Jeep owners know that the versatility of their vehicles is one of their greatest assets. The ability to easily remove the soft top allows for open-air driving during the warm summer months and the option to put it back on when the weather turns colder.
Those who have never taken a Jeep soft top off may find the process daunting. Thanks to my experience, I will share this easy step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of how to take off a Jeep soft top.
When to Replace Your Soft Top From Jeep
When it comes to replacing the soft top on your Jeep, it can be an expensive decision to make. There’s no timeline set for when it needs to be done, and it depends on the condition of your top. But there are some signs that your soft top needs to be replaced.
- If there are any major tears, cracks, or holes in your soft top, it’s a no-brainer that you need to replace it. These damages can’t be repaired and will only get worse over time. Even if the top still functions well, it might be time for a new one.
- Another thing to keep in mind is how often you use your Jeep. If you’re a frequent driver, the top will experience more wear and tear, so you may need to replace it sooner than someone who uses their Jeep only occasionally. And, if you’re someone who takes their Jeep out in harsh weather conditions like snow or extreme heat, that can also take a toll on the top and may require more frequent replacement.
- Also, if your windows are cracked or fogged, that’s a sign that you need to replace your top because your safety can be compromised. These issues can lead to leaks or drafts, making it difficult to see while driving.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when it’s the right time to replace your soft top. Just watch for any signs of wear and tear to make the best decision for you and your Jeep.
How to Remove the Soft Top From Your Jeep [Step-by-Step Guide]
Once you decide it’s time to switch from the soft top to the hard top on your Jeep, you may ask yourself how to take a soft top off a Jeep. Removing the soft top may seem scary, but it’s a straightforward process that can be accomplished in just eight easy steps. Follow this guide, and you’ll have your soft top off in no time.
Step 1: Remove your Rear Window
The first step begins at the back of your Jeep. Open your trunk. Untuck the cover from the bottom and sides; give the back window frame a gentle tug and you should be able to slide it out. Note that, depending on the model of your Jeep, you may need to first unclip two upright brackets on the left and right sides of the back window frame. Then, you can unzip the rear window.
Step 2: Remove the Tailgate Bar
This step is for those of you who have to unzip the rear cover, as mentioned above. Take the tailgate bar attached to the bottom of your rear window and rotate it towards the inside of the vehicle. Once the bar is undone, you can slide it out of your rear window and roll up your rear window to store it properly. Once your rear window is removed, you can remove both brackets fixed on your trunk.
Step 3: Remove the Window Panels
The next step is to remove the side windows. Undo the Velcro along the top of the side window panels. Then, carefully pull out the tabs all along the frame, so the cover starts to peel away from the Jeep. The cover will still be attached to the rear support, so gently knock this to help loosen it. Now, you must carefully slide the side window cover out.
Step 4: Loosen the Rear of your Soft Top
Now that you have only the top of your soft top left position yourself at the back of your Jeep and release the back of your soft top at the left and right. Do this by pulling lightly on them to get them out of their notches. There may be a little resistance, but this is normal and is used to keep your soft top taut.
Step 5: Release the Front of your Soft Top
After releasing the back of your soft top, sit on one of the front seats and pull down your visors. Just above the visors, you will find two clips you can undo to push your roof up. Get out of your Jeep and fold the front part of your roof backward. At the fold, you will find a release on each side of the top — release them by pressing the button down, then place them gently on your roof.
Step 6: Release the Brackets on the Rear Bars
Now that the top of your roof is no longer attached, you can fold it down to the level of your trunk. Get in the back of your vehicle and face the rear bars. On the rear bars, you will find two brackets attached to Torx screws that you must unscrew. Once the screws are loosened on each side, place yourself at the back of your trunk.
Step 7: Remove your Soft Top
The easiest way to remove the soft top is to climb into your trunk to lift the clips out of the brackets. Do this by positioning both arms underneath the roof and lifting it horizontally. Your roof is now completely unattached and ready to be stored.
