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Unread 02-11-2011, 07:26 AM   #1
dell2028
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
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Softopper Soft Top Review

So the old soft top has been looking a little ratty lately. It's been on the Jeep since I got it almost six years ago. Don't know how old it was when I got the Jeep. The fabric had begun pulling away from the stitching and zippers had started to come off. I looked everywhere for types of tops and almost decided on a hardtop. After much looking I decided to go with a Softopper. They are fairly new to the Jeep top business, but make tops for several other applications such as boats, trucks, and other SUV's. The most intriguing thing about this top was the fact it is a frameless top. There are several manufactures making them now and I really hate the snaps over the doors on a YJ which this top does not have. It is made of sailcloth fabric and feels much heavier than the Bestop I had. The top comes with everything you need to install it except for the hand tools and a drill bit or two. It is really great for anyone who has a hard top and no frame or someone who has a worn frame. The top and all the goodies comes in at 489.00. I went with untainted windows on mine. If you want tinted windows it's an extra 45.00.

The box came in yesterday and I quickly went to work. The first thing to do is remove the existing soft top. Then you need to remove all the hardware for the factory soft top. Any hardware you need is provided. If you have a windshield header you can leave it, but the kit comes with a nice new black powdercoated one for you to use.





The first thing to do is install the windshield header.



Next the rails on the side need to be installed. You need to drill 3 holes in the rail. The make the kit without holes since the location on the holes varied slightly over the years. An eye bolt is installed in the rear of the frame to attach the top to. The front hole is used for the door surrounds that come with the kit.





The door surrounds attach to the frame on the side of the jeep and to the roll bar. The roll bar attachment points use L shaped brackets. You screw the brackets in and test fit your doors, and use the self tapping screws to drill and attach the brackets to the roll bar.





A note about the doors situation. I was looking to switch to full doors anyway, but the factory half door uppers will not work with this kit. The door surrounds are curved like a TJ and the squared uppers will not fit. When I switched to the full doors my hinges were slightly further apart than my half doors and I had to adjust the strikers. Not hard, but one more thing to do.

Lastly I installed the hardware at the rear of the Jeep just left and right of the rear door. I was able to use on existing hole and the other holes needed to be drilled.



The actual top install was pretty simple. Much like a regular soft top you throw the canopy of the jeep. I attached straps to the eye bolts to make it easier to keep the front of the top inside the windshield header. Then the straps for the inside need to be placed around the door surrounds so they are between the door's weather stripping and the door surround. At this point you can tighten the rear straps a bit.

Next comes the side windows. Zip the window in using the zipper then cover using the Velcro. Slide the bottom flap into the hardware on the side of the Jeep. Once you get this far you can install the bar at the bottom of the rear window. Much like the side windows, rear window starts by zipping it in at the top. Next zip the side windows into the rear window. Cover all zippers with Velcro. You can install the bar into the hardware at the rear of the Jeep. Now you can tighten the straps at the rear of the Jeep and the straps over the driver and passenger seat. There is another strap that goes to the windshield from around the middle roll bar.

The top also comes with a storage pocket for the side windows. It installs over the front seats and covers the straps used to keep the top tight in the front.

I drove it to work this morning and found the top to be much quieter than my old top. It is still loud, but its a 4 banger with Pit Bull tires on it. The full doors make it nice as well. No flapping on the way to work. Total time for th install was a couple of hours, but installing the hardware is something you don't want to speed through. As far as time to put up or take down the top, I would say that the top will be easier than the stock top to put up since there are no snaps to contend with. Taking it down will be about the same. Overall I would definatly reccomend this product. It is very well made and very complete. Anyone who wrenches on their own Jeep can install this top.









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My Build Up

95 YJ, D30/8.8 w/ 4.88s, SOA, 35x14.50x16.5 Pit Bull Mud Dawgs, 101" Wheelbase, Custom Front Bumper, Winch, Custom Rear Tow Points, Traction Bar, Aussie Locker in front, 20 Gal. Gas Tank modification, Hurculiner Tub, Custom Rear Bumper, SYE and CV shaft, BTF Cross-over Steering, RCI 2191 fuel cell, BTF Rockers, RE 1.5" SOA springs up front and XJ springs in the rear

Down the line a bit...engine swap, the list goes on.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 08:02 AM   #2
mbates96
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very interested in seeing the pics!
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Unread 02-11-2011, 08:05 AM   #3
DiabloYJ
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Would love some pics as well. I stumbled upon this brand of bowless tops the other day and love that they make one for a YJ.
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Then again that used to be my motto until I got the Jeep, now that doesn't even work half of the time.

