornings of 5 degrees and a few lower, and those were nasty. Where I live is also always quite breezy and windy so I know what the 25 and 30 mph gusts and cold temps feel like!

also hard snow storms can blow snow in between your surrounds.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:35 AM   #13
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dont get rid of your hard top! you'll be sorry, you can always but a soft top cheap or a bikini top. heck it would be worth it to rent a storage if you dont have a place to keep it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:52 AM   #14
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Everything Steve loves Jeeps says plus. I plow snow in OHIO and you can destroy the plastic windows in a hurry with a snow brush. As the wet snow builds up on then if you use your glove or a snow brush you scratch the hell out of them. For this reason I just bought a hardtop for winter.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMA_Rider View Post
From what Ive heard Bestop makes the factory. If I was you I'd keep the hard top. Where I'm at I wish I had a hard top in the winter and it dosen't even get below zero.
x2. At those extreme low temps, I would be expecting a short lifespan on the soft top windows.

I had no problem with my soft top in winter, but I think the coldest I saw was -10 for a few days, and during that time was driving short distances and generally below 40 mph, so there wasn't a lot of flapping going on.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyfghezzi
Everything Steve loves Jeeps says plus. I plow snow in OHIO and you can destroy the plastic windows in a hurry with a snow brush. As the wet snow builds up on then if you use your glove or a snow brush you scratch the hell out of them. For this reason I just bought a hardtop for winter.
I've cracked two rear windows doing this. I live in Ohio as well. The plastic gets very brittle in cold temperatures. The replacements are expensive too.

I say keep the hard top.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:30 PM   #17
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Thanks for everyones comments. I think you all talked me into keeping the hardtop. I do have it on Craigs list right now but i think i'll take it off when i get home from work. I just wish i had a place to store the hard top so i could take it off and get a safari top or something. It really sucks when the temps are in the 80s here and i have no AC. That was my choice though to buy a vehicle with no AC. I figured its only that warm about 2 months out of the year here. Most of the time the temps are ok except for the dead of winter. I think ND is the coldest state in the lower 48, and when it gets cold it can stay cold for a long time, some days our high temps don't even get above 0.
Hard top is staying. I'll figure something else out for a soft top, summer time only at another time. Maybe next year.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:49 PM   #18
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i am currently looking for a hard top for when i move from delaware to illinois. illinois winters are much worse than delaware and i would imagine north dakota to be even worse still. i would keep the hard top if i were you.

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