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Old 07-24-2010, 04:33 AM   #1
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TJ Factory Top?

When I bought my TJ, I only got the hardtop and wasn't too concerned about a soft top at the time. Now, I'm thinking a soft top of some kind would be a great addition and for the last few days have been researching my options. I really like the Rampage fastback tops because of the removeable side and rear windows, but it appears they are on backorder until the end of august.

So anyway, I stumbled across a guy that has a factory soft top from an '03 that is supposedly in great shape and he is willing to sell it because he replaced it with a hardtop and doesn't have the Jeep anymore. The guy that has it apparently wants $275 for it, and it supposedly has all the hardware with it too. So I've got a few questions because I really don't know a lot about the soft tops.

1. Assuming it's in good shape, is that a good price for a used one?
2. Do all of the windows in a factory soft top zip out completely, or just the sides and bottom and they roll up? Are the factory soft tops easy to put down all the way for an open-air ride when I want it?
3. When I go out to take a look at it, is there anything I should pay particular attention to?
4. What hardware should it have with it to be "complete"? And will it work fine with the full doors that came with my hardtop?

Thanks in advance for the infos

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Old 07-24-2010, 06:36 AM   #2
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From what I gathered, Bestop makes the OEM soft tops for Jeep.

The side and rear windows unzip on the top and sides, and "clip" into the bottom channel, at least that I what I think I figured out (wife's '06 is a dual top, got it used a month ago, hard top was off for the first time in it's life 2 weeks ago). We did not get the windows or door surrounds . Still looking.

Hardware should include the door surrounds, tail gate seal and of course the framework for the top and mounting hardware.

Look for rub through spots on the top (areas where the fabric has worn into the weave), color fading, stitching along the stress areas (zippers, seams...) and the condition of the windows.

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Old 07-24-2010, 07:47 AM   #3
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Check out Softopper. I have one and I love it. Removable the windows then all you have is a safari top.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:15 AM   #4
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yeah i'm in the same boat as you. easy to find the tops.. not so much the hardware.

anyway thats a good price since new ones can go for $400+
just make sure the condition is alright.

the factory soft top stuff on my friends jeep is pretty easy to take out the windows.. sometimes the zipper gets stuck (in a rainstorm) other then that its good... just remember its a lot easier then taking off a hardtop.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
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Look at Bestops site or Quadratec for pics of complete replace a tops. I think there's a diagram that shows all the hardware. ( I know there's one somewhere...) Door surrounds are very important, and the bolt thingies that hold them in. It is a good price if it includes all hardware and the windows are in decent condition. As mentioned, all the windows come all the way out, and it is faster/easier to remove/replace than a bowless top, which has to come off entirely to go topless and can be bulky to install and store.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
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not all bowless tops have permenent windows:
Jeep Wrangler TJ Canvas Caps and Toppers - Softopper
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
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If the top includes all the hardware then that is a really good price. New would run you at least $600.00. As InfernoGirl mentioned above, go to the Bestop site but look at new soft tops. The replace-a-top only works if you already have the hardware. This will show you what to look for a far as hardware.

Make sure that it has the door surrounds, header, and rear window bar with the clips that mount on the back to lock it into.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:55 AM   #8
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275 is a good price for the top and all hardware. 03 is sailcloth which is more desireable than 97-00 thinner material.

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Old 07-24-2010, 12:06 PM   #9
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Great price, the soft top is so easy to put down once your used to it, I can have my Jeep naked in a couple of minutes. She likes it too.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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Mine was a hardtop only model. I found a nice factory soft top on craiglist for $200.00 in Toppenish. Top was in perfect shape and he threw in the door surrounds for not trying to talk him down on price.
Then, I had to order the roll bar/soft top attatchment brackets, and the rear tailgate bar brackets since my Jeep never came with them.
I ran a Safari top for years in the summer with a trail cover at night until I finally found a soft top.
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #11
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That's the info I was looking for I've never seen those Softopper tops. I'll need to look into those a bit more as well, they look pretty nice and appear to come with all the hardware needed. That video is great for seeing what parts are needed and what's involved in setting it all up, thanks. Gonna go check out the info quadratec has and see what else I can find out.

Thanks again everyone, it's a big help
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for the video Neil F. Now I know everything else the previous owner did not include (dual top) when he/she traded it in .

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