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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I'm new to Jeep. I recently bought an 02 TJ sport. Came with hard and soft top. I was running with the soft top (I believe its a "super top") all summer, no issues. Towards the end of the summer I noticed the passenger side front wasn't seating fully into the header bar. Then while driving it came out of the track and flew off. I had to pull over and take the top down because it wouldn't reseat into the header slot properly.

Is there some magic trick ie heating up the plastic guide and bending it a certain way or making sure the header track didn't expand. Or is it just time for a new top?

Hard top on for winter so lots of time to work on it.
 

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If an older top... Maybe the top shrunk, pulling back too much on the header bar for it to stay clamped in place?
 

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Before you seat the hooks on the header bar are you putting the back corners of the top in? When I had my factory top many suggested to lock the header down before doing the rear corners.
 

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Before you seat the hooks on the header bar are you putting the back corners of the top in? When I had my factory top many suggested to lock the header down before doing the rear corners.

If you were able to hook the two rear corners in after you had latched the front header bar, you must have had a loose top. The procedure is to HOOK the front latches, but not to latch them at this time. After you have the rest of the top on, the LAST thing is to close the over the center latches. That last action is to not only bring the header bar into contact with the seal but to tighten up the entire top.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you. So I have the "super top" with the slide bar to tension the top once it's in place. The video Lindel posted is not the same hardware. Not sure what hooks or latches in the front you are referring to. Mine just has a long plastic piece sewn to the top that runs the width of the front that inserts into the header along the top of the windshield. It was working fine all summer no issues until it popped out. Now it just doesn't seat itself in the slot correctly in the front passenger side.

It is older so possibly it shrunk. I'm going to mess with it over the winter and see what I come up with. Worst case I get a new top. Any suggestions where to get the best deal on a new top?
 

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Thank you. So I have the "super top" with the slide bar to tension the top once it's in place. The video Lindel posted is not the same hardware. Not sure what hooks or latches in the front you are referring to. Mine just has a long plastic piece sewn to the top that runs the width of the front that inserts into the header along the top of the windshield. It was working fine all summer no issues until it popped out. Now it just doesn't seat itself in the slot correctly in the front passenger side.

It is older so possibly it shrunk. I'm going to mess with it over the winter and see what I come up with. Worst case I get a new top. Any suggestions where to get the best deal on a new top?

It sounds like you have the older hardware that Bestop used on the Supertops before they were allowed to sell the OEM style hardware themselves.


Guessing this is the video with the hardware that OP has.


Here is the video to properly install that header bar if you have the ones with the J-hooks.
 

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Thank you. So I have the "super top" with the slide bar to tension the top once it's in place. The video Lindel posted is not the same hardware. Not sure what hooks or latches in the front you are referring to. Mine just has a long plastic piece sewn to the top that runs the width of the front that inserts into the header along the top of the windshield. It was working fine all summer no issues until it popped out. Now it just doesn't seat itself in the slot correctly in the front passenger side.

It is older so possibly it shrunk. I'm going to mess with it over the winter and see what I come up with. Worst case I get a new top. Any suggestions where to get the best deal on a new top?
I've had the factory soft top, a Softopper, and now a Bestop Supertop NX in twill. There are other options available, but I would stick with a better known brand. Bestop supplies the factory tops for Jeep, the Softopper is a Safari type top, that is very good quality and a reasonable price. Other than that, I have no experience with the other brands.
 

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I think that one does not have the real door surrounds like the OEM top, Supertop NX and Trektop NX. They have a thin frame around the door opening and a flap on the side of the top goes around the frame and fastens back with velcro.

Initially years ago I thought that was an early top, but recently found out they still make that top.

The OEM top along with the Supertop NX and Trektop NX have a plastic header bar with over the center clamps that hook into the slots in the WS frame. They also have a wide plastic door surround that the plastic clips in the top over the door slip into and a groove down the side that the quarter window tabs slip into. Here is a photo of the OEM top (w Bestop Replace-A-Top fabric) that was take for a post about 3 years ago. It has a much beefier header bar that is actually part of the frame. The front of the top goes around the bar and is attached with screws. You can see the clamps hanging down.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all. After watching the video about installing the header bar I think i had it in wrong. I'm not sure that I had it pushed all the way forward. How it held as long as it did, I dont know. I'll have to wait until spring to try it out. Thanks again for the help!
 
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