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Unread 06-11-2009, 01:32 PM   #1
tylerd
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One Person Soft Top Operation

Ok, I tried to take the soft top all the way down by myself yesterday, on my 4dr Jk. It was a PITA, and was all screwed up. Do you guys have any tricks on how to to do it by yourself, in an organized manner, or do I just need to get used to it? I would have put it all the way down now, a couple of times, but is is just annoying. I just put it in the sunrider mode.

Thank you for your help!

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Unread 06-11-2009, 01:38 PM   #2
VICTIM_OF_PAIN
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I just fold the sunrider part down, unlatch the sunrider on both sides. Open the back door, and pull the top down, folding neatly.
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[B]Ex - 2001 Wrangler, 2" BB, 32" BGF AT's. JKS Quicker Disconnects, Oil Pan Skid, Steering Box Skid. Hard Top, Soft Top, Safari Top, Olympic Mountaineer Rack.[/B][/COLOR]

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[B]It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool.... than to open it and remove all doubt[/B].
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Unread 06-11-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
wbower
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Its just a matter of doing it a few times. You have to get all the folds right or it just looks like a disaster. I can get the top down and buttoned up by myself in about 2 mins. Its really a pretty easy process.
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Unread 06-11-2009, 03:13 PM   #4
jodpel
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Same here. I have a four door and put the soft top down by myself all the time. I'm not sure it can be explained easily in text. Here's how I do it...
  1. Unclip everything and take the windows out.
  2. Open the driver door and push up on the front part by the windshield to make sure it breaks loose from the gasket. If you try to flip it back without doing this, you might bend it. I did that and screwed mine up a little bit.
  3. Fold it back. Reach back to the fold farthest from the front of the jeep and help it go backwards like it should. Then fold the front fold backwards as you lay it back. Don't worry about what's it's doing on the other side of the jeep.
  4. Walk around to the other side of the jeep and lift up the folds enough to fold them back the right way... not too much or you'll unfold the side you just did.
  5. Walk back around to the other side and straighten everything up one more time where it looks nice.
  6. While you're there, unclip the rail clip so it can slide all the way back to the "down position when the time comes.
  7. Walk around the other side of the jeep and unclip that side. Push it along the rail letting it fold back into the rear area. With the whole thing folded, it's pretty sturdy and will support itself as if folds down into the final position.
  8. You'll probably have to stuff those rear flaps back under there. They always fall out on me as I fold it back by myself. I think these are called the sail panels. Make sure the straps are tucked in there neatly too.
  9. Use your two velcro straps and secure it.

That's how I do it. The first two or three times I did it, I didn't push up on the middle of it to at least break it loose first. I bent that bow that goes across and it is a little messed up now. I always do that now that I've already screwed it up.

Some people get in the jeep and stand in the middle to do some of this work. I have a seriously screwed up leg where I got hit riding my motorcycle a few years back... long story. Anyway, you can do it all from the outside of the jeep without climbing around if you figure out a pattern.

I find that if you walk back and forth a time or two while it is folded back, but not dropped all the way and do some straightening, it will look very nice when you put it all the way down. Don't plan on doing the straightening after you've got it all the way down because it's just a big mess by that point. If you reach to the middle and give it a couple of jabs deep in those folds, tug both outside edges of the "W fold" on both sides, it will come out very neat.
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Unread 06-11-2009, 03:22 PM   #5
VICTIM_OF_PAIN
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Just watch this video here. Should help a lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xuo5rdEX48
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Current - 2008 Unlimited Wrangler Rubicon. Rock Krawler Stock Mod 2.5" lift, 35x12.50x15 Cooper STT's on Pro-Comp D-Windows, Husky Floor Liners, Mastercraft Grab Handles, Weathertech Side Window Deflectors, Hitch mounted D-Ring, Rancho Oil Pan Skid, Rugged Ridge E-Disco Skid, and a Skid Row Evap Canister Skid plate.

[B]It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool.... than to open it and remove all doubt[/B].
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Unread 06-11-2009, 05:57 PM   #6
sdebol
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I always put the top up and down myself, and I'm short (5'7"), FWIW.

I like to fold it into the sunrider position, kneel on the back seat facing the back of the Jeep) and form the "W's" while the sunrider catches are still attached. After I've folded everything as neatly as possible "up top", I release the sunrider catches and lower everything the rest of the way down.

After two years, I haven't figured out a way to neatly gather the rear third of the top as it lowers all the way down and resort to some random stuffing but for the most part everything behaves.

When putting it back up, I also kneel on the back seat facing the tailgate, grab the center of the top header, pull it toward me and up over my head in one motion. I have to guide it a little to seat it on the tracks but then it's easy to slide them until the sundrider catches lock. Then I just hop out and finish the rest.

I hope this was helpful in some way!...

Steve
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Unread 06-12-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
NYCJohn
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I do the same with the sunrider part, then grab the center portion and handle it that way. I feel if you try to lower the soft top from either side it bends the rods and over time may weaken them because it binds the pivot points, etc... It is a PITA, especially zipping up the back window. But look at it this way, I feel it has to be a bit of work considering it is designed to last and handle highway speeds.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 07:56 AM   #8
diveguy
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I agree...it is a PITA but when you get used to it, it's not too bad. The key is to get those flaps folded in correctly and kneeling on the back seat. Getting it down is a heck of a lot harder than getting it up. Just keep everything in those tracks...
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Unread 06-12-2009, 08:11 AM   #9
SaharaBlackNo1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diveguy View Post
Getting it down is a heck of a lot harder than getting it up.
lol So true.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 08:15 AM   #10
diveguy
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Hahaha...we ARE talking about a soft top right?
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Unread 06-12-2009, 12:40 PM   #11
tylerd
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Ok, so I am outside now, and I have the soft top lowered, but the side bars are at a 45 degree angle going upwards. So I have no idea how to force them into the sides of the tub to strap them down. Advice?
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Unread 06-12-2009, 02:11 PM   #12
sdebol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerd View Post
Ok, so I am outside now, and I have the soft top lowered, but the side bars are at a 45 degree angle going upwards. So I have no idea how to force them into the sides of the tub to strap them down. Advice?
I find that if the side bars don't lay flat at first it's because there's some canvas bunching up on the roll bar that slants toward the back of the Jeep. If you tuck that canvas toward the tailgate (and everything else was folded properly to begin with) you should be able to bet the side bars to lay flat.

Steve
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Unread 06-12-2009, 09:53 PM   #13
jodpel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdebol View Post
I find that if the side bars don't lay flat at first it's because there's some canvas bunching up on the roll bar that slants toward the back of the Jeep. If you tuck that canvas toward the tailgate (and everything else was folded properly to begin with) you should be able to bet the side bars to lay flat.

Steve
Yep. I did that once or twice before I watched that youtube video carefully. The way I think about the top as you fold it back, it has to be W shaped. The W, however must go to the rear of the vehicle NOT the front. If you just let it fold the way it naturally wants to go as you flip it back from the windshield, the folds will "W" toward the windshield rather than toward the back. If you let it do that and then try to lay it all the way down, it will lay on your roll bars instead of laying back on your spare tire. This will hold it up at a funny angle.

Watching that video really helps.
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