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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-27-2012 08:23 AM
Fahrtenhaler
another dual top question

I am considering buying a 2012 wrangler with a hard top from a dealer several hundred miles away, and I want a soft top included. Since I don't want to make a second trip to have a soft top installed, I would consider having a soft top assembly shipped to me by the dealer so I can install it myself next spring. I am a HVAC contractor, so I spend my day installing mechanical things. Does anyone think this is a bad idea?
09-27-2012 07:37 AM
appleman46 Here's a question, if you could take the windows off a hard top would you consider getting a hard top with your next Jeep? I'm kind of surprised you can't do that already, unless I'm wrong. I don't have a hard top.
09-27-2012 07:27 AM
zolynski I have a 2013 JKU with premium soft top. I've found the noise level to be quite tolerable. Absolutely no flapping or moving. You do notice it more when a large truck goes by just because you can hear it better. On bluetooth yesterday and had no trouble hearing. Can't comment on having it down cause I haven't done that yet.
09-26-2012 11:14 PM
dml325 I have a 97 Wrangler with full doors, and have both the hard top and the soft top. I only use the hard top for 3 to 4 months out of the year and many months without either top or doors on. Noise is generally not a problem with the soft top up, but I also do not drive a lot on the interstate...mostly back roads.

I had issues with not being able to hear the radio with the top down. Specifically, I had to turn it up so loud, all you heard was distortion. I built an enclosure and dropped a pair of 6 x 9 speakers behind the back seat and run the roll bar and dash speakers off of the front channel. I did upgrade to some good speakers. Sounds really good.

I guess it depends on where you live, where you drive, and whether or not this is your everyday vehicle. I drive to and from work some, and to and from the lake on weekends. I figure a couple of hundred bucks invested in good speakers was cheaper than payments on a newer model.
01-10-2012 10:27 PM
Phishe
Quote:
Originally Posted by namasste

in the end, it really comes down to preference. I love taking the top completely down whenever i want and still having it with me in case weather changes. Others prefer the security and low noise of the hard top. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer but hopefully some of what i wrote helps you decide which answer is best for you.

Good luck, happy trails, and all that.
+1
01-10-2012 09:57 PM
EchoThruMe 2010 soft top here and even though there is a bit of noise I wouldn't trade it for a hard top. The freedom you get with a soft top is worth a little noise imo.
01-10-2012 09:50 PM
i82much
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylanjwhall View Post
Yuppp works just fine and is a great ride

Attachment 88855

I think the panels are off in this one but I can't tell due to me being on my phone
Awesome - thanks. I will definitely give it a shot.
01-10-2012 01:40 PM
TrueNorth Soft is better for off road use. Weighs alot less and it's easy to drop so you can see obstacles.
Cracked my hardtop wheeling about a week after I bought my JK and haven't used it on the trail since.

I have both tops and only use the hardtop during the worst part of winter so I have rear defrost and wiper. The hardtop leaks worse than the soft top.
Noise doesn't bother me. 4x 6.5" Rockford Fosgate speakers drown it out.
01-10-2012 10:46 AM
New2012JEEP ^^^Agree
01-10-2012 09:50 AM
namasste I'll chime in since just last night I spent some time with a fellow forum member trading my Freedom Top for his Mopar soft top. This was on my 2007 2 dr with full doors. The noise difference is considerable so if noise is an issue, the soft top isnt even in the same ball park. Personally, I don't mind the noise and I don't bluetooth so it was a non issue. Heat wise its a push but in your neck of the woods, I'm guessing Jeeps don't ever feel cold . Security is another consideration as mentioned. Obviously, the hard top allows you to leave things in the vehicle that you simply couldn't otherwise which is a nice feature.

