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Author Topic: Let's Install a New Top!.....or, How I Went Bowless.  (Read 7313 times)
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Davetopay
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« on: October 08, 2011, 08:34:30 PM »

Today was the day! It was sunny and warm and I had the use of the parking lot at the auto shop behind my house because they were closed.


My original 2005 factory top was old and worn:


The stitching over the doors was failing:


The front corners were fraying:


The stitching for the zipper above the quarter window on the passenger side had come unsewn:


And the plastic tabs on the c pillars were weak:


So off it all came! I simply lowered the top in my normal fashion and then unscrewed the frame work from its hinge on the rollbar. It was only one screw on each side. Then the whole canopy simply lifted from the tailgate and was set aside.






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Davetopay
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 08:48:39 PM »

Next, I removed the original door surrounds. Don't be fooled into thinking the new ones supplied with your new Trektop NX are the same. While they are in fact similar and seem to be of the same high quality as the OEM pieces, they are a bit different in design.

Simply unscrew the knobs which retain the surround to the roll bar. See the spring pin in the foreground? That is the major difference on the new surrounds. They face the other way.


As you remove the knob/bolts(technical name!), take note of the tapered design. This is good. You want this. It is why I suggest reusing the factory parts as the Bestop bolts are blunt and are much more difficult to get to thread quickly and accurately.


As you mount the new surrounds take note of the extra thick foam seals at the rear mounting pin. These will require a bit of squeezing and leaning on to make sure that the bolt/knob hole line up on the bar.


Drop the knob bolts into the mounting holes and the tapered end will help guide it into the threads, but still take care to not cross thread the bolt/knob.


Here is the new style spring pin. It now faces out instead of in, like on the original sunrider top.



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Davetopay
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 09:09:45 PM »

Next, we MUST replace the tailgate bar brackets. The OEM pieces will also NOT work with the frameless top. Simply unscrew the old, and reattach the new. My screw holes in my tub matched the new brackets just fine.


Find the aluminum spreader with the plastic bracket on each end into the provided slots in the door surrounds. Those slots are another difference from the OEM pieces.


When mounted it should have a slight upward bow.


Now we are ready to mount the sunrider bars to the windshield header. There IS in fact a left and right hand bar, and the must be oriented in the proper fashion. Check the instruction book for a better picture.


You will be certain that the bars are on the correct side if they mount flush to the header and ALL screw hole line up. You may want to gently run a drill bit through the holes as they have quite a few burs and the screws are difficult to get fully seated.



Before we get comfy and attach the screws through the header to the canopy, go ahead and slide the rear aluminum spreader in the sewn pocket at the rear of the canopy. If it is breezy this will help keep the canopy on the ground while you are attaching the windshield header.

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Davetopay
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 09:28:37 PM »

Sorry I didn't get pics of the header screws, but it is pretty simple. Tuck the header into the curved pocket at the front of the canopy. Find the middle hole on the canopy and halfway install a screw. Work your way out to the ends. Only drive the screws halfway home until you have them all lined up and in place. You can see the predrilled holes in the header and the holes in the edge of the canopy in this pic.


Here's where having the rear spreader installed ahead of time helps. Roll up the canopy and LAY the header on the windshield allowing the canopy to drape over the hood.


While the top is draped over the front of your Jeep, you can now attach the sunrider bars to the spring pins on the door surrounds. Notice the orientation of the tab at the end of the bar. If it is facing the other way, you have it wrong and it should be fixed or it could pinch the fabric of the top when open. WHen done, flip the canopy back over the roll bar.


Get out your torx set and loosen the speaker pods on your roll bar. They do NOT need to be removed, just given a little wiggle room. If you don't have them don't worry about it.


There are a pair of buckle straps sewn to the inside of the top. Thread the strap between the speaker pod and the roll bar. Do this on both sides.


Fasten the straps using the slip buckles to the roll bar. They work just like a motorcycle helmet strap.


Go to the rear of the Jeep and you will find two more straps with slip buckles. Attach the provided tiedowns using the buckles.


Hook the tiedown under the lip at the rear corner of the body tub and snug the straps.









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Davetopay
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 09:52:19 PM »

Flip the sunrider open as it gives you a tiny bit of slack. Grab the back window and hang it on the canopy by sliding the J channel on the window along the channel on the canopy. If you have left the window laying in the sun, it make it MUCH easier. When the window first came out of the box it was a bit kinked and rigid. With a few minute in the sun it was smooth and pliable. The tailgate bar will attach in a similar fashion.


The rest is VERY simple and just like installing your regular soft top. Start a little bit of the zipper at the front of each quarter window. Then start a little bit of the zipper on each side of the back window. Once the zippers are closed, start securing the plastic tabs of the quarter windows into the door surrounds. Then smooth all the velcro closed.


Flip the sunrider closed and buckle the top to the windshield. After that, secure the edges over the doors with the plastic tabs just like your factory top. There should be no gaps and all edges should match up.


You have a NEW TOP!!!! Take it out and enjoy the quiet at 70 mph! Marvel at how well you can see through the new windows! Check out the lack of mud stains!

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InvertChaos
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 10:11:49 PM »

That thing is sweet! Looks much more complete than stoney's Trektop non-NX

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|2004 Jeep TJ "Green Machine"|4.0L 5 speed Dana44|33x12.50x15 Goodyear Duratracs|2.5" RC coils + 1.25" body lift|OME NitroSport shocks|4.56 gears|Skid Row Engine Skid|BCC Sliders|Currie AntiRock|
Davetopay
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 10:25:36 PM »

I still can't figure out what the little loops at the back corners are for. They are on both sides. Dunno?

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overhead
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 10:30:39 PM »

that looks great!

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Davetopay
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 10:42:30 PM »

The first thing that became apparent on a quick test drive is how much quieter this thing is at highway speeds than the old top. 70 now sounds like what 45 used to. Cool

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stoney04tj
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 11:09:44 AM »

jealous........... if it comes up missing i dont know who did it.............. Smile

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BusDriver
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 03:51:27 PM »

Very nice!  I might have to ask Santa for one of those.

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Jeep Freak
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 07:25:37 PM »

I still can't figure out what the little loops at the back corners are for. They are on both sides. Dunno?

they look like they are there to help you stretch the top when it's a little cooler so it'll go over the rail.  just a guess.

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Davetopay
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2011, 09:58:00 PM »

With all the rain today, I am pretty confident that this bad boy is water tight. Seats were dry both this morning and this evening as I was leaving the office. No signs of condensation inside either. Thumbs Up

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Davetopay
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2012, 01:56:56 PM »

Could we move this to tech write up? Dunno?

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