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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-29-2007 10:20 PM
6DEVIL16 ANSWERS FOR SOFT-TOP PROBLEMS WINTER OR NOT

A.COLD = easy-on/heater/wear jacket
B.HOT = easy-off/remove shirt/enjoy breeze
C.NOISE = turn up stereo/tell her shut-up
D.THEFT = beware parking/purchase firearm

over the years I've been in both....wouldn't trade the soft-top for a hard-top
12-29-2007 11:56 AM
Levinoss I bought mine with a soft-top and I lived in texas so it was always hot.

Give my jeep 2 mins to heat up and its warm and toasty.

~Lev
12-29-2007 09:31 AM
n8smitty I bought my Jeep after moving back to Florida so I got a soft top. I just put it up yesterday because of afternoon rain storms and no garage parking at work. If I had gotten the Jeep before moving from Indiana I would have gotten the hard top for winter. I just don't understand why someone in Florida would have a hard top Jeep. I take mine down every chance I get. I like the look of the hard top and would like to have one, I just don't have a place to store it and pop up showers happen in Florida year round.
12-29-2007 08:51 AM
LimeTJ No leak at the T-joint. In fact, no leaks at all, in some serious downpours. Had a few drops on the driver side dash when new, but none since removing and reinstalling the t-top.
12-29-2007 06:57 AM
soupy1957 LimeTJ: Did you get any leaking from the T-joint, on the Freedom Top like I did? (Minor leak, but still a "leak")

I have been told that there will be a Service Recall coming in the mail in the next couple of months, (probably a molding replacement).

-Soupy1957
12-19-2007 05:30 PM
LimeTJ Had a softop only TJ for 2 winters. Now have a JK hardtop and feel that the TJ was warmer. The JK is a 4 door, so I know I am heating a much larger interior. Plan to buy a softop next spring and do a swap twice a year. Freedom top is nice with the panels removed, but the softop had a much better open air feel.
12-18-2007 01:46 PM
MOz Choice B.... I would not buy a hard top even if I ordered a new one.
12-18-2007 06:42 AM
JCS05Rubi most shops, or places like Jiffy Lube have them, you can also buy them in the stores. Basically, summer windshield washer fluid is a high concentration of water to be cheaper. Winter mix, has a high concentration of menthanol or something like that, that active ingredient, to help melt ice/snow and salt off the windshield. Also prevents the water from freezing.
12-18-2007 05:56 AM
soupy1957 Didn't know there WAS such a thing as "Winter Grade" Windshield washer fluid? (Brand Name?)

-Soupy1957
12-17-2007 10:02 PM
hmenker
Soft Top and No Other

Though it is a bit more noisy with a soft top, I wouldn't trade it for any hard top. This is my second Wrangler with a soft top and I live in the western panhandle of Maryland in the Appalachian Mountains. We receive 200"+ of snow annually and pretty frigid temps often below zero in January and February. The heater in my '04 Unlimited is great and I'm never cold. It runs through a touchless carwash with no problems. Best of all is it's ease of removal for summer days. People speak of the inability to clear the windows of snow and ice in winter and they are right to some degree. I keep a gallon of winter grade windshield washer fluid and use a cloth to put it on when I need it. It doesn't hurt the plastic and easily clears the "glass." HTH
12-17-2007 04:32 AM
soupy1957 sort of like the "use a condom" -vs- "Don't use a condom" decision, eh, CATWHISKERS?!

-Soupy1957
12-16-2007 04:38 PM
CATWHISKERS To Me, It Seems That Soft Tops Are The Realthing. Like Muzzel Loaders Why Go To The New In Lines? When You Can Have The Real Thing Cap Locks. I Love The Old Ways. I Have A 97 Tj Rag Love It.---jeep's Rule.
12-16-2007 10:52 AM
woody_k I have a soft top.

1. always wanted a soft top Jeep.

2. I couldn't afford 2 tops.

3. I was woried about vandals but I haven't heard anybody's soft top being vandaled.

4. Live in So Cal s I don't worry about ice and snow build up.

5. I either wash it by hand or take to a self wash spray bay.

6. It is noisier than my BMW and about as equal to my motorcycle. I don't care I love driving it anyway. I went up to Monterey for the MotoGP wekend and if I thought it was getting to noisy I just slowed down and enjoyed the ride and the views.
12-16-2007 09:41 AM
soupy1957 Scotty355: I totally agree that Jeep Wrangler ownership and style are completely subjective, and it's that "subjectiveness" that makes it interesting.

