A trek top is an aftermarket top similar to the jeep wrangler’s factory soft top nut modified, making it different. The most noticeable difference between a trek top and the factory soft top is that the trek top has a fastback design at the rear.
This means that the rear part of the trek top slightly slants at an angle from the rear seat roll bar. A trek top on jeep wrangler can only be installed on the rear part. It can cover the rear seats and the trunk or the trunk only.
This is because manufacturers make different designs of the trek top. It also works as a hard top. Unlike the factory soft top, you can fold the front part of the fabric to the rear part, which you have to fold down completely to avoid damaging it.
When you fold down the front part, you have to tie it down with straps onto the rear part to prevent the top from blowing around when driving.
This can cause distractions to the driver, or even it might tear due to the strong wind forces. Some trek tops are customizable to remove the part covering the cabin and keep the part covering the trunk.
You can do this during the summer when the sun is out, and you want some air in your wrangler, or install a sunshade. It also ensures that whatever is in the trunk is protected from the sun.
Some manufacturers make their trek tops with a mesh top covering the font and rear seats. This ensures that airflow in the cabin is perfect at the same time, providing shade.
If this is the case, waterproof covers come with the trek top for installation when the weather changes. Most wrangler owners change to the trek top from the factory soft top or hard top due to the trek top’s customizable features.
Trek tops also use the wrangler’s roll bars for installation thus are easy to remove and install, unlike the factory soft top with bars for installation. Trek tops are just like bikini tops, but they cover the whole top from the driver to the trunk.
They are also cheaper than an aftermarket soft top or a factory soft top. Some wrangler owners find it cost-efficient to replace a damaged top with a trek top. But there are a couple of factors you should consider before you buy and install the trek top.
What should you consider before buying a trek top?
- Size and Fitment
This is the most important factor you should consider. Before you get into a store or go online to search for a trek top. Ensure you know your wrangler’s model and specify the year of production.
Some trek tops are made as specific fits for specific wranglers, or they fit on some wranglers. You might buy a top for your 4 door or 2-door wrangler, but it does not fit even though it was stated it’s for a 2-door wrangler or a4 door wrangler.
If the trek top is a multi-fit, it will indicate which wranglers it can fit on. There are universal fits for 2-door or four-door wranglers but do not expect a 2-door wrangler trek top to fit on a 4-door wrangler and vice versa. The seller might not have a return policy, so you end up with something that has no relevance to you.
All aftermarket soft tops, including trek tops, are made of different materials. The strength and durability of the trek top depend on the quality of the material.
Some may opt for a trek top made of low-quality material because it is cheap. In the long run, you will end up buying another one. If you are buying the trek top as a temporary solution, you can buy a low-quality one.
High-quality trek tops assure you of long-term use without fear of the top ripping. Look at the trek tops available and the materials they are made of, then decide. If the trek top you had in mind is not available, opt for one that is close or wait for a while.
Some sellers offer after-sale services or offer insurance for their products. This is done to guarantee you the quality of the trek top you are buying. When this is the case, the price is higher than sellers who don’t offer such services.
If the trek top you buy is faulty or missing, you can’t return the top to the seller if they have a no return policy. Also, note that the price increases as the quality increases. Cheaper trek tops are made of weaker materials as compared to high-priced tops.
- This kit is a next-generation styling, fit and function that doesn’t need traditional bows or frames for installation.
- This kit has a fold-back sunroof feature that lets more light in and offers great open-air driving experience.
- It’s upgraded features include top arch bar system, Quick-release bow knuckles and factory-style polymer door surrounds more tools.
- This kit is compatible with factory full steel doors, or with any Bestop replacement door kit specific to your Jeep model and also it comes with 2-years limited warranty.
- This kit has a innovative design that lets the Trek top Glide function like a convertible top, just fold back behind the rear seat for a total open-air ride.
- For a full coverage, the Trek top Glide is fast and simple to close also this kit Fits Jeep Wrangler JK 4-Door Models.
- The Patented Sun rider flip-back panel above acts as a front seat Sunroof for your Jeep.
- This kit also Includes all the soft top fabric, side and rear windows, door surrounds, top arch bar, tailgate bar and all hardware for a no-drill installation.
- This kit is compatible for jeep wrangler JK 2-door.
- This kit’s new sun rider design allows opening the panel from inside the vehicle without any hassle.
- The Sailcloth fabric of this kit is durable, resistant to stains and mildews.
- The next-generation styling, fit and function of this kit doesn’t need any traditional bows or frames to install.
How to install a trek top on jeep wrangler?
Prepping the wrangler
Before installing the trek top, you have to completely remove the factory top and any supporting structures. Most trek tops use the roll bars for installation and do not use the factory installation structures. Some trek tops require you to use door surrounds mostly for hard top wranglers.
Soft top wranglers already have door surrounds from the factory, but you might have to change them if the trek top requires you to use them. If you buy door surrounds, ensure you buy the correct size and ensure the fitment is correct.
Installing the door surrounds
When doing this, ensure that the seals on the door pillars are pulled out, then reinstall the seals after installing the door surrounds. This ensures that water does not leak into the cabin.
