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Nice work Star....

I'll add this cryptic answer to a question that WILL get asked.

You need another 90 degree turn so the edges tuck into the channel. It fits in like a squared "U", not a squared "L".

:whistling:
 
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Great write-up Star! This will probably help lots of people!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks, everyone! I hope lots of people find it useful. :flowers:

Hypobid, I do remember seeing something about sailcloth, but I think it is a Bestop top, not an OEM top. I'll see if I can find anything...
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Here's a link to the page on sailcloth tops and a brief description. It's only available as a replace-a-top. I can't find it offered on the JK/JKU tops like the Trektop NX.

Sailcloth Replace-a-top


Sailcloth Replace-a-top™

Replace-a-top™ takes advantage of your still good factory hardware, and gets you all new fabric and windows.
The Sailcloth Replace-a-tops™ takes the award-winning formula of Replace-a-top, and adds in heavier sailcloth fabric. Sailcloth tops are the quietest soft tops on the market. The secret to this Jeep soft top lies in the unique multi-ply Sailcloth fabric. Each ply plays a different role, but together they reflect road sounds, absorb wind noise, and prevent buffeting to create a silencing effect that absolutely must be heard to be believed.
The tough, premium fabric dramatically reduces outside noise and enhances insulation.

Kits include soft top, windows and optional door skins.

Seems like if he has a sailcloth top, he must have replaced the OEM fabric. If it's advertised as a 13 or 14, I'd be a little leery, and try and make sure it REALLY has the spring lift assist.
 

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Thanks for this Star - it is so helpful to have all of this in one place. Coming to this new, it is a bit confusing.
 

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Thanks everyone for this thread. My JK didn't come with a soft top, and I've been looking to buy one. After reading all the opinions here I decided to spend a bit more and go with the OEM top, just to be sure I was getting what I wanted. It's more expensive, but over the life of the Jeep it's not much more expensive. Thanks for all the tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks, guys! Glad you liked it! Once you get your tops, make sure you post again and let us know how you like them and any tips you learn. :)
 

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if I may Star, you might also want to include some information on spiderweb shades. how they're installed, compatibility with other soft tops, pros and cons versus bikini tops.

great thread, you've done a fantastic job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I did include a short blurb on them in the opening posts. I'll go find a video on install and see what else I can find...

Thanks, Tabber! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
About SpiderWebShade and installation videos

/// SPIDERWEBSHADE /// ABOUT US
We started making tops in the summer of 2005, my wife and I on the floor in the garage hand pounding grommets into our jeep “mesh top concept.”

By the summer of 2006, we realized “our concept” was something Jeep People wanted to buy, so we made them and sold them. By the spring of 2007, thanks to an epic thread on JeepForum, over a million views on YouTube, and first-class customer service we began producing and selling over 1,000 tops a month.

We are now based out of 24,000 sq ft. testing/manufacturing facility in the heart of Downtown Orlando, FL.

SPIDERWEBSHADE has grown rapidly over the years and it remains most important for us to have personal relationships with our dealers and clients. We have countless testimonials and correspondence from our happy customers. Many of them have become our good friends that we consider part of our extended family. Nothing brings a smile to our face like waking up to photos Jeepers have sent us from around the world. We are thrilled that you found us.

It is our mission: To give every Jeep owner the ultimate experience when Jeep driving.

/// SPIDERWEBSHADE /// THE PRODUCT

The SPIDERWEBSHADE is exactly what Jeep owners have been looking for. Our one to four-piece Jeep Wrangler and Jeep JK mesh tops beautifully fit all Jeep Wrangler YJ 1987-1995, Jeep Wrangler TJ 1997-2006, Jeep JK 2D and 4D Unlimited models 2007- current.

SPIDERWEBSHADEs fit right under Jeep Wrangler Hard Tops, Soft Tops, and Bikini Tops. It does not get in the way, it NEVER has to be removed and you will love the way it looks! SPIDERWEBSHADEs are proudly produced in the United States of America at our Orlando, FL manufacturing facility.

The SPIDERWEBSHADE for Jeeps is the world’s most effective solution for blocking the sun’s scorching rays from your head, face and neck while drastically reducing the wind noise at highway speeds.

The SPIDERWEBSHADE for Jeeps uses only the highest quality mesh materials on earth. We are now offering 10 color options to suit the needs of any Jeeper.

/// SPIDERWEBSHADE /// TrailMesh

SPIDERWEBSHADE TrailMesh is our most durable material yet, designed to meet the needs of the most aggressive offroad enthusiast. This material is a unique woven mesh that blocks up to 90% of the sun’s dangerous UV rays, keeping your passengers, pets, and cargo up to 27% cooler.

TrailMesh is a pet, mildew, and fade resistant heavy-duty shading fabric made of vinyl-coated polyester originally developed for high-end outdoor furniture. TrailMesh is strong enough to resist rips and tears from branches on the trail and flying debris on the road. Regardless of what’s thrown at it, TrailMesh helps keep your passengers and cargo safe.

We are so confident in the new material that we are offering a

5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY on any product in the TrailMesh line.

All SPIDERWEBSHADEs block 90% of the sun‘s harmful UV rays and reduce the temperature inside your Jeep by an AMAZING 27% while still allowing just enough sunlight and moonlight through to create a cool, calming effect. Finally, you can talk on the phone at 70mph with the top down.

