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Old 08-13-2019, 08:28 PM
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98TJ soft top

My last 98 TJ soft top had a water leak problem every time I had it washed. I ended up with rust in the interior walls of the back end of the Jeep. The water leaked on the side of the zipper that zipped the back window. I now have a "new" 98 TJ and am afraid to have it washed, as there is no rust. What I want to know is, is this a common problem with TJ soft tops. Looking from the back of the Jeep, my last car leak was in the bottom right side of the back window. I was unable to zip it closed enough, I guess, to keep water from coming in. The water would squirt right through the zipper into the car.



Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a solution?

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Old 08-14-2019, 06:43 AM   #2
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Never had a problem with my 98s soft top, and it's on year round. I have had 2 tops with no issues, one was the factory top, and the other that I've had for a few years now is the Quadratop.
How are you washing it? High pressure car wash? Some might seep through if using that, but shouldn't be a lot if everything is zipped all the way.
Maybe it had a ill fitting replacement top on it?? Just keep a old towel ion the jeep and if it leaks dry it up.

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Old 08-15-2019, 10:00 AM
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Thanks BM3

The top on my previous TJ was factory, as I bought it new from a dealer in "98. It was from commercial car washes, I was told from a body shop. After 15 years of commercial washes, they said it was so badly rusted in back that they would have to replace the body, and for the cost, they said better to buy new. Anyway, long story short, I had seen the water come through, so knew where it came through, and the zipper was ill fitting from the start. Never had any other problems for 15 years! Loved that Jeep, bought another.


I knew that some years there were common problems, so just thought I would ask. Thank you so much for your response! Hopefully it was just that car.
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:51 PM   #4
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The tops fit tight when new. There is a definite sequence to putting the top up and installing the windows. You may have gotten something out of sequence. The first thing I would do is put the top up and hood but not latch the front latches. I would then always put the rear window in place first and get it centered. I would then start the zipper on the left side window and hook the front edge in the door surround. I would then do the same on the right side. Then back to the left side and zip the zipper all the way down and then do the same on the right side. At this point you still have enough slack to adjust the sides of the top and the back window. I would then hook the bottom edge of both side windows into the top rail of the tub. Then I would latch the header bar latches. The last step is to hook the side clips of the top into the groove in the door surround over the top of the door.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:55 AM
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Thanks rgreen65

I had my original Tj top up and down probably 1000s of times over the 15 years I had it. It always leaked in one corner. Guess I'll see with my "new" 98.


Thank you for your suggestion!
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:04 AM   #6
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You pointed out that it leaked because you couldn't zip it all the way down. That to me indicated the the top was too tight. Latching the header clamps (as opposed to just hooking them) can cause that issue. That extra over the center latching is what tightens up the top. Until you latch them you should be able to pull and adjust the position of the sail panels in the rear corners so you can zip it all the way. Most instructions say to put the side windows in first - note that my sequence puts the rear window in first and zipped all the way down.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:59 PM
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Thank you again rgreen65

You are right about the sequence. I followed directions from the start and put in side windows first. I will next time put in back window first. Thank you again!

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