In terms of teh open air experience, I have to give the nod to the soft top. Sure, the FT allows multiple configurations but in the end, if you are simply taking off the front panels (which seems to be most common), the front perspective is open but its still not the same. I don't attribute this so much to having something over your head as I attribute it to airflow through the vehicle. Having the rear curtain up (or out) in the soft top allows a much different flow of air and feel. I also like that you can configure the soft top in so many ways (sunrider, sunrider with no rear curtain, no side curtains, no top at all, etc. It just allows for a lot of flexibilty. It also allows for a lot of spontaneity. I can't tell you how many times the weather went from full top up to get that thing off within the time I was driving. The soft top allows you to take advantage of that, the hard top, only kinda.

Install...removing the hard top (FT) does not take more than 5 minutes with the help of a friend. Honestly, it couldn't be easier. Reinstalling takes just a tiny bit longer but not more than 15 minutes. If you are converting from a soft top though, there is a HUGE issue that you have to strongly consider...wiring the rear defrost, and wiper. We spent hours simply trying to remove the old wiring kit from my Jeep to flip over (this is something I would NEVER recommend doing as we had 4 guys, 3 with considerable experience with cars, one even doing it for a living and we still had to rig things just to get the wiring out and we spent 3 hrs. Reinstall wouldnt be quite so long but would still take considerable time.). If anyone doubts this, jump on Quadratec's site and search for the wiring kit and download the .pdf instuctions. Its substantial. That said, if your Jeep is already wired, you have no issues. If not, its a fairly big undertaking and will likely require you spend money having the computer re flashed when done as well. Just something to think about as there's more to it than simply bolting on a roof.

In the end, it really comes down to preference. I love taking the top completely down whenever I want and still having it with me in case weather changes. Others prefer the security and low noise of the hard top. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer but hopefully some of what I wrote helps you decide which answer is best for you.

Good luck, happy trails, and all that.
01-10-2012 09:47 AM
New2012JEEP
Quote:
Originally Posted by i82much
Have you driven a hard top with the freedom panels out? At least on a two door, it is not noticeably different than having the top completely off from the perspective of the front two seats. I bought my hardtop planning on adding an aftermarket soft top or bikini for summer usage but honestly I am second-guessing myself because the open air feel with just the two panels out is fantastic.

On a related note, anybody ever ran doors off, freedom panels out, hardtop on? Is that ok?
But looking back at ocean views is nice with top down
01-10-2012 09:46 AM
Dylanjwhall
Quote:
Originally Posted by i82much
On a related note, anybody ever ran doors off, freedom panels out, hardtop on? Is that ok?
Yuppp works just fine and is a great ride

Attachment 88855

I think the panels are off in this one but I can't tell due to me being on my phone
01-10-2012 09:03 AM
i82much Have you driven a hard top with the freedom panels out? At least on a two door, it is not noticeably different than having the top completely off from the perspective of the front two seats. I bought my hardtop planning on adding an aftermarket soft top or bikini for summer usage but honestly I am second-guessing myself because the open air feel with just the two panels out is fantastic.

On a related note, anybody ever ran doors off, freedom panels out, hardtop on? Is that ok?
01-10-2012 08:49 AM
HannesP I have both on my 2008 Sahara. Hard top for winter, soft top during summer. Haven't had to put the roof up in two weeks now. (Sunny summer in Cape Town)
01-10-2012 03:27 AM
shacklyn My 2011 JK came with the hard top only. The freedom top is nice for that open air experience, but this was my first Jeep, and I wanted the full-on soft top experience. So, I bought a Mopar soft top from my dealer.

The soft top was expensive, but after reading endless posts concerning problems with aftermarket soft tops, I felt more comfortable going with the factory soft top. Plus, I can go back to the dealer if they botched the job. If I screwed it up, it was on me...

I use the hard top when it gets cold, and I put the soft top on in the spring. I love having both, but it can be expensive if you're anal-retentive like me. I didn't want either top being damaged while being stored, so I bought the Hoss cart system and cover from Quadratec to store the hard top during the summer. I also bought a soft top wall mount kit from Quadratec to store the soft top during the winter.

