How To Install & Remove Soft Top on Jeep Wrangler?

Soft top on Jeep Wrangler | How To Install and Remove Soft top on Jeep Wrangler

Apart from hard tops, jeep wranglers do come with a soft top as an option. When buying directly from the factory, you customize your wrangler options. Still, when buying from a dealership or other sellers the roof is already installed. Hence, you have the option to choose between wranglers with the hardtop or the soft top.  

There are a couple of reasons why one chooses a soft top over a hard top. But the main reason why wrangler owners chose a soft top over a hard top is that they are light and easy to remove and install. These are the only two aspects that the soft top is better than the hard top.  

The soft top can be removed halfway or fully then rolled back to the rear. This means that if you want some sunlight and fresh air in the cabin, you do not need to completely remove the soft top.

You just have to roll it towards the trunk and secure it to ensure that it does not get blown off by the wind when driving fast. When this happens, the soft top can tear, or the attaching harnesses can get damaged. The soft top is made of fabric which makes it susceptible to damage more than the hard top.  

Reasons why wrangler wrangler owners remove soft top

There are some reasons why wrangler owners with soft tops decide to remove the soft top. Maybe it didn’t turn out as they expected, and they decided to install a hard top due to the many advantages that the hard top has over the soft tops.  

  • Wranglers with soft tops are easily broken into. Once this happens to an unsuspecting wrangler owner, they will definitely choose a hard top when replacing the top. Cutting through or accessing the wrangler’s cabin from a hard top is challenging and provides security for what’s inside. Some wrangler owners have both hardtops and soft tops and use them according to where they’ll be driving their wranglers too.  
  • Soft top wranglers are not weatherproof and provide very little protection against the elements. During winter weather, the cabin of the wrangler is freezing, and you’ll end up depreciating the battery charge using the AC to heat up the cabin. The cabin is also sweltering during summer weather as the soft-top allows heat into the wrangler. Hard tops insulate the cabin from excess heat and extreme cold temperatures.  

During the summer, most wrangler owners neither use the soft tops nor the hard tops. They use bikini tops and mesh tops to provide shade and regulate the air freely in the cabin.

If you install either of these on your soft top wrangler, you can still install the soft top with them on. Some soft top wrangler owners prefer driving topless regardless of the weather. The feeling of the wind blowing over the wrangler is what excites them.

Most do not remove it entirely as the weather might suddenly change. You end up driving your wrangler in the rain, thus damaging the internal components. Rolling the soft top towards the rear is easy, and also you can reinstall the top if the weather changes.  

How To Install & Remove Soft Top on Jeep Wrangler?
  • Protecting the soft top from damage 

Soft tops quickly get damaged when off-roading, especially if you find yourself in the bushes. Luckily you can remove the soft top and carry it in your wrangler, unlike the hard top, which does not entirely fit in your wrangler.

Some soft top wrangler owners remove the soft top and carry it as an accessory in the wranglers. It does not take up much space and leaving it behind will lead to later regrets at night or when the weather changes.  

  • Appearance 

Most people admin that wranglers do look good without a top regardless of whether you are a wrangler owner or not. That topless look gives the wrangler a mean rugged look, and upgraded parts and accessories make it look even better.

Some owners might not be convinced enough of this. Still, once they see a topless wrangler, it will eventually grow on them, and they’ll consider removing the top.  

  • Replacing or fixing the soft top.  

The soft top gets damaged at times, either accidentally or you simply ignore something, which leads to damage. The soft top is made of fabric; thus, it’s either hard or easy to fix depending on the degree of the damage.

Once the fabric is damaged, it creates weakness and can easily get damaged again. Driving with a torn soft top causes distraction when driving.  

If the tear is not large, it can be sewed and patched. If you’re doing this yourself, use a good needle and string and do not sew too close to the tear. Then patch with a tough cloth on both sides of the tear and iron when done. If the damage is too bad, you’ll have to replace the soft top.  

If you decide to replace the top, the cost that you will incur buying and installing the top will depend on the material of the soft top. There are aftermarket soft tops made of better-quality materials than the factory wrangler soft top.

This is slightly more expensive. Others are made of lower-quality materials, thus they are less priced. But when it comes to pricing, you should not let the cost determine the soft top you’re buying. Prioritize the quality over the cost.  

How to remove soft top on jeep wrangler?

