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10 Steps For Beginner’s About How To Install a Soft Top on a Jeep Wrangler

Knowing how to install a soft top on a Jeep Wrangler is an essential skill that anyone who owns/drives this utility vehicle must possess.

If you wonder why understanding the Jeep Wrangler soft top replacement process is important, especially for individuals who haven’t owned or driven a Jeep before now.

The explanation is simple. While a Jeep Wrangler functions as a reliable family vehicle, it also guarantees immense fun for individuals fascinated with outdoor activities/events.

Hence, a soft top offers the possibility of driving your Jeep either with an open or closed roof.

Integrating this accessory/component on the Jeep Wrangler isn’t as difficult as anyone who hasn’t participated in this activity before could think.

We have prepared a section in this guide highlighting the steps and procedures guiding how to install soft top jeep wrangler correctly.

Jeep Wrangler Softtop Table

ImageBrandDimensionsWeightPrice
Sierra Offroad‎32 x 9 x 9 inches‎16.91 Pounds
Bestop‎9.99 x 9.99 x 9.99 inches60 Pounds
Sierra Offroad32 x 9 x 9 inches17.06 Pounds
Bestop‎7 x 60 x 27 inches58 pounds
Bestop‎60 x 27 x 7 inches60 pounds

What is a Soft Top on a Jeep Wrangler?

The soft top shares a similar functionality or attributes with a convertible. Aside from upgrading the vehicle’s identity, the installation is more straightforward than the hardtops.

The chances of possible failures are considerably minimized, thanks to its easy/stress-less integration and operation,

If you are a nature lover or find immense pleasure in outdoor activities/events. The soft top guarantees enjoying the incredible amount of fun and excitement that nature offers.

Once the installation has been correctly done/achieved, the soft top can be controlled or adjusted to open and close according to the driver’s needs without any difficulty.

When Do You Need To Install a Soft Top on a Jeep Wrangler?

Installing a soft top makes your vehicle suitable for all kinds of weather conditions.

For instance, it can be adjusted to cover the top/roof during the period of the year when the weather conditions are extreme (rainfall, snow, and sun), ensuring the weather’s effect doesn’t result in discomfort.

Also, the soft top can be easily controlled to slide down or open (for topless driving experience).

This allows the driver and their passengers to have the feel of a cool breeze when the weather is a bit hot or warmer than usual and enjoy the beautiful sunshine that nature has to give.

Cost of Installing a Soft Top

For independent installation, the primary focus is the cost of purchasing a quality soft top for your vehicle.

Like every other vehicle component/accessory, soft tops are available in various qualities, spreading across different brands/designs.

Depending on the quality (build material, style, finish, and features), this component could cost between $200 to $900 on average.

That is not all. The tools/materials needed for a successful/excellent DIY could cost about $150 on average, depending on what’s missing or the ones you have available in your toolbox.

For professional installation, some factors dictate the amount the installer could charge.

These include the region, the model of the vehicle in question, and the brand/design of the soft top.

On average, a professional installation could cost between $150 to $250.

Time Required To Get The Job Done

An independent soft spot installation isn’t complicated or tricky. It can be done easily & quickly with the correct procedures and adequate tools.

Before going ahead with this task, ensure all the relevant/necessary tools or materials are prepared and easily fetched (within reach). Also, do not shun the idea of getting someone to assist with the task.

Although an individual can successfully pull off the process, having a helping hand makes it faster and easier.

On average, Jeep Wrangler soft top replacement can be completed between one (1) and three (3) hours.

The more experience/skills the installer possesses, the better and faster it is to get the job done.

Tools Required To Do The Job

To get started and complete a successful/appropriate installation. The following tools should be available for or within reach of the installer.

Most/all of these tools are what the majority of vehicle owners already have in their garage.

If some are unavailable or missing in your toolbox, visit an auto store around or get them on Amazon.

  • Adhesive
  • Torx head driver
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdrivers
  • Hold-down cables
  • Pliers
  • Pop rivets
  • Lubricant
  • Wrench
  • Ratchets

Step By Step Guide of How To Install a Soft Top on a Jeep Wrangler

01. Prepare Your Tools

We have listed some essential/vital tools that aid faster and hassle-free installation.

Ensure these tools are inspected to ensure they are in good condition and well-arranged to guarantee easy access/reach whenever needed.

02. Go Through The Instructions

We can’t rebuff the essence/importance of existing knowledge/understanding of the installation.

Nevertheless, that shouldn’t be the reason for neglecting or deciding not to go through the instructions manual that comes with the soft top.

Go through the manufacturer’s installation procedures and complement the knowledge gathered from reading it with your current understanding of what the process entails.

In addition to the installation manual, you can watch relevant videos on YouTube. Familiarizing with the steps makes the process easier and faster, especially for first-time installers.

03. Take off The Old Roof/Top

For someone performing a replacement or upgrade, take off the old/damaged top (soft or hard) to make way for the new attachment.

04. Install The Frame

The frame has a metal construction. It is the component that the soft top will be attached to.

