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Old 07-20-2015, 08:45 PM
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Soft Tops, tops, tops....

OK, like a good little forum user, I tried to do a search and really didn't find an answer to a question I have.

First, let me go through the history of the decision I have to make:
I bought our YJ a little over a month ago to keep our JK company. The PO had just put a new soft top on it less than a year ago. It is a Rugged Ridge, and seems to be in great shape. The only issue is with the passenger side rear window. When he tried to zip everything up he got a little wild and snatched some teeth out (2 on top and 1 on the window side). He managed to get the zipper started and run all the way to the end, but as we all know a zipper with missing teeth will tend to open up. To prevent that from happening, he sewed that area of missing teeth together. Now, I cannot zip that window out, and I want to run safari-style. I went by two upholstery shops in the next town over, and was shocked by the quotes I was given - $125 minimum! That's just plain crazy.

So, I decide to see how much a new top would run me. Imagine my surprise when I found the "Smittybilt 9870217 Denim Spice OEM Replacement Soft Top with Door Skins and Tinted Windows" for only $249.99 from several sources (Amazon and Morris 4X4 centers are top contenders right now). I prefer spice as it tends to absorb less heat. Here in Texas that is one major consideration! Plus, I think that the dark tan would look pretty sharp on the blue metallic of the YJ. The YJ is normally kept under a carport when it is not driven to work.

Now, finally - down to the question at hand. How would y'all rate the Smittybilt tops? The RR top I have now seems to be OK, but it is definitely not as high a quality top as the OEM quality BesTop that came with our JK. My wife was also curious as to whether or not a SunRider version was available for the YJ. She really liked that on our JK. I told her it would cost close to $900, so that option was cancelled (for now).

Anyway, I would like to get some input from y'all on the quality or other thoughts about the Smittybilt top. I am looking to make a decision by this weekend, if that is any help for an idea of a time frame I am shooting for.

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Old 07-20-2015, 09:08 PM   #2
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I just bought a 95 YJ that has a fairly new Smittybilt soft top on it. I can't say for sure the age but I would guess 3-4 years maybe more. The windows had a few minors flaws is the only reason I'm guessing a few years. The denim is all in perfect shape as well as the zippers and other attachments. Another reason I'm thinking it's a bit old is that the tag that says Smittybilt is really worn out. Other than that and the windows, I thought the top was brand new, the denim and stitching all look great.

I have unfortunately destroyed my rear windows on some overgrown trails, they are really scratched up now. I looked at the replacements like you and was happy to see I could get it for $250. The only problem for me is that I only need the 2 or 3 rear windows and I don't see them sold that way.

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Old 07-20-2015, 09:13 PM   #3
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Never owned a smitty but from what I've heard there alright, not as good as a bestop I don't think though. One think I know though is that you get what you pay for when buying parts for these jeeps and, that rugged ridge is usually the cheapest of them all.

So I would say that pretty much anything you get would beat the RR top that you have now, if it were me though, I'd get a bestop. I mean you've already seen that one bad part on these things pretty much renders the rest useless so the better the top is made the longer it should last.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTAK8k View Post
I just bought a 95 YJ that has a fairly new Smittybilt soft top on it. I can't say for sure the age but I would guess 3-4 years maybe more. The windows had a few minors flaws is the only reason I'm guessing a few years. The denim is all in perfect shape as well as the zippers and other attachments. Another reason I'm thinking it's a bit old is that the tag that says Smittybilt is really worn out. Other than that and the windows, I thought the top was brand new, the denim and stitching all look great. I have unfortunately destroyed my rear windows on some overgrown trails, they are really scratched up now. I looked at the replacements like you and was happy to see I could get it for $250. The only problem for me is that I only need the 2 or 3 rear windows and I don't see them sold that way.
Usually if you call up the company they can sell you just the parts for it that you need, I think that bestop does that anyway...
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Biohazard 294 View Post
Usually if you call up the company they can sell you just the parts for it that you need, I think that bestop does that anyway...
Thanks, I was thinking about calling. I've only looked around at a few different websites so far.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:44 AM   #6
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Ok , quick question. If I buy another brand soft top, will it work with my existing hardware? Just pull this one off and replace with the new one?
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:45 AM   #7
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It's probably best to stick with the same brand if your just buying a new window or something, if your buying a whole new top it should fit the frame that is on you yj. There are two different types of soft top frames though and I don't really know much about them.

You might want to start a new thread about this question so you can get more input.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:15 AM   #8
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My YJ has the original frames, but a Smittybilt top and replaced two windows with Bestop windows which were in better shape. So, my setup is kinda Frankenstein? Oh, and everything fits and zippers, etc work well. But cant get the snaps above the half doors to ever snap shut...
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:25 AM   #9
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Thanks guys, I was just curious. I'll likely try to replace the windows with Smittybilt(the brand it currently has) before this winter so I can see out of them. I'm just thinking if I keep driving through these overgrown trails, the top itself may take some damage and I'll need to replace the whole thing next year or the year after.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:19 PM
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So, Smittybilt it is!

Thanks for the input guys.

Looks like I will be ordering the Smittybilt top this week. Some web searches show that most people are happy enough with theirs - compared to the price they paid. Most reviews I found were by TJ owners though.

I will probably sell the (not so) old Rugged Ridge on CL or FB or something - probably for about $100 (if that seems fair).
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:45 AM   #11
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Did you get the Smittybilt top? Can you offer a quick review? I'm looking to buy one for my YJ with factory frame.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:24 PM
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Did you get the Smittybilt top? Can you offer a quick review? I'm looking to buy one for my YJ with factory frame.
I did. It was certainly worth the money. It is not the same quality as the OEM (BesTop) on my JK, but it fit well and I had absolutely no problems during install. The only issue I am having is the right rear sail flap tends to pop out with a crosswind from the left and the front windows down and rear window up. I think it is probably due more to the channel being too shallow. I intend to look into that this weekend. Stitching is fine, windows all fit well and zippers are acceptable quality. The kit I ordered had door skins and tinted windows. A real bargain for the price. Haven't had it in a torrential downpour - but in the one shower we've had, it seemed to be pretty waterproof.

Link:


Part# SB-9870217

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