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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 2006 TJ I bought a few weeks back came with a hard top which the dealer put on to resell. It’s not bad and the front section removes freedom top style, but sadly it’s too big to fit in the Jeep when I want to take it off.

For this reason I’ve been thinking about getting a soft top (looking at the Bestop NX Black twill cause I like the sun rider feature and the option to convert to bikini top easily) but wanted to get advice from others.

Questions:

1. How much different is a soft top vs hard top? I don’t really mind wind noise.. it’s a Jeep after all.

2. Any big differences in the winter? I’m in central VA so it will snow and ice, but won’t be terrible in the winter.

3. Any advice on going about getting a soft top? I don’t have anywhere to store the current hard top at the moment, so was thinking of trading it in. Any advice on trading and or reasons to keep the hard top?

Overall, I just wanna get a feel for the differences between the two so I can make a more informed decision. Thanks!




Alex
2006 TJ

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I just did the same, but I don’t think I’m going to sell my hardtop just yet. It’s hanging in the rafters for now

Soft tops are very noisy. That’s the only negative.

I have a Pavement Ends Sun Topper (Quadratech sells them at the best price) that flips back like the new Jeep soft tops do. I love that I can convert the Jeep to open sun in minutes, then back to covered when the weather changes.

I don’t drive the Jeep once the salt is spread unless it is bone dry outside. If I were to winter drive more, the hardtop would go back on. If I do a long road trip, the hardtop will go back on.

Good luck.




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Don't sell the hard top. Good for long trips, hot summers, stormy months, etc. I keep my hard top off most of the year and am getting an alienshade for sun protection.
 

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IMO....once you see the benefits of a hard top you just might want to keep it and do like I do......everyday, all day, year round!

You can always take the doors off for the day and be "That Wild and Crazy JEEP GUY"!
 

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I think that particular type of hard top is not found available that often. I think it would probably more valuable than the standard hard tops, because of the removable front panels.

If I were in your position, I would be having a tough time deciding what to do too...

I have a soft top and absolutely love the freedom of making last minute decisions to open thing up on a nice day in just a couple of minutes and without the help of another person. Mine is a nice tight fight and does not flop around. No problems in winter... A quick push with foam snow brush and the rest melts off from the excessive heat from the cabin. I often drive with the heat on low and still crack windows open a few inches for fresh air on the coldest days. LOVE my soft top!

Once you sell that split hard top, it would be hard to find another one without paying even more to get it back.

This is what I would do, if I had that hard top you have now...

Stick with what you have for one season and see how you like it. If that hard top with removable panels just doesn't do it for you, then you could sell it for more than the standard one-piece tops and you should have most (if not all) of the money you need for the top of the line soft top. Give it a try. You may really like what you have, which could save you all that money you would have spent on a new soft top and put towards other mods on your list.

That is my advice. Don't rush on such a big decision. Everybody online was telling me the first thing they would do with mine was to remove the Smittybilt Kargo Master cargo rack that goes over the soft top. Lots of people don't like it and told me they would get rid of it. Well, I tried it out for a while and came to the conclusion I like it and it comes in handy picking up things from Home Depot or loading the canoe. I am glad I did not jump on getting rid of the rack after all.

If you like the hard top you have, it is a fairly rare that top many would like to get their hands on.

If you decide you don't like it. You still win, because you can sell the hard top for some decent cash to put towards a new soft top.

Give it a little time. See how you feel about it after that.
 

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I live in PA and my soft top TJ is my daily. I've driven it to work on the coldest of days with the soft top and had zero issues. Jeep heaters CRANK!

That being said, I think that there are days where a hard top in the winter would be nice. I work construction so I go to different job sites and some of them aren't right around the corner, a longer ride in the soft top is sometimes annoying because I can't hear the radio.

I wouldn't sell that hardtop just yet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It’s nice to hear more about the hard top I have, and how it’s a little special. Looks like I’ll hold onto it and really see how I like it, then save up to get a soft top in the future.

At the end of the day, soft or hard top, I’m still driving a Jeep!


Alex
2006 TJ

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Don't know if you are in a road salt area, but you cannot run a soft top through an automatic car wash if that is an issue for you. I have both, couldn't live without either, to be frank.
 

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Don't know if you are in a road salt area, but you cannot run a soft top through an automatic car wash if that is an issue for you. I have both, couldn't live without either, to be frank.
I have gone through a "touch-less" automatic car wash without any problems. No leaks either. It was dead of winter and I wanted an undercarriage wash. The rest of the year I'll give it a monthly bath myself.
 
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Add a roof rack that you can strap your front section to when it's off....

One HUGE advantage of the hardtop is that it takes more than a pocket knife to break in...
 

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Hey Alex,

I have an 06 TJ. Mine is my daily driver, 40 mile round trip to work, mostly highway. You can forget the radio and phones, you can't hear them. I live in PA and the winters are not bad. Takes a little while to heat up but it's ok. Even now on commute to work at 4AM I wear a jacket when I have the top off. Wife and I and dogs travel to Shennandoah Valley every summer and tow a small trailer with the TJ. I love the soft top, lots of freedom on nice days, doesn't take too long to remove or put up the top. I always carry the window with me in case the weather changes, been caught a couple of times. DO you have the bows for the soft top and the door surrounds?
 

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If you make it up to Louisville I'll give ya a nice soft top and some boot money for your hardtop....

I suspect that about the time you make it back home you'll want your hard top back tho... lol
 

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IMO....once you see the benefits of a hard top you just might want to keep it and do like I do......everyday, all day, year round!

You can always take the doors off for the day and be "That Wild and Crazy JEEP GUY"!
Agreed - love my hard top - gives the Jeep some security when traveling and on vacation but I can pop the top on nice sunny days. Also VERY quiet with all the sound proofing we added so it makes for a great vacation vehicle for us.
 

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The YJ I had was great putting the soft top down or bikini top. My TJ I discovered is a pain in the ass compared to it. Switching to a bikini top isn’t that easy and I had to bend a few tabs to get the windbreaker to fit. Even then it smelled of mildew all summer. The regular softop wasn’t bad, but I just couldn’t easily remove it. It has to be folded down in the back all the time.

What you should do is keep that top on and remove the doors if you want more air. It’s the coolest option in the summer. Just get soft or half doors to store in the back and regular mirrors relocated to the frame. It takes me 5 minutes to remove the full hard doors and that’s all that’s really needed, other than unbolting the Metalcloak flares on occasion to have the tires stick out..
 

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M am in the same general area as you. I bought mine with a soft top. Then put on a Bimi top, wind jammer with rear area tonto cover. Both are great for the spring,summer and fall. The soft top is good in the winter keeps heat in. I found a hard top (2 Piece) on CL like yours the removable part is not user friendly to keep with you while on the road unless as one of the others said put a rack on. I love it from late fall till spring. I would say keep it
 

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I'm at altitude and never pull my hardtop, really love it. Winters are brutal and the weather changes about every 20 minutes in the warmer months. I also like the quiet vs my soft. I guess I'm a sucker for creature comforts. When I bought it new, hardtop was one of my requirements. If I lived in a different climate I'd probably be thinking differently, or not. It's your Jeep, do it your way. Rock on!
 
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