It was a pain for me to install my smittybuilt top and it was 70 and sunny out when I did it. It's a really tight fit for the top compared to OEM, or at least the OEM 2006 top I was using originally.
I'd suggest starting your Jeep, turning on the heat full blast/hottest setting, and aim the vents at the roof of the top. It'll help loosen the top up enough to get the windows zipped up. You'll want to have the doors closed, the front uppers install, and the roof/rear sail panels latched down (clamp down the header clips last though, just have the latches in the hole).
It should only take a few minutes for the heat to noticeably loosen the top so you will barely use any gas at all letting it idle. I do this sometimes when re-installing a soft top at night when its cool so I don't have to spend 20 minutes fighting with zippers.
I'm thinking the smittybilt top was the cheapest for a reason... so frustrated!!!!
You are correct!
Install the front and pull down really hard on the rear frame and it will go on in any temps.
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