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Old 08-17-2019, 09:44 AM
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HELP!!!! Soft top zippers.

Hi everyone. I'm having a zipper problem with my soft top. This is my first summer owning my Wrangler, and as Fall approaches, I was installing my soft top, for the first time. The previous owner never had the soft top on this Jeep, and I wanted to put it on for those chillier Fall days.

Well, I couldn't get the rear window zipped up, so I bought some zipper lube, cleaned them all up and lubed them, and still they won't zip. As soon as you start coming to a curve in the top, you cannot go any further, without pulling with a plier, and that doesn't help much.

What do I need to do to make these work properly? Could it be because being stored for so long, things 'shrank'?

I'm ready to throw it all away and buy a new top!!!

Does anyone have a solution please?



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Old 08-17-2019, 08:31 PM   #2
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:49 PM   #3
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Try the graphite lube used for door locks. I put a paper towel behind the zipper as I move along spraying the lube. Spray with zipper closed if possible.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:32 PM   #4
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I'm having a zipper problem with my soft top.
I hate it when my woman says that.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:20 AM   #5
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If it's never been used, it'll be tight to get on. Really hot day sitting in the sun helps.
Make sure to leave the windshield latches unclipped
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:52 AM   #6
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It certainly could be that the top is very tight due to lack of use. You can confirm this by removing the side windows and then zipping up the rear window.

I replaced the zipper pulls and found that it made zipping and unzipping the rear window much easier: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For lubrication, I've found that a silicone spray works great.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:44 PM   #7
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Leaving in the sun is great way to help.

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Originally Posted by Shark_13 View Post
If it's never been used, it'll be tight to get on. Really hot day sitting in the sun helps.
Make sure to leave the windshield latches unclipped
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:46 PM   #8
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If it is a factory or Bestop Supertop NX, after getting the tab into the slot at the lower left corner, the slide should move easily to the corner and then it takes some time to work it around the corner than across the top and then around another corner and down the other side.

I really don't think it is hard because the top is too tight because if your issue is at the upper left (driver's side) corner, there should not be any tension of the rear window. You should also be zipping up the rear windows without the tailgate bar in the clips.

Just try going slow and wiggling the slide as you go around the corner.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:04 PM   #9
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And definitely don't pull with pliers.
You will break the zipper pulls.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:26 AM   #10
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Definitely don't pull with pliers and I wouldn't even pull too hard on the pull with your fingers. My trick if a zipper was reluctant was to reach my first finger inside the zipper and with my thumb on the slide on the outside pull on the slide with my fingers. While I never pulled a zipper pull off a Bestop slide, I have pulled them off of other zippers and then your only recourse is use the first finger/thumb routine.

Fortunately, I no longer have to worry about the tight corners on the rear window any longer since the Trektop NX I now have uses a slip on groove at the top and two straight side zippers.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:19 PM   #11
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A helpful tip for *after* you get this sorted:

Buy a bag of key rings at Walmart or Home Depot. Pick three fairly large ones (1"+) and put them onto the zip pulls. These are much easier to pull with a finger ring than without.

I also (as mentioned above) have to work my rear window zipper slowly around the corners with a finger inside to help walk the zipper around. The issue is that if it is an unused top the teeth on the window are stretched out while the teeth on the top are compressed toward one another. When I use my finger I try to poke the zipper OUT towards me as I pull. This seems to get the teeth to line up a little more closely and to move more freely.

I stopped using graphite and grease as they get really nasty and will just gum stuff up after a few months when dirt impregnates them. Instead, I have lubed the teeth at the corners both inside and outside on the top and the window by rubbing an old candle on the hard plastic teeth. (Not the outside edges only, though, get the faces where they meet, too.) This is just about mess-free, but it also might not work. You need a really soft candle that feels a little greasy. This wax will stick but not really attract dirt that badly. It won't stain anything, either.

And as stated above: Doing this the first time needs to be on a hot day with the top in direct sunlight - windows, too. Everything will more easily stretch to fit that way, and then later in the cool evening it will tighten back up fitting much better.