My concern is the commonly shared knowledge about what drives certain trends. The trend I see of Rag Tops in Winter is about 70 - 30 (percent) for Rag Tops year round.

My purpose is to find out the "why" of it...and you and I will never know the "why" of it, (subjective perspectives wanted) unless we ask. Therefore I did.

-Soupy1957
12-16-2007 09:41 AM
Fondo23
Quote:
Originally Posted by orange05tj View Post
I run soft top year round and love it. I like the look if it, and the fact that if I need it up in a hurry, its done. I had a hard top, but it was more of a pain in the rear trying to find a spot to put it and getting someone to help remove and install it. It stays just as warm as the hard top in the winter. Oh yeah, Whats up with CT Jeepers, dont they know how to wave? I passed 9 Jeeps on the way home from Meridan yesterday, not 1 wave. A couple gave me funny looks as I was passing them on 691. You need to spread the word up there.
Orange I hear ya.. I just moved to CT like 6 months ago from upstate NY.. in NY I got an average of like 12 waves a day.. here in CT my numbers are down severely.. almost had to get therapy.. however, I do see some of the same guys as I drive around and always get waves from them.. keeps me going lol

Oh and in terms of tops.. I run my Rag Top year round.. don't have a hard top but I don't mind.. I drive home to upstate NY every once in a while and it's not too bad.. noise is something you get used to and once she warms up, there is no problems at all..
12-16-2007 09:02 AM
Scotty355 There is no absolute answer to this question, everyone has a different opinion and needs. If everyone had the likes and dislikes we all would have the same jeep, same color, no mods because that is the way the factory would make them......all the same......
12-16-2007 08:55 AM
sgnellett Lucy is my fourth Jeep, but the first one w/ both tops, I was determined to get at least a hard top this time around, and go figure, the biggest winter storm in years hit last night, which top do you suppose is on my Jeep out in the driveway?
12-16-2007 08:52 AM
BILLG I run the soft top year round.I have had Jeeps with a hardtop and have no use for them.I run my soft top through the Touchless automatic car wash with absolutly no problems at all.
12-16-2007 05:15 AM
soupy1957 Ya'll might be interested to know that I called my dealership yesterday, in the hopes that perhaps I could swap (my Wrangler is only 3 weeks old), the "Freedom Top" with the potential for leaks at the "T" joint, over the rear-view mirror, for a Hard Top that didn't have the removable sections. The belief was that in doing so, I at least remove the "leak" issue.

The dealership told me that there are no older model Hard Tops that will FIT on a 2008, because the 2008 is 5 inches longer, and Chrysler is only coming out with the "Freedom Top" exclusively. (at least for now).

So I gave up on the idea of not using a Freedom Top, and I like the advantages in the winter months (especially in today's ice storm here in CT).

In the interrum, I still prefer the look of the Rag Top, and am looking forward to Spring!!

-Soupy1957
12-15-2007 02:29 PM
JCS05Rubi
Quote:
Originally Posted by orange05tj View Post
I run through car washes every now and then with the soft top, no problems. When I'm driving somewhere with the top off and it starts to rain, I'll be zipped up in 3 minutes ready to go, can you do that with the hard top? I don't think so.
The soft cloth are HORRIBLE for the plastic windows. The high pressure ones are not good for them either, they can cause leaks in the seams where they are sewed together (had 2 sets of windows do this), and the abbrasive chemicals and waxes they use will haze up the windows. It can also (albeit I doubt it will happen) stretch the top fabric or even tear it if its too cold outside with the high pressure.

Yes I can do that with the hard top #1, #2 I have a soft top for summer. But either way, rolling up the windows in my hard doors, and shutting the rear window takes much less than 3 minutes, and having the 3 windows open is almost as good as running windowless in a soft top.

I dont think the OP was trying to convert from soft top to hard, I believe he was wondering if buying a hard was worth it just for winter, which is what I did, and I am extremely happy with my choice. The Jeep is a different vehicle. Can you scrape the ice off of your windows in winter? Can you clean your rear window from inside the Jeep? Can you safely lock your winter emergancy gear in the Jeep?

