Installing a hardtop -
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-26-2019, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Installing a hardtop

I have a 2014 2 door soft top Jeep Wrangler. I plan on installing a hard top this summer. Any advice on brands of hard tops, Installion advice, and your experiences installing a hard top will be appreciated.

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-26-2019, 06:34 PM
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
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Location: Denton County, TX
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I would check CraigsList for your area.

I am multi-talented, I can talk and piss you off at the same time.

denton county, tx
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-27-2019, 02:12 PM
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I bounce seasonally from hard to soft top, so I can help you out with install/removal tricks.

Used craigslist OEM hard tops are going to be your best bet. Also, just buy a new full top seal kit if you buy used and do that first. However, if it came from the dealer with a soft top only, you aren't going to have wiper/sprayer functionality unless you buy the harness kit, steering column lever, and have the dealer flash the Jeep.

Breaking down the soft top shouldn't be a big deal, just make sure you don't forget to remove the door surrounds and tailgate clips for the rear window. Also ensure you have all 6 tub nut clips installed and centered in the tub rail holes and 6 bolts that fit the threads on standby ready to go.

Before you start installing the hardtop, have a friend capable of lifting 100 lbs of awkward weight or invest in a hoist system. Dont try to hump it yourself, especially on the initial install. The 2dr hardtop is weighted very oddly. Center of gravity is about a foot and some change forward of the rear opening.

Open and prop both doors (or remove them, you and your buddy's hands need to go here) and open the rear glass, close the tailgate and have you and your buddy on either side of the top. As a team, grab the top by the door sills and the gate sill and lift it over the tub. Aim for getting the rear of the top balanced on the rear of the tub. Then shift your focus up front. There are two dagger pins on the top that drop into the tub just behind the doors on the tub rail. Watch your fingers as the top slams home. Install the 6 bolts to good'n snug, no need to reef on the torque. Plug in sprayer hose and wiper power connector (if you are equipped that way).

Freedom panels are easy peasy. Open all latches, and make sure the small black tabs at the rear of each panel are folded flush. Just loosely set on passenger (RH) side and then driver side. Then shuffle the panels around to where they sit even and lock them in. I start at the windshield latches and move aft. This will help reduce (not eliminate) leakage. Threaded knobs that come with them are kinda optional when running with the back shell on.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-27-2019, 02:27 PM
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2009 JK Wrangler 
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Yep. Craigslist for a take-off OEM top for sure. And now is a great time to do that, most people go the other way in the spring/summer and switch to a soft top. Around here, there's always plenty for sale. You'll want to stay with a later model year...I think '12-'18. Earlier '07-'11 models had the front freedom panel-windshield latches and side locating pins in different spots.

And as noted, if your Jeep only came with a soft top, you'll need a wiring/hose kit if you want to use the rear wiper/washer and defroster. Here's the kit:

'09 JK Rubicon
'01 XJ Sport
'10 Fusion
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-09-2019, 02:38 PM
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Couple options that I see usually. People that buy in the summer either hold on to them or some will actually sell before winter and repeat the process the next year making a little profit usually. I don't think any of the aftermarket hardtops are as good of quality as the OEM tops.
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