post #1 of Old 03-20-2014, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Greenbelt
Posts: 58
Soft top issue, looking for a local fix...

My top has gotten really jacked up on my 2006 LJ. The sun rider top has broken, or backed screws out repeatedly. When I was closing it up for the winter, ONE side window wouldn't fit on. The rear sail flaps constantly come undone, and the zipper for the back windshield just came off as well. It has seen better days. But even in the summer, it is too shrunken to fit the plastic clips around the door surrounds. This winter it has gotten worse, and is like four inches away from the body of the Jeep. Worst part-- the plastic lip that attaches the windows and sail flaps to the body on on of the sail flaps is losing its shape, so even if it does reach, i doubt it will hook, and doubt even more that it'll hold. I have a guy in Annapolis with a spare top that i THINK is the stock LJ top for a good deal that I am gonna grab just in case, but does anyone have any experiences like this, or recommendations on where to take it to try and get it back to normal? Adrenaline is the closest, Jeff did my lift and fixed my 4 wheel drive, but he is always booked full when I email him now.

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post #2 of Old 05-06-2014, 06:37 AM
AngryRedBird
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@Kenny

I'd be happy to check out what your issues are and create a detailed list of things we might need to make these repairs.. Thou if it can be fix on the spot, I'll do that as well.. but if not.. you may have to opt for a new/used top or hardware, just depends.
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post #3 of Old 05-06-2014, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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Can you shoot me your email? I ended up finding a used soft top for 50 on Craigslist that I grabbed just in case, and I am going to cut this shrunken one into a safari top somehow. But there are some other issues with the frame falling apart I may need some help with.
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post #4 of Old 05-07-2014, 05:22 AM
AngryRedBird
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@Kenny

Just looking for those images of your troubled area.. But this weekend is out due to it being mothers day.. We are heading to the eastern shore for two cookouts. So we will see what the following weekend holds for us.
If something needs to be drilled, I do not have a cordless, just a corded.. But all else we could pick up at home depot etc..
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post #5 of Old 05-07-2014, 07:12 AM
AngryRedBird
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Update: Kenny Just forward a few images of his troubles.. I'll post a 06 owners manual with a few directions on how to adjust or correct the soft top issue:

http://www.jeep.com/en/owners/manuals/ (06 Jeep Wrangler) page 76 UNDERSTANDING THE FEATURES OF YOUR VEHICLE

Also: this maybe a better reference to soft top issues as well as replacements.. Pavement ends offers a "replay" .PDf that explains a few key points or areas when installing the new replacement soft top.. this could be key direction of specific areas.

http://www.pavement-ends.com/images/...alls/51146.pdf

After viewing his images.. it's clear that the areas he has pointed out are due to a stress or over stress and incorrect installation.. Key points or areas one would need to focus on are the hinge points as well as the header.. if the header is not installed at its fullest, this can create that stress point what the rest of the frame doesn't lay down properly.. One side note here.. is if a roll cage screw has come lose or simply fallen out, this creates an unbalanced frame thus creating the unwelcome stress fracture on certain parts of the frame..
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post #6 of Old 05-08-2014, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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Thanks to advice from AngryRedBird I was able pretty much diagnose it (at least I think) and it is a really annoying problem. A year ago, a knuckle snapped in the sunrider topped and was replaced at an off road shop, but it is just slightly different than the one of the passenger side, causing the frame to lay differently. Now I need to either modify it to get it to stop stacking on top of itself, or find a matching knuckle for one of the two sides, or get two. Of course the tiny piece is like 40 bucks, and I can't find anyone parting out an LJ, or that wants to sell off pieces of the frame.




Problem number two is that the stress caused the rail plunger assembly to break. Most shops don't stock it anymore, but the ones that have leftovers are 50-75 bucks. I can't replace that until I solve the first issue, otherwise, it may just break again!

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post #7 of Old 05-08-2014, 11:54 AM
AngryRedBird
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@Kenny

As I said I have the left overs from a JK softop (frame).. But it's doesn't have this Knuckle your referring to.. I would assume its the double jointed area in the first image.. However.. I do have those connection points..

As for the last image, I suggested that you drill this out and simply replace with a same type bolt etc.. On both sides. Although these pins have been swedged into place, one may be able to rivet them back after tear down and replacement.

If you think you may need this JK softop frame, It's yours.. Not doing me any good.
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post #8 of Old 05-09-2014, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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Sorry Bird, didn't get your last PM cause it said my inbox was full even thought it wasn't. Fixed the joint last night and checked to make sure I am not missing any bolts either. Drilled that rivet out, and through the other side and replaced the plunger with a 1/4" cotterless locking pin which does the job well. It took a TON of tension off the front clips, so opening and closing the top and tucking the sail panels is manageable again. My drivers side window is attached again and there's only a 1/4" section of the retainer that won't quite go in, but unfortunately, the passenger side window is still falling an inch short. There is something pulling towards the front, because it slants upwards. The back end of the window is close to the lip on the tub, and it gradually moves away from it as you get towards the front, until there is about an inch of space separating them. I have no idea at this point what is causing it to pull unevenly. This thing is making me nuts. I don't think the JK parts will fit much of anything, but thanks for the offer. At least at this point, I think I have all the broken parts of the frame fixed.

This is an old pick, but basically now the space above the door is a less extreme version of this:
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post #9 of Old 05-09-2014, 10:23 AM
AngryRedBird
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Question: How are the support arms of the frame attached to the roll cage brackets?.. You may have them in the wrong location.

Even though this image is of the shorter wheel base TJ.. check how the frame looks or is attached and compare to your setup.

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post #10 of Old 05-09-2014, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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Location: Greenbelt
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Slightly different frame, but same basic set up
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post #11 of Old 05-09-2014, 11:47 AM
AngryRedBird
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K something just came to mind.. Is there a third row/set of rails/tubes at the rear of your soft top?.. It attaches at the roll cage only.. and if this is out of skew.. this could be why your soft top is stressed.
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post #12 of Old 08-18-2014, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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Location: Greenbelt
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Just put my frame back on for Fall.... this is still an issue for me :/
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post #13 of Old 08-25-2014, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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Guess I'm gonna have to take this thing to a dealership and let them figure it out. After a year, I am completely stumped.
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post #14 of Old 11-16-2015, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
kennycrybaby
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Greenbelt
Posts: 58
Follow up:

The frame started pretty much falling apart in my hands. Pins and screws were backing out, knuckles were breaking, the plunger assembly on the door surround fell apart, etc. Plus, the zipper for the back windshield was broken and I was having the issues with the fit of course.Having been open for the past two winters in some way, shape or form, I finally just bought a new hardware/soft top kit from Bestop.

Installing it was a ****ing nightmare. Should have taken 30 minutes, but took much longer, as the plunger knuckle that connects the frame to the bracket on the roll bar lost a washer and promptly fell apart 5 minutes out of the box, and all 14 of the screws that hold the strap on, and the soft top in the back had to be tapped because they powder coated it after drilling the holes. Everything is on now and I finally have my LJ sealed completely for the first time in 3 years.

While the frame was in **** condition, the problem had to have been the degree to which the soft top shrunk. Not only does that account for the ill-fitting windows, but after installing the new top and seeing how much the frame is affected by the tension of the soft top, I can assume every single problem came from that.
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