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-   -   Bestop Trektop NX - installation write-up (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/bestop-trektop-nx-installation-write-up-127226.html)

TXST8tj 12-12-2011 10:20 AM

Bestop Trektop NX - installation write-up
 
A couple months ago, I sold off my OEM soft top setup and ordered a Bestop Trektop NX. In short, I am nothing but thrilled with the top. I love the design, the shape, the quality, and the function of the top.

The initial installation can be daunting and the basic "geometry" of the top has some people confused. After running this top for a short time, I can tell you that like anything, it gets easier each time you work with it. In just a short while of use, this top installs with little effort and time.

I have installed three of these tops to date, including two different ones on my TJ (originally sent the wrong color). I installed the third top on my buddy's TJ. He liked mine so much, he ordered one promptly after seeing it.

With my daily use of this top and my experience installing it from 'brand new' more than once, I figured I would be able to lend some install tips along with a picture write-up of the general installation. My instructions may not match Bestop's to the "T", but they work for me each time I reinstall the top.


****If I can add one piece of advise when installing this top it would be to save it when you have a warm day to let the material relax and loosen up. The biggest issue people have with this top is how tight it is the first time you install it. The material is very rigid right out of the box and requires some time in the sun/heat to stretch enough for the install. I guarantee that you will not get the entire top installed on a cool day right out of the box. You WILL break seams on this top if you force it. When the material is relaxed, there is no threat of breaking seams.****(I feel this is BOLD worthy).

The top and hardware is shipped in one large box.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/94543f42.jpg


As with anything, open the box and inspect all parts. Refer to the manual to verify that all parts are present.
Parts you should have:
-top canvas
-windows
-door surrounds
-door surround knobs
-arched prop bar (adds tension to front top section)
-tailgate bar
-tailgate bar brackets
-straps with clips
-rear rollbar support bar

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/adc1b8c2.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/934ac744.jpg


Attach the two side rods to the header bar (four stainless screws). This is effectively the "frame" of this top. Along with the unique door surrounds, this is what allows the "Sunrider" feature.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/a359aafe.jpg


Attach main top to header bar, securing with included screws.
*Note - they include enough screws to attach the top to the header, but not enough to keep the material flat while off the Jeep. Add some more screws here if you choose.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/94a34d6e.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/dd4b7bdb.jpg


Install door surrounds on driver and passenger sides with included knobs.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/f798dcb6.jpg

Notice the quick release pins on each door surround.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/23d78298.jpg


Install arched prop bar. There are specific cutouts on the door surrounds where each end slips in place. (remove the white protective tape over the foam)

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/0df122a3.jpg


Rest header bar on the windshield. Drape top across the rollbars. Do not latch header at this time. This will actually be the very last step of the process.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/17450986.jpg


Locate each rod from the header into its respective door surround quick release.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/54ea23e9.jpg


Locate the strap on each side behind the front seats. Route this strap around the roll bar and secure with the buckle. These straps hold the top tight to the rollbar when it is being used in "safari" mode.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/39cd46d3.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/46fe6358.jpg


Install the rear rollbar support bar. There is a 'sleeve' sewn into the rear of the top that this slides in.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/475358f0.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/049c37c4.jpg

TXST8tj 12-12-2011 10:21 AM

Locate the straps from the shrinking stack of parts and loop them through the partial straps from the top. Secure them to the underside of the rear tub rail. Pull down on the straps to tighten. Do not pull too hard.

*Something to note is that when the side and rear windows are in place, they keep the tension on the top. These straps become fairly loose and useless compared to the tension the windows provide.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/d8579925.jpg


At this point, you officially have the top set up in the "Safari" mode (and secured in this mode when you latch the header bar).


