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Unread 09-19-2005, 10:28 AM   #1
JeepVroom
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How to raise a soft top?

Hi all,

I just purchased my first Jeep (also my first vehicle) last week! First thing I did was to take the top off. I had no instructions but it wasn't too bad. So after a great weekend driving around bathing in the sun and feeling the breeze, the fun ended last night when I tried to raise the soft top. Just like what I learned, or didn't learn from childhood, it is always easier to take things apart than put them together.

The main problem was that I could not fit the top over the entire length of the Jeep. I could only get one end in, either the front end or the back, then Iím couple inches short on the other end. I tried to half-clip the front end, then pull on the back really hard, but I was still 1 or 2 inches short. I pulled, I tugged, I dragged, and I cursed. I sweated in the dark for almost two hours, providing the bugs a free meal, and still couldnít get the top fully installed. This morning I drove to work with the front end clipped in and the back end flapping in the wind, a very unsightly scene.

I researched on this board and found some useful info on how to take down a top, but couldnít find any on how to raise a top, which seems to me is much more difficult. Iíd appreciate any tip and advice for this Jeep newbie, thanks a lot!

I have a 2001 SE, canvas/sailcloth top, and with a factory frame(the one with the straps in the back).

Thanks!

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Unread 09-19-2005, 10:34 AM   #2
erickpl
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I have a 97 SE and this is how I do it.

1. Pull the top up so the front edge of it is near the windshield.

2. Attach the hooks into the header, but do NOT tighten them down all the way. Make them as loose/long as possible. Then pull out the long plastic side clips that sit above each door so they are not squeezed between the top and the door surrounds (2 per side). Do NOT attach them at this time.

3. Verify that the web strapping on each side (between the middle bow and the rear) is flat and not twisted.

4. Pull down on the rear bow and attach the rear vertical corners (plastic pieces under the fabric) into the lip surrounding the back of the tub.

5. Attach Rear window completely.

6. Attach side windows. This is a lot easier if you hook the back edge of the window (the flap that ultimately covers the zipper track) onto the velcro to temporarily hold it straight and level while starting the window zipper. Once the zipper is started, only zip up an inch or two. See step 7.

7. Insert the front edge of the soft windows into the groove of the door surround. Make sure the zipper is only started an inch or two. Once in the grooves, zip the window the rest of way and tuck in along the bottom.

8. Fasten down the header hooks that you loosely attached back in step 1, bringing your top tight against the windshield header.

9. Attach the 2 long plastic clips (per side) that you pulled out from under the top back in Step 2.

10. Drive.
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Unread 09-19-2005, 10:35 AM   #3
NPerry05X
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make sure the straps arent wrapped around the top hardware.... sry the pic is a lil blurry.. its right above the driver's side door surround
jeep-strap.jpg  
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Unread 09-19-2005, 10:36 AM   #4
SteelBlueTJ
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Well I just leave my top tucked in behind the rear seat when its folded down. When I want to raise it I just lift up on the winshield header until it stays up a little about a foot or so. Then grab the side bow bars and just guide it up over the rollbars. My top almost always gets stuck halfway up on the rollbar pads in between the soundbar and the rear pads, so you just have to push down on the pads and it should go up over and be fully rasied. Then latch the windshield latches, then go in the back and attach the rear sail flaps. Then zip in your windows. Done.
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Unread 09-19-2005, 10:37 AM   #5
NoUse328
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OK, first, go to the front and hook in the metal latches, but do not lack them. Next go to the back and attach those corners to the tub. Next, get the side windows, and start the ziiper about an inch. From there, clip the side into the door frames, then zip the window in the rest of the way, and finally clip the bottom into the tub. Now, get the rear window and zip it completely up, take the bottom retainer thing and roll it into the two metal on the tub and clip in the very bottom of the window. Just go to the sides, clip the sides into the top of the door frames, and latch the metal guys and you're all done.
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Unread 09-19-2005, 02:10 PM   #6
JeepVroom
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Thanks for you input guys. I am starting to feel how devoted and powerful the Jeeper community is. I'll try the tips tonight, hope it'll work.

