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Unread 04-20-2007, 11:56 PM   #1
Prot
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Factory Freedom Top vs. Aftermarket Hardtop

I want to know what people's thoughts are on the factory freedom top vs. an aftermarket hardtop such as one from Bestop. I had a Bestop two piece hardtop on my 95 YJ and it was great. It didn't leak, looked good, and even had a headliner, which made the interior of the vehicle nicer. The reason I am asking about this is the current delay on my order is the hardtop. I got hardtop only, so it's not like they can just ship the Jeep now and whenever the top situation gets straightened out, ship it then.

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Unread 04-21-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
T-man
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Prot,

The main issue of the OEM hardtop (aka 3 piece Freedom Top) and the aftermarket hardtop will be the $ price. You may be interested in what is written below. Since you've had a Bestop before and liked it on your YJ, they will probably offer as good a one for the JK. But it will likey cost more.*

*Buying the Freedom Top hardtop WITH the purchase of your vehicle is buying the top at nearly half price. Most people do not realize this or think about it. Jeep has priced these this way because they knew this would be a popular in demand option and they wanted to provide them. If you buy your Freedom Top afterwards you'll pay hundreds of dollars more, for the top AND delivery.

How do I know this?

My dealership messed up my order for my 2-dr Rubicon with a Freedom Top and several other options. They did not order the Freedom Top or check the paperwork they filled out with me and the DC ordering system. When my Jeep arrived there was a softop (not ordered by me) and no hardtop. We determined the paperwork major SNAFU in a matter of minutes and the dealer profusely apologized and admitted their mistake. (The General Manager who put my order in the system was replaced from the dealership a few days after placing my order.)

For two hours and then the next few days the dealer tried to figure out HOW to make the situation right for me and get a hardtop. They best they could do was order me another Jeep correctly. Yes they lowered the price and apologized but now I have to wait several more months. My Jeep is a special order and no dealer has one like it sitting on a lot.

While the dealership did try to see if they could order me a hardtop we learned at the same time that the cost of the Freedom Top was much higher if you buy the hardtop separately from the Jeep. The price is higher! And there are shipping costs! A shipped Freedtop Top takes up about half the length of a vehicle and that costs a lot of money to ship by any carrier. That raises the price.

My suggestion is to WAIT for your hardtop if you ordered it. If you want to make sure your order is on track, ask the Jeep dealership to read to you every option they ordered in the system -- a different form than the one they wrote your order down on paper -- and make sure the Freedom Top is on there.

If you don't want to wait for the Freedom Top, or if you want the Bestop and you don't mind spending the extra money, (hundreds of dollars), then go for it.

Good luck.
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Unread 04-21-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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Yeah, the cost is much higher. Even for a Bestop, it's $2,500. That's what I paid for one on my YJ as well, but that was a different situation. I'll try to ride it out as long as I can, but last night I read somewhere that the latest delay with the hardtop is 16 to 20 weeks. I ordered my JK in February 24, so it isn't terribly long yet, but if I don't get it until 20 weeks from today, that's too long. That's into the 08 model year. The truck I traded in on the Jeep is dying a slow miserable death, but it's my only vehicle and so I still have it until the Jeep gets here. I would hate to have to put it in the shop for a repair because of a total break down while I'm waiting for the Jeep to come in. The longer I have to wait, the higher the likelyhood that that is going to happen. I'm going to try to wait out the factory one, but I would like to get it before Christmas. I was just curious if anyone had purchased a Bestop for the JK yet and what were their impressions of it, besides the increased cost ($600 to $700 for factory option compared to $2,500 aftermarket).
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Unread 04-21-2007, 02:05 PM   #4
DTarlo
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we have a 4dr sahara with the freedom top and soptop both, love it and wouldn't think of doing it another way, got REALLY lucky and purchased ours in November right before the HUGE rush hit of people wanting them. If I am correct the bestop is just a two piece right? the 3 piece really is a cool thing to have and works out well in lots of situations
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Unread 04-21-2007, 11:11 PM   #5
JK_Jeep
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2007-...mZ290107907044
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Unread 04-21-2007, 11:22 PM   #6
Prot
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Thanks for the link, but my order is for a 4 door. I hadn't thought about looking on ebay. Maybe I can work out something with the dealer on this.
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