Good luck!
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:37 PM   #12
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:07 AM   #13
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My first time too....Had a hell of a time getting the rear window even started ….turns not so much...but half afraid to take it off again....lol
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:40 AM   #14
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Since we are on the rear window, do you find that you end up scratching it in the direction of zipping since, for me at least, my hand also "kinda" makes contact with the window. granted these things scratch when a feather hits it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougRz View Post
I hate it when my woman says that.
I thought you were referring to this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavarock View Post
Spray with zipper closed if possible.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:59 PM   #16
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Hmmmm. Hate to say this, but perhaps it is simply defective and may require a new top.

You may look into convertible top shops as well that could put in a new zipper. I looked into that some years back: they wanted $175 to put in a new zipper, so I just bit the bullet and bought a new top instead. Glad I did as I went from POS Smittybilt to Bestop Sail Cloth which was a monumental improvement.

To the OP: did you get this solved?? If so, how?
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:27 PM   #17
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First, use regular candle wax to lube the zippers. When you zip the window open or closed, as you get to the curve, reach inside with your free hand and grab the inside pull. Gently pull on both the inside pull and outside pull simultaneously. This increases the pull force while providing a balanced pull to the zipper. Works for me every time.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:28 PM   #18
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Make sure to leave the windshield latches unclipped
This. I never try to zip otherwise.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:29 PM   #19
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Buy a bag of key rings at Walmart or Home Depot. Pick three fairly large ones (1"+) and put them onto the zip pulls. These are much easier to pull with a finger ring than without.
GREAT idea! Thanks for posting that tip.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:27 PM   #20
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Park your Jeep outside on a nice hot sunny summer day, unclip the windshield latches, generously lubricate the soft top zippers on both sides of the teeth, then get another strong person to help you move the 2 rear "tails" between the rear side windows and the rear window to where they need to be to zip the rear window (using pulls on both sides of the zippers) and then push down on the front of the soft top to get it to latch. Definitely a PITA to get the soft top on and off as they get older... but our '03 Rubicon soft top still works.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:19 PM   #21
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Make sure to leave the windshield latches unclipped

I always did this when raising the top and putting the windows back in. If I had just taken the rear window out, it was not that difficult to put back in. The zipper going around the corner is always slow going.

One great thing about the Bestop Trektop NX is no zippers around sharp corners on the rear window. The top of the window slides on via a grove and then two straight zippers from the top corners down. (Plus my OEM top did not have the Sunrider feature and the Trektop NX does).
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:11 PM   #22
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candle wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikenMel View Post
First, use regular candle wax to lube the zippers. When you zip the window open or closed, as you get to the curve, reach inside with your free hand and grab the inside pull. Gently pull on both the inside pull and outside pull simultaneously. This increases the pull force while providing a balanced pull to the zipper. Works for me every time.

I used to do lube but was expensive, messy, and didnt work that well.

Tried a candle: cheap, stays put, works.

Rear window suggestion. Never zip it out, zip each side to around the corners, roll it up. Dont worry about scratching, it scratches just looking at it. The top can fold down if you choose with the rear window rolled up also. I dont see any reason to ever zip it out.
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:40 AM   #23
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Good ole beeswax is all you need to put on your zipper.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark_13 View Post
Make sure to leave the windshield latches unclipped

I always did this when raising the top and putting the windows back in. If I had just taken the rear window out, it was not that difficult to put back in. The zipper going around the corner is always slow going.

One great thing about the Bestop Trektop NX is no zippers around sharp corners on the rear window. The top of the window slides on via a grove and then two straight zippers from the top corners down. (Plus my OEM top did not have the Sunrider feature and the Trektop NX does).
I'll second that (or third!) Also second leaving her outside on a hot day for putting the soft top on for the first time each year. I run a hard top from late November to early April here in Alabama.

Also, with the NX top, should I find myself fighting a rear window zipper, I'll remove the side curtain about 50% and lift it up to help connect the zippers on each side. Once started I'll reconnect the side curtains and finish zipping each side a few inches at a time. Leaving her in the sun works 100% of the time.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:36 PM
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Thanks everyone, for the tips. I think the top sat folded for too long. The cloth was fine, but the zippers had some flat teeth on them. I finally gave up and just bought a new top. Man, now those zippers work fantastic!

Thanks for all the tips though, because I'm sure they won't be new forever.
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