Unlike hard tops, removing the soft top is not similar for both two-door and four-door jeep wranglers. Each wrangler variant has a different method when it comes to this. Also, there are some specific design changes that may not be the same on all types of jeep wranglers.

So, if you are looking to replace and install a new soft top on your jeep wrangler, you better follow the instructions correctly. But, if you don’t follow that accurately while replacing the soft top of your wrangler, you can make a complete mess out of it.

How To Install & Remove Soft Top on Jeep Wrangler?

We have provided the step-by-step instructions below on how to remove and install soft top on both 2 & 4 door jeep wranglers. Read the following instructions below to know more.

Best Bestop Black Soft Top Jeep Wrangler JK & JKU

The Bestop soft top brands can be determined by various factors ranging from the weight of the soft top to the materials used. So, if you want to choose any particular model among Bestop, we would recommend you to first look at the prospects that particular model offers.

Then comes the value which the soft top provides parallel to its price. Like, Bestop Supertop NX offers both 2&3 doors compatible soft top at a much higher price, whereas Bestop Black Diamond Supertop offers the same at a lower cost.

There is no doubt these bestop soft tops are the best. As, both these models offer almost the same aspects needed in a soft top, but the difference comes at the price. If you are looking to buy a good soft top at a much lower price, we would recommend you the Black Diamond Supertop model.

But, if you are willing to pay some more money for some extra features on your soft top you can go for Bestop Supertop NX. It is your choice to choose which soft top suits your wrangler better.

Bestop Supertop NX Black Twill for JK & JKU (5482317)

  • This is an aftermarket replacement for the soft top and does not require any modifications done on the wrangler to install 
  • The front part of the top can be folded back into a sunroof.  
  • Triple layered fabric for maximum strength and durability. 
  • Has better zippers than the factory soft top. 
  • This top comes with a lifetime warranty which ensures the buyer of the top’s durability. This also means you can return the top if you find it defective. 
  • Available for both 2-door and 4-door wranglers.  

Bestop Black Diamond Supertop NX Wrangler JK & JKU (5472235)

  • This replacement soft top can be installed on factory door surrounds 
  • Has a sunroof feature whereby you fold back the front part of the top. 
  • Has upgraded parts over the factory sop top. These include zippers, top arch bars, adjustable bow tensioning and quick release bow knuckles which ease the installation and removal process.  
  • Has the same fabric quality as the factory soft top. 
  • Available for both 2-door and 4-door wranglers.  

How to remove and install soft top on 4-door wranglers?

  • Start by removing the sun visors. Unclip them from the latches and pull them out. This reveals the header latches but does not remove them from the loops located on the windshield frame.  
  • Go to the rear of your wrangler and open the trunk’s swing gate. Pull the sail panels off the wrangler’s body on both sides, allowing you to pull the 4-bow. 
  • Locate the rear window retainers on the swing gate bar brackets and remove them. The rear window is not entirely free to be removed.  
  • Locate the zipper on the inside of the window. It is located on either the driver or the passenger side, depending on the driver side of your wrangler. You are most likely to find the zipper tucked in a corner on either side. Squeeze your fingers through the window lining to locate it. Once you do, unzip it, which will allow you to remove the window.  
  • Keeping the swing gate bar on the wrangler serves no purpose, so you have to keep the window on the bar and remove both of them together. To remove the swing gate bar, rotate it upwards and pull it away from the brackets on both sides simultaneously. You can roll the window on the swing gate bar and store it away properly. You can also carry it around in your wrangler.  
  • Removing the quarter windows. Start on either window located on the side of the wrangler. Locate the Velcro straps on the top and the rear and release them. Locate the zipper on the lower corners, then unzip the window. Repeat this for the other quarter window. Store the quarter windows where they can’t get damaged or fall.  
  • Free the door panel retainers by pulling them down at the 4-bow retainer, pull down the fabric to untuck the lower rear sail panel. 

Lowering the top to the rear

  • Unlock the header latches from the loops on the windscreen, which frees the top at the front 
  • The 2-bow and the header are ready to be lifted and pulled toward the rear of the wrangler from the front. You can get an extra hand to help, so you can lift and pull the soft top from both sides.  
  • Fold the top material in a way that leaves the plastic retainers with a W shape. Place the front part on the rear part of the soft top. If you have closed the swing gate, open it to prevent damage to the brake lamp. 
  • Locate the latch pedal on the front of the rear door, release it, and push the top back. The entire top is now free to be lowered back to the rear of the jeep. If you prefer having the top on the wrangler if something happens, you can leave it at that but ensure you tuck in the straps. 

