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Old 03-08-2016, 05:10 PM
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Soft Top Question

Hey all! So I bought my TJ back in January and it has what appears to be the original soft top. I'm not really sure how to tell, but it seems like it.

The top seems to be in really good condition, other than the back window zippers being pretty tight and a little worn.

I have been a little scared to take the top off until I can at least pick up a bikini top or something in case of an unexpected rain storm. I do keep it in the garage and work from home, so it's rare that I HAVE to run out before my wife gets home with her car.

My question is, has anyone had issues with getting an older top back on after taking it off? I'd hate to take it off right now and not be able to get it back on. But I'd also like to take advantage of this 75 degree weather we are having.

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Old 03-08-2016, 05:16 PM   #2
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as in take it off totally?

why not just fold it down behind the cage, then its with you in the event that you do get caught in a storm

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Old 03-08-2016, 05:25 PM   #3
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In warm weather, getting it back up quickly is just a matter of practice. As it gets colder, it's a matter of brute force.

(I once put a concrete block on the back corners in particularly cool weather to keep the back down so I could finish attaching it. Highly unrecommended. Having that fall off would be an embarrassing way to die.)

I have seat covers and removed my carpet, and keep ponchos and trash bags with me, so now I don't worry overly much about being caught in the rain.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for the responses.

I'm not too worried about speed of putting it back on or getting caught in the rain without it. Im more worried about zippers breaking and such so I even have the option to put it back on haha. Have you had any issues with that? It's really just the back window, my door uppers are in good condition.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses.

I'm not too worried about speed of putting it back on or getting caught in the rain without it. Im more worried about zippers breaking and such so I even have the option to put it back on haha. Have you had any issues with that? It's really just the back window, my door uppers are in good condition.
Pickup some zipper restorer at dealer. Works good. Others here may have home remedies. As for getting left side rear window started, is a pita. Best if you have someone hold left side of zipper taught whilst you get the right side started n locked in. Just make sure rite side is All the way down into left side. Then good to go. Enjoy n welcome to our addiction!
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:11 PM   #6
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The original top on my jeep was a PITA to put back on every fall. I'd inevitably beat up my knuckles on the crappy old zippers and velcro. After a few years of that I finally bit the bullet and bought a new soft top. $500 for a nice Bestop with tinted rear windows. It looks fantastic and is so much easier to remove and put on every spring and fall. Well worth the extra money. As a side note, it is much quieter on the freeway, not that any of us are in this for a quiet ride. Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:21 PM   #7
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Leave the windows out. Buy a trail cover for when it looks like rain. Flipping the top up takes all of 15 seconds. Don't even bother with the windows. That's what drain plugs are for.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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I very rarely put my back windows in in the summer. Unless it's going to rain for a week straight, I leave the windows out. I actually get very little rain in the rear seat area when the Windows are out.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:40 AM   #9
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The toughest part is zipping the windows back in when the temps dip into the 60's and lower.
The top itself, not that difficult, hook the windshield header, don't latch, set the mid bow on the frame properly, then go for the rear corners, I put one hand on the rear bow and pull down, then work the clear plastic into the groove. Side windows, then rain gutters over the doors. Then the rear window.
Youtube search it. There are videos out the.
This is the original footage of the VCR tape that came with Wranglers I believe
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:10 AM   #10
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The original top on my jeep was a PITA to put back on every fall. I'd inevitably beat up my knuckles on the crappy old zippers and velcro. After a few years of that I finally bit the bullet and bought a new soft top. $500 for a nice Bestop with tinted rear windows. It looks fantastic and is so much easier to remove and put on every spring and fall. Well worth the extra money. As a side note, it is much quieter on the freeway, not that any of us are in this for a quiet ride. Good luck.
Trektop nx?
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TJ_KY View Post
Thanks for the responses.

I'm not too worried about speed of putting it back on or getting caught in the rain without it. Im more worried about zippers breaking and such so I even have the option to put it back on haha. Have you had any issues with that? It's really just the back window, my door uppers are in good condition.
If you are not looking to invest $$$ in a new soft top, perhaps you could take a look at the Flip-Ur-Top system linked below in my signature. This system modifies the OEM soft top frame, allowing the entire front half to flip back and secure into a sunroof...giving you an open air ride like the aftermarket Sunrider tops. This also allows you to leave the top on the Jeep, still allows you to completely fold down the soft top just as before, and can close up in a matter of seconds if rain is coming.

Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck either way!
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:16 PM   #12
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Trektop nx?
No, just the Bestop Replace-a-Top with Tinted Windows
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:54 PM
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Well bad news....I realized this morning that the left zipper of my rear window is missing. Now that I think of it, the zipper has been missing the whole time and I just assumed there would be just one zipper, not one on each side. You think there's any going back? lol or is a replacement top the only option?
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TJ_KY View Post
Well bad news....I realized this morning that the left zipper of my rear window is missing. Now that I think of it, the zipper has been missing the whole time and I just assumed there would be just one zipper, not one on each side. You think there's any going back? lol or is a replacement top the only option?
I know many here are down on Smittybuilt, but I purchased their replacement cloth top, 3 tinted windows skins & 2 soft door uppers three years ago for $249 (That allowed me to keep and use my original framework). I admit that I am very cautious/gentle with the way I handle the window panels and use the zippers....but that top still looks and performs like it is brand new.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TJ_KY View Post
Well bad news....I realized this morning that the left zipper of my rear window is missing. Now that I think of it, the zipper has been missing the whole time and I just assumed there would be just one zipper, not one on each side. You think there's any going back? lol or is a replacement top the only option?
AFAICT the left zipper is really only necessary if you want to roll the window up instead of remove it, or if you want to temporarily lift it to access the back. I never do the former, and rarely do the latter.

I wouldn't worry about it, certainly not spend hundreds on a replacement until you're sure you need one.
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:18 PM
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AFAICT the left zipper is really only necessary if you want to roll the window up instead of remove it, or if you want to temporarily lift it to access the back. I never do the former, and rarely do the latter. I wouldn't worry about it, certainly not spend hundreds on a replacement until you're sure you need one.
That's what I'm thinking too. I wouldn't mind rolling it up, but $500 is a little much at the moment
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:18 PM   #17
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The only deciding factor for me, is the removal of the side windows.

Folding the top is a piece of cake. Always roll up the back window, pull the sides off; literally takes less than 3 minutes. But I ALWAYS have trouble putting the side windows back on. Although, it is the original top.

That said,when I do pull it down, if bad weather is imminent, I just flip up the main part and try to park on odd angles to avoid water build-up. As a previous poster stated, thats what the plugs are for lol
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:33 PM
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The only deciding factor for me, is the removal of the side windows. Folding the top is a piece of cake. Always roll up the back window, pull the sides off; literally takes less than 3 minutes. But I ALWAYS have trouble putting the side windows back on. Although, it is the original top. That said,when I do pull it down, if bad weather is imminent, I just flip up the main part and try to park on odd angles to avoid water build-up. As a previous poster stated, thats what the plugs are for lol
Can I fold back the top with the rear window still attached? Also, my side window zippers are stuck as well. It honestly seems like someone "vandalized" the top and super glued the zippers. I've never seen zippers as stuck as these. The even have a white build-up around them?
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:05 PM   #19
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no the top can't be folded with the windows attached because the windows lock into channels on the body.

as far as the mysterious white stuff, ya never know what a previous owner may have done, although i've never heard of gluing the zippers. Can maybe try some silicone spray. At the end of the day, theres nothin like having the top down in nice weather.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:43 AM   #20
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Can I fold back the top with the rear window still attached? Also, my side window zippers are stuck as well. It honestly seems like someone "vandalized" the top and super glued the zippers. I've never seen zippers as stuck as these. The even have a white build-up around them?
The rear & side windows need to be taken out before taking down the soft top.
Perhaps you should look into just buying a cloth skins and windows package as I mentioned above...much cheaper than buying a new top.
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Old 03-18-2016, 03:43 PM   #21
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Leave the windows out. Buy a trail cover for when it looks like rain. Flipping the top up takes all of 15 seconds. Don't even bother with the windows. That's what drain plugs are for.

thats my attitude, now that the jeep will be driven all the time by my boy i picked up an OEM soft top as it's easy to flip up and theres no rugs or plugs in the back anyways. he's not allowed to have more than 1 passenger for 6 months so a wet back seats no big deal.

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