Moving to the rear, install the tailgate bar brackets. These are side specific and unique to the Trektop NX. Your OEM brackets are not going to work with this.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/6e4ef868.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/2847ed96.jpg


The rear window must be installed before the side windows.
Locate the rear window and slide it on the rear of the top at the "Z" channel. This channel locks the rear window in place at the top.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/f7fc9d82.jpg

TXST8tj 12-12-2011 10:22 AM

Slide the tailgate bar into place on the rear window. Do not install in the brackets at this time.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/fee61b71.jpg

At this point, it's time to install the side windows.
Zip the side window to the top, only a couple inches to hold it in place.
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/34878565.jpg

Set the forward part of the windows into the door surrounds.
When this is complete, continue zipping the upper portion all the way to the back. Leave the lower rail clips uninstalled at this time.
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/7cb47bca.jpg

You will see something similar to this at the rear of the Jeep.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/db4b7414.jpg


Connect the side window to the rear window and zip only a couple inches down to hold the pieces together. You will need to keep everything loose here so the lower corner rails can be snapped in place.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/b1ddb416.jpg


At this time, you can slip the tailgate bar into the brackets. If the material is 'cold' it will not stretch enough to reach in the brackets! (no picture)

Snap the lower corners of the side windows into the tub rail. Snap the rear window flap into the railing of the tailgate bar bracket.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/1a868ca9.jpg


At the top of the rear, attach the panels with the velcro. The side window flap first, then the overhang from the actual top.
Continue down the sides connecting the velcro.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/cef5cce3.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/d1ce9f7e.jpg


Finish zipping the rear windows the rest of the way closed.

Snap the rest of the lower windows down the sides into the tub rail....start in the rear and work forward.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/f8b60a7a.jpg


Snap the very last lower corners of the side windows into the tailgate bar bracket.

Latch the header bar to the windshield.

You're all done!!


http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/b1cd8ba4.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/1d8a8b89.jpg
http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/e8973204.jpg

doolyd 12-12-2011 10:38 AM

Bookmarked for hopeful upcoming purchase. Thanks for the writeup.

TXST8tj 12-12-2011 10:48 AM

Some other bits of info that I can share....

The 'prop bar' really only aids in keeping water from pooling. It does not keep tension on the top while driving at higher speeds. At lower speeds, the top does rest on it though.

The "Sunrider" feature is awesome (I will get some pics). It is very simple and quick to do....you can do it at a red light! Unlatch the header and unclip the top from the door surrounds and flip it back. It is great for fresh air after the weather clears up, or it warms up later in the day.

Another point I have seen being asked about is entrance to the back area with the top on; i.e., can you unzip and flip the rear window up for access.
The answer is yes, but you can only unzip part of the way (enough for access) as you don't want the sides to come disconnected.
I would not suggest trying to roll this up like you can do with the OEM rear window.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/c5753eb2.jpg

TXST8tj 12-12-2011 11:20 AM

Something else to mention....

My unofficial experience is that the "Black Diamond" material is thicker then the "Black Denim." The top is very quiet as it is "sailcloth" material, but the Diamond is thicker and I feel slightly quieter....the color is also nicer.

I originally ordered "Black Diamond", but was shipped "Black Denim". When I received the Denim, I did not realize it wasn't Diamond (idiot). It wasn't until my buddy received his actual Black Diamond that I noticed mine was wrong. The vendor shipped me the correct one within 3 days of calling them, and sent me prepaid UPS back to them.
Here is a side by side comparison of the two colors (Diamond on the left)

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/35525560.jpg

Remus_Redbone 12-12-2011 11:21 AM

Excellent write up and good pics. One question; along the bottom edge where the side windows connect to the tub rail, do the side windows curve around the back corners of the tub and OVERLAP the rear window where each connect to the tailgate bar bracket?

It looks like the only place to slip the side window tab under the tailgate bracket is by going over the tab on the rear window, but couldn't tell for sure.

TXST8tj 12-12-2011 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Remus_Redbone (Post 1821576)
It looks like the only place to slip the side window tab under the tailgate bracket is by going over the tab on the rear window, but couldn't tell for sure.

That is exactly correct. The side window flap overlaps the rear. Those parts each have a shorter plastic rail that slip into the bracket.