How to Clean Soft Top with a Care Kit?

If you want to clean the soft top after removing it or while it is still on the Jeep then we could suggest you use Bestop Vinyl Care Kit. This kit provides a premium cleaning touch to your jeep wrangler.

Bestop Vinyl Care kit for Cleaning Soft Top on Jeep wrangler

  • First of all the Bestop Care Kit has all three primary fabric care and protectant products for cleaning jeep soft tops all in one kit. Always remember to keep one in your jeep and another in the garage for year-round use.
  • So, when it comes to using bestop vinyl care kit for cleaning your wrangler, it is more of like a premium soft top cleaning kit with Non-toxic formulations that are environmentally safe, bio-degradable and does not affect the body of your soft top.
  • This cleaning kit has a 16-oz bottle which works great on most fabrics, plus it deep-cleans the material of the soft top to get out any type of stains. This kit helps you in cleaning your jeep’s vinyl & plastic surface and gives them a refreshed appearance and also makes them resistant to UV-Rays.
  • The kit also has a Bestop window cleaner & polish bottle that helps in reviving older scratched or scuffed vinyl windows to make them look new. Bestop cleaning kit provides good care for your Jeep soft top all in one kit.

Removing the entire top away from the wrangler

  • To remove the top completely, locate the straps that hold the top onto the wrangler underneath the top, then unfasten then from the wrangler holding onto the soft top.  
  • Once you remove the straps, lift the top carefully and store it carefully.
  • For better storing dring winter you can use Smittybilt Soft Top Storge Bag it is compact and you can hang in your garage wall safely.

Smittybilt Soft Top Storage Bag for Jeep JK & JKU

  •  This bag fits the soft top for both 2-door and four-door wranglers.  
  • Has separate pockets for every component of the soft top. This makes it easier when putting on the soft top.  
  • It also protects the soft top from any form of damage but ensure you store the bag in an area free from fall. If you are carrying it in your wrangler, tie it down.  
  • It has bow protector covers for the soft top bows. 

Re-Installation Process

  • place the top on the rear of the wrangler where you had previously removed it and reattach the straps. 
  • Stretch it carefully and when the back is covered, set the plastic runners on the rear retainers located at the corners.  
  • Pull the remaining part of the front to the frame. Ensure the plastic runner at the front of the top falls into place on the retainer on the windshield.  
  • From the inside, snap the soft top onto the snaps located on the frame. Lock the header latches on the windscreen and reinstall the door panel retainers on the side and rear windows.  
  • You can now reinstall the side windows and ensure the Velcro straps are in place.  
  • Reinstall the rear swing gate bar and the rear window.  
How To Install & Remove Soft Top on Jeep Wrangler?

How to remove and install soft top on 2-door wranglers?

  • Remove the sun visors, then release the header latches that are attached to the loops on the windshield frame 
  • Remove the quarter windows and the rear window the same way as the four-door removal procedure and store them well.  
  • Remove the rear sails by pulling them down from the corners at the rear. You can roll them onto the top or remove them entirely by pulling them off from the top.  
  • On each side of the front seat doors jams, there are latch pedals located above. Press the latch pedals on both sides, which set free the side bows.  
  • Fold the top towards the rear and remove it altogether, unlock the straps that attach the top onto the wrangler.  

Re-Installation Process

  • Place the soft top at the rear and secure the straps onto the wrangler.  
  • Unfold the top upwards over the rollbars and towards the front.  
  • Ensure the plastic runner aligns with the retainer on the windshield, then reattach the latches onto the loops on the windshield frame.  
  • Reinstall the side bows on the door jams, then reinstall the side and the rear windows.  

Conclusion

Removing the soft top is an equally easy task, does not require any special skills or tools, and does not take much of your time. If you have a spare tire on the swing door, you can remove it to ease the process of removing or installing the hard top as you will work around the swing door.

If there is something that you are unsure about, you can refer to the owner’s manual. Also, ensure you have a good weather forecast. This will determine if you will remove the soft top from your wrangler altogether.