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Old 03-01-2016, 07:07 PM
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JKU Creaking/Rattling Hardtop w/ Freedom Panels Removed?

I took the Freedom panels off for the first time over the weekend and my hard top makes a weird creaking/rattling noise once speeds get greater than ~45-50mph. The noise gets more constant over ~65+. If I put the rear windows down the noise stops. It appears the roof above the passenger area vibrates from the wind? Is this normal? Is there something I can do about it? I checked the 2 front bolts and they are tight.

ac

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Old 03-01-2016, 09:22 PM   #2
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Not normal.

Unlatch the panels, take them off, and reseat them, making sure the seals aren't pinched. There are a few threads here that suggest strategies on which latches to latch first, etc. many here also run without the two large hand screws over your head, but I thread mine in just until snug, and check them periodically.

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Old 03-01-2016, 09:29 PM   #3
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My 2 door Willys did the same thing, drove me nuts. One day while riding around I pushed up on the top over my head and the noise stopped. I'm guessing the top moves with the panels removed depending on the speed and how rough the road is.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:54 AM
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Not normal.

Unlatch the panels, take them off, and reseat them, making sure the seals aren't pinched. There are a few threads here that suggest strategies on which latches to latch first, etc. many here also run without the two large hand screws over your head, but I thread mine in just until snug, and check them periodically.
The problem is with the freedom panels OFF. With the panels ON the Jeep is silent (well, as silent as a Jeep can get :-)

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Old 03-02-2016, 07:09 AM   #5
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Ahhhh. Ok, then. Some have posted that the rubber bumpers on the underside of the leading edge of the top that touch the rollbar click/pop when the top is flexed with the wind.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:48 PM
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Ahhhh. Ok, then. Some have posted that the rubber bumpers on the underside of the leading edge of the top that touch the rollbar click/pop when the top is flexed with the wind.
That sounds like it might be what I'm experiencing. How do I make it stop?!?
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:55 PM   #7
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That sounds like it might be what I'm experiencing. How do I make it stop?!?
Hasn't happened to me, but If it's the rubber sticking to the metal, I'd put a piece of paper towel between the rubber bumper and the metal to see if it stops. If it does, I'd probably put a piece of clear vinyl decal on the rubber surface that contacts the metal.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:57 PM   #8
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FWIW, someone else a while back mentioned the styrofoam under the rollbar padding clicking. Turns out it was the plastic fasteners that held it in place. You could unzip the covers, carefully remove the styrofoam, and see if it goes away.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:28 PM
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Hasn't happened to me, but If it's the rubber sticking to the metal, I'd put a piece of paper towel between the rubber bumper and the metal to see if it stops. If it does, I'd probably put a piece of clear vinyl decal on the rubber surface that contacts the metal.
Oh, so the rubber sticking to the metal causes the noise? So maybe simply lubricating the rubber with some silicone would let it flex/slide without noise?

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Old 03-02-2016, 10:35 PM   #10
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Possibly. Tough to diagnose from this end, though. Worth looking at.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:28 AM   #11
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The only time I've noticed my hard top creak is after I've removed the bolts holding it down before backing in the garage to lift the top off. Do you have 4 screws (on each side) holding the top on? I've heard of some people in one of my local groups riding around without the top bolted down at all.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:39 AM   #12
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Did you check to see if the bolts are tightened right above the sound bar? With the panels off, it bolts the back part of the hardtop to the sound bar. My '07 rattled and this was the issue.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:00 PM
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The only time I've noticed my hard top creak is after I've removed the bolts holding it down before backing in the garage to lift the top off. Do you have 4 screws (on each side) holding the top on? I've heard of some people in one of my local groups riding around without the top bolted down at all.
Yes. 3 bolts in the rear and 2 up front.

I tightened the 2 up front and the issue persisted.

Is there a particular order to tighten the bolts?

I assumed tight was defined as tight as they get using the provided tool kit.

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