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Old 08-29-2010, 11:34 AM   #1
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Top? I Know, I'm A Jackass

Okay, so the Jeep is new to me and I've been leaving the top down because it's been beautiful lately but I would really like to be able to put it up at night so that the trees don't leave lovely little presents in my car for me. I had been able to put the top up and down before, but now it seems as though it is too small -- I was able to put the top up and down only about 5 days ago. Now, when I try to put it up, it seems that the frame is somewhat crooked and even with myself and two grown men I have been unable to put the top back up...the latch in the front just won't come down far enough to do it. Any ideas on trying to "stretch" it back into place? It really doesn't want to work for me at all.

P.S. -- No laughing, I know this is completely retarded of me and I'm sure the fix is easy, but I just can't seem to figure it out...

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'98 TJ 2.5
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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Put the top up as much as you can and let it sit in the sun like that for maybe an hour. Hopefully once it warms up the material will become more flexible/stretchy. I usually have some trouble getting it back together on cool nights but have never not been able to get it back up.

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Old 08-29-2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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I connect the front latches before tucking the sail panels. The panels are easy to put in with just the slightest pressure the the rear bow. When I put the top up I stand on the hitch and toss it forward. I try to get the sunrider latches to connect first, making the header connection simple.

"I've got two things in this world, my balls and my word and I don't break them for no one."
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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I have had luck when it is cooler to unzip the rear window and that lets the top stretch a bit. When it is cold the plastic gets really stiff from being folded up
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:05 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone -- I disconnected the back first and that helped me get it together...I've got the bar above the tailgate in place, now I'm hoping that the heat will help the back get put in place!
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:08 PM   #6
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First off, if it's a new soft top, there will be a little bit of a "break-in" period where it might be a little unweildy. The temperature outside definitely has an impact on how easy it to to put up/take down. The warmer it is, the easier it will be to put up/take down, so its probably a good idea to put it up before the sun goes down. I generally line up the latches in front first, but do not completely engage the latch, just get it in the slot and push down on the metal latch handle a little bit so it doesn't pop out while you're snapping the rest of the top into place. When I bought my Jeep new, there was a really good instructional video that came with it on the soft top/hard top operation. Google it and you'll find some homegrown instruction videos from a few dealers and some amateur filmmakers
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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Make sure the center bow is in the right position, and the straps aren't twisted or caught on something. I've had that happen before and it makes it tough to put the top up.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
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2003 TJ, 33" BFG AT, 2" BL, 2" BDS spring lift, Truck Lite headlights, Homemade sunrider top.
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