Mount this metal frame appropriately, ensuring it locks securely or slots into the right areas.

The soft top frame won’t lock until it slots securely into two different spots/positions (the windshield’s front and rear) on the Jeep Wrangler.

Installing and securing the soft top frame is achievable without the need for tools.

05. Position The Soft Top Across The Installed Frame

Now, pull the soft top from wherever you must have placed or stored it initially (do away with the windows for now). Place it across the frame. Be careful with the placement.

Search for the plastic runner on the soft top (the one at the front). Once identified/found, slot it into the retainer at the windshield’s front.

06. Spread The Soft Top

The next activity/action is to spread or stretch the soft top across the frame. Ensure this is carefully done to avoid damaging any part of it.

Once the soft top is appropriately stretched, go to the rear corners and slot the plastic runners into their respective retainers.

07. Secure The Soft Top To The Metal Frame

This action can only be performed/done while inside the interior/cabin.

Once the installer gets into the vehicle, locate the clips/fasteners (they can either be found on the rear & center areas of the metal frame). Apply them accordingly to secure the soft top to the frame.

08. Set-Up/Install The Passenger & Rear Windows

Setting up windows is mostly done/achieved with the aid of zippers.

You could start with any windows (rear or passenger/traveler). The rear passenger windows come with zippers (dual or two) and retainers (double/two).

For the rear passenger windows, the installer’s job is to reach out to the zippers and apply/pull them accordingly.

Once the windows zip up completely (to the top), ensure the plastic retainers are appropriately slotted into the runners.

Three (3) zippers will be required to install the rear window. Once the window zips up appropriately, reach out to the rear retainer and slot its dual ends directly into the metal runners.

09. Holding The Front Windows in Place

Various activities lead to fastening the front windows securely/firmly.

The window’s corner can be clipped to the door with the aid of a clasp (it can be found very close to the windshield).

To complete the process, ensure the retainer slots appropriately into the runner.

This provides extra support and firmness required to keep the window intact.

10. Check Out The Outcome

Once the installation has been successfully executed, the vehicle should be driven across a short distance within your area.

This makes it possible to detect any misalignment or confirm if everything clicks accordingly.

This is the time to check if all the connecting accessories such as the zippers, clasps, and retainers are solid enough and holding firmly.

NB: When it comes to installation, some factors must be considered for a better or improved installation experience.

For instance, the weather condition.

A soft top should be mounted or integrated into the vehicle when the weather is warm to facilitate a smoother process. It ensures the soft top can be stretched with more ease and comfort.

5 Best Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Replacement Reviews

01. Sierra Offroad ‎ ‎

 

Highlighted Features

  • ‎Jeep Wrangler 1997-2006
  • Marine-grade (black) vinyl material
  • Heavy-duty zippers
  • Heat-sealed seams
  • 32 x 9 x 9 inches in dimension
  • 91 pounds in weight

This soft top is an exciting choice that anyone who drives the 1997 to 2016 Jeep Wrangler should consider, either as a replacement for a hardtop or a damaged soft top as the case may be.

The build material is pretty impressive for the price. It ensures the fabric doesn’t fade due to exposure to extreme weather conditions.

Sierra Offroad ‎is designed to last for an extended number of years (up to 7), with good maintenance, care, or handling.

Also, the heat-sealed seams eliminate possible leaks, especially when driving in the rain, keeping the interior safe and dry in the process.

Pros

  • Impressive build quality for improved durability (withstand extreme conditions)
  • All installation accessories ensure smooth/unrestricted operation
  • Aesthetically appealing

Cons

  • It could be loud when driving on freeways overtime due to stretching

02. Bestop 54923-17

 

Highlighted Features

  • 2007 to 2018 Jeep Wrangler
  • Fully retracting
  • Flip-back Sunrider panel
  • Storage pocket (to hold small items or accessories)
  • ‎9.99 x 9.99 x 9.99 inches in dimension
  • 60 pounds in weight

Are you looking for a design that fulfills/delivers the main benefits of installing a stop top? Bestop 54923-17 completely fits the narration.

When installed, it ensures the top slides down completely whenever the driver desires, a feature that most designs on the market do not offer/guarantee.

Although the activities leading to a successful/complete integration can be performed by an individual, having someone around to assist with the process makes it easier and faster.

On average, the installation time is about three (3) hours. However, the removal can be performed faster. This takes almost a quarter of an hour (15 minutes).

Pros

  • Guarantees easy mounting and removal
  • Easy to operate (opens and closes with ease)
  • Installation doesn’t require drilling

Cons

  • A bit louder than hard tops

03. Sierra Offroad ‎JEEP-97-02

 

Highlighted Features

  • ‎1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler
  • Marine-grade vinyl coated
  • Tinted & bubbly windows
  • 32 x 9 x 9 inches in dimension
  • 06 pounds in weight

For the price, just a few designs can offer similar or improved performance compared to the Sierra Offroad ‎JEEP-97-02.