I'll try to get a pic of it later.

s14sh3r 12-12-2011 01:11 PM

I really like these tops and wish I had gotten one instead of the Supertop. Maybe I can convince the wife I need a Trektop and sell the supertop on CL :rofl:

I have a question, though. I have half doors. Do you have to use the door surrounds when in safari top mode? Great top regardless. :thumb:

TXST8tj 12-12-2011 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s14sh3r (Post 1821844)
I really like these tops and wish I had gotten one instead of the Supertop. Maybe I can convince the wife I need a Trektop and sell the supertop on CL :rofl:

Most people will probably laugh about what I did to get to ordering the Trektop.
I had a one year old Pavement Ends replay top on OEM hardware. The top was thin and flapped like a migrating bird, but in perfect shape. I wanted to sell the whole setup to buy the Trektop, but I knew my wife was not going to support having to spend the difference to buy the top...at that time.

I found an OEM top from an 05, with frame and all hardware, for $75 on CL. It was grey, but in good shape. I bought it for the sole purpose of selling it. I kept it long enough to install it, clean it, and take pictures.

I borrowed my buddy's unused OEM top for a couple weeks and I started selling.
I sold my PE top with frame and all hardware for $420. Then I sold the 05 top that I bought for $75....for $430.
So, $850 minus my $75 investment left me with $775 to buy the Trektop.
The Trektop was $530 shipped from Quadratec.

So not only did I get a brand new Trektop...the top I really wanted...but I walked with an additional $245. Need less to say, my wife was completely satisfied with the way it worked out, but the term "softtop" was a bad word in my house for a couple weeks before I put all the pieces of my puzzle together.

Quote:

Originally Posted by s14sh3r (Post 1821844)
I have a question, though. I have half doors. Do you have to use the door surrounds when in safari top mode? Great top regardless. :thumb:

Because of the two side rods that attach to the header and clip in to the door surrounds, you realy do need to keep them on. Without the surrounds, those bars would just flop down.
The side of the top 'clip' in to the door surrounds just like the OEM top, so it really keeps everything tight and kept together.
Additionally, the surrounds are needed if you use the 'prop bar'. It helps to keep water from pooling up. (I have run with out it and have not had any issue)

BeaverJeeper 12-12-2011 06:17 PM

awesome write up! thanks a ton! i'll be buying this top next summer.

arizonawrangler 12-20-2011 06:29 PM

Just got mine and installing tomorrow. A great help! Thanks for the great tips!

TXST8tj 12-21-2011 06:53 AM

I hope it helps!

Hopefully ya'll still have some warm weather over there. It'll be a bear without it.

Savage1979 12-21-2011 07:31 AM

Newb ?. How is this top different from a factory top? :hide:

SurfKaster 12-21-2011 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Savage1979 (Post 1846366)
Newb ?. How is this top different from a factory top? :hide:

In short, it's a frame less setup. Very little hardware needed.

Bobs Jeep 12-21-2011 10:26 AM

Thanks for the write-up! My NX top is still in the box. I'm going to wait until spring when it is warmer to put it on. I figure I'll get one more winter out of the old top. However I will use this write-up when the time comes.

gregward93 12-21-2011 10:54 AM

I love mine. It's much better than the crappy soft top that comes stock, IMO though

arizonawrangler 12-22-2011 06:33 PM

I started last night in the garage. knew i would only get so far. and no surprises there. About 8am i pulled the Jeep out into the sun. About 11 or so I found I was able to get most the zippers done and it was looking good. On or about Noon we had clouds and a cold front come through. basically rendered the finish of the install on hold. Side bar funny--the bar over the window (not sure what you call it)--was a bear. I could not figure out how the fabric would stretch enough to get the latch into the oval hole above the windshield. I called my very mechanically inclined neighbor over and together we could not figure it out--even had him 'sit' on the top of the windshield to try to force the latch down enought to latch it. Then, a miracle (tis the season afterall)--i was dinking around and by mistake noticed that the latch is actually basically a 'suitcase' type latch--moved the main latch piece upward and within about 5 seconds figured it out. We both felt like idiots but lauded the engineering that went into this top.

