Soft Top Quality - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > YJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > YJ General Discussion Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 06-25-2014, 05:44 PM   #1
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 125
Soft Top Quality

I'm looking at several different manufacturers of Soft Tops for my '90 YJ. Bestop seems to be the most popular, but what about Rampage, Smittybuilt, or Quadratop? Are there any to avoid? Which are US made and which are chinese crap? I'm looking to just replace just the top as my frame is mostly OK. I need to replace the spreader bars, the rest is fine. I don't want to end up with a flappy, rips in a year, can't make out a damn thing through the wavy windows, P.O.S. that is a waste of money, but I'm not looking to spend a fortune either. What i want to know is:
1: If you purchased a new top, which one and why?
2: Would you buy the same top again? Why?
3: If your new top failed, what failed on it? Tears? Leaks? Too damn noisy?

JMickey is offline   Quote
Old 06-25-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
JeepWarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Central FL
Posts: 51
Interested in seeing the replies to this. My 1990 needs one also.

JeepWarrior is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 04:54 AM   #3
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 125
Nothing? Did i post this in the wrong section?
JMickey is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 06:29 AM   #4
Jeeper
 
roadyrob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: west palm fla
Posts: 1,047
I got a bestop replace a top 4 months ago, so far no complaints, it is made in china. I replaced a pavement ends top, 3 years old and it shrunk so bad I couldn't get the windows to zip up.
roadyrob is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
Jeeper
 
0III0forlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ridgway, Pa.
Posts: 3,828
Images: 6
I don't think any of the soft tops available in the aftermarket world are made in the USA.

Bestop is one of the best out there and they have even resorted to using Chinese junk as well.

Smittybuilt is cheaper, but doesn't hold up as well. Thinner plastic on the windows and prone to rips and tears. Doesn't handle the heat well either, stretches easy when hot and way too much shrinkage when cold.

My personal preference is a hard top for the fall/winter, and a bikini top for the spring/summer.
__________________
'87 YJ, 4.2L built and bored, 8.5" of lift, 8.8 rear, AX15/NP 231, Tom Woods drive shafts, Flat fenders, 12,000LB winch, Custom bumpers, Rattle can paint job. Never completed...
0III0forlife is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 09:44 AM   #6
Jeeper
 
roadyrob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: west palm fla
Posts: 1,047
from what I've read softopper is still made in the us and gets great reviews, you need the family rollbar for it to work.
roadyrob is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 10:17 AM   #7
Check Bounced

WF Supporting Member
 
Raoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 441
My '90 came with the original 21 year old OEM soft top, three years ago.
It didn't leak but was noisy, flapped like crazy at speed. Could not hear the radio.

My situation may be a little different, this isn't a daily driver and it is garaged.
The top is off six months of the year. My main concern was eliminating noise when the top was on so, I went with a half top to reduce the surface area and it worked well. Much quieter than before.

My Rampage half top was $190 new and used my existing OEM soft top hardware. I have the sport bar.

Click image for larger version

Name:	100_6033.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	233.7 KB
ID:	1241770
Raoul is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 10:30 AM   #8
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 125
I like the half top. Did that come with the cover for the back seat area?
JMickey is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 10:33 AM   #9
Supporting Member

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
CyndiB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Inland Empire, CA
Posts: 1,192
My 90 had a Pavement Ends top on it when I bought it and I replaced it with a Bestop sailcloth last year. The thickness in the fabric and windows is quite noticeable and makes it quieter. I also replaced the spreader bars at the same time. Got everything at Quadratec when they had a sale on tops and free shipping. I've since read good reviews on this site about the QuadraTop (Quadratec's brand), they offer a good warranty, so you should check them out. I've also heard that all the tops are made by one or two manufacturers and the different companies just stamp their name on them. Pavement Ends is supposed to be Bestop's "value" brand. I think they're all made in China or "East Asia" now. If I had it to do all over again, I'd probably go with the QuadraTop, they compare to Bestop, are half the price, and have a better warranty. Also free shipping.

Just a sidenote: I notice that Quadratec now offers a premium top that compares to the Bestop sailcloth but they don't have it for the YJ years. I think I'd call them and ask if they're going to have it available soon and if it's coming, I'd wait for it. The specs are impressive.
CyndiB is offline   Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 10:52 AM   #10
Check Bounced

WF Supporting Member
 
Raoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMickey View Post
I like the half top. Did that come with the cover for the back seat area?
You get three pieces, (top--back window to the floor--tonneau).

I also replaced my soft door uppers with Bestop glass sliders.
My noise issues are gone and now I don't mind spending some bucks on a decent radio.
Raoul is offline   Quote
Old 06-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
Jeeper
 
Djones2109's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: arlington texas
Posts: 106
I cannot find the rampage half top for my 87 with sports bars. All the pictures I see are for the family roll bars
Djones2109 is offline   Quote
Old 06-28-2014, 09:13 PM   #12
Check Bounced

WF Supporting Member
 
Raoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 441
I was confused at first too. Apparently Rampage never took a pic with the sport bar.
However...
Part # 992011 = Grey '88-'91 (sport bar)
Part # 992015 = Black '88-'91 (sport bar)