We are impressed with the construction quality, especially its ability to continue operating/performing at the top level for an extended number of years, delivering exceptional drive experience and satisfaction in the process.

The soft top fits perfectly on compatible vehicles (it isn’t excessively tight).

As a result, the zippers function appropriately, eliminating any form of struggles or the need for frequent lubrication for easy pull.

Pros

  • Not affected by water/moisture
  • Fits perfectly on compatible vehicles
  • Excellent finish for fascinating look/appearance
  • Inexpensive design

Cons

  • The windows could go black after some time

04. Bestop 5686335

 

Highlighted Features

  • A suitable/ideal fit for 4-Door Jeep Wrangler JL
  • Map pockets
  • Vinyl construction material
  • Color: Black diamond
  • 7 x 60 x 27 inches in dimension
  • 58 pounds in weight

Bestop 5686335 is very easy to operate/use. Its impressive build quality makes it a highly recommendable product for individuals who seek impressive value/return on their investment.

Most importantly, it doesn’t give in to water/moisture penetration, making it a suitable pick across all weather conditions.

This soft top can be retracted completely, giving the driver and the passenger an incredible experience/feel of their surrounding.

When it comes to the installation, the process could be somewhat tricky, especially for individuals doing this newly.

However, the clearly written instructions included in the pack and the installation video compiled by the manufacturer will go a long way in resolving any issues/challenges.

Pros

  • Doesn’t require drilling
  • All the necessary accessories are available in the pack
  • The Sunrider can be opened without any challenges/difficulties
  • Operation/performance isn’t hindered or restricted by water

Cons

  • Some vehicle owners, especially first time installers, could find the installation intimidating

05. Bestop 5492217

 

Highlighted Features

  • 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler (2 doors)
  • Zippered interior mesh pockets
  • Vinyl construction material
  • Installation manual & accessories
  • Patented Sunrider flip-back panel
  • ‎60 x 27 x 7 inches in dimension
  • 60 pounds in weight

Replacing your old soft top anytime soon? Bestop 5492217 offers a top improvement at all levels.

The appearance is more fascinating and attractive than most designs out there, improving the vehicle’s identity exponentially.

The fabric comes in two different colors (Black Twill or Black Diamond), extending buyers’ options.

When the windows and top are rolled up or closed, the wind sound while driving on the highway is significantly controlled, ensuring a more quiet experience.

To ensure timely and easier installation, read through the installation manual and watch a few videos on YouTube to understand the procedures/steps involved.

Pros

  • Easy integration and removal
  • Accessories are made from quality materials to promote improved durability and longevity
  • Uncomplicated operation/use

Cons

  • A bit expensive

The General FAQ’s of How To Install a Soft Top on a Jeep Wrangler

01. Who Can Install a Soft Top?

The installation/integration of soft top is what every Jeep Wrangler can do.

Especially for individuals fascinated with DIY and interested in saving some bucks (the cost of hiring an experienced installer).

For an individual who is newly participating in this type of installation, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the procedures/steps involved and see if they appear like an activity you would like to participate in.

To know how to install soft top Jeep Wrangler independently, read the instructions manual and watch relevant installation videos on YouTube.

If the installation process seems challenging or appears difficult or impossible for anyone to conduct independently, do not force it. Instead, reach out to a professional installer to get the job done.

02. How Long Can a Soft Top Last?

The number of years it would take a soft top to operate at a top-level depends on the quality of the construction and the vehicle’s owner’s commitment to adequate maintenance/care.

Patronize the famous/proven brand only.

Under the suitable condition, a top-quality soft top will last a minimum of six (6) years on average. There are reports of designs that lasted up to 8 years and more.

03. What Are The Top Maintenance Tips For The Soft Top?

To ensure your soft top retains its attractiveness, embrace adequate/regular cleaning.

Washing can be done using similar soap or washing solution used to wash the car itself.

When the soft bar is removed or not in use, ensure adequate storage (choose a clean and dry area of  the garage)

04. What Should I Do With a Torn/Damaged Soft Top?

If a new soft top can’t be afforded at the time the damage occurred, the vehicle owner can settle with a repair for the time being.

However, the decision to go ahead with a repair depends on the extent of the damage.

If the damage isn’t extensive, the repair can be efficiently conducted independently using the appropriate repair tools.

Doing a perfect job requires patience and commitment. You must be ready to spare enough time for this task.

05. What Should I Do When The Zipper Proves Difficult To Pull?

If any zipper seems hard to pull, do not force it. When the zipper is pulled aggressively, it could get damaged.

Instead, a stuck/hard-to-pull zipper should be corrected through lubrication. Adding a small amount of grease to the zipper eases the process.

Conclusion

We believe/hope the information provided on how to install a soft top on a Jeep Wrangler will propel you to make the appropriate decision when it is time to add this accessory to the Jeep Wrangler.

Usually, the installation is what anyone can do on their own, provided they are committed and have adequate or structured procedures/steps to follow.

The soft top can be easily removed and attached at will and at zero costs by learning to do this yourself.

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