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Old 03-29-2017, 11:52 AM
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Installed the Trektop Glide yesterday.

Hey Guys- since we're about 12 pages into the other thread about when it's going to be available etc. I thought I'd start a new thread where people can ask questions about installation, features etc. and I can address them without having to go back and re-read that whole thread again.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I was one of the guys who was selected to get an early version of this top for product seeding and to give feedback about the installation and whatnot. I got this top for free from Bestop with the request that I give them feedback, talk about it online, and if I had any problems with it, give them a chance to deal with it before I flamed them online. They also asked that I don't immediately turn around and sell it.

I don't work for Bestop, and I'm not getting any other compensation from them, so hopefully you can take my word that I'm giving my honest opinion on the quality of the product and the level of difficulty in installation.

To put my comments in context, please keep in mind that the only soft top I ever had before was a OEM soft top and 1/2 doors on a TJ. I've never put together a soft top with bows and whatnot from scratch, so I can't say whether this one is more or less complicated than other ones. However, I grew up wrenching on stuff on the farm and my first career was as an airplane mechanic, so I know my way around a tool box. I would expect that my experience is more or less what a reasonably proficient shade tree mechanic would expect to see.

Here Goes:

First off, It was well packaged. The box is about the size of a flat screen TV and according to my bathroom scale, it weighed 78 lbs. when I opened it up, all the soft pieces were in a plastic bag with paper dividers to keep them from getting scratched and the bag was separated from the hard parts by a cardboard divider. All the hard parts were in their own plastic sleeves and there were no scratches on anything.

The instructions are 37 pages long, but the first 6 pages are just parts lists and the last 9 are instructions for how to put it up and down, so the actual installation instructions are "only" 22 pages.

22 pages is still a lot of instructions, but they're in the same format as the instructions that come with Ikea furniture i.e. lots of pictures and arrows with with some text to go along with the illustrations.

All of the pictures in the instructions are essential, because nothing except the two cross arches and the two bow mount brackets that attach to the aft roll bars are marked. It's very much a case of look at the picture, look for the part that looks like the picture, look back at the picture to see how it's oriented.

I found a couple of issues with the instructions. Nothing significant, but just a couple of things that were a little confusing. Maybe it's just me, but I emailed Cassie at Bestop this morning to see if I could offer some input about how maybe the instructions could be cleaned up a little.

The instructions say that you need a drill driver, but I didn't find in necessary to break one out. For tools, I Just used a ratchet screwdriver and a 1/4" drive ratchet with a couple of sockets and a torx bit. I also used a 6" crescent wrench to hold the teeny nuts that go on the back side of the plastic covers over the springs, because I didn't have a socket that small. They also say you need a pair of vice grips, but the only thing they're used for is to squash the ends of the springs after you hook them through the appropriate hole, so any old pair of pliers will do.

I can see how it would be possible to assemble the hinged side bows for the sun rider feature backward or upside down, especially since you have the top upside down on the floor when you install them. You really have to look at the shape of the parts and the way the hinges work and think about it for a minute to get this right.

I had a buddy hanging out in the garage, and it was helpful to have a second set of hands to help maneuver some of the bigger pieces, but two people aren't really necessary. I could have done it by myself just fine, and I don't think that a second person really impacted the installation time much either way.

The instructions estimate 4 hours for installation. I'd say that they are spot on for a first timer like me. It took me almost exactly 4.5, but I spent the extra 1/2 hour fiddling with the fitment of the door surrounds. I have a Rhinorack backbone system for the hard top. The Rhinorack has a couple of gussets that bolt on under the roll bar padding at the sound bar. It turns out that these gussets are in the way of the Trektop door surrounds and have to come off. No amount of adjusting can make them fit at the same time. Not a big deal, but if you happen to have a rhino rack for the hardtop, then you will have to remove those gussets and then remember to reinstall them when switching back to the hardtop.

The #2 bow assembly has pivot points on both ends that require you to install shouldered plastic bushings into both sides of each hole, slip them into a slot on the side bows and then install a screw. I found it to be next to impossible to keep the bushings in the hole while you're sliding it into the slot. After a few minutes of struggling with this, I put a drop of superglue on the bushings to temporarily hold them in place until I could get the assembly slid together and a bolt through the holes.

