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smccollamjr 12-21-2011 09:49 PM

'03 RAT on '00
I'm going to order a sail clot Replace-A-Top for my '00 TJ. I've heard that black diamond is easier to clean, but Bestop only lists a Black Diamond sail cloth RAT for '03-'06. If I order one of these will it fit my '00? I've noticed some soft top manufacturers list the same top for all TJs and others list one for '97-'02 and one for '03-'06. What's the difference?

jp2611 12-21-2011 10:00 PM

I can not tell all the differences but I can tell you a few.

The mounting is slightly different in that the padding is thicker after '02--however usually not an issue.
The speakers or sound bar has to be removed if installing a half top (as I did) because that is made for 97-'02. I have an '04 and it fits after I removed the speaker pods.

Basically the differences that matter have to do with the thickness of the padding on roll bar from what I understand.

You might want to ask if anyone has the specific top you want on a Jeep the same as yours?

Good Luck!!

smccollamjr 12-21-2011 10:07 PM

I'm looking at a Bestop sail cloth Replace-A-Top and I'm planning to use my existing hardware. I'll get a new skin & windows. I don't think the roll bar padding will affect a standard top.

jp2611 12-21-2011 10:09 PM

I can't tell you for sure--maybe with that information someone will chime in.----I don't know that attachment would be the same since frame work is from different years/in comparison to the top?

Neil F. 12-22-2011 05:35 AM

It will fit the frame fine. I have a 01 frame on my 03 with 05 fabric.

The 97-02, 03-06 difference has to do with the colors and patterns. Denim was 97-02, Diamond was 03-06.

TXST8tj 12-22-2011 08:05 AM

The top is completely interchangeable 97-02 and 03-06. The 03-06 frame tubbing is slightly larger in diameter, but not by much. Otherwise they are the exact same, including the header bar.
The rollbar brackets are the only thing that is different between the years. The 03-06 brackets are extended rearward a little more that the 97-02. That was to accomodate the thicker rollbar padding. They make the top fit tighter on all years.

The Black Diamond is a much nicer material than the Black Denim. Not only is the color nicer, but the Diamond material is thicker than the Denim (comparing both as sailcloth material).

Here are some side by side comparisons of the 'Diamond' vs 'Denim' colors (both Bestop Sailcloth material). Diamond on the left.

smccollamjr 12-22-2011 09:33 AM

Thanks for all the info. So if I think the top is a little loose I can swap out the brackets on the roll bar to the newer ones and tighten it up a little?

TXST8tj 12-22-2011 10:28 AM

The newer brackets will snug is up a bit. With a Bestop RAT sailcloth, I imagine you should be fine though.

smccollamjr 12-23-2011 06:57 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I ordered a Black Diamond sail cloth RAT yesterday.

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