Step 8: Remove the plastic roof guides
The last step is removing the plastic soft top guides on top of your front and rear doors. Do this by unscrewing the knobs, starting with the ones on your front doors and then the back ones. The rear guides that go around the back of your Jeep can be folded for convenient storage.
These eight steps to Remove the Soft Top on a Jeep Wrangler make it a quick and easy process. With this guide in hand, you’ll be able to remove your soft top with ease. Remember to be gentle when unlatching the header, unzipping the zippers, pressing the release buttons, and lifting the soft top off to avoid any damage to your Jeep.
Check this article to know more about Can You Take a Soft Top through a Car Wash by Your Jeep Guide.
How to Replace the Soft Top From Your Jeep?
If your soft top is damaged or worn, it may be time to replace it completely. In this guide, I will show you how to remove and replace the soft top in eight easy steps.
Step 1: Remove the Old Soft Top
The first step in replacing the soft top is to remove the old one. You can easily follow the steps described above to remove your old soft top.
Step 2: Clean the Frame
With the old top removed, you want to clean the frame. Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the frame, and wipe it down with a mild cleaner.
Step 3: Get your New Soft Top Ready to Install
Place the new soft top horizontally in the two brackets on the rear bars. Fix the brackets on each side with the Torx screws.
Step 4: Unfold your Soft Top
Unfold your soft top to the middle of your vehicle, where you will find two releases. Attach the two releases by pressing them. Then, continue to unfold your soft top all the way to the top of your front windshield.
Step 5: Secure the Front of your Soft Top
Now that your roof is completely unfolded and in line with your windshield, sit on one of the front seats of your Jeep. Pull your soft top down so you can use the two clips near your visors to secure the soft top.
Step 6: Attach the Rear of your Soft Top
Place yourself at the back of your Jeep, grab the pieces of the soft top and pull lightly on them to get them in their notches. There may be a little resistance, but this is normal and is used to keep your soft top taut.
Step 7: Install your Side Windows
Attach the side windows to the back underneath the frame, then use the zipper to secure each window completely. Then, properly stick the Velcro around your windows to secure them.
Step 8 Install your Rear Window
Put your tailgate bar in place, use the zipper to secure your rear window, and stick the Velcro all around your rear window. To finalize the installation, attach the brackets on your trunk’s left and right sides.
Replacing the soft top on your Jeep is an easy and rewarding task. These simple steps should help you get the job done, but you should also refer to the instructions and take your time to avoid any mistakes.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about soft tops.
Jeep soft tops are not typically suitable for use in the winter because they do not provide adequate insulation to keep you warm in cold temperatures. It’s recommended to use a hard top.
The lifespan of a Jeep soft top can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the materials used, the frequency of use, and proper maintenance. On average, a Jeep soft top can last 3-5 years with good care.
Yes, it is possible to drive a soft top Jeep in the winter, but it is not recommended as it can be pretty cold and uncomfortable. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the soft top is sealed correctly and that there are no holes or leaks to prevent snow and cold air from entering the vehicle.
A soft top Jeep is not recommended for use during heavy or prolonged periods of rain, as it may not be fully waterproof and can allow water to leak into the interior. It is best to use a hard top to protect the interior and occupants from water.
It’s possible but not recommended to leave a soft top Jeep outside for extended periods, as it can become damaged from exposure to the elements. Keeping the top in good condition by regularly cleaning and treating it with a protectant will help prolong its lifespan.
Yes, snow can damage a soft top. Heavy snowfall can cause stress on the material and may lead to tears or cracks. Removing any snow from the soft top as soon as possible is essential to prevent damaging it
Taking off a Jeep soft top may feel intimidating at first, but it’s not so bad. Just follow the eight steps I have provided you with and take your time. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific Jeep. The more you do it, the easier it will get. Soon you’ll be able to take off and put on your Jeep’s soft top effortlessly.