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Unread 04-25-2007, 06:21 AM   #1
JK2BJeep3
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Tips for putting up the Soft Top (4 dr)

Maybe this isn't a big deal for the guys here but being female and 5'2", I find it really difficult to initially lift the soft top to put it up. The manual just shows a guy standing on the side of the Jeep lifting it from the side and sliding the rails into place. I end up crawling up into the back and lifting it from inside, but still find it difficult. I keep wanting to lift and push it fwd to rest on the roll bars (which I seem to remember on the TJ), then get it into position, but it doesn't want to let me do that. I've tried standing on the rear bumper both with gate closed and open, but can't lift and reach both sides to align them. Any tips on this?

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Unread 04-25-2007, 06:45 AM   #2
Poor Boy
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you're probably best doing it from the inside. just grab it and walk it forward. or, being in MA, just get a safari top / duster, and leave them on for the season.
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Unread 04-25-2007, 08:40 AM   #3
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Maybe you can retrofit a rope on the inside to hook on a cross member? Then you could pull it from outside the jeep?

My $0.02

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Unread 04-25-2007, 09:33 AM   #4
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The picture in the manual is misleading. To put it up fully, you have to clear the plastic joints on the sunrider bars completely from the roll bar and the side rail clips. That can't be done by one person from one side easily. I have found that, from the rear, setting the top temporarily on the roll bar then jumping in the rear of the jeep and lifting it up and over works fine. I have tried doing it from the side and I don't feel comfortable with the unsupported weight on the other side. I am worried that something will snap.

My top hasn't worn in yet and I am still struggling with the final step of closing the clamps by the windshield. Hopefully that will get easier as time goes on. I know for a fact that there is no way that my wife would be able to do it the way that it is now.

Cali
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Unread 04-25-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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Be careful doing it by yourself. I'm a big, burly man and have trouble as well. The last time, I stood on the inside and pulled it up, but the restraining strap twisted and pulled itself out of the rivots so be careful and work slowly. Don't try to force it like I did.

Forget about doing it from the side if alone unless you have 5 foot arms that can reach across.
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Unread 04-25-2007, 09:50 AM   #6
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I have to disagree about not doing it by yourself. I've put mine down (and back up) by myself several times. I'm 6'0". It takes me several trips back and forth to each side of the Jeep, but I haven't found it necessary to do anything from inside (except unlatch the front latches).

I agree with skydiver--don't force anything. And don't try to do it yourself until you're used to how everything is supposed to move.

I have not had a problem folding the front part of the top back just from one side, nor after the clamps are undone, moving the whole top down, nor reversing eithe rof these steps. If you're tall enough and/or strong enough, I wouldn't write off this option completely.
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Unread 04-25-2007, 09:58 AM   #7
tx-Skydiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyc
I have to disagree about not doing it by yourself. I've put mine down (and back up) by myself several times. I'm 6'0". It takes me several trips back and forth to each side of the Jeep, but I haven't found it necessary to do anything from inside (except unlatch the front latches).

I agree with skydiver--don't force anything. And don't try to do it yourself until you're used to how everything is supposed to move.

I have not had a problem folding the front part of the top back just from one side, nor after the clamps are undone, moving the whole top down, nor reversing eithe rof these steps. If you're tall enough and/or strong enough, I wouldn't write off this option completely.
Agreed. She should be able to do by herself as well, but may be easier for her being smaller to do from inside. Your height has a great advantage to get the frame over the top of the vehicle.

Folding back front and taking whole top down is a piece of cake. Its gatting the top from the fully down position back up that is difficult.

But yes. If she is patient, she will be able to do it herself.
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Unread 04-25-2007, 11:52 AM   #8
JK2BJeep3
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Thanks all for the input.

I have tried to prop it up on the roll bars but the sides fall downward, then once I start to move those, it all falls back down again. The only way I've been able to lift it is from standing in the far back and getting the sides propped up enough, wedging out from under, then get in the back seat and pull the sides into place. Oh well, sounds like it'll just be a matter of getting my routine down. (Hoping not to be a sideshow from the office window when the first t-storm comes rolling thru and I'm fighting with it in the parking lot!)

