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Old 08-19-2010, 09:21 AM
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YJ Top Quandry

I've been looking at my top options; thought I'd sell my hard top off for a different set up but there more I look into it the less I ultimately know what I want!

Here's the thing (bit of a repeat from a yesterday thread) My YJ has a hard top and I have the full steel doors. I do not have a setup that allows me to hoist my top off by myself. I have to have help and it's stored on my property where I don't live. In NC, I can have no top for many months and it's fine, so when I remove the hard top I'm good to go till cold weather rolls in. I've driven to work in the rain periodically (summer weather rain)

Once the cold weather hits, I obviously would like more protection. When it comes to a full top, I like how the hard top looks. But we get smacked with gorgeous days out of the blue and I LOVE being able to throw the top down (as we do with the JK) when this happens. I'm obviously not going to drive out to my property and get helpers at the last second to help me take of and put on a top in one day. I don't like asking for help, drove me mad when I couldn't shove the hard top off by myself! I like quick and easy but I also like a rugged look. hmmm

I don't think I like how the regular soft top looks on the YJ, I'm not sure why! I think I need to keep looking at pictures, it could maybe grow on me if I got one, used it and loved it. Yet, I seem to like the summer combo look (I might need something that keeps more rain out, a winter rain drive would suck) or the half tops but I'm wondering if not having the full back enclosed area might become an issue, if I'm moving or something like that I've loaded this sucker up to the roof. Seems it shouldn't but maybe it would be silly to get rid of my hard top?

I know Bestop seems to have the best reviews, but I don't know if I can justify $600 to cover half of the space with the half soft top

Maybe I'm jumping the gun and should just leave well alone, I'm sure I should focus more on the mechanicals that need attention, but time flies and it won't be long before I'll have to put something back on!

anyone want to share pics of their YJ to help me decide?

And on the same token, if I decided to sell off the hard top or do a trade - I have no clue what a '95 hard top in good shape is worth....

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Old 08-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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HI Andrea! I saw a top that I really liked, but it looks better on the YJs than my TJ. I will find a pic and let you know.

FYI, I had a previous TJ and the winters here in NC are JUST FINE with a ragtop. If that helps. I never desired a hard top, but if I ran across one for a steal, I wouldn't mind having it in the event a stretch of snow and ice hit us here...which as you know is pretty infrequent.

I will post as soon as I find that pic...

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Old 08-19-2010, 09:44 AM
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Awesome Shell, I'd be glad to see it. Snow and ice is very infrequent here, but to be honest I have the luxury of sitting on my bum at home if I just don't feel like going anywhere. I remember when I had my beetle, if a hurricane blew in or just a big storm or if we had freezing temps with rain or snow I could NOT go anywhere. 1 - my beetle would blow out of my lane into other lanes or 2 - my windshield would freeze over and I could not see or go anywhere. LOL. It's nice to not feel stuck at home too though; just in case, ya know?

I'm just wishy washy perhaps. I have no concerns about a ragtop in our winters, I just don't seem to like how they look.

Here's my next issue with using a half top, deck cover setup - I keep my spare in the back; if I put a deck cover on, the area would be close to useless.

I'm thinking I need to get over my issue with how the ragtop looks and start shopping around. I think my deal is that I like the squared off angles that I see with no top, or hard top on, or the half top give nice square angles but the ragtop at the back always looks squished in or something silly that I'm being retarded about. I probably would love the flexibility of getting a softop on mine and learn to love that funny look on the back wear it pokes out funny at the top.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:45 AM
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, but if I ran across one for a steal
What would be a good "steal"? If I buy a new top, I'd like it to be in such a way I'm putting little to no money out for it (as in selling mine would cover a replacement). I really should not be spending any money on tops or accessories right now. need transmission work, muffler, catalytic convertor, paint... lol.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:08 AM
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hehe, I should just finagle a hoist for myself somewhere. I would totally keep and use my hard top if I could rig up a way I could take it on and off by myself. How likely is a small 5'3 girl to be able to do that without help?
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #6
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Not likely. I am 5'1' and weigh 105 pounds. I know I could not do it by myself.

