Soft tops are one of the most common elements on a Jeep. However, you may have never even tried to take it off or fold it down. In this video, Eric shows you how easy it is to roll down your soft top...he shares all his tips and secrets so you can let your top down anytime, anywhere.
Soft tops are one of the most common elements on a Jeep. If your new Jeep came with a soft top, you may have never even tried to take it off or fold it down. You may have been worried that it was just too difficult.
But Eric shows you how to easy it is to roll down your soft top. He’s been working with Jeeps for over a decade and has probably tackled almost every kind of soft top out there. So now he’s going to share all his tips and secrets so you can let your top down anytime, anywhere.
The vehicle shown is a JK Wrangler 4-door model. Which only has a little more real estate of soft top material than a two door, but it’s essentially the same.
The side windows should be removed first. For a 4-door model, you need to open the rear doors (on a 2-door, the front doors). Undoing the velcro around the outside, you can fully unzip the side windows. The leading edge of the side windows tuck into the door surrounds, and you need to untuck those last when removing the windows. The same steps apply for both sides.
Open the tailgate.
Next up is the back window. Eric removes the entire window, but if your top has the corner bungies that some tops use, you can unzip the windows half way up, and roll the window up around the tailgate bar. Then slide the ends of the tailgate bar into the bungies. This means the rear window will hang on its own.
When removing the entire window as Eric is doing, you want to start in the lower passenger side corner. Grab the tab for the zipper, and unzip it all the way across the side, top, and down the other side. All the way across to the driver’s side.
You then want to unclip the window from the corners and remove the window with the tailgate bar.
Removing the rear left and right corners.
On the soft top, the corners are attached to the body. You can remove those easily by pulling down on the rear corner bow and releasing the tension on them. You don’t need to use force or muscles to pull them down, just hanging on them and using body weight is enough to un-clip them.
The big secret about the corners is how they are stored with your top down. In this case, you want to flip them over the top of the soft top and tuck them that way. Not tuck them under and inside the soft top, towards the inside of your Jeep. By putting them on top properly, you will get a more flush and folded soft top when it’s down.
Now you want to move to the front of the Jeep.
Open the two front doors. You want to unclip the two front latches for the top, and swing the visors off to the side. Once unhooked, try and fold the latches together as close as possible, just so they don’t get hung on anything as you’re pulling the top down.
Next up, you need to fold back the Sunrider portion of the top. You can stand on the door sills (or if you have side steps, those are fine too). Fold the top back and be careful you don’t pinch any fingers as there are several areas that could catch a hand.
Next, unclip the latches on each side. These are where the soft top attaches to the sides. These keep the rest of the soft top attached to your Jeep, even when the Sunrider is unhooked.
Now it’s time to move to the back of your Jeep.
It’s time to finish folding the top all the way down. The soft top itself folds down like an accordion. Take it slow, and make sure there are no binding folds or creases to stop it from sliding easily down and folding flat.
Start by grabbing the rear bow gently, and pulling down. Sometimes the side frames can get caught on the door surrounds. In cases like that, you may have to go to each side and manipulate them past those points. Pushing back the canvas, or the material of the top in the folds can also help give you a more compact top when it's down.
Once the top is folded down, you can close the tailgate. Now you’re ready for the open air feeling and working on your tan.
As a final step, you may want to bring your top back up. It’s basically the opposite procedure as when it was taken down. One tip is to watch the side bows, as they have tracks that need to be attached into grooves that run along the top of the door surrounds. So you want to keep an eye on those when folding the top back up.
Those also slide into the two latches on top of the Jeep that were unhooked after flipping back the Sunrider before. You will push the tracks into those and they will give you a solid click sound when they are properly hooked up.
Once those have clicked into place, you can begin to move on to the zippers and windows. One tip is that by sliding out the tailgate bar from the rear window, it’s easier to install and zip back up.
Don’t lock the front latches until you’re done adding the rear windows. If you do, it will tighten up the soft top and make it more difficult to get them in, especially the rear window. Clasping the latches should be the last thing you do.
Now you can swap your soft top up or down anytime, now that you see how easy it is.
If you drop the top in a warm climate, the sun will actually stretch the material in the heat and make it easier to manipulate the top. You don’t want to fold a top up or down in cold climates, as this can break the windows and even the top’s fabric in extreme conditions (ice, snow, etc).