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Old 12-28-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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What to ask & look for when buying a used hardtop

Any pointers on what specifics to ask about when communicating about a hard top on craigslist? And if I went to see it in person, what do I look for?

I have a 2000 & have never had a hard top for it so I have no idea what I'm doing!

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Old 12-28-2010, 10:37 PM   #2
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Look for cracks around the mounting holes ect. heavy and or deep scratches . Other then that you should be fine, Good luck in your search !

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Old 12-29-2010, 12:03 AM   #3
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You can fit any hard top made for a TJ - 97-06.
There will be minor changes in wiring and venting for tops made after 03. So it may not be as easy to plug it in, and may require electrical expertise. That's not really a big deal.

Hard tops are fairly simple, and a visual go-over as arcwelder describes should be enough. I'd add in looking for patches and repaired spots. If you're really paranoid, you can measure it at angles (top left to right rear, and visa-versa) to make sure the top is still mostly square. The measurements should be the same.

The main thing people do to them is drop them, and that's going to be obvious.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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Thx! It has the rear defroster, wiper & interior light but I would need a wiring kit for that. Is that a big deal? And what about the hardware necessary to put the top on? Should that be included or is it typically something you have to pick up yourself when buying used?
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by stephg138 View Post
Thx! It has the rear defroster, wiper & interior light but I would need a wiring kit for that. Is that a big deal? And what about the hardware necessary to put the top on? Should that be included or is it typically something you have to pick up yourself when buying used?
From what I understand the wiring harness changed around 04 (I think), so you might have to do some macgyvering if you don't have the same generation plug.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:59 AM   #6
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Buy the harness from Quadratec and you can find a pigtail on ebay or elsewhere that will allow you to connect the Jeep to the top if the years are off.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:15 AM   #7
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On the hardware, it uses 6 bolts and 6 nut-type things to bolt it to the tub. The nuts are roughly rectangular and go under the lip of the tub. Four of the factory ones have plastic retainers. The front two don't, so you can drop them into the seat belt retractor more easily :-). The clamps for the windshield are on the top and work just like the soft top clamps.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:17 AM   #8
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On the hardware, it uses 6 bolts and 6 nut-type things to bolt it to the tub. The nuts are roughly rectangular and go under the lip of the tub. Four of the factory ones have plastic retainers. The front two don't, so you can drop them into the seat belt retractor more easily :-). The clamps for the windshield are on the top and work just like the soft top clamps.
X2...However, the guy that I bought my hardtop from lost the hardware and I just bought bolts and nuts from Home Depot and stuck with them. The actual hardware is really expensive for what it is. I chose the $3 route rather than the $30 or $40 is was going to be to get the OEM hardware. Up to you.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stephg138 View Post
Thx! It has the rear defroster, wiper & interior light but I would need a wiring kit for that. Is that a big deal? And what about the hardware necessary to put the top on? Should that be included or is it typically something you have to pick up yourself when buying used?
How much are you seeing in prices? It seems new tops are high dollar, and I just ordered a soft top because of cost savings.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:08 PM   #10
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expect to pay 800-1200 for a hard top in excellent condition, depending on your area. The colder the area, the higher demand for a hard top. One word of advice - make sure it's for a TJ before handing over any $. take your rig (don't trailer it home w/another vehicle) and make sure it fits on site. Some guys are trying to pawn off YJ tops as if they will fit a TJ, and they won't w/o serious modification. They are basically the same width but not the same length.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #11
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What BigEZ said. Take your Jeep and put it on right there. You're gonna be amazed how quiet the ride home is going to be. I never hooked up the rear wiper. Guess I should do that.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:47 PM   #12
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I never hooked up the rear wiper. Guess I should do that.
The rear wiper on my '02 Hardtop is pretty useless, the blade makes very little contact w/the glass...other than that the HT is great.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:01 PM   #13
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Thx to all!!! I spoke to the seller tonight. He said the top is faded, has no major scrapes etc. When I mentioned I wasn't worried about fading, just leaking, he mentioned if I go through a car wash, there will be some drops that get in because it doesn't form a totally flush seal but that I won't see any water inside during rain. Does this sound reasonable?

He says it is from a 99. Mine is a 2000. He is selling it for $750.

We left it that I would drive there Monday, he would help me get my soft top off & put the hard top on.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:19 PM   #14
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Thx to all!!! I spoke to the seller tonight. He said the top is faded, has no major scrapes etc. When I mentioned I wasn't worried about fading, just leaking, he mentioned if I go through a car wash, there will be some drops that get in because it doesn't form a totally flush seal but that I won't see any water inside during rain. Does this sound reasonable?

He says it is from a 99. Mine is a 2000. He is selling it for $750.

We left it that I would drive there Monday, he would help me get my soft top off & put the hard top on.
Im replacing my ht seal next summer to avoid the leaks.. http://www.quadratec.com/products/13022_50.htm
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:30 PM   #15
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great timing on this post everyone. I used this info when I went to look at a hard top I saw on craiglist today. I bought it and installed it myself as soon as i got home. I have no wiring or anything but the top is on.
I was wondering one thing though, I took off the clips that hold the tail gate rail on the old soft top and the rubber on the liftgate from the hard top does not cover the holes.
Is there something I can do to fix this before the holes rust? Should I put those things back on?
I am hoping someone with more knowledge than I has an answer.



Mike
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephg138 View Post
Thx to all!!! I spoke to the seller tonight. He said the top is faded, has no major scrapes etc. When I mentioned I wasn't worried about fading, just leaking, he mentioned if I go through a car wash, there will be some drops that get in because it doesn't form a totally flush seal but that I won't see any water inside during rain. Does this sound reasonable?

He says it is from a 99. Mine is a 2000. He is selling it for $750.

We left it that I would drive there Monday, he would help me get my soft top off & put the hard top on.
I wouldn't wait. Drive there ASAP, b/c at that price it will prob be gone sometime during the weekend, specially with all that weather you guys just had. The fading can be fixed easily in the spring (see multiple threads) and the high pressure carwash leaks are normal.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:15 AM   #17
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Cracks and detailed pics are a must
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:53 AM   #18
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great timing on this post everyone. I used this info when I went to look at a hard top I saw on craiglist today. I bought it and installed it myself as soon as i got home. I have no wiring or anything but the top is on.
I was wondering one thing though, I took off the clips that hold the tail gate rail on the old soft top and the rubber on the liftgate from the hard top does not cover the holes.
Is there something I can do to fix this before the holes rust? Should I put those things back on?
I am hoping someone with more knowledge than I has an answer.



Mike
- Put the clips back on

- Just put the screws back. A dab of silicone would not hurt and will seal any moisture out.

- If you put just the screws, a dab of touch up paint will hide them.

- At the auto parts store, you can but plastic push plugs if you don't want to use the screws. Silicone and paint again would be a good idea.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:05 AM   #19
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Help

I'll do the latches in the front ever break or the fiberglass holding the latches and crack?? Any help would be great as I as well I'm looking to buy one off of craigslist

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