Luckily putting it down seems to be ok (except for killing my fingers getting the channel out from over the front door - what is with that?). From standing on the door frame I can fold the front backwards, but then go back and forth standing on each of the rear door frames to get the W shape in place, then crawl in the backseat and can lower it from there.

I've seen the bikini top for sale, but when someone hears of a duster/windjammer or "halftop" like Bestop sells for the '07 4 door (where the backseat is still usable) - please let me know!

Last edited by JK2BJeep3; 04-25-2007 at 12:03 PM..
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Unread 04-25-2007, 12:15 PM   #9
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That description almost sounds like me. Back and forth constantly. Can you take video so I can see what I look like? ;-)

I understand on the fingers issue. It gets looser the more you do it thankfully, but mine is still pretty tight.
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Unread 04-25-2007, 12:25 PM   #10
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I certainly find working from inside the Jeep is much easier. You can grab the bars and just guide them up until they click in. From there is is a piece of cake.

On the finger issue I discovered the trying to work from the center pillar towards the front of the vehicle is easier than trying to get fingers in at the front. May be a quirk with mine but worth a try.
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Unread 04-25-2007, 08:25 PM   #11
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Its a pain the first few times also. I have short arms and i found that standing on the rear tires (not the fenders, duh) and grab onto the bar that has the peice that gets clipped in the track. It is alot easier than inside, done that too. Plus this is my first jeep. The next time its nice out which is this weekend, i will try to post some pictures. Good luck.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 12:27 AM   #12
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The painful fingers is from that support bar between the doors, the one that the top velcros to, if you pull that down (pop it up then get it under the side bars) before you get your fingers in there to undo the top from the channel its alot easier, looser. I do it on mine but if anything happens to your top, rips, tears ... don't blame me. If i know i'm only going to have the top on for a day or so i just leave that bar under the side bars and velcro the top around it.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 02:30 PM   #13
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There is a TSB for the fingers part. They do some trimming around the B Pillar and it is supposed to be a little easier to hook and unhook. TSB just came out a few days or maybe a week ago I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK2BJeep3
Thanks all for the input.

I have tried to prop it up on the roll bars but the sides fall downward, then once I start to move those, it all falls back down again. The only way I've been able to lift it is from standing in the far back and getting the sides propped up enough, wedging out from under, then get in the back seat and pull the sides into place. Oh well, sounds like it'll just be a matter of getting my routine down. (Hoping not to be a sideshow from the office window when the first t-storm comes rolling thru and I'm fighting with it in the parking lot!)

Luckily putting it down seems to be ok (except for killing my fingers getting the channel out from over the front door - what is with that?). From standing on the door frame I can fold the front backwards, but then go back and forth standing on each of the rear door frames to get the W shape in place, then crawl in the backseat and can lower it from there.

I've seen the bikini top for sale, but when someone hears of a duster/windjammer or "halftop" like Bestop sells for the '07 4 door (where the backseat is still usable) - please let me know!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 04:22 PM   #14
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I've found that if you have the initial sunrider fold executed correctly, getting the top down and back up is not the tough part. I can grab the "v" that the sunrider makes, and lift that pretty easily, up over the top pf the roll bar ("v pointing at a 45 degree angle). Once that's up, you're most of the way home. I've had no problem with the straps, because once you're folded right, they are out of the way. The BIG ISSUE I have is the back window. Getting that thing to zip is rediculous. Maybe I need to lube it, but I timed myself the other day and it took me 4 minutes to get the top up and locked in place with the side windows re-attached, and another 5 to get the back window zipped. While I know that rolling it and leaving it attached is bad for it, I can't imagine taking it all the way off right now. I'd never get it back on.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 05:16 PM   #15
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Try keeping the last 3 inches of the corner panels loose. There is a split in the part that clips under the body around 3 inches in. Leaving this loose until you finish zipping releases some of the tension and makes it easier - easier, not easy. I have had a few words to say when trying to zip it around the corners.
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