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Discussion Starter #1
Hello wrangler enthusiasts!!

I DO NOT have a Wrangler Jeep at the moment but could possibly in the near future. I have some thoughts I'd like to ask existing owners to get your inputs before I buy one. Mainly the soft top/rag tops.

One thing that remains constant and consistent is the fact that every rag top/soft shell that I see.......the back plastic window is always scuffed up/scratched. Most are an off color, I'm guessing cause the weather and it being down in the hotter months. I look at the back window and it is impossible to even see through. Now, I don't know how the owner takes care of the conditioning of the back and side windows but they all look like hell. Is this a cosmetic flaw that you cannot bypass? Is it a given that it will happen? That is probably the one thing that steers me away from buying one. These jeeps look close to NEW and the window visibility is crap.

Second question about the soft tops.....how is it in the winter? I can't imagine that the soft top holds heat in very well, as well as the air conditioning during the summer months. Can anyone fill me in on this info?

I used to have a friend in high school that had a wrangler, hard top. I remember when he wanted to turn it in to a convertible, he had to have a second person to remove the top. Then he had to make sure he had a place to store it till he wanted it back on. that was a pain in the ass!! I had to help him a few times to do it. In my mind, it would have been better to have a soft top. So I don;t think I'd like the hard top. (as long as the window issue can be resolved or avoided).

Can anyone shed some light on these topics?
 

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the reason the back window might look bad is because people (like myself) roll up their back windows. mine is less than a year old and after one summer of rolling it up it looks like shit. you should just taken it out instead. as for a soft top in the winter? it is not bad at all. the heater in a jeep will chase you out real fast. they work amazingly well!!! i wondered the same when i bought my jeep. after all it was my first one. nothing to worry about. you will be warm in the winters.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so, let's say you lay the soft top down or un fold it...............what is the difference between rolling it or folding it?
 

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you mean the window? just take out the back window instead of rolling it. by laying it on a flat soft surface it will be less likely to get scratched. i also roll up my back window and it also is starting to look like shit. oh well
 

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hbgirl said:
that video doesn't show how to remove the back window though; he actually says not to remove it :whistling:
Back window zips out just like the rest. I remove mine every time. Bottom line is, it's a jeep. You don't buy these incredibly capable off road machines for the amazing on road features and bells and whistles. I think if you can look past the scuffed windows, you will fall in love with your jeep just like the rest of us have with ours! And yes, taking off the top is easy, but a pain to store and does require a second person. Good luck!
 

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This summer (first summer with it) I took all three rear windows out, laid them flat under the rear cargo mat and left them out for weeks at a time (even on the rainy days and just let it rain in the back). They stayed in great shape.

......then fall started and with the temps going up and down so much I started leaving the side windows in and rolling the rear window up when I had the sun rider folded back. It was amazing how quickly my rear window went from great shape to not so great shape in a short period of time with the rolling and unrolling.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
but for something that was meant to be rolled and unrolled....you would think that there would be a way to avoid the cosmetic flaws of it. especially after all these years of the wrangler being around.

now, what does rolling of the window do to the actual window to cause these flaws? It's not like its being mishandled. you are rolling it up/down, and fastening it. that's it
 

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With the rear window rolled up. The straps are elastic, so the widow will move side to side as the Jeep goes over bumps. This motion is rubbing the plastic back and forth causing the damaged. I used Velcro straps pulled very tight against the top frame. My window has only two marks on it.
 

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Sleeping Bag Sack to hold windows rolled in towels for storage

I think the secret is storing them well. I found a method that works well for me and did a small write-up about it.
LINK->Soft-Top Window Storage with Towels and a Sleeping Bag Stuff Sack

My current storage method uses
  • Sleeping bag stuff sack by "Outdoor Products- Stuff Bag". 13in Dia X 30in L. $10. 30" is the perfect length. 13" Diameter is large but makes it easy to get the roll in.
  • 2 beach towels larger than back window
  • 3 bath towels about 5 foot long - 1 is for wrapping the opposite direction on the outside. That keeps it from unrolling along with the straps.
  • Sleeping bag straps $2 (or 30" velcro straps)

After I rolled mine (all side to side sandwitched with towels) I came up with these mesurements
27" Circumference 8.6" Diameter
I measured the circumference of the roll and it was 2 feet and 3 inches. That's with me rolling it modestly tight and all the towels.

There are products that you can buy to store the windows, like the cloverpatch or mopar window storage. They would also help to keep the windows scratch free. I like the method I use for a few reasons. I can easily roll the windows on my hood. I attach the sack on the front Jeep recovery hooks with the towels I'm going to use. I don't have to worry about messing with any flaps. I also will have a towel handy if I need one. Plus it's cheaper.

USING THE ROLL UP STRAPS
Before you use the straps you might want to check out this thread
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/how-to-use-the-rear-window-roll-up-strap-kit-160259.html
Here is a quick preview
Ok here is the step by step process. Please follow it closely:
1) Open the package.
2) Remove straps and inspect them.
3) Open lid on trash can and drop them in.
4) Crack a beer and rejoyce that I just saved you from fu%#ing up your rear window.

But in all seriousness, when you roll them up the fine dirt grinds into the acrylic from the motion of the window rocking back and forth in the wind while hanging from those straps. And even if the windows are clean, there's still rubbing.
Best to unzip it (as much of a pain in the ass as it is).
If you like seeing out your soft top windows treat them with extreme care.
 
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