It was only about 50 degrees out yesterday, so the fabric didn't have a chance to warm up and it was a tight fit, but with some heaving and tugging, we were able to get everything in place. The fabric was to tight to get the back window attached on both sides, so I pulled into the driveway and left it running with the heater on full blast for about ten minutes and that did the trick. I don't think that it would have been nearly as challenging if it had been a nice hot sunny day and I would expect it to get a lot better over time.

So that's the installation. As far as how it looks, fits etc, I'm impressed. I can see how once it loosens up a little, It's going to be a lot easier to slide the windows on or off than struggling with zippers like my old TJ.

It's also a ton quieter than my TJ top. I don't know how it compares to other modern soft tops, but my TJ was so noisy on the highway that you couldn't hear a cell phone ringing if it was laying on the dash. At 70 mph, I didn't think this top was much louder than the factory hard top, with no buffeting or wind noise to speak of. Immediately after I installed it, I drove about 20 miles on the turnpike, and at 80 mph the tire noise from my OEM M/T's was still louder than any wind noise from the top.

It was dumping rain when I came home a few hours later. I looked over the interior pretty closely with a flashlight and didn't see any sign of water leaks. It's supposed to rain here for the next week pretty much every day, so I'm not going to have a chance to play with putting it up and down for a while, but I'll be able to continue monitoring for water leaks.

Looking at the installation, I don't have any reason to think that it won't operate as advertised, and it seems like a well made product. It also seems like it will be easier to operate than my old zipper top. The fastback look is cool, and it's awesome that you can fold it back. I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I'm pretty happy with it.

If there are any questions or comments, I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability.

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Old 03-29-2017, 12:27 PM   #2
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I drive the highway everyday going to work so I'm really interested in the performance at high speeds. Two questions:
1. With the sun rider feature open, is there any buffering or "ballooning" in the back?
2. If you run without the bows, do you think the top would flap from being too loose or is this mainly for drainage pitch?

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Old 03-29-2017, 01:00 PM   #3
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It folds down all the way right? Do you have any pics of it down?
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:01 PM   #4
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Nice write up, been debating about this soft top. Great pics.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:03 PM   #5
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Thanks AZrat! I'm curious about running without the bows as well. Cassie mentioned that you could, but I wonder about flapping at different speeds.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:33 PM   #6
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Was it actually no drill and no cut? Also does the window slide system look like will hold up to wear and time? Thanks
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:47 PM   #7
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I'm curious to know if the windows need any sort of lube to slide into each other time and again.
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Old 03-29-2017, 02:01 PM   #8
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Nice info. Thanks for sharing. I have one ordered and can't wait for it to get here. I have a 2015 white Rubicon, so that gives me a good idea how mine will look.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:35 PM
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It's been cold here and started raining shortly after I finished the install, so I haven't driven it in sunrider mode yet.

I don't have any pictures with the top down, but it folds down similar to the factory top. I'll try to get a picture on the next warm day we have (supposed to rain here every day for about a week though).

Don't know about the bows. At anything above about 40 mph the top is sucked up off the front bow so it isn't touching at all, but the back one is taller and the top is still touching it on the freeway. it's not like it's stretched tight, and you can shove your fingers in between, but there's no gap like the front one. It seems like the front one for sure is just for pitch for drainage, especially since Cassie said you could drive without it.

The channel mechanism is just a bulb shaped channel sliding into a channel that's shaped like the letter C. I would think that it will hold up at least as well as a plastic zipper, if not better. There's nothing mentioned about lubing them. I sort of think that the more they wear in the easier they get, but that's just a guess. Time will tell.

The channels are only on the top of the side windows and back window. where the back window mates with the sides theres a tab arrangement thats similar (but smaller) to the way that a soft top tabs under the edge of the body. At the front of the side windows there's a lip that wraps around and fits in a groove in the door surrounds.