It rained hard this afternoon, with the rear window half way open on my jeep, I cannot wait to see the "damage". Is the interior of a Jeep TJ 2001 waterproof? I was told that I can basically hose the floor if I want to clean it, so I assume a little rainwater is no big deal?
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Unread 09-19-2005, 02:35 PM   #7
Tenenchi
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I saw a guy the other day rolling off the Jeep lot and I had to laugh, he had put his top down with the side windows still on, and the windows were all jammed up and sticking out the side, and it was just ridiculous. I pulled a U-Turn and followed him about 5 miles to where he stopped and I gave him a 10 minute lesson in the Jeep Soft Top, hehe.
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Unread 09-19-2005, 02:38 PM   #8
Tenenchi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepVroom
Thanks for you input guys. I am starting to feel how devoted and powerful the Jeeper community is. I'll try the tips tonight, hope it'll work.

It rained hard this afternoon, with the rear window half way open on my jeep, I cannot wait to see the "damage". Is the interior of a Jeep TJ 2001 waterproof? I was told that I can basically hose the floor if I want to clean it, so I assume a little rainwater is no big deal?

seats will get soggy, carpet will get moldy, and don't even think about spraying the dash / radio / instrument cluster.

Other than that, a little rain will evaporate in a day or so, you don't wanna just hose down your seats or dash etc, I have been caught in pretty bad storms where the jeep was soaking, and my radio stopped working for a day, but I left it out in the sun the next day and everything dried out
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Unread 09-19-2005, 02:43 PM   #9
sparkeep
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I had the very same problem a couple of months ago with my first jeep. The top will stretch once in place and you shouldn't have this problem again.

First make sure all the points mentioned above are true (i.e. strap between the support bows are not twisted or wrapped around anything.)

Now this is how I did it with the tools and the jeep I have (it might help).

I hooked the front hooks into the holes but extended the handles to the fully open position to give the most slack.

2. I looped a ratcheting tie down strap around the rear support bow and through a rear tow point on the bumper and then hooked the ends together.

3. Ratcheted the top tight until the rear sail panels just went into place.

4. Latched the front down.

I could barely get the top tight enough on my own to get the sails hooked. And if I did get enough slack, I didn't have any muscle left to finess the plastic hooks into place. This worked for me... maybe it will work for you.
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Unread 09-19-2005, 02:53 PM   #10
scottcha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenenchi
I saw a guy the other day rolling off the Jeep lot and I had to laugh, he had put his top down with the side windows still on, and the windows were all jammed up and sticking out the side, and it was just ridiculous. I pulled a U-Turn and followed him about 5 miles to where he stopped and I gave him a 10 minute lesson in the Jeep Soft Top, hehe.
haha, fellow jeeper to the resue.
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Unread 09-19-2005, 03:48 PM   #11
Dogman
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Mine is really hard to get the front latches flipped down. It helps if I pull the bow forward while latching, even then, it's still pretty tough sometimes. It's easier when it's warm out, but of course I'm waiting till the last second to put my top back on...I can't bear the thought!

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Unread 09-19-2005, 04:45 PM   #12
highryder08
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ill tell u what the most frustrating this is.....when the temperature is cool outside and your top and windows shrink just enough to where they wont fit....its the most frustrating thing in the world to me
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Unread 09-19-2005, 05:08 PM   #13
coorsmgood
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isn't there a link to the jeep instructions for top removal somewhere?there has to be someone who has downloaded that stupid tape they give you when you buy a new jeep..otherwise go to the dealer and maybe they will give you the jeep instruction tape?
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Unread 09-19-2005, 06:08 PM   #14
I FLEX
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Yeah its at links4jeeps.com

Here is the actual write-up Click Here

I have hit a local trail with the guy that owns the site. Chris is pretty cool and has some informative write-ups for certain jeep mods.

Good luck hope it helps, it did for me. I roughly take about 7 min. to put everything back up. Longer if I am trying to tightly fold down my top to fit under the duster cover.
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Unread 09-20-2005, 08:20 AM   #15
JeepVroom
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After about half an hour of tugging and pulling, I finally got the top back on. I guess leave the front latches half-way clipped is the key to success. Now I can drive my Jeep without looking like a moron.

The back carpet is pretty wet, but the back seats are OK. It's actually raining as I am typing this, good thing the top is fully on now.

Thanks all for your inputs.
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