I didn't want to install a winch system in my garage, so in the spring, I have to have a friend come over and help me take the hard top off to store it. It's a bit of a pain, but it only takes about 20 minutes - and it's a good excuse to drink a mini-keg of Oberon!

I should mention that I am lucky to have a spacious garage, and I park the JK there at all times. If I was buying a JK and had to park it outside all year round, I would definitely stick with the hard top. The hard top is more durable, quieter, and much more secure than the soft top.
12-27-2011 12:41 PM
IowaRaider I have both, hard top on now,. It is quieter but then I have soft doors when the soft top is on. For me if I could only have one it would be soft.
12-27-2011 08:51 AM
willee51
Heck no.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMBOX View Post
I live in NorNv and out in the desert I don't need a soft top, when I go thru Reno to the Sierras and get in the trees, I take the "T" tops off--

Mine is modified and whisper quiet on hiways-normal conversation/cell phone/music-whatever at 70 mph-

I have a RACOR hoist in my garage, so top removal is a "cinch", but I've only doneit a couple times-

I wouldn't have a soft top--too many negatives for me-

JIMBO
-----------------------
It's a personal decision, it's your $$$$.

I had a soft top one time, promised myself NEVER again. Have the 2012 3-pc hard top and LOVE it
12-27-2011 08:28 AM
jay-1 For what its worth I got the dual top it comes with the hard and soft it's really nice when I know Im going on a long trip and winter I put the hard top on summer and around town short trips and offroad all soft top but if I had to pickone I would go with the hard top.
12-27-2011 08:12 AM
JIMBOX I live in NorNv and out in the desert I don't need a soft top, when I go thru Reno to the Sierras and get in the trees, I take the "T" tops off--

Mine is modified and whisper quiet on hiways-normal conversation/cell phone/music-whatever at 70 mph-

I have a RACOR hoist in my garage, so top removal is a "cinch", but I've only doneit a couple times-

I wouldn't have a soft top--too many negatives for me-

JIMBO
12-27-2011 12:55 AM
dva5150
Pros and cons with each

I had a 2007 with full doors and a soft top. I now have a 2011 with the hard top. The hard top is a much more quiet ride and the new Jeep has blue tooth built into the stereo. I can talk on the phone at highway speeds no problem. The 2007 was not unbearable, but it was difficult to talk on the phone with ear pieces and the microphone shoved in front of my mouth.

I do miss the soft top, however, for the ease in getting the top up and down. I have owned the 2011 for almost a year and have not gotten the energy to take the top off yet. I have only taken the removable portions over the front seats off three times. Next Jeep will be a soft top.
12-26-2011 11:43 PM
Ballandchain My 2012 Softtop is great!!!!! No noise except that you can hear louder vehicles that are around you a little easier but its not a big deal. The wind flap is virtually none existent. If you can afford it get the combo, if not, go for the soft top. BUT, i see you live in NV. I used to live in Vegas and would have been real worried about thieves if I had a Jeep during that time......
12-26-2011 11:36 PM
wweirichm
Soft top or not..........

I own a 2008 wrangler with soft top and half doors. Been very happy with weather tightness. Less so with wind noise. With no discernable wind driving down the road buttoned up, is pleasant. If there is any significant wind, same ground speed, I sometimes can barely hear the radio. Thinking of buying a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited, with full doors this time, but wondering about the soft top. Whether the wind noise mentioned above is more of a half door issue or soft top issue. Recently in Hawaii, I rented a Wrangeler Unlimited with hardtop and was really impressed with how quiet it was. Not had any experience with soft top/full door combo. And dealer doesn't seem to stock soft tops. But in summer it's really cool to take top down/off. And Unlimteds I've seen with top down/off are especially cool. I know you can take hardtop off - but seems to me to be a major project and don't see myself doing it.
So looking for knowlegable opinion, or otherwise, as to whether full door/soft top combo can be reasonably quiet.
Thanks!

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