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I can have the Sunrider closed before you can get the OEM or Supertop (very similar design) halfway up. Granted, there is a section of top over the back seat, but since I have only had one person back there in over 6y years of ownership, it's not a bad issue.

That is one thing I love about the Trektop, it is almost topless, yet I can have the Sunrider closed in less than 30 seconds from the time I stop the Jeep. I won't get the three windows in any faster than you do on the full framed top.

If you take the top completely off, then you will need a sunshade or lots of sunscreen. I just close the Sunrider.
The OEM top has the sunrider feature, so I really don’t see your point. Is there something different about the Trektop sunrider that functions differently?
 

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The comparison was if the OEM top was folded down. If you are going to take the windows out and open the Sunrider, you may as well stay with the Trektop.
 

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With spring right around the corner, people will be pulling their soft tops out of winter storage or pulling out their wallets to buy a new soft top. There are always a bunch of threads asking which top is best or how to install them, but it never seems like you can find all the information in one thread. Hopefully this thread will change that.

I’ve collected some information about the different top manufacturers and found posts throughout the forum to try and answer different questions and give you tips on installing your tops all in one place. If you have a question, comment or tip about soft tops, please feel free to add it here. This is by no means an exhaustive list. But I’m hoping it can grow to be THE place where everyone can go to find answers to all their soft top questions. Similar to the MEGA Front Bumper sticky we have.

Here we go!

Some important quick facts:


Here's a link to Moabite's new write up on the Trektop Pro. Check it out if you're interested in a soft top with real glass windows and a lift gate rear window!

Bestop's New Trektop Pro...First Impressions

Maintenance of your soft top (my personal recommendations, you decide):

Plastic windows should be handled carefully. Do not use paper towels or squeegees on them, because they may trap dirt particles and cause scratches. Also, using the snap straps that come with your jeep can cause scratches when you roll them. If you decide that you want to roll them, consider placing a fleece blanket around the window before rolling.

One recommended window cleaner is Plexus, which you can buy on amazon.com.

There are many brands of soft top cleaners: Bestop, Meguiars, Raggtopp, and Aerospace 303 are just a few of the brands available. Make sure you are looking specifically for soft top products, since these manufacturers make many products for different uses. For those with the twill soft tops, I personally use the Aerospace 303 soft top cleaner and fabric guard. The top is made out of fabric, so why would you use a soap made for paint? You wouldn't wash a $1500 twill jacket in car wash soap, right? :D

For scratches in your windows check out Novus plastic polish. I've not tried it yet, but several members here recommend it for light scratches. You can find it on amazon.com, too.

This is by no means a complete list, just my own personal observations from hours of reading here and the products I've chosen to use. If you have recommendations, please add them to the thread! :thumb:
 

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I have a JK which I bought second hand in October 2018. The factory soft top had been replaced with a Smittybilt soft top (frameless with the sloping rear window) which has the following code on the windows "Smittybilt DOT#758 AS-6 04/2017". I assume that means it was manufactured in April 2007.

Over the last wo and a half years the soft top rear and side windows have become very opaque/dull/cloudy so that I can barely see through them. Can these be cleaned? I have taken the car to both a car wash and a garage (not Jeep specialist) where the personnel in each each shrugged their shoulders and said there is nothing they can do.

I live on a Caribbean island and wonder whether the dullness has been caused by some sort of salt corrosion.

Or do I need to buy new windows? I do not really want to do that every two years.

All advice/comments gratefully received.

Many Thanks
 

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I have avoided up until now mentioning the brand of top that was on my TJ when I bought it in 2014. It was a Smittybilt replacement top on the factory frame. I bought it in May and by the middle of June it had developed a leak at a seam over the back cargo area. By the end of June it was 3 leaks. at that seam. By the end of August, the zipper on the rear window would not stay zipped on the highway. Now you are on a island, so I doubt you have many roads with a 65-70 MPH speed limit, so that might not be an issue for you.

I replaced the top in August with a Bestop Replace-A-Top and noticed immediately when opening the box how much thicker the material was, and it was the base RAT, not the more expensive twill. I also noticed the top didn't flap near as much as the Smittybilt. About a month later at a scouting event, I met the previous owner. I mentioned that I had replaced the top and he was surprised stating the top was only about two years old, but that it was a "budget top".