However, I think you would fall in love with the soft top the first time you were able to put it down in 10 minutes by yourself and enjoy the NC sunshine. :>

I don't think you are more than 2-3 hours from me....always looking for an excuse to drive to the coast for the day. Perhaps we can meet up for lunch and a ride sometime before you decide and I can show you how the top goes up/down so easy and you can "test" it out?
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:37 AM
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Oh c'mon now; wouldn't my 2" and 20# on your size be enough for me to pull the thing up?? Greg said he'll incorporate a hoist system when we build soon and that I could just keep the hard top, hehe.

You'd be welcome out this way anytime, it's really pretty where we live. Greg could direct us to good driving trails too or we could do trails with him in his and us in yours! He has the soft top on the JK and I can get that up and down with little trouble, so I know the smaller one on the YJ would be a breeze.

Who else around here is little? Do you have a hoist for a hard top? I'm eager for someone to say, yes we can do it! LOL

Anyway, I totally CAN be social, it is in me; I just need a gentle push. Well, a good hard shove really
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:45 AM
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This looks really simple though:
YouTube - crank hoist

Lange Originals 014-388 - Lange Originals Manual Hoist-a-Top™ for 76-06 Jeep® CJ-7 & Wrangler YJ, TJ with One Piece Hardtop - Quadratec

Would cost less than a soft top, too.. no?

Okay, I should let up now. Let's plan to hang some time, I've never been in a smaller jeep with a soft top, that might be what it takes to help me decide.

Later!
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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Sounds perfect. :> When I am headed east, I will let you know!
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:56 AM
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Super, I'll be here!
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:58 PM   #11
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i made a setup for taking off and putting on my hardtop for 1 person. i used several pulleys, some rope and some webbing straps. i've used it for years outside between two trees. it's a DYI after looking at some of the hoists on the market. it still takes some time with all the screws and bolts, but it's gotten easier each time.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:00 PM
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Hey that's neat, Spudneck
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:13 PM   #13
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My '95 YJ with Bestop Replace a top on factory hardware...Have a hardtop on my other '93 YJ for winter, and I really don't like it, but it's on there for snow plow work.

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Old 08-19-2010, 10:41 PM   #14
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what about something along the lines of this: Jeep Wrangler TJ Canvas Caps and Toppers - Softopper

EDIT: it says TJ in the link, but they also have one for the YJ on the page
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:31 AM
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Nice ride, Tarby! I've been partial to my hard doors with roll down windows. But your half doors and windows look awesome! The window looks really nice to be able to see out of. Down the road maybe I'll consider looking into switching out my doors too. I see yours is the Rio Grande too.

Thanks for the link Schnutzy, I'll read about that top some more later today. I guess at this point I'm 95% leaning towards selling my hard top and then having the $$ on hand to get a new complete soft top set up. Quadratec even has their super tops on sale right now, like $60 off or so.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:45 AM   #16
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what about something along the lines of this: Jeep Wrangler TJ Canvas Caps and Topp...rs - Softopper

the top from softopper does not have a frame it just fits over the roll bar. which is the reason i am looking at that top
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:53 AM
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The softopper is interesting. I'd be curious to read pros and cons of it vs. the Bestop Supertop
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:54 AM
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the top from softopper does not have a frame it just fits over the roll bar. which is the reason i am looking at that top
For this I would have to get the bars that go from rollbar to windshield, right?

I wonder how putting it up and down compares to a regular softop set up?
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:57 PM
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Are Softopper and Rampage different companies? Or is it one in the same?

Rampage Frameless Jeep Soft Top, Rampage Frameless Soft Top for Jeeps


"Jeeps with factory hard tops require additional door surrounds, a windshield channel and a tailgate bar (not included)"

Maybe would cost near the same as a regular soft top set up by the time everything was purchased?
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:58 PM
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So um, it's clear that I cannot make up my mind and I feel embarrassed for taking up everyone's time! I think I'm going to try to stop obsessing over my Jeep top for the time being and just hold onto my hard top. They seem harder to come by and I'd hate to want one down the road again and not be able to get a good deal. So when the time comes and when I know good and well what I *really* like, then I'll go for it.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAFahy View Post
Are Softopper and Rampage different companies? Or is it one in the same?

