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Unread 06-13-2012, 08:35 AM   #31
TheHuntsman
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Has anyone seen a ragtop version of a JK8? Seems like a soft top kit would be a no-brainer. Kind of like a mini version of the old canvas top M35A2's we used to use in the Army. Given that you're cutting up the JK anyhow, why not give it top options as well?

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Unread 06-18-2012, 06:21 AM   #32
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Jeep doesn't build their own soft tops. I can't remember who does build them-Bestop did for the longest time, but I believe they went with someone else for the JK.

The problem is that the JK-8's design doesn't lend itself well to mounting a soft top. Since it's a single-hoop rollbar, there's really no space between the rollbar and the inside of the cab to put the mounting hooks and such. Additionally, the rear bulkhead isn't straight, it's more of a half-pentagon shape, which makes designing a soft top to cover down to it kind of a pain.

Not saying it couldn't be done by any means, but the JK-8 kit was already a bit of a gamble for Jeep, so they probably didn't want to invest any more money than necessary to design it, and designing a soft top that would work with the JK-8 kit that meets OEM specs probably just isn't economically feasible right now-same reason that AEV hasn't made soft tops for Brutes yet (A halfcab soft top works OK for a TJ Brute, but it's not OEM quality or spec)
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Unread 06-26-2012, 07:19 AM   #33
TheHuntsman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
Jeep doesn't build their own soft tops. I can't remember who does build them-Bestop did for the longest time, but I believe they went with someone else for the JK.

The problem is that the JK-8's design doesn't lend itself well to mounting a soft top. Since it's a single-hoop rollbar, there's really no space between the rollbar and the inside of the cab to put the mounting hooks and such. Additionally, the rear bulkhead isn't straight, it's more of a half-pentagon shape, which makes designing a soft top to cover down to it kind of a pain.

Not saying it couldn't be done by any means, but the JK-8 kit was already a bit of a gamble for Jeep, so they probably didn't want to invest any more money than necessary to design it, and designing a soft top that would work with the JK-8 kit that meets OEM specs probably just isn't economically feasible right now-same reason that AEV hasn't made soft tops for Brutes yet (A halfcab soft top works OK for a TJ Brute, but it's not OEM quality or spec)

Good point about Chrysler. It'd be a total money waster for them unless the JK8 actually became a production run vehicle like the 4 door is to the 2 door. I was just wondering if anyone aftermarket-wise had done it. Even as a custom "one-off" type of project.

Also, when I say ragtop I don't mean in the typical Jeep sense of having the skeleton and it folding back. I meant more along the lines of using the cage and strapping the soft top to it. Kind of like the "Trektop NX" design or whatever it's called. Then when you want it off you just fold it up and throw it behind the seat. Much like the old Deuces did. The frame stayed in place, but the top could be taken off, not dropped. Just thought it'd be a nice looking ride, with more flexibility that might appeal to the "sun and fun" crowd.

Hmmm....I wonder about an after market company making a kit that can incorporate the stock Freedom Panels? That might be an easier nut to crack. Especially since the front portion of the hardware is all there. All you'd need to do is make the current roof design a back/sidewall that incorporates places for the panels to secure with their already existing mechanisms.

You're right, though. Since it's not truly a pick-up design with separate tub and cab it might making mounting even the snap-rail more of a pain then it's worth in the case of a real soft top.

Still, I think if Jeep were smart they'd actually do a JK8 as a model instead of a kit. Separate cab and bed on the JKU frame. With the Ranger out of the scene for a bit the time to wade back into the small pick up market is definitely now, imo. Keep the JK front clip. Keep the outside hinges, removable doors, lights, grill, bumper, fenders (available in matching paint on higher trim levels), model trim packages, and anything else. I think there is a definite hole left in the market with the Ranger's hiatus, and I also think that by keeping the platform built straight off the JK it will not only cut down costs, tooling, design time, and all other aspects. It'll also capitalize on the utilitarian styling that was the hallmark of the Jeep brand and is still something that has a place in this culture. Jmo, of course.

Good info on the different aftermarket kits, thanks. It's something I wouldn't do to my JK, but if I had the cash to have more then one vehicle you can bet that I'd have me a JK8. As it is I'm trying to talk my girl out of her planned purchase of a Patriot in the spring and into a JKU.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 05:34 PM   #34
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IIRC, the JK-8 can use the Freedom Panels.

