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jk'n 04-03-2010 09:51 PM

Hard Top to Soft Change W/Congo Cage Rack
Well, I changed my hard top out today and last fall after the hard top was on I installed a Congo Cage from Kargo Master. They claim that the top can be changed out without removing the rack. I tried to do it but couldn't. I took the rack off, changed the top over and put the rack back on. Now that I'm thinking about it though, I wonder if I could have gotten the top off with the tail gate closed and the rear window open. I didn't think of that when I was in the process (and frustrated) trying all sorts of angles with the tail gate open, even took off the spare tire but still couldn't get the hard top off. Oh well. Maybe someone who has already done this successfully can give me a couple of pointers. Thanks in advance. :banghead:

Blue Water 04-04-2010 05:34 PM

I'm considering buying that rack. I read some where that the rack is very easy to take on and off. Is that not the case?

jk'n 04-05-2010 01:11 AM

Easy is relative. Undo the four securing points and I used four people to take it off. One in each corner. I could have done it with three. I could have done it by myself if I had a lift. I'm considering making one for my back yard. Eventually that is what I plan to do.

Edit: I enjoy the use of the rack. It does make putting the soft top up and down more of a chore though. That is one of the reasons I want to make a lift for the back yard. So I can take it off when I'm not using it.

JIMBOX 04-05-2010 09:17 AM

:D Can't beat the MBRP JK Rack, makes taking the hardtop off--EASY

Either with two people (handles on each side) or the RACOR garage hoist

I don't have a soft top, but carrying stuff and taking off the hardtop is EASY now !!

:rofl::rofl: JIMBO

jk'n 04-05-2010 02:27 PM


Yah, that rack looks awesome and your rig as well (trailer). I have both tops and got the Congo Cage because it would work with both tops. It has an awesome load limit and has been solid. I haven't put my kayaks (4 of them) up there yet but don't anticipate any problems with the load. I'm still working out the kinks like whether or not to keep the rack on when not yaking. Nice to have it there though when the urge strikes, that way the yaks can be up there and I'm on my way especially for those sunset paddle outings in local waters. I'm going to try putting the hard top back on without pulling the rack off by having the back gate closed. I should have tried that but was so frustrated trying it with the gate opened and didn't want to do harm to the hard top so I temporarily pulled the rack off.

So has anybody done it with the gate closed?....successfully?

JIMBOX 04-05-2010 03:14 PM

:D Thanx teach !!

You'll get it down after a few hints and trials !!

:rofl::rofl: JIMBO

Morri 04-23-2011 04:09 PM

when you said "It does make putting the soft top up and down more of a chore though." What exactly did you mean? I have a Congo cage with a hard top, and I am hoping to put a soft top on it soon, but if it is a pain to open the top with a congo cage I might not try it. Can you open and close the soft top without having to undo the congo cage?


jk'n 04-24-2011 04:37 AM

I've had the rack for a year and a half now and have had quite a few experiences with it. Here are some things that have come up.

I haven't tried taking the hard top off with the rack on yet because I tend to leave the hard top on. The hard top was on all last summer. I traveled a lot last summer between Florida, Massachusetts (my home state), and Maine. I liked the security of having the hard top on with the kayaks up top (4 of them) and being on the go camping and vacationing. I'm currently getting the itch to change the tops again. I don't know if I will do this because I recently purchased a 92 Wrangler and it has three tops, and the fabric doors which can be quickly stowed in the back. So I may just drive the other Wrangler and keep the hard top on the Rubicon. Bottom line, taking the rack off to put the soft top on is not a major problem.

The last time I had the soft top on, which was in the spring last year, I had the rack on with it. I tried tilting the rack back and using the supplied supports and then opening the top and the top would not clear the rack in the tilt back position. So I couldn't open the soft top with the rack on as advertised. I have yet to address this with Kargo Master. They wanted me to take pictures but I took the soft top off to go to Florida and Maine and never put it back on again last year so I wasn't able to get pictures of it on the rack supports in the tilt back position and the top stuck up against it and not able to be opened.

One other thing is that even if I was able to tilt the rack back and open the soft top, the operation of doing this is time consuming and my thoughts went to what I might do in a New England down pour type thunder storm. By the time that I tilt the top back, put the top up, and put the rack back down I would be a drowned rat, the interior would be soaked and the purpose of the tilt back of the rack would be pretty much a moot point. So, what I'm saying here is that the tilt back feature, even if it worked to put the top down, is too time consuming to make it worth having the feature IMHO.

So, what is one to do? Well, speaking from the position that I am still very satisfied with the main function of the rack system which is to be able to put 4 kayaks up there and go kayaking, the rack keeps me happy for the price that I spent. So, how am I going to deal with the rack so that I can make better use of my jeep soft top? Right now I am planning to just take the rack off when I put the soft top on and if I want to go kayaking, I'll put the rack on while I'm doing that. In the future, I want to build an outdoor hoisting mechanism to be able to back the jeep into and hoist the rack up. This will allow me to be able to do it by myself. Currently I have to get 4 people to put the rack on and take it off. It weighs a considerable amount and is big and bulky. Luckily, I have neighbors who don't mind helping me when the time comes and my son has no choice but to help me. He has been a willing participant though and so I only have to find two others besides him to change it out. It will be nice to be able to do it myself though with a winch/lift setup.

For you and/or others they will have to decide if having a beefy rack is worth doing with two tops. If you only have the hard top, the rack is a definite plus. I wouldn't be having this dialog if I only had the hard top and no soft top. If you only have the soft top, be aware that using the rack with it means putting the top up and down becomes a production and maybe you'll only want the rack on when it is in use. Life is full of compromises. This will be one to consider if you are buying ANY tilt type rack system.

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