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ngiovas 03-25-2012 07:45 PM

Looking at a used soft top - questions before buying
I just got my 2012 JKU in December. Now that the weather is warming up, I am starting to look for a used soft top for my Jeep. A friend of a co-worker is selling the soft top off of his wife's jeep because she prefers the hard top. He is asking $500 for it, which I assume is a fair price, but I had a few questions before buying the top.
  • It is off of a JKU. I assume it will fit, but are there any differences in the style, features, etc.? How can I tell what year it is from?
  • He said it was only lightly used for part of one summer, is there anything in particular I should look for as far as wear and tear?
  • He said it is complete including windows, but he said it is missing "the pins" which can be ordered from the dealer. What pins is he talking about? Are they easy to find, and do they cost much?
  • Anything else I need to consider?

thanks in advance.


Beastmaster 03-25-2012 08:41 PM

$500 doesn't seem too bad a price but here's what I'd check:
  • Make sure of the year, they re-designed the JK tops starting with the 2010 models.
  • Not sure about what pins they are talking about, you might want to check them out, you can probably get them some place cheaper than the dealer.
  • Look at the seams and places where the top rests on the bows and check the windows, they are the first things to go (cracking).

ngiovas 03-25-2012 08:44 PM

Thanks. What can I look for to know that it is a 2010 or newer top? I think he is talking about the pins that hold the door surrounds in place. If that is the case, they are around $20 each. I think there are 6 of them on the 4 door model (but I may be wrong). That would be an additional $120 I would need to invest. I guess if it is "like new" that may be worth it.

Beastmaster 03-25-2012 09:29 PM

Not sure of the differences between the tops, sorry, I have an '07 JKU.:redface:
If the missing pins you need are the big ones that go on top of the surrouds to the roll bar, now I know why they are so expensive. :eek:
Those are some big things to lose, maybe you can get some at the junk yard.:popcorn:

4fit 03-25-2012 09:32 PM

In 2010, they moved to a cable system over the door surrounds instead of clips. The windows are also larger in the 2011+ models. As for determining the year, just find out what year Jeep is from the owner. If they don't know for some crazy reason, just look on the registration or door jamb sticker.

ngiovas 03-26-2012 03:16 PM

It sounds like the Jeep is a 2010, but the top may have come off of a 2009. Considering the missing pins (still need to find out more about this) and the older style top, I'm wondering if I should keep looking for a newer top. Is the fabric and everything else the same?

ngiovas 03-26-2012 10:18 PM

Just a quick update. I stopped to look at the top on my way home from work. The guy didn't have a Jeep and had 4 tops in his garage. They were all used and in average condition. They were all pre 2010 without the tension springs. I asked him if they were missing any parts. He said just the 6 pins to mount the door surrounds. I asked him if he had the brackets for the back corners on either side of the tail gate - nope. I wasn't sure what else might be missing and he told me the price was firm at $500, so thanked him and left.

The good news is that I received a call back from a great seller who had a soft top off of an early 2010 Jeep. It didn't have the tension springs, but the guy seemed honest, so I believe it was from a 2010. The top was off of his old Jeep and he now has a new one that came with a dual top, so he didn't need the top any more. He had all of the parts neatly laid out for me to see and had all of the smaller pieces in plastic bags that were labeled. The top was in excellent condition and had no signs of wear on the plastic windows. He told me he was always careful about removing the windows completely before folding the top. He really took great care of it. We settled on $475 and I took the top with me. While I would have preferred the newer style top, I doubt I will regret buying this one since it is in great condition and was a lot cheaper than a new one.

Hopefully I will have some time to mount it this weekend. Although, with the temps dropping again, I'm not sure I will be in a hurry to get it on the Jeep.

j0nx 03-27-2012 06:18 AM

The first guy sounds like a scammer. Good call on the top you bought.

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