Four years later, after sitting outside 24/7, I took the entire top off in preparation for painting. My OEM factory frame was starting to come apart at the seams, and rather than replace it with a new full top, I went with a Bestop Trektop NX. I saved the top fabric and windows (which were still clear) and several months later passed them off to another WF member who had a good frame but was looking for a replacement top. That top at the time was 4 years old and still had a lot of life left in it.

The point of all this, is that you may be better off to replace the entire top with a quality replacement. Incidentally, I looked at the Smittybilt web site and they not list window kits (Bestop does for their tops and factory tops).

You can try to contact Smittybilt, but their tops are a small part of their business. In fact, looking at listings, they don't even offer a replacement fabric for their tops. Bestop is more expensive at first, but they will last longer.
 

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RGreen - many thanks for your thoughts.

However, I am not experiencing any other problems such as the ones you mention. You are right there is little chance of reaching speeds over 40 mph on this island. I am not keen to pay for a whole new top at this stage unless necessary. If it does become necessary, I will certainly bear your advice in mind.

If possible, I would like to find a way to clear the windows. That is obviously the easiest and cheapest solution if it can be done. Does anyone know if the windows can be cleaned so as to be come clear again?

I also did not see any option to buy just the three window panels on Smittybild, just a whole new hood..

Regards

JGSTM
 

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RGreen - many thanks for your thoughts.

However, I am not experiencing any other problems such as the ones you mention. You are right there is little chance of reaching speeds over 40 mph on this island. I am not keen to pay for a whole new top at this stage unless necessary. If it does become necessary, I will certainly bear your advice in mind.

If possible, I would like to find a way to clear the windows. That is obviously the easiest and cheapest solution if it can be done. Does anyone know if the windows can be cleaned so as to be come clear again?

I also did not see any option to buy just the three window panels on Smittybild, just a whole new hood..

Regards

JGSTM
Welcome to the Forum, from Cave Creek AZ.
 

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OEM Standard, Premium and Trektop NX Review

Since not all soft tops are created equal, here is a comparison between the OEM standard, OEM Premium and Trektop NX soft tops. Forum member Nuke83, who owns all three tops, and gives a real life comparison between the three, wrote this review.

Between the three tops, my OEM Premium Soft Top is my favorite. I am able to easily raise and lower it myself, so that's not an issue. Personally, I prefer the top completely down and doors off, so that gives you some insight on how I like my Jeep. I'd run it that way year round if Mother Nature would allow.

Since mine came with the color matched hard top, I plan on swapping between hard and soft tops based on season. It's a nice change and should help extend the life of the soft top. I currently have the hard top on.

Here's some comparisons I'm copying from a previous post I made comparing the Trektop NX and the Premium soft top:

1. Opening the top. The sunrider feature of the Trektop basically allows it to fold back over the rear seats. So when open, the front seats are completely open but the rear seats remain covered. This really has never been a concern or issue for me.

2. Front and rear arch supports. The Trektop has arch bars over the driver seats, so when you open the top, unless you also remove the arch bar, you have a bar still over your head. This really has never been a concern or issue for me. This also prevents you from putting a Spiderweb Shade on and leaving it with the Trektop NX. Since getting the Premium soft top, I have also gotten a SpiderWebShade and love it. This has given the Premium soft top an advantage.

3. Thump and bump. When running the Trektop with the rear/side windows out and the doors off, I had a MAJOR clunking sound that really concerned me. It sounded and felt like it was coming from the underside of the chassis. I spent a good bit of time yanking on parts underneath to find what was loose. I was about to take it to the dealer when the lightbulb went off and I realized that it was only when I had the top open and doors off. I determined it was the sunrider frame banging. I bought some velcro straps and solved the problem. Just a heads up if you experience this.