It was 100% no drill no cut.
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:35 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. Looks like new top in the future.
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:44 PM   #11
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Nice write up! Answers some questions for sure. The only thing I found interesting was that you said you were not compensated by Bestop. Not that I'm saying you would sugar coat your review and I'm sure you didn't but you did get a free top . Looking forward to hearing how it works without that front bow.
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:45 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info AZrat. it's appreciated
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:16 PM
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Nice write up! Answers some questions for sure. The only thing I found interesting was that you said you were not compensated by Bestop. Not that I'm saying you would sugar coat your review and I'm sure you didn't but you did get a free top . Looking forward to hearing how it works without that front bow.

I said "Not getting any other compensation."

I'll be the first one to agree that a free top is a sweet deal!

But hey, I had to buy my own Rhino Rack and I wrote up the install on that one too. Basically I just have too much time on my hands
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:17 PM   #14
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I said "Not getting any other compensation."



I'll be the first one to agree that a free top is a sweet deal!



But hey, I had to buy my own Rhino Rack and I wrote up the install on that one too. Basically I just have too much time on my hands


You got the black diamond right?
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:27 PM   #15
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AZrat, does this have a spring lift assist kind of mechanism of some sort? Easy to put the top all the way down by yourself?
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:31 PM   #16
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AZrat, does this have a spring lift assist kind of mechanism of some sort? Easy to put the top all the way down by yourself?
I'll answer since I got mine installed yesterday also. No spring assist, but it's not needed as the frames and top are so much lighter than OEM.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:47 PM   #17
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OMG! Why am I just hearing about this. I just got my Trektop NX delivered. Glad I didn't open it up like I usually do when my toys arrive. Now I got to ship it back and get this one on order.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:57 PM   #18
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Ooo Makes me want to order my Bestop Hybrid or Trektop!! I think I'm going to do it by mid April. I definitely want to do the higher quality Black Twill though... Please do use this thread though as you continue to use it, to let us know if there's any negative side effects you experience... I hope not..I really want to get this for my 2dr!
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:03 PM   #19
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For anyone that is curious about running the top without two arches, i have a feedback on that. Just took both front and rear arches out and drove 8 miles on highway with no problem and what so ever.

No difference as far as performance. I did notice a little sag in the middle because before the top was resting on arches before which seat 1/2" higher then without. Can't really notice unless you touch. I don't see a problem running without them all the time unless you bump in to tornado, then i don't know if arches would save your life 😁

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Old 03-29-2017, 09:30 PM
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You got the black diamond right?
Yeah- I think so. It's black on the outside and grey on the inside. That's the black diamond, not the more expensive twill, right?
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:37 PM   #21
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Yeah- I think so. It's black on the outside and grey on the inside. That's the black diamond, not the more expensive twill, right?
Yes the Twill is black inside too. Also outside it feels like soft fabric.

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Old 03-30-2017, 04:46 AM   #22
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Yeah- I think so. It's black on the outside and grey on the inside. That's the black diamond, not the more expensive twill, right?


Yes, I ordered the twill for my 2 door back in February when the first preorders started to show up. I'm looking forward to seeing that version!
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:14 AM   #23
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I should be installing mine Saturday morning
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:59 AM   #24
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I would really like to hear comments and see pics from someone with a JK version as opposed to JKU if anyone has one.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:44 AM   #25
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I would really like to hear comments and see pics from someone with a JK version as opposed to JKU if anyone has one.
I'm not sure the JK versions shipped yet, I think next week perhaps? Those of us that got them I think are all JKU owners.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:48 AM   #26
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Also would like to see pics when JK owners get there's installed.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:56 AM   #27
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Also would like to see pics when JK owners get there's installed.


We are hearing that the people are being told July delivery for orders placed as early as last week. Although it appears to be a great top initially, I think it may not be the best choice for those looking to start their season with a soft top.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:36 AM   #28
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I posted this in the other Glide thread too. I just received verification that my Glide will ship next week. I am not a tester. Shinny


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Old 04-03-2017, 07:53 AM   #29
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Did mine this past weekend - and also emailed Cassie about a few of the instructions

I did install the hinged side bows incorrectly the first time - which isn't apparent until after you put it on the Jeep.

Otherwise - my install went about as well as @AZrat - having a friend certainly helped.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:04 AM   #30
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Questions for those that have installed this already:
Are the side windows stiff where they attach to the rear window? Will they be able to be rolled in a CloverPatch Window Roll (or similar roll)?
Thanks!

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