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Discussion Starter #1
I'm days away from pulling the trigger on a 2012 and have to admit that I'm seriously considering backing out due to all the complaints I see with leaking hard tops. I know it's more common for people to come online to complain than it is to praise but there is really a disturbing amount of complaints regarding leaks.

I asked a dealer and he claimed that he's only had one Wrangler that he recalls having problems with leaks. Of course dealers are famous for lying but this guy has a good reputation so I want to believe him.

There are no recalls or service bulletins regarding leaks but then again, they have an entire manual on how to fix them so I have no idea what to think.

I'd love to get an answer from one of the dealers or insiders here but appreciate any opinions.
 

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I would think any hard top leak problems occur because people mistreated them (dropped, stored improperly) or didn't install them on the Jeep correctly.

I've seen very few hard top leak complaints. Compare them to those with soft tops and the multitude of threads complaining of leaks, tears, window, zipper problems, etc.
 

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So are most of the soft top leaks probably due to mistreatment of windows and not putting it all together properly (ie. velcroing the flaps down all the way, etc) or is there a real design flaw with soft tops.

I too am pulling trigger in a week on 2012 (I had a 93 and 95 Sahara with dual tops and never had a problem of course.
 

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My soft top leaked on passenger side, my hard top has only leaked once, it was a few drops while I was in the vehicle, i loosened and repositioned it and it stopped.
 

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On 07 models and early 08 there were a rash of leaking tops, both types. I had an early 08 Sahara Unlimited that Chrysler bought back from me because of a leaking hard top. The replacement Rubicon Unlimited leaked in the exact same place. They had it twice to adjust it. It hasn't leaked since. It has now been 3 years since it leaked and it has been off and on many many times. Recently on this forum, there have been several complaints about leaking tops. I would say, compared to the number of jeeps sold, that the number complaining is minimal. That doesn't make the problem any less of an issue though for the owner who has one that leaks.

I could have gotten any other vehicle that Chrysler made at the time they bought mine back but went with a Wrangler....again. They made a happy customer out of me. My feeling as this one ages....and I do intend to keep her for a long time....is that the thing is bound to leak. As you make your decision, you have to realize that this Wrangler is a unique vehicle that has both a hard top and soft top that are interchangeable. There is a lot of seal surface and something is bound to go wrong with a few in the assembly process. As it ages, things happen. You will eventually get a leak. That is what the leak manual is for....when it starts leaking and you want to try and solve it yourself. So, if you are bent on buying a Wrangler because you just can't wait to own one and join in on all the fun of ownership, then don't let a little leaking stop you. I can truthfully say that after three years of ownership the leak thing is no concern to me. Eventually my carpets will be out and the tub will be bed-lined. If water gets in, I'll be able to just pull the drain plugs, wash it out and put the plugs back in. I know this because I got a used 92 and it is bed-lined. I REALLY don't care if that one gets wet. In fact I intend to get it wet....while having fun in it. So, you see, it is all relative.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How much of a role does keeping the seals well lubricated play and what is the recommended product for doing so?
 

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Mine leaked once an it turned out to be my fault. I slid he driver side freedom panel on instead of sitting it on and pinched the gasket. Just took it back off and straighten the gasket. No more leaks. Of course it is off for the summer so it leaks all the time right now because the Summer Combo isn't that water proof.
 

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My 2010 soft just resently leaked in back above my sub .i think its coming in through the stitches cause i can see like a coulpe of pin holes of light when the sun is at the right angle its not much but it still shoulded leak .i also have put the 303 protectant on it and it beads up alot when it rain wich makes me think the droplets are sitting on the stiches and seaping in ....its a jeep
 

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How much of a role does keeping the seals well lubricated play and what is the recommended product for doing so?
I use Turtlewax ICE interior cleaner to clean the seals. It leaves them looking new and I'm guessing that the residue has some kind of lubricant in it because the surface looks black and lubricated after cleaning.
 

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MARGARET, 10-14-51\6-1-12
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very common, my 10 jku leaks bad,,, i solve the problem by cleaning the gaskets with sillycone before putting the top back on,
 

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Mines never leaked and we get alot of rain in the UK. Every time I take the top of I wipe the seals with a damp cloth. When refitting the top, I make sure the roof is positioned correctly before tightening down.
 

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I'll probably catch some heat, but here goes. My hard top will most likely stay on all the time. What are the odds of it leaking if properly installed and left on w/o ever removing it?
 

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demarpaint said:
I'll probably catch some heat, but here goes. My hard top will most likely stay on all the time. What are the odds of it leaking if properly installed and left on w/o ever removing it?
I believe most of the leaks are coming from the front of thefreedom panels, if you install them properly and then never remove them, you should have a minimal risk of leaks...until your seals rot. Dunno on how long though. That is just my assumption.
 

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Too bad they don't offer a 1 piece top for those like myself who don't think they'll be going topless. Or do they offer it aftermarket? I'm still pretty new to Wranglers, but learning fast.
 

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98 TJ with 2002 TJ hard top....no leaks
2007 JK with Hard Top....off once to take the soft top out, never off again....no leaks.

I'd say it was probably attributed to mistakes in the install by owner.

No complaints from me.

tcass
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Too bad they don't offer a 1 piece top for those like myself who don't think they'll be going topless. Or do they offer it aftermarket? I'm still pretty new to Wranglers, but learning fast.
There are a couple options for aftermarket hard tops and I believe that one of those are a solid hard top. While the Freedom panels are a lot of the problem, there are also problems with leaks not related to them.
 
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