I thought I would do a write up on my, soft top and half doors, to hard top and full doors, conversion. There are a few things I found out that I wished I had known before I got started. I would also like to say your experiences may be different and I would be glad to hear them. I wanted other Jeepers to learn from my mistakes. Iím going to complain a lot, in the end I really like the end result I just want everyone to be informed of the problems I had. Donít let any of this stop you from making this move just be informed before you do. If anyone has anything I have missed let me know and I will add it to the op.
1. These things are harder to find that you might think at least locally and unless you like paying double the price of the top for shipping, finding one locally is the only way to buy.
2. Be mindful of your jeep year model, if it is older than í03 you will need a top with the vents, newer can use either. Personally I donít like the vents and didnít need them so I avoided them.
3. Check for fading my top was faded and scratched pretty bad, I couldnít tell because it was covered in snow
. When they are wet they donít look faded or scratched, who knew
4. Check for cracks I checked for cracks but missed a few, the worst spot was the bottom edges on the back by the gate, and between the side windows and door wells.
5. So needless to say I had to paint the top, not super expensive but it was another cost.
6. If you want to use stock bolts and your top doesnít come with them they cost $11 a peace (<-thatís right) and hardware store bolts work just fine.
7. My gaskets were all good so I didnít have to make any changes here but that is something else I suggest you check for.
8. I have no way of checking the defroster or windshield wiper at this time, just fyi the harness to get these working costs about $150 depending on where you buy it.
9. Make sure and notice the spacing on the back glass the top I bought was stored on its driver side edge this caused the top to warp about a Ĺ inch. Not too bad but it bugs me a little.
10. The worst problem I had was purchasing the hard top first. I had posted questions asking if the soft uppers would work with a hardtop, most people said that they would and the reasoning made since to me. WellÖThey do almost fit in the door frames but mine rubbed and the driverís side one hung to the point of almost messing up my top. This is due to the seam that runs around the door frame on the soft uppers makes the doors a little too large. Also they look terrible with the hardtop (mine freshly painted) my uppers were faded and the textures just didnít look right together.
1. Full doors may actually be harder to find than the hard top and the shipping charges are still pretty high, so buying locally is the best way here as well.
2. Be prepared to paint itís really difficult to find matching doors and panels. The panels paint pretty cheap but the paint on the doors will be pricey so figure that into your budget.
3. Be sure to check for cracks at the bottom of the window frames, the driver door of the set I purchased had a few cracks, my paint guy says it no big deal we will just weld it and paint over it.
4. Check for dents in the sheet metal, with jeeps the large pieces of flat sheet metal make it really difficult to remove the dents and it ever look 100% right.
5. Make sure everything works, windows roll up and down (smoothly), doors lock and unlock, and both the interior and exterior door handles unlatch the door.
6. The glass on almost all of the doors I looked at had some scratches, Iím guessing from the mud getting in the gasket that rides on the window. So just be aware and donít get some that are as scratched as your vinylís.
7. Check all of the gaskets these arenít very expensive to replace but anything you can save will make you much happier in the end.
8. Be prepared as well to adjust both the door hinges and the latch. But this is easy Ö There are some good instructions on the forum here.
9. On the interior door panels, for those that donít know. There is a crack that shows up on the top edge almost right above the door release handle. These panels arenít cheap to buy, but arenít too bad to paint. So donít make decisions based on color.
10. Also most will want to rekey their door locks. If you take the locks out yourself itís not very expensive, if the locksmith has to do it, it gets quite a bit pricy.
A final thought after everything has been installed. I initially started this project to reduce noise and try and stay a little warmer. The jeep is much quieter, talking to your passenger/s is now possible without yelling (unless you just want to). There is still a little bit of wind noise that comes from the bottom front corners of the doors (turbulence I guess). One thing that will bug some fellow Jeepers, you will lose a ton of elbow room on the door panels. With half doors you have that nice roomy ledge to lay your arm on; well itís gone and gets replaced with a wall of door panel. Iíve also noticed a problem with reflections from the flat glass that Iím having a lot of trouble getting used to. Tinting will probably make it worse.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions feel free to PM me.