As for making a frameless soft top, the rollcage positioning still makes it a little awkward. The bulkhead is a few inches behind the cage, so the cloth wouldn't follow the cage straight down, it'd angle out. If they could make a good connector to the bulkhead, it'd work, but that'd be an adventure.

A more feasible solution would be for Bestop or someone to make an Emergency Top for it instead-the soft top here is only there for weather reasons, so to make it topless by default and have an Emergency Top, which would be cheaper and not need to fit the sound and tightness restrictions of a proper soft top.

Still, while the JK-8 is already selling way beyond projections, it's not exactly a popular vehicle. I'd hold out for a soft top for whatever Jeep truck shows up in the new few years.

What might be doable is to make a plastic panel that would make the back of a Half-Cab soft top to the bulkhead.
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Unread 06-28-2012, 07:49 AM   #35
TheHuntsman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
IIRC, the JK-8 can use the Freedom Panels.

As for making a frameless soft top, the rollcage positioning still makes it a little awkward. The bulkhead is a few inches behind the cage, so the cloth wouldn't follow the cage straight down, it'd angle out. If they could make a good connector to the bulkhead, it'd work, but that'd be an adventure.

A more feasible solution would be for Bestop or someone to make an Emergency Top for it instead-the soft top here is only there for weather reasons, so to make it topless by default and have an Emergency Top, which would be cheaper and not need to fit the sound and tightness restrictions of a proper soft top.

Still, while the JK-8 is already selling way beyond projections, it's not exactly a popular vehicle. I'd hold out for a soft top for whatever Jeep truck shows up in the new few years.

What might be doable is to make a plastic panel that would make the back of a Half-Cab soft top to the bulkhead.
Hmmm...that's a good idea. In any event, I hope we see more along these lines wether they be in a completely new truck or something built off this platform.

I'm possibly getting an old 50's Willys pick up project to work on soon. They have always been one of my favorite vehicles. I'd love to see Jeep get back into the pick up market. I think a no-nonsense truly capable pick up would sell really well right now, as long as they can keep the cost down. To me the best way to do that would be to use as much of what you already have as possible. Jmo, of course.
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Unread 06-28-2012, 12:13 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandlerr

it's really sad when in the jeep community, someone says it would be cooler with 4 doors
Why? Statistically speaking, 4-door Jeeps outnumber 2-door ones by a massive margin, and have since the 70's.

The JK Unlimited is, stastically speaking, the best factory offroader Jeep has ever made,.and also handily the best-selling Wrangler/CJ ever because it's also perfectly usable as a DD.
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Unread 06-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #37
TheHuntsman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
Why? Statistically speaking, 4-door Jeeps outnumber 2-door ones by a massive margin, and have since the 70's.

The JK Unlimited is, stastically speaking, the best factory offroader Jeep has ever made,.and also handily the best-selling Wrangler/CJ ever because it's also perfectly usable as a DD.
yep. From the standpoint of a crew vehicle for an expedition I'd say it's about as ideal as it gets. Something Jeep should have done 30 years ago.
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Unread 06-30-2012, 10:17 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
Why? Statistically speaking, 4-door Jeeps outnumber 2-door ones by a massive margin, and have since the 70's.

The JK Unlimited is, stastically speaking, the best factory offroader Jeep has ever made,.and also handily the best-selling Wrangler/CJ ever because it's also perfectly usable as a DD.
that doesn't mean it's cooler, the 2 door wrangler will always be cooler than a 4 door wrangler. yes i understand the popularity of a 4 door, but that still does not make it cool, nor does it make it the best factory offroader, because the 2 door is still better offroad
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Unread 07-18-2012, 02:17 AM   #39
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Unread 08-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #40
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Here is another pic of it.
image-1146836430.jpg  
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Unread 08-23-2012, 01:53 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHuntsman View Post
Agreed. The larger cab would be fine if these were actual pickups and used a JKU frame with a cab tub and an actual bed to give the vehicle more cargo room. The fact that these are built off the JK tub and have the larger cab gives them little practical application as a pick-up. A shame really. It's a really slick looking kit, and if I had the cash to blow on another vehicle I would definitely be interested.
These kits are for JKU models only...4 door only!!!
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Unread 10-11-2012, 03:25 PM   #42
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we have one that we made too. Lifted, 35s, bumpers etc etc... We also have a couple kits laying around.



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