A Jeep with a soft top or a hard top is quite lucrative. But both of these tops are made for different reasons. So, what to do if you don’t want a soft-top Jeep? Can you convert a soft-top Jeep to a hardtop?
It’s possible to convert a soft-top Jeep to a hardtop. But you’ve to pull out the soft top properly. Use a helping hand if you’re a newbie. Match the hardtop’s bolt joints to the Jeep’s for a strong connection. Then, do a test drive for leaks and default features.
Converting a soft-top Jeep to a hardtop is a body-taxing job. But the benefits of a hard top are higher than a soft top. Always ask for an expert’s help if you face difficulties converting to a hardtop.
Can You Convert A Soft Top Jeep To A Hardtop?
Yes! You can convert a soft-top Jeep to a hardtop. Hardtops provide benefits you can only imagine with your Jeep’s soft top. You must go through the whole procedure to fit the hardtop properly.
First, you’ve to take out the soft top carefully with help. Then, insert the new hardtop while fixing the bolt connections and joints.
Otherwise, it may come out while driving, consequently resulting in accidents.
If you want better protection from dust and heat, install high–end hardtops. But, of course, you can still use normal hardtops if you use your Jeep for daily chores.
Why You Should Convert Your Soft Top Jeep To A Hardtop
Having a soft-top Jeep will provide you with some advantages when you’re in the wild enjoying your vacation with friends.
However, it’s unable to deliver some benefits like hardtops. This section will discuss why you should convert your soft-top Jeep to a hardtop.
1. Better Protection
A hardtop protects you from invisible debris and large objects while driving. As a result, it won’t get torn apart like a soft top.
2. Installed Wipers
Hardtops come with default wipers and washers. So, you don’t have to install them separately. You can clean the raindrops and snow easily with these provided parts.
3. Quickly Removable
The best perk of using a hardtop is removing it whenever you want. So, you can enjoy the open-air feature on a hot summer day or a long drive.
4. Temperature Control
The soft top can’t control the Jeep’s internal temperature like a hardtop. However, hardtops can endure high temperatures and save passengers from heat strokes.
5. Better Insulation
Hardtops have installed a Mopar headliner. It can quickly reduce noise pollution and prevent extra heat from entering the vehicle.
How To Convert A Soft Top Jeep To A Hardtop?
Converting your Jeep’s hardtop to a soft top has many sparks. But things can get messy if you are an amateur trying to convert the Jeep’s soft top.
However, if you follow this procedure, you can finish converting the soft top in around two hours.
We’ve divided the whole process into two sections. We’ll remove the soft top in the first section. Then, we’ll proceed to install a new hardtop.
Section 01: Soft Top Removal
These simple steps will help you to detach the Jeep’s soft top like a pro mechanic.
- Step 01: Snap Removing
First, take out the snaps. You’ll find them at the front corner of your Jeep.
- Step 02: Take Out The Upper Frame
Now, detach the upper frame. Glide it from the bracket. Then, release the fasteners.
- Step 03: Detaching Door Windows
Lift the window to remove the door. Pull it till all the pin connections are terminated.
- Step 04: Removing Curtain Zippers
Before you release the interior tab, unzip the front and side curtains, respectively. Now, pull off the bottom corners of the channel. It would help if you glid the front corner of the side curtain to detach it.
- Step 05: Tension Release
Take down the spreader bar for tension removal.
- Step 06: Detach Zippers
First, unlock the tailgate. Then, loosen the top and side zippers of the back curtains.
- Step 07: Press Bottom Rear Support
Apply force on the rear support’s bottom. It’ll move approximately two inches from the rail notch.
- Step 08: Separate The Soft Top
Carefully pull the soft top off the rails, retainer, and windshield’s upper end.
- Step 09: Glide The Structure
Tuck the soft top before gliding the rail lock ahead. Next, take out the windshield frame’s lock pin.