- Set the trek top in the sun as you prep your wrangler. This enables it to expand to the maximum, so it does not sag after you install it.
- For four-door wranglers, start with the rear door surrounds, ensuring they face the right way and the knob holes on the door surround and the holes on the wrangler align.
- The rear door surrounds have two screw knobs, one to be inserted at the bottom, the other one to be inserted at the top.
- After installing the rear door surrounds, move to the front door surrounds. Do this with the door open so that you can climb onto the wrangler to ensure the door surround holes align with the holes on the wrangler at the top.
- There are two knob holes on the wrangler, one on the front towards the windshield and the other at the rear towards the rear doors.
- There are pivot brackets that attach onto the front door surrounds using the small screw knobs. There are two, one for each side.
- Unzip the roll bar cover to install the cable bracket and the rear bow bracket. Both brackets are installed at the corner of the roll bar using the screws at the rear corners of the roll bar on each side.
- Cut a small opening on the roll bar cover near the top screw to pass through the cable bracket. Remove the screw, then align the hole on the bracket with the screw hole on the roll bar.
- You might have to use another screw depending on the thickness of the screw hole on the bracket.
- The rear bow bracket is installed on the lower screw. After installing it, mark out where it is positioned on the roll bar cover, then insert it through the opening you have made.
- Tighten the bolts for the cable bracket and the rear bow bracket, then zip the roll bar covers. Repeat this for the other side.
Installing the top arches and tailgate clips
- These are the arch bars that support the top over the cabin and the trunk. They are labeled as the front, mid, and rear or front and rear for four-door wranglers and two-door wranglers.
- These install easily by pressing on the inner part of the roll bars, install one at the front and one at the middle for both two-door and four-door Wranglers. For two doors, you can only use one for the front.
- Install the tailgate clips on the corners where the tailgate doesn’t touch when opening.
Prepping the top for installation
- Some trek tops come with side bows preinstalled already, and some do not. Side bows installation vary between manufacturers.
- The side bows are installed to maintain the trek top’s structure, and you have to do this according to the installation manual that the trek top comes with. Though most manufacturers ship their trek tops with preinstalled side bows.
Installation of the top
- you might need a hand for this. Carry the top and place it on the hood.
- Take the header assembly bows and flip them over the top of the wrangler, and the free ends should fall on the pivot brackets you had installed earlier.
- Pull the knobs on the bows, which allow you to insert the bracket through the bows. Press in the knobs after the bracket has gone through the knobs.
- There is a bow pocket on the inner side of the fabric at the middle that you insert the middle bow into. After doing this, insert the clip to retain the bow onto the fabric.
- Lift the fabric by the middle bow you have just inserted, then flip it towards the middle. The middle bow inserts into the openings on the top of the door surround.
- Flip the rest of the top towards the rear, then flip the front of the fabric, which is a sunroof.
- There is a spring attached to the fabric that you pull and attach it to the rear bracket, which has three holes. You move the spring across the three holes with time if it decreases tension. Repeat this process for the other side.
- Install the rear bow on the rear opening of the fabric.
- Start by inserting one side of the rear bow onto the cable bracket, then push it up a bit in the middle to insert it on the other cable bracket on the opposite side.
- Lock the plastic clips on the bracket to secure the rear bow.
- There are two straps under the fabric, which you are supposed to clip onto the holes on the roll bar. These are for pulling the front part of the top back if you had removed it.
- Pull back the front part of the top and clip on the clips at the front bar onto the factory latches.
Installing the rear part of the Top
This is the part covering the wrangler’s trunk
- There is a plastic retainer pocket on the rear window. This inserts onto the matching plastic lining on the fabric you have just installed. Slide the rear window through the top fabric
- The quarter windows zip onto the top near the cable bracket underneath the fabric. Once you have found the zipper is attaching point, zip the window onto the top fabric.
- The quarter window then clips onto the rear window at the roll bar creating a seamless flow. The attaching points of both the rear window and the quarter window are found at the corners. Repeat this process for the other side.
- Roll the quarter window into the channel on the door surrounds. Then tuck the lower part of the quarter windows under the belt rail on the jeep. Repeat this for the other side.
- Insert the tailgate bar into the rear window, then insert the clip of the tailgate bar onto the tailgate clips.
- Then zip the quarter windows on the rear window then cover the zippers by inserting the straps on the rear window into the tailgate clips.
- At the rear corners of the roll bar, attach the Velcro straps of the top fabric onto the rear window. Close the tailgate, and you are done.
To remove the trek top, remove the rear and quarter windows, then the main top. You do not need to remove the clips and brackets as the factory tops can attach.
You can remove it as one piece together with the tailgate bars, and the rear windows, as this ensures fast reinstallation when installing the top.
Trek tops might be a little hard to initially install on your wrangler. Still, after the initial installation, future installations and removal are easier than installing and removing the factory tops.
If the top came with an equipment and installation manual, ensure you tick off everything on the equipment list and install according to the procedure on the installation manual.