There are advantages and disavantages to both. To be completely honest, I dont think it takes any more time to remove the hard top than a soft top, its just that you need 2 people.. which I always have anyway. The only negative to the hard top is carrying a bikini or rain cover for random showers, and finding somewhere to store it when its off. Again, that problem is fixed if you just use the hard top through winter, and switch in the summer You can always recoup the cost of the hard top if you don't like it, or atleast get close to what you paid for it, if you wait until close to winter next year
12-15-2007 02:28 PM
soupy1957 What are the recommendations ya'll would make for cleaning and preserving your Soft Top then, since you leave it on in the winter? What chemicals and/or additives do YOU use for cleaning the top and maintaining its rain repellent integrity?

-Soupy1957
12-15-2007 02:15 PM
Scotty355
Quote:
Originally Posted by debruins View Post
sheesh thats a pian then, i can flip the whoole thing back in less than two minutes!
Ok Flash, you can remove all the windows, unhook the front, sides, and flip it back in less than 2 min.
12-15-2007 02:01 PM
debruins sheesh thats a pian then, i can flip the whoole thing back in less than two minutes!
12-15-2007 01:53 PM
Scotty355 I bought my Jeep new and didn't want the hardtop, had snow piled on it last year over 6" deep and no problems. I have the sunrider top and it is the best thing ever made, I can flip the front half back in less than 2 min.
12-15-2007 10:28 AM
debruins D

im in debt 3 grand and i dont need to pay $800 for a hard top which is what htey're going for here in Mass, plus its not that loud or that cold and it looks more jeep like
12-15-2007 10:27 AM
skeeter I run a soft top because my hard top was stolen and I got tired of developing ice on my bald spot.
12-15-2007 08:08 AM
orange05tj
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupy1957 View Post
you said: "Plus I can hit the automatic to keep the salt from under the Jeep now."

You mean the "automatic" car wash, yes? Hard Top allows you to do this.....you wouldn't take your Rag Top through the automatic? (regardless of the season?)

What about the "you spray it" bays? Would you clean your Rag Top in there?



-Soupy1957

I run through car washes every now and then with the soft top, no problems. When I'm driving somewhere with the top off and it starts to rain, I'll be zipped up in 3 minutes ready to go, can you do that with the hard top? I don't think so.
12-15-2007 07:20 AM
soupy1957
What's this?

you said: "Plus I can hit the automatic to keep the salt from under the Jeep now."

You mean the "automatic" car wash, yes? Hard Top allows you to do this.....you wouldn't take your Rag Top through the automatic? (regardless of the season?)

What about the "you spray it" bays? Would you clean your Rag Top in there?



-Soupy1957
12-15-2007 07:12 AM
JCS05Rubi I think most TJ came from the factory with a soft top, rather than a hard top, and thats why they are more prevelant.

My 97 had a soft top, the only single sheet kind. Had a 4 inch cut on the driver side, half doors with busted windows, and leaked in the back right corner. Once the heat came on, it was fine, and you get used to the noise.

My 05 came with the newer sail cloth soft top. Much quieter, much warmer, but again, once the heat is on you dont notice the cold.. it will burn you out regardless what top is on.

I just bought an '04 hard top for my Jeep a few weeks ago for the winter. The hard top isnt nessesarily for a quiter ride or warmer interior. Its more for the rear wiper/defroster in winter, and also the fact that you can scrape the snow and ice off the windows, where with a soft top you cant. In MD, they passed a law that your vehicle must be clear of snow before you hit the road or its points and a fine, so this was important to me.

I will say this. Going from a sailcloth soft top to a hard top was noticeable. My Jeep is the vehicle we always pile into, and many people have commented how much warmer/quiter and just plain nicer it is with the hard top. I wouldn't say its a major improvement, but with the loud MT/Rs, you can notice a difference. Its also very convieniet having that wiper/defroster and being able to keep an ice scrapper in the Jeep. Plus I can hit the automatic to keep the salt from under the Jeep now.

As I said before, the soft top isnt bad by any means. You will get used to the noise difference and not notice it, and the heater in Jeeps is insane. The only down side to the soft top is that you cant clear the windows in the winter. Touch them in the sub 40 weather, and theres a good chance your hand is going through the window.

EDIT: I can also lock my doors in baltimore now Woot!
12-15-2007 06:52 AM
soupy1957 I rode motorcycles for 10 years before giving it up..Everyone "waved." (Well, MOSTLY everyone anyway).

Here in CT I wave at all 2-door Wranglers (just can't get myself to wave to the 4-door crowd...dunno why).

Some return the wave, and some don't.

Now back to the Topic.................

-Soupy1957
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