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Unread 02-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #4
dell2028
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Pics should be up tomorrow before lunch. I had some issues uploading them on the local club website. I got it straight this morning, but didn't get to upload.
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My Build Up

95 YJ, D30/8.8 w/ 4.88s, SOA, 35x14.50x16.5 Pit Bull Mud Dawgs, 101" Wheelbase, Custom Front Bumper, Winch, Custom Rear Tow Points, Traction Bar, Aussie Locker in front, 20 Gal. Gas Tank modification, Hurculiner Tub, Custom Rear Bumper, SYE and CV shaft, BTF Cross-over Steering, RCI 2191 fuel cell, BTF Rockers, RE 1.5" SOA springs up front and XJ springs in the rear

Down the line a bit...engine swap, the list goes on.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 10:33 AM   #5
jmmorgan82
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Can't wait for some pics. I've currently got my hardtop listed for sale and am looking into the Softopper.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
JED1003
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Dell, thanks for the review. I have considered pulling the trigger on a Softopper for the last few weeks and your review has sealed it for me. I look forward to the photos
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Unread 02-12-2011, 11:38 AM   #7
dell2028
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Updated with pics.
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My Build Up

95 YJ, D30/8.8 w/ 4.88s, SOA, 35x14.50x16.5 Pit Bull Mud Dawgs, 101" Wheelbase, Custom Front Bumper, Winch, Custom Rear Tow Points, Traction Bar, Aussie Locker in front, 20 Gal. Gas Tank modification, Hurculiner Tub, Custom Rear Bumper, SYE and CV shaft, BTF Cross-over Steering, RCI 2191 fuel cell, BTF Rockers, RE 1.5" SOA springs up front and XJ springs in the rear

Down the line a bit...engine swap, the list goes on.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
jmmorgan82
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Thanks for the pics. Just ordered mine. Now I've just gotta find some doors!
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Unread 02-12-2011, 02:29 PM   #9
dell2028
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Finding doors was the hardest part. Any doors that are in good shape were in the 750 dollar range. I decided to get doors for 350 and redo them.
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My Build Up

95 YJ, D30/8.8 w/ 4.88s, SOA, 35x14.50x16.5 Pit Bull Mud Dawgs, 101" Wheelbase, Custom Front Bumper, Winch, Custom Rear Tow Points, Traction Bar, Aussie Locker in front, 20 Gal. Gas Tank modification, Hurculiner Tub, Custom Rear Bumper, SYE and CV shaft, BTF Cross-over Steering, RCI 2191 fuel cell, BTF Rockers, RE 1.5" SOA springs up front and XJ springs in the rear

Down the line a bit...engine swap, the list goes on.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 02:39 PM   #10
jmmorgan82
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Yea, problem is I'm looking for soft doors. Might just have to get the TJ uppers and modify them to fit.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 06:15 PM   #11
RatherBeJeeping
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or just get rounded corner YJ uppers. I have never had a hard top or full hard doors, but I haven't had squared corners on my Jeep in like 10 years. Been through 3 different tops and they've all been rounded corners.
If you want full soft door just get the Bestop stuff and call it good.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
jmmorgan82
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I ended up getting some CJ full soft doors with the windows on the top and bottom. Now I've just gotta figure out how to make it latch since the handle sits about 3 inches taller than the current door striker.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 09:00 PM   #13
dell2028
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,061
You can get the rounded corners, but I'm loving the full door since I got them. Love the top since I installed it. Will defiantly be driving the Jeep more often.
__________________
My Build Up

95 YJ, D30/8.8 w/ 4.88s, SOA, 35x14.50x16.5 Pit Bull Mud Dawgs, 101" Wheelbase, Custom Front Bumper, Winch, Custom Rear Tow Points, Traction Bar, Aussie Locker in front, 20 Gal. Gas Tank modification, Hurculiner Tub, Custom Rear Bumper, SYE and CV shaft, BTF Cross-over Steering, RCI 2191 fuel cell, BTF Rockers, RE 1.5" SOA springs up front and XJ springs in the rear

Down the line a bit...engine swap, the list goes on.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 01:44 PM   #14
badblud
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 23
My only question is how do the door surrounds come off because if I take the top and the doors off I don't want the door surrounds still on there because they are bolted fast. If someone could clear that up for me I'll probably buy one of these in the next month or so.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 03:06 PM   #15
dell2028
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,061
They can come off if you bring a socket and ratchet. The bolt on the rail uses a wing nut so you don't need a wrench. Three bolts and off it comes.
__________________
My Build Up

95 YJ, D30/8.8 w/ 4.88s, SOA, 35x14.50x16.5 Pit Bull Mud Dawgs, 101" Wheelbase, Custom Front Bumper, Winch, Custom Rear Tow Points, Traction Bar, Aussie Locker in front, 20 Gal. Gas Tank modification, Hurculiner Tub, Custom Rear Bumper, SYE and CV shaft, BTF Cross-over Steering, RCI 2191 fuel cell, BTF Rockers, RE 1.5" SOA springs up front and XJ springs in the rear

Down the line a bit...engine swap, the list goes on.
dell2028 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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frameless soft top , install , review , YJ

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