- See more at: /// SPIDERWEBSHADE /// ABOUT US | SPIDERWEBSHADE

SpiderWebShade install videos on Vimeo:
SPIDERWEBSHADE on Vimeo

SpiderWebShade install videos on YouTube:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FALmG_iSb6A
 

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$450 for a used factory soft top a good deal? (Not premium) All hardware but a few bolts that I believe I can pick up for a few bucks
 

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$450 for a used factory soft top a good deal? (Not premium) All hardware but a few bolts that I believe I can pick up for a few bucks
I just picked up a factory top from a guy that hadn't been used and paid $250 from an ad I found on Craigslist. I would have easily paid $450 for a top in good condition considering how much a new top with hardware costs. If you have the hardware, especially the surrounds, that's not bad at all. IMO anyway.
By the way thanks to all who contribute! This information is extremely valuable for the novice guy like me! So glad I found this page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I just picked up a factory top from a guy that hadn't been used and paid $250 from an ad I found on Craigslist. I would have easily paid $450 for a top in good condition considering how much a new top with hardware costs. If you have the hardware, especially the surrounds, that's not bad at all. IMO anyway.
By the way thanks to all who contribute! This information is extremely valuable for the novice guy like me! So glad I found this page.
Make sure you come back and post again after you install and let us know if you learned any tricks or found any good install videos or anything! :)
 

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Building a MOPAR Sunrider top from scratch

Make sure you come back and post again after you install and let us know if you learned any tricks or found any good install videos or anything! :)
Great thread; thanks Star; nice to know you have that nice new Celtic Jeep rolling!

If anyone needs help on assembling their soft top from scratch, I'll throw in some lessons learned. I bought a MOPAR sunrider top as an OEM accessory (completely unassembled). Khaki top was not available with the semi-assembled dual top option, just black. So I got it in pieces in a box. I understand the Bestop kit is pretty similar, but this one was branded MOPAR.

Original plan was to let the dealer assemble and install it, and I would toss the hardtop in a buddy's pickup. They were busy and I was in a hurry, so I just tossed the box into the back of the Jeep and took it home.

Took me most of the next day to build it, but it came out nice. It was not entirely intuitive. You definitely want to do it on a warm day; that new material needs heat to stretch. Outside in sunshine is best. I was lucky; had a sunny 85 degree day in late December.

Recommended tools: it will help to have a lightweight electric screwdriver rather than a heavy duty driver drill, so as to not strip out the sheet metal screws in the relatively soft frame tubing. You can use a hand screwdriver, but it will take time.

Tip: it was easier to work inside my JKU with the back seat folded, so I had plenty of room to move around.

MOPAR instructions: whoever (or whatever software) wrote the MOPAR instructions almost certainly never assembled one, and I doubt he was a native English speaker. Maybe the French directions were better. The diagrams were helpful, but some stuff just didn’t work for me. Here are my work-arounds:

1) Header assembly:

The suggested method for attaching the top fabric to the header bar (two piece sandwich assembly) was to tape it in place, but the tape I had didn't hold. So I just worked the top channel carefully into the header by hand, not tightening the screws on the inner header plate until everything was secure and aligned. The little needle mark on the fabric for center was a big help; be sure to line this up carefully.

2) Framework assembly:

I found that assembling the frame in place on the Jeep worked a lot better than the suggested method of assembling framework upside down and then lifting entire assembly into place. I was working solo. It went together fine piece by piece on the Jeep; even with help I think I would assemble it in place, just to make sure everything went together correctly. Like building an erector set project.

3) Attaching fabric to bows:

Before screwing the fabric flaps to the bows under the top (with a couple dozen little panhead sheet metal screws), I left the top up for about a week, just to make sure everything had stretched into place right. I found some of the needle alignment marks were off some; to get the top straight I needed to adjust where the fabric tabs screwed in.

4) Lost parts:

Of course I dropped one screw which disappeared under the Jeep seat and carpet and spent an hour finding it. If I were doing it again I would buy a few extra panhead screws in advance just in case.

It was worth the trouble as I really like the Khaki diamond top. Quality is excellent; no leaking in some heavy rain. The K9s are happiest with it down!
 

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Thanks for your writeup on your sunrider install. It'll no doubt come in handy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Thanks, baxterpass! Those are JUST the kinds of things I was hoping we could collect here. :thumb:

And thanks to tabber for making this a sticky for us! :huglove: I can't believe I forgot to say it earlier! :doh:
 

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45 days

cant wait to have it warm up...-4 degrees today
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Windchill here this morning is 9*!!! This is NOT what Texas weather is supposed to be like! :puke:
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Taken from thread: Premium soft top reinstall pain in the a**:

Quoting Doctorsti (thanks!):

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarBrite
Heh... Be careful letting salesmen loose on your jeep! I asked mine for a lesson the night I picked up and they were so clueless I asked them to stop before they broke it or scratched my paint.

Maybe ask if someone in the service department can help you out. I'd trust that they might have at least a tiny bit of experience with them, while salesmen might NEVER open or close a top.

Good luck!

Yes, this. I would not let a dealer touch my top. I'm sure some out there are way more knowledgable then I but there are also just as many if not more who don't care if they sell a Compass or a Rubicon.

I know on the passenger side I have to push up on the header a little bit as I close down the latch to it's final position so as to not pinch the weatherstripping up and get a leak. I found this out through much trial and error and if I put a little upward pressure on the header bar as I am pushing down the latch it doesn't pinch up the gasket.

My procedure for getting my top latched last summer the first couple times was partially latch the front with the sail panels not attached, pull very hard down on the rear bow to pop in the sail panels, install rear side windows and only zip the tops a few inches install back window and zip mostly closed, finish the side zippers, finish the back zippers and tailgate bar. Latch the front down fully.

Now if I opened the sun rider even on a hot day I would have to unzip rear side windows partially, unzip rear window partially release the sail panels and then latch the header half way (latches hooked but open) then go through the process again to close it fully. It was that tight for a month or more in the middle of summer.
 
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