Don't know why they don't list the 1987 model.
I thought '87 just had different door attachments, which wouldn't make a difference for the top.
Raoul is offline   Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 09:37 AM   #13
Jeeper
 
mrjoey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 159
all tops are 23oz except sailcloth my concern would be warranty, I have OE top and ALWAYS leave spreader bars down when Im not driving it. a friend of mine just got the Bestop Super Top, he needed rail system. this top seems fine quality I have Bestop seats and luv em I would replace my top if need be with a Super Top.I would like to hear from any jeepers who have installed the Quadratop its inexpensive but how is the quality?
__________________
mrjoey is offline   Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 10:29 AM   #14
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoey View Post
I have OE top and ALWAYS leave spreader bars down when Im not driving it..........I would like to hear from any jeepers who have installed the Quadratop its inexpensive but how is the quality?
What is the purpose of leaving the spreader bars down when not being driven? I'm guessing it's so it's not always stretched out. But how long does it sit between uses that you feel the need to do this? Does it sit for weeks at a time? Or do you do this every time you park it even if for only a day? I too am interested in the quality of the Quadratop. According to the catalog, they were designed with cooperation from Bestop. Possibly made by Bestop?
JMickey is offline   Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 10:33 AM   #15
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raoul View Post
You get three pieces, (top--back window to the floor--tonneau).

I also replaced my soft door uppers with Bestop glass sliders.
My noise issues are gone and now I don't mind spending some bucks on a decent radio.
I'm curious, how would this half top work for the winter? Does it seal well? Or is it meant for warmer weather use?
JMickey is offline   Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 11:35 AM   #16
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 20
I got that half top too for my 94. Seals pretty well in the winter. I actually like it better cuz it heats up a lot faster. Had no major problems with rain either although some will get in the tonneau around the roll bar but get a thick piece of rubber or something and stick it in so it seals tight and your good...although I don't use it anymore cuz I made a hard deck cover instead..
jerseYJoe is offline   Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 03:57 PM   #17
Check Bounced

WF Supporting Member
 
Raoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMickey View Post
I'm curious, how would this half top work for the winter? Does it seal well? Or is it meant for warmer weather use?
The half top is the same as a regular soft top except the back seat is folded down (or out) with a tonneau over that area.

This top is not the same as the combo setup (bikini + windjammer + tonneau).
The combo setup does not seal at the doors.
Raoul is offline   Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 05:19 PM   #18
Jeeper
 
crash007's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 185
Here's a thought. Do you have a soft top already that is in good shape? I have one that looks almost new, but a lot of the stitching is coming undone. I was looking to replace it and just for kicks, I looked up how much it would cost to repair it. A guy was telling me that tops aren't made with the best kind of thread because they want you to replace every 3-4 years so if you can find a place that works on Bimini tops like a boating place, that is the route to go. They use a better thread.
I know that too is expensive, so what if you found an industrial sewing machine on Craigslist for around $200 (I am using that number because I found a couple of them on Craigslist for that much). Then you could fix it yourself with a high grade of thread and enjoy your top for many more years to come.
crash007 is online now   Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #19
Check Bounced

WF Supporting Member
 
Raoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 441
I already own a 258 straight-six with a carburetor.

One sewing machine is enough thank you very much.
Raoul is offline   Quote
Old 06-30-2014, 06:29 AM   #20
Jeeper
 
mrjoey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 159
jmicky I drive my jeep on occasional weekends it is not a daily driver and yes dropping the spreader bars is to take pressure off of them and the top itself
__________________
mrjoey is offline   Quote
Old 06-30-2014, 07:36 PM   #21
Jeeper
 
vetteonr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Detroit suburb
Posts: 132
I'll throw in my 2 cents. Last fall I bought a Quadratec top with tinted windows for my '95 YJ. So far this top has been very good. Even with the harsh winter we just had, it performed very well. At around $300 it's a good deal.

vetteonr is offline   Quote
Old 07-02-2014, 04:30 AM   #22
Jeeper
 
mrjoey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 159
@vetteonr thanks for the info Quad tops are new and for 300$ its good to know its good quality!
__________________
mrjoey is offline   Quote
Old 07-02-2014, 03:02 PM   #23
Jeeper
 
johnecat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 21
good thread. I currently have a Bestop that the PO had on it. I have the glass slider doors that needed restitching and a new window zipper sewn in. The top was/is obviously pretty old and the corners are ripping out, part of a window zipper busted at the back and most can't fully zip from shrinkage. The spreader bar had already worn a hole where the top's wear pad was sewn in wrong. I cheated around that by duct taping another piece of plastic where the OE bar wore on it. (think I used an old piece of cheap spatula the wife burned on the stove and threw away) I wish I knew how long the PO had used it as it came with a bimini top. I've got 3 good winters out of this top, but I don't think I'll get another winter out of it.
Comparing prices, I'll probably go with the Qtec top next time
johnecat44 is offline   Quote
Old 07-02-2014, 11:41 PM   #24
Supporting Member

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
CyndiB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Inland Empire, CA
Posts: 1,192
The QuadraTops just came out last year about the time I was shopping for a new top so I was leery of trying one. They seemed too good to be true because they were so cheap compared to Bestop. Plus I wanted the heavier sailcloth and QuadraTop didn't have one. But now they've come out with a premium sailcloth, but it's only available for 97 and newer, so I wonder if they'll be coming out with a YJ model soon. I saw a comparison chart on their website (which I cannot for the life of me find now) that showed that the fabric and plastic used was actually heavier than Bestop's. So I think the QuadraTops are a good deal.

CyndiB is offline   Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Download our Mobile App

» Network Links
»Jeep Parts
» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:16 PM.



Jeepģ, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC