Jeep Wrangler Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I'm having a zipper problem with my soft top. This is my first summer owning my Wrangler, and as Fall approaches, I was installing my soft top, for the first time. The previous owner never had the soft top on this Jeep, and I wanted to put it on for those chillier Fall days.

Well, I couldn't get the rear window zipped up, so I bought some zipper lube, cleaned them all up and lubed them, and still they won't zip. As soon as you start coming to a curve in the top, you cannot go any further, without pulling with a plier, and that doesn't help much.

What do I need to do to make these work properly? Could it be because being stored for so long, things 'shrank'?

I'm ready to throw it all away and buy a new top!!!

Does anyone have a solution please?

:atomic:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Try the graphite lube used for door locks. I put a paper towel behind the zipper as I move along spraying the lube. Spray with zipper closed if possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,948 Posts
If it is a factory or Bestop Supertop NX, after getting the tab into the slot at the lower left corner, the slide should move easily to the corner and then it takes some time to work it around the corner than across the top and then around another corner and down the other side.

I really don't think it is hard because the top is too tight because if your issue is at the upper left (driver's side) corner, there should not be any tension of the rear window. You should also be zipping up the rear windows without the tailgate bar in the clips.

Just try going slow and wiggling the slide as you go around the corner.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,948 Posts
Definitely don't pull with pliers and I wouldn't even pull too hard on the pull with your fingers. My trick if a zipper was reluctant was to reach my first finger inside the zipper and with my thumb on the slide on the outside pull on the slide with my fingers. While I never pulled a zipper pull off a Bestop slide, I have pulled them off of other zippers and then your only recourse is use the first finger/thumb routine.

Fortunately, I no longer have to worry about the tight corners on the rear window any longer since the Trektop NX I now have uses a slip on groove at the top and two straight side zippers.
 

·
Detail Oriented
Joined
·
3,172 Posts
A helpful tip for *after* you get this sorted:

Buy a bag of key rings at Walmart or Home Depot. Pick three fairly large ones (1"+) and put them onto the zip pulls. These are much easier to pull with a finger ring than without.

I also (as mentioned above) have to work my rear window zipper slowly around the corners with a finger inside to help walk the zipper around. The issue is that if it is an unused top the teeth on the window are stretched out while the teeth on the top are compressed toward one another. When I use my finger I try to poke the zipper OUT towards me as I pull. This seems to get the teeth to line up a little more closely and to move more freely.

I stopped using graphite and grease as they get really nasty and will just gum stuff up after a few months when dirt impregnates them. Instead, I have lubed the teeth at the corners both inside and outside on the top and the window by rubbing an old candle on the hard plastic teeth. (Not the outside edges only, though, get the faces where they meet, too.) This is just about mess-free, but it also might not work. You need a really soft candle that feels a little greasy. This wax will stick but not really attract dirt that badly. It won't stain anything, either.

And as stated above: Doing this the first time needs to be on a hot day with the top in direct sunlight - windows, too. Everything will more easily stretch to fit that way, and then later in the cool evening it will tighten back up fitting much better.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Since we are on the rear window, do you find that you end up scratching it in the direction of zipping since, for me at least, my hand also "kinda" makes contact with the window. granted these things scratch when a feather hits it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Hmmmm. Hate to say this, but perhaps it is simply defective and may require a new top.

You may look into convertible top shops as well that could put in a new zipper. I looked into that some years back: they wanted $175 to put in a new zipper, so I just bit the bullet and bought a new top instead. Glad I did as I went from POS Smittybilt to Bestop Sail Cloth which was a monumental improvement.

To the OP: did you get this solved?? If so, how?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
First, use regular candle wax to lube the zippers. When you zip the window open or closed, as you get to the curve, reach inside with your free hand and grab the inside pull. Gently pull on both the inside pull and outside pull simultaneously. This increases the pull force while providing a balanced pull to the zipper. Works for me every time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Buy a bag of key rings at Walmart or Home Depot. Pick three fairly large ones (1"+) and put them onto the zip pulls. These are much easier to pull with a finger ring than without.
GREAT idea! Thanks for posting that tip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Holton345

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28 Posts
Park your Jeep outside on a nice hot sunny summer day, unclip the windshield latches, generously lubricate the soft top zippers on both sides of the teeth, then get another strong person to help you move the 2 rear "tails" between the rear side windows and the rear window to where they need to be to zip the rear window (using pulls on both sides of the zippers) and then push down on the front of the soft top to get it to latch. Definitely a PITA to get the soft top on and off as they get older... but our '03 Rubicon soft top still works.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top