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Old 08-19-2019, 06:26 PM
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Let's talk soft tops

So my 92 YJ has a nice hard top, but no soft top options. Now that it is summer time, I have just removed the hard top using a neat little winch driven pulley system in my garage.

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However I've noticed on some days there is the minor threat of rain. I will typically just leave the Jeep in the garage those days, but it sure would be nice to have some sort of a soft top option.

Disclaimer first - I am intending to build a Jurassic Park replica YJ, so that is a background consideration throughout. I'm aware those units had a factory issued spice coloured top....

... however I think those tops are ugly. I don't like the idea of installing separate redundant hardware when there is already a really nicely fitted roll cage on the vehicle. I would rather just use what's there. Either way, this appears to be the factory replica bars from Mastertop:



But the more I think about it, and the more I drive the vehicle (only had it a few months) I think I would prefer a top like this:



What I like is this one would protect me if there was some rain, but nothing extreme. Plus it would be less infrastructure to deal with. And let's face it, in 95% of the Jurassic movies, there is no top on these things. So I don't know if I want to invest in the full top for 5%.

However I could be way off. Maybe guys with the full soft top love them! I'd like to hear what you think. I would likely run the soft top from June to September, and the hard top outside of that.

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Old 08-19-2019, 06:47 PM   #2
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A good option for you would of been Softtopper, unfortunately they recently stopped making them for the YJ.

I imagine it’s quicker to remove and reinstall a soft top than screwing around with the factory hardware, it’s a pain in the ass to take down the soft top, and even harder to get it all buttoned up when you need it again.

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Old 08-20-2019, 05:01 AM   #3
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Look at Bestop or Rampage... Most of the time I run in Safari top mode unless the weather turns ugly then it's doors on and windows in.

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'94 YJ 5sp 5.13, Super 35, HP30 w/Aussie, sitting on 33's, RE chromo drag link, 9500 Lb winch, 3" lift, 4x4 Posi Lock, it's a resto-mod in progress.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:24 AM   #4
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You could also try the rather cheap combo bikini/duster/windjammer. That would save you from 99% of the sudden rain showers and are easy to store in the back when not needed.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRQ View Post
A good option for you would of been Softtopper, unfortunately they recently stopped making them for the YJ.

I imagine it’s quicker to remove and reinstall a soft top than screwing around with the factory hardware, it’s a pain in the ass to take down the soft top, and even harder to get it all buttoned up when you need it again.
This was my thought. Although I've never used one, it occurs as a lot of work to take down. Plus you've got all that hardware bunched up and laying around. I literally just want something I can throw on if it looks like rain may come.... or some protection for colder mornings. I don't need a completely sealed solution, just a 90% solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12b View Post
Look at Bestop or Rampage... Most of the time I run in Safari top mode unless the weather turns ugly then it's doors on and windows in.

Bestop
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Rampage
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Bestop doesn't appear to have a bikini top that is compatible with soft doors. Rampage has a nice frameless option but it doesn't come in spice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirLancelot View Post
You could also try the rather cheap combo bikini/duster/windjammer. That would save you from 99% of the sudden rain showers and are easy to store in the back when not needed.
Can you tell me exactly what package this is? It appears to be the bikini/duster/windjammer but you also appear to have soft doors that fit. Tell me more about it please. This looks ideal. I also like that it is stowable. There's so very little storage room in a YJ that this matters.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:35 PM   #6
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'98 TJ 5 speed, 5.13 Super 35, D30 w/Aussie, Core 4x4 arms, Metalcloak front track bar, JKS rear track bar, ZJ tie rod conversion, 9500 Lb winch 4" lift sitting on 33's along with many others mods
'94 YJ 5sp 5.13, Super 35, HP30 w/Aussie, sitting on 33's, RE chromo drag link, 9500 Lb winch, 3" lift, 4x4 Posi Lock, it's a resto-mod in progress.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:56 PM
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Thanks for this. The cab top looks interesting:



This would allow for a complete seal with the half doors as compared to both the Bestop and Mastertop options:

Besttop:



Mastertop:



In my opinion the Bestop and Mastertop variants look a little more "snug" but that intergration with the half door may be enough to sway me. I'm still new to owning a Jeep so I don't fully understand how I will use it most days.



However you're last link is for a framed soft top once again.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SirLancelot View Post
You could also try the rather cheap combo bikini/duster/windjammer. That would save you from 99% of the sudden rain showers and are easy to store in the back when not needed.
Can you tell me exactly what package this is? It appears to be the bikini/duster/windjammer but you also appear to have soft doors that fit. Tell me more about it please. This looks ideal. I also like that it is stowable. There's so very little storage room in a YJ that this matters.[/QUOTE]

These are the bestop upper door sliders.
To be fair, these uppers do not fit perfectly, there is about 15cm in between the end of the uppers and the beginning of the windjammer.

On warm or hot summer days, sometimes with sudden rain showers, this is just fine for me (as long as the Dashboard stays dry, thanks to the bikini)
On colder and darker months, I use the original soft top all the time because this one keeps me and the interior 100% dry and warm enough. But I pur that completely away from May to September and then go duster (almost 100%) putting on the bikini when its too hot or if it might rain, using the windjammer when its colder and the sliders only occasionally (on generally colder and rainier Summer days.

The bikini and windjammer are easily stored in the back. You put them on within minutes. The upper door sliders are quite heavy and bulky, bit more sturdy than the zipper plastic uppers. Therefore they stay inside the garage in the Summer months most of the time.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRQ View Post
A good option for you would of been Softtopper, unfortunately they recently stopped making them for the YJ.