My wife just said it is supposed to be 70 and sunny the rest of the week. I will pull the Jeep out and let it soak up the sun--should be able to finish up the one zipper and latch I cannot get done then!

Again thanks for a very informative post! I will post pictures when done.

All the best for the Holidays.

arizonawrangler 12-23-2011 10:27 PM

Ok--got er done today.

Even though not 70 or sunny all week today looked good. I had a couple of zippers and some of the clips left that I could not do without heat--as well advised. So I pulled "Pearl" (our Jeep name--combination of my wife's name and mine--Patty and Earl) out of the garage about 9am hoping we had enough sun to finish the task. Then it hit me--a light bulb went off in my head--TURN THE HEAT UP FULL BLAST AND LET IT SIT. Which I did. About a half hour later I went out to check on Pearl and found the top pliable enough to finish the job which I did. It looks GREAT! and I am one happy camper.

Two guys to thank--first Patrick--without your guidance it would have been months before I figured out. Second Geoff--You guys have a gret product!!!!

I will post pictures as soon as I figure out how!

All the best to everyone for a great holiday!!!!

arizonawrangler 12-23-2011 10:43 PM

finished product
 
2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by TXST8tj (Post 1846303)
I hope it helps!

Hopefully ya'll still have some warm weather over there. It'll be a bear without it.

Here is the finished product--thanks for your help!

Granman 12-24-2011 12:15 AM

I'll be using your writeup when I get this top sometime in the future. How does it sound on the highway is my only question?

monkeee2002 01-21-2012 11:36 PM

Super write-up! (bookmarked!)
My Jeep came with a Rampage something-or-another soft top when I bought it. It leaked snow & rain at each top corner of the tailgate the first winter, and now the door uppers are leaking at some stitching. Time for a new setup!
I'll be ordering the Trektop w/ new uppers soon. Then I'll just have to pray for a warm day!

I do have one question:
Do any of you run with the sunrider open at highway speeds? Is it safe, or does it flop around like a trout on the beach?

superdavis78 01-22-2012 05:01 PM

I almost ordered the Trektop NX, but ended up going with the Supertop NX.....it's been in the 50's here for the most part....I am going to attempt to put it on the Jeep on Tuesday.

felix225 01-22-2012 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monkeee2002 (Post 1947014)

I do have one question:
Do any of you run with the sunrider open at highway speeds? Is it safe, or does it flop around like a trout on the beach?

I have had mine flipped back doing 70+mph on the interstate and it seems to be pretty solid, doesnt move around any that I have noticed.

TXST8tj 01-22-2012 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monkeee2002 (Post 1947014)
I do have one question:
Do any of you run with the sunrider open at highway speeds? Is it safe, or does it flop around like a trout on the beach?

I run down the freeway with the sunrider open all the time. It doesn't flap and stays put. It's actually pretty quiet inside with the sunrider open and the front windows up.

monkeee2002 01-22-2012 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by felix225 (Post 1949387)
I have had mine flipped back doing 70+mph on the interstate and it seems to be pretty solid, doesnt move around any that I have noticed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TXST8tj (Post 1950199)
I run down the freeway with the sunrider open all the time. It doesn't flap and stays put. It's actually pretty quiet inside with the sunrider open and the front windows up.


Great! Thanks for the quick input :)

obidya 02-01-2012 03:06 PM

can the trektop open up into a safari top like the rampage frameless softop? In pictures it looked kinda like it might.

ezrider 02-01-2012 04:37 PM

Is this a direct replacement for my hard top where i can run the hard top in the winter and this top in the summer? If so is everything i need included with it?

monkeee2002 02-01-2012 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by obidya (Post 1983960)
can the trektop open up into a safari top like the rampage frameless softop? In pictures it looked kinda like it might.

Yep!
Just remove the windows, and you have the safari top.

billybobjoe 02-01-2012 05:49 PM

I have on the fence for the last 3 months about ordering a sailcloth replacement top for my factory hardware vs. the Trektop, the info about the black diamond material being thicker is very helpful, thanks


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