Rampage Frameless Jeep Soft Top, Rampage Frameless Soft Top for Jeeps


"Jeeps with factory hard tops require additional door surrounds, a windshield channel and a tailgate bar (not included)"

Maybe would cost near the same as a regular soft top set up by the time everything was purchased?
they are both similar style tops, but i was not aware that rampage made one for the YJ.
any soft top you buy will require the door surrounds, windshield channel, and tailgate bar. but normal soft top also require all the other hardware. so in theory the tops like the softopper could be cheaper because you dont have to buy as much.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:06 PM   #22
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i belive all that stuff comes with the softopper.
and yes you would have to put the bars from the windshield to the rollbar back on.
I dont belive rampage makes it for the yj.
softopper is the only one i found for a yj. their is a topic on here about it search yj fastback
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:02 AM   #23
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I have the perfect solution for you!! Get the 2 piece hardtop!! You can remove just the front section when you want the open air feeling!! You can find them all the time on ebay! Here is one I found that is on there currently with 12hrs remaining Jeep Wrangler 2-PIECE Hardtop Hard Top 97-06 NO RESERVE: eBay Motors (item 190431699221 end time Aug-22-10 19:29:24 PDT)
You can buy one on there and then sell yours. If you decide to go with a soft top, do the same. Buy one off ebay at a great price and then sell your hardtop on Craigslist or ebay.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:50 PM   #24
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jimmy that hard top is for a tj not a yj
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:52 PM
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Well I feel like if I want my top down/off then I'll want it completely out of the way. Thanks though!
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:46 PM   #26
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jimmy that hard top is for a tj not a yj
Oh I know,,,I was just trying to show different options out there. Looks like she wants full air anyway which I totally understand. My top is usually off and so are the doors here in Florida. I just sat through a rain storm a few mins ago and it felt great!! I have a best top, which I think looks great when up and is pretty affordable if you find one on ebaymotors. I hoist might be here best option. With the right pulley set up, a 4 year old would be able to raise it up. I have never had a hard top because the pain of removing all the screws then storing it! I think she should sell it on Craigslist, ebay, or local paper, and use that money to buy a nice softop. It should be either a wash or she might have a few bucks left over to buy other Jeep stuff!!
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:35 AM   #27
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I'd suggest holding onto the hard top (I've been trying to find a cheap one, it's a b*tch) and just setting up some kind of a lift system. Maybe use a ratcheting come-along or a cheap $50 Harbor Freight winch.

I also found this one E-bay:
New Jeep Wrangler CJ YJ TJ JK Hard Top Hoist / Remover: eBay Motors (item 310241945023 end time Aug-23-10 16:00:59 PDT)
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:35 AM   #28
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Don't get rid of your hard top. I bought my 95 with a soft top and half doors. It took me awhile to find a hard top for $400 and then had to find hard doors for use with the hard top.
I have the same problem as you...how do I get the hard top on and off by myself? I was looking at several different options as I do not have a garage. If you do it make's it much easier. I needed an A-frame and use the one we had in the back yard with an old swing. It was actually and old swing set I modified and painted for the swing.
The only problem was it wasn't tall enough. I solved this by adding 2' to each leg with 2" PVC pipe. It slides right over the metal post and is secured with a bolt through both. This gave me the height I needed. next I had to build a fixture to attatch the hard top. This is where I am now. I also have a come-a-long for the raising and lowering but have heard the boat winch works well and is cheap at around 20-30 dollars. Will let you know how it turns out.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:46 AM   #29
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i have the softtopper on my yj and love it. everything works well came with everything you need and fits super well. i like not having any bows or anything. no bars but the door surrounds. and even with no doors or sides it looks great. and it is super quick to take everything off and on. and it also fits tight and you can get all the windows tinted
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:14 AM   #30
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Update...the swingset frame did not work out. Either it sasha too old or the 150lb topic was too much form it. Back to the drawimg board.

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