I imagine it’s quicker to remove and reinstall a soft top than screwing around with the factory hardware, it’s a pain in the ass to take down the soft top, and even harder to get it all buttoned up when you need it again.
Contact Bestop if you want a Softopper.
Scuttlebutt is that Bestop bought the rights to make the Softopper and will soon begin production.
That's only scuttlebutt. Call Bestop for confirmation. If the sales clerk doesn't know (probably not) ask to speak to someone that should know.
Or, PM Bestop through their Wrangler Forum vendor site.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:33 PM   #10
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I did a Pavement Ends Sun Topper and I love it. I’m in the exact same situation as you: hard top, garages during rain. This solved it. The front folds back and I can remove the sides and back. When rain comes, I fold it back forward.

I don’t have a picture of it opened.




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Old 08-22-2019, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SirLancelot View Post
These are the bestop upper door sliders.
To be fair, these uppers do not fit perfectly, there is about 15cm in between the end of the uppers and the beginning of the windjammer.

On warm or hot summer days, sometimes with sudden rain showers, this is just fine for me (as long as the Dashboard stays dry, thanks to the bikini)
On colder and darker months, I use the original soft top all the time because this one keeps me and the interior 100% dry and warm enough. But I pur that completely away from May to September and then go duster (almost 100%) putting on the bikini when its too hot or if it might rain, using the windjammer when its colder and the sliders only occasionally (on generally colder and rainier Summer days.

The bikini and windjammer are easily stored in the back. You put them on within minutes. The upper door sliders are quite heavy and bulky, bit more sturdy than the zipper plastic uppers. Therefore they stay inside the garage in the Summer months most of the time.
I'm starting to think that perhaps I don't need soft door uppers at all. It sounds like they are mostly a hassle, and won't seal anyways if I don't do a full top. I can just throw on the full doors if I need a better seal. It looks goofy, but so would half doors that don't fit. I really wonder why Jeep decided to build framed windows in the first place. Why not make a frameless window like every other convertible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckymac View Post
Contact Bestop if you want a Softopper.
Scuttlebutt is that Bestop bought the rights to make the Softopper and will soon begin production.
That's only scuttlebutt. Call Bestop for confirmation. If the sales clerk doesn't know (probably not) ask to speak to someone that should know.
Or, PM Bestop through their Wrangler Forum vendor site.

Good Luck, L.M.
I did discover that Softtopper is producing again for the YJ, but only in black. That won't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svtrit View Post
I did a Pavement Ends Sun Topper and I love it. I’m in the exact same situation as you: hard top, garages during rain. This solved it. The front folds back and I can remove the sides and back. When rain comes, I fold it back forward.

I don’t have a picture of it opened.




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So Pavement Ends is made by Bestop, yes? So how is it different than the other Bestop soft tops? It still looks to have its own bars and hardware you need to manage. Or are you just stating it is less of a hassle than the other Bestop options?

I'd appreciate a pic of it open when you get the chance.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JohnnieMo View Post
I'm starting to think that perhaps I don't need soft door uppers at all. It sounds like they are mostly a hassle, and won't seal anyways if I don't do a full top. I can just throw on the full doors if I need a better seal. It looks goofy, but so would half doors that don't fit. I really wonder why Jeep decided to build framed windows in the first place. Why not make a frameless window like every other convertible?



I did discover that Softtopper is producing again for the YJ, but only in black. That won't work.



So Pavement Ends is made by Bestop, yes? So how is it different than the other Bestop soft tops? It still looks to have its own bars and hardware you need to manage. Or are you just stating it is less of a hassle than the other Bestop options?

I'd appreciate a pic of it open when you get the chance.


I’ll ok grab one when I get home. It has its own frame and works with full doors. It does not fully fold down like a traditional soft top. The front 2 sets are given an open experience, but the back stays covered. I’ve run with no sides or back and the front opened up and it’s great.


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Old 08-23-2019, 07:32 PM   #13
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Here are some additional pictures.


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Old 08-23-2019, 07:35 PM   #14
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Let's talk soft tops

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Originally Posted by svtrit View Post
Here are some additional pictures.


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The only negative I have for this is that the folded part of the top blows down into the cab and can touch my head. For now I criss crossed some bungee cords until I figure something else out.

This top was around $550. I would have preferred spice in color, but spice tops are a premium in price.


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Old 08-27-2019, 04:46 PM
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The only negative I have for this is that the folded part of the top blows down into the cab and can touch my head. For now I criss crossed some bungee cords until I figure something else out.

This top was around $550. I would have preferred spice in color, but spice tops are a premium in price.


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How does the top attach to the windshield? Do your require tools or is it a quick connect?

--

In general, I'm leaning towards the bikini / windjammer / duster implementation. I like that it's easy to take with you, easy to install, and does 90% of the job. I've noticed that most of my discomfort comes from cold mornings when the wind vortex blows cold air in from the back. I think the windjammer might be the best piece of all for fixing that. For rain, the bikini would help. On the coldest of days I can just slap on the full doors as those sound easier to install than soft upper doors. It's not ideal, but I can do it in minutes.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:08 PM   #16
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This is a picture of one of the 2 latches. I had to drill 3 holes and screw it to the windshield frame.


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Old 08-27-2019, 08:07 PM
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This is a picture of one of the 2 latches. I had to drill 3 holes and screw it to the windshield frame.


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Do the bikini tops use a similar apparatus? My hard top is attached with 7 screws. It’s pathetic.

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