As you slide the entire assembly to the back, the rear support bows’ bottoms will go forward and fold under the bows and drip rails.
- Step 10: Remove The Soft Top
After sliding the front bow off the rail, remove the Jeep’s soft top from the Jeep.
Section 02: Inserting New Hardtop
Now that you’ve removed the Jeep’s soft top, it’s time to put the hardtop on it.
- Step 01: Take Out The Seal
The seals are located above the belt rail of every door. After unlocking the tailgate, shut the hardtop’s back window once you’ve removed the seals.
- Step 02: Locate The Hardtop
Use a helping hand to fix the hardtop on the Jeep’s belt rail. Don’t damage the foam sealer between the Jeep’s body and the hardtop.
- Step 03: Match The Holes
You must align the holes on the Jeep’s body and the hardtop to put bolts. It’ll take two turns to connect the washers properly.
- Step 04: Align With Windshield’s Gasket
Hang the rubber flap on the windshield’s flange after you’ve put the hardtop on the gasket. Then, put the latches in the hardtop’s slots.
- Step 05: Match The Door Alignment
Now, match the door’s upper and lower parts to arrange the holes accurately. Then, fix the bolts properly to stabilize the door.
- Step 06: Top Adjustment
Finally, tighten up all the bolts until all the parts match. Remember, never over-tighten the bolts. It may damage the Jeep and the top.
How much does it cost to convert a soft top Jeep to hardtop?
Many facts like the hardtop’s price, quality, mechanic’s fee, and experience affect the conversion cost. However, the hardtop’s price and quality are game changers.
You won’t have to pay the mechanic a penny if you change the soft top to a hard one yourself. But mechanics can charge up to $1000 depending on their expertise and the Jeep’s model.
Then comes the hardtops price. Hardtop’s quality, type, and making material fix its price. For example, a transparent hardtop costs around $60 to $1400 but hardtops made of top-notch durable materials costs $3000 to $4000.
Jeep’s door number also affects the conversion cost. For example, converting a 2-door soft top Jeep into a 2-door hardtop costs less than converting a 4-door soft top into a hardtop Jeep.
You might want to know the small details about converting your Jeep’s soft top to a hard top. This is why frequently asked questions are a big help in dissolving doubts.
Is a hard top more beneficial than a soft top?
Of course! Hardtops provide more benefits than soft tops. It protects you from extreme heat, rain, noise pollution, and snow. Plus, hard tops last longer than soft tops. This is why a hard top is more beneficial than a soft top.
Can you interchange the hardtops?
It depends on your Jeep’s model. You can easily interchange the hardtop if you drive a Jeep model from 2007 to 2011. But you’ve to pay a fat sum to change the hardtop if the Jeep’s model is after 2011.
What is the price of a Jeep Wrangler JK hardtop?
It depends on the JK’s model, door number, and year. A hardtop will cost you $2350 for a 2-door Wrangler JK. On the other hand, a 4-door JK’s hardtop can cost you up to $3000.
Are there any Jeep tops available besides soft tops and hardtop?
Yes, there are different types of Jeep tops available besides soft tops and hard tops. The soft one is divided into sunlighter, flip, safari, and bikini tops. Meanwhile, one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece hardtops are the hardtop type.
Should I clean my Jeep’s hardtop frequently?
Cleaning the Jeep’s hardtop often keeps the hardtop stable and shiny. As a result, it won’t get stuck if you want to experience open-air, will hardly create any leaks, and will reduce noise pollution.
Hardtop Jeeps are the driver’s choice nowadays. It has some unique features that aren’t available in a soft top. Also, hard tops don’t decay faster than soft tops. The driver’s choice also plays a vital role in choosing the top type.
We hope the discourse about whether you can convert a soft-top Jeep to a hardtop has cleared your doubts. However, following the procedure from top to bottom will take 2 hours to finish the job. So instead, buy a high-end hardtop for your Jeep. It’ll last longer than average hardtops.