4. Fully opening the Jeep. Like the OEM soft top, the Trektop requires you to remove the rear and side windows if you want to fully open up the rear cargo area. Because of the design, there are hard plastic supports built into the side windows (this is how this top works without a frame. Basically, the frame is integrated into the windows by way of this rigid plastic). This makes it almost impossible to roll the windows up in any way to store in the Jeep while you're out and about. Also, noting point 2, unless you physically remove the entire top, the rear seats are still covered bikini style. So what I've done is removed the rear and side windows and left them at the house when I go out. This makes weather watching VERY important. It also robs you of a lot of the flexibility inherent in a convertible. With the OEM style, you can roll up and protect the windows. Carry them with you, and fold the top entirely open. If a storm pops up, you have everything you need to put your top back up. This was THE reason that I purchased an OEM top after having used the trektop all summer. It becomes a big deal for out of town or long trips if you want the flexibility of having the top open.

Overall, both tops are great and I really love the fastback look but there is a trade-off.

I haven't had any leaks with either soft top or my hard top.

I may sell my Trektop next spring and wean myself down to two tops. I prefer the premium soft top to the point that I doubt I'll ever use the NX again.

Hope all this helps you understand the pros and cons. If you have any other questions, please ask.
I have a new in the box 2017 Unlimited Mopar OEM soft top. Never installed or even opened. The T-Tops provide enough sun for me. What's the best and fairest way to sell the top to someone who appreciates it?
Milwaukee Mike
 

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RGreen - many thanks for your thoughts.

However, I am not experiencing any other problems such as the ones you mention. You are right there is little chance of reaching speeds over 40 mph on this island. I am not keen to pay for a whole new top at this stage unless necessary. If it does become necessary, I will certainly bear your advice in mind.

If possible, I would like to find a way to clear the windows. That is obviously the easiest and cheapest solution if it can be done. Does anyone know if the windows can be cleaned so as to be come clear again?

I also did not see any option to buy just the three window panels on Smittybild, just a whole new hood..

Regards

JGSTM
On one of the jeep aftermarket sites (maybe QT?) they sell Novus (spelling?) i think you put it on a mothers polish ball and its a step process to clear them up. There's a lot of how to videos to do this.
 

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Haha! Yes, he sent pics and it looks really good. Trying not to get too excited about it until I actually see it though. Will let you know if I get it or not. Keeping my fingers crossed all night long. 😆
4502235

This is what she looks like now with the new top. Consider myself lucky to get such a good deal.
 

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hi gang, quick question that i hope you can help with. i am on a website to fit my 2018 willys wheeler with a soft top and when it comes to the drop down for trim, willys isn't an option (the choices are rubicon, sport, sport s, sahara, unlimted sport, unlimted rubicon, etc.). does anyone know what is the equivalent of a willys when it comes to trim?
 

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For items on the body other than specific trim items, it really doesn't matter which one you choose for the soft top as long as you choose correctly the JK or JKU (2DR or 4DR). That question is more related to interior options, badges on the outside and tires and wheels. (Sport has 16" steelies, Sport S and Rubicon have 17" alloy and Sahara has 18" alloy).

For major body components, ie: the tops, there is no difference unless the Jeep has the optional painted hard top and the Sahara fenders which are painted body color. The painted hardtop and fenders have a different finish in that they are smooth vs the textured surface for the unpainted black ones. Any aftermarket soft top for the 2dr will fit all 2drs regardless of trim and the same goes for the aftermarket 4dr soft tops.

In your case, I would just select Sport S as that is the closest. Your wheels are different in color and design, but are still 17" and you have a black grille rather than body color on the Sport S.
 

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For items on the body other than specific trim items, it really doesn't matter which one you choose for the soft top as long as you choose correctly the JK or JKU (2DR or 4DR). That question is more related to interior options, badges on the outside and tires and wheels. (Sport has 16" steelies, Sport S and Rubicon have 17" alloy and Sahara has 18" alloy).

For major body components, ie: the tops, there is no difference unless the Jeep has the optional painted hard top and the Sahara fenders which are painted body color. The painted hardtop and fenders have a different finish in that they are smooth vs the textured surface for the unpainted black ones. Any aftermarket soft top for the 2dr will fit all 2drs regardless of trim and the same goes for the aftermarket 4dr soft tops.

In your case, I would just select Sport S as that is the closest. Your wheels are different in color and design, but are still 17" and you have a black grille rather than body color on the Sport S.
thanx! :)
 

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Thanks to StarBrite for this thread.
When I was ordering my 2015 JKU, she was also helpful with tips, then - although perhaps in a different Forum (?). Anyhow, Thank You!
 
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