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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    City/State
    Alexandria, LA
    LJ Year
    2005
    Posts
    82

    hard top.... the wave of my future?

    I have for years been a soft top guy for the ease of removing and adding the top when the rain is approaching. Last year I tried on a hardtop that was listed locally for ~$500. I have an aftermarket cage that did not allow it to be mounted.





    Recently, I was made an offer for a trade were I would throw in my soft top and frame to make the deal a little better. Since then, I have been thinking about converting my LJ more and more into a truck (but not with a half cab hard top). I have been wanting to just have the "bed" open like a truck. I have run it like this (with toneau) for about a year since I had a small theif incident.



    .... I think I needed to explain a bit more.... I have owned this LJ for 3 years and a couple months. About 6 months ago, I started "rebuilding" it and took it off the road to lower the jeep from the 4.5" of lift it was running to get down to the 2" of lift I am running now. I have the same wheels and tires as before....

    Since I started this, I have been objectively trying to decide what is "needed" vs "wanted". This is why the backseat is gone. Currently (after the "rebuild"), the battery is located in the tub and now the 10 lb source CO2 container is mounted also. I have 2-3 more ammo cans that will be mounted back there for storing small tools and recovery stuff and I might also be adding a artec (or similar) fluid container soon. And more than likely, I will be moving the spare tire to be mounted just behind the driver (similar to how Rokmen has done it before) and still be able to throw some soft doors in the back for just in case. Anyways, I said all that to get you up to speed on why I am going this direction.

    And dont think I havent tried multiple soft top ideas....
    My CJ had - bikini, windjammer, tonneau, full soft top, 2 piece doors
    My LJ has - safari, bikini, tonneau, windjammer, 2 full soft tops (one destroyed), 2 piece doors (sold), currently converting some CJ soft doors to work

    Anyways, I want to be able to run a hardtop for a trip or all winter with a summer set up that is like a pick up. So, to do that I will need a bit of modification on my roll bar. The blue is existing while the orange is the new.





    I really want to rework the A pillars and add a double B pillar but that is really just wants and not needs.

    I also (after I pick up the hard top) might be thinking about removing one of the side windows to put some sort of lockable storage in its place (most likely to function as a kitchen or kitchen storage) and will be adding a rack to the top and eventually a roof top tent.

    More to come on all that when I pick up the top. Let me know if you have one just rotting in your yard somewhere near Louisiana and I might be over to take it off your hands.... This thread will function as a build up for the hard top. Please let me know if you think you can add to the idea or if I am misguided on something.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    City/State
    Alexandria, LA
    LJ Year
    2005
    Posts
    82

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    Step one: check



    Needs some paint and has a tiny crack on the passenger side by the door. I got some trimming done on the back section of the cage last week but not like I showed above. Just eliminated one of the c pillars and move the back bar forward. Install suspensions sears soon and will get the cage tweaked after that. The front latch that connect the top to the windshield need to be trimmed. We had to slightly rotate the windshield down and move the hardtop a bit forward to attach the latch, then put it in place. They will be cut next time the top is removed. Quiter on the road home by a lot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    City/State
    Dexter, MI
    LJ Year
    2005
    Year Purchased
    2005
    Posts
    388

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    Nice, curious to see how the cage plays out. It's a world of difference with the hard top vs. soft top.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    City/State
    Alexandria, LA
    LJ Year
    2005
    Posts
    82

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    Well, after having the hardtop on for a few weeks, I have to say it is great at keeping water out, heat in and the road noise has gone down considerably. I wish I had gotten one a long time ago now. The only down side is I have now missed one wheeling trip due to not wanting to wheel with it on and not being able to remove it by myself but I can't blame the top for that.

    Needs paint on exterior
    Fix small crack
    Need 03-06 wiring plug
    Need windshield wiper... PO..
    Need LJ tub rubber plugs (noise)
    Fix cage

    ....then the top/expedition container starts.
    Just a few thoughts on that....
    Remove driver side glass and make it a panel that rotates down to be a table? Kitchenette?
    Sleeping platform on passenger side?
    Explicated storage inside
    XJ roof rack with led lights???
    Maybe an awning
    CJ tail gate for table top.... Maybe rokmen tailgate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    City/State
    Huntsville, Alabama
    LJ Year
    2005
    Year Purchased
    2005
    Posts
    15

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    I was the same way with my soft top. Never thought that I would have a hardtop until the wife talked me into it. Have not had it off since I put it on 2 years ago. The security is the best part, then the noise reduction. Also am looking into a roof rack. Still am not willing to sell soft top and door surrounds yet, but .....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    City/State
    Alexandria, LA
    LJ Year
    2005
    Posts
    82

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwalton View Post
    Nice, curious to see how the cage plays out. It's a world of difference with the hard top vs. soft top.
    Yes sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by unlblkrubi View Post
    I was the same way with my soft top. Never thought that I would have a hardtop until the wife talked me into it. Have not had it off since I put it on 2 years ago. The security is the best part, then the noise reduction. Also am looking into a roof rack. Still am not willing to sell soft top and door surrounds yet, but .....
    Well, I am going wheeling next week and I will not wheel with the bath tub on top. I refuse. I have only wheeled once with full doors and just scared to damage something I am so much $ involved in so.... It will come off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    City/State
    Alexandria, LA
    LJ Year
    2005
    Posts
    82

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    Went camping and wheeling this weekend. Drove to the site, removed the hardtop and doors and had a blast. On a side note, the hardtop could be a nice table if needed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    City/State
    Madison, WI
    LJ Year
    2006
    Posts
    2

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    All my CJ7s had hardtops, and every summer off it went and on went the Bimini top. When it rained I had another car to drive. With the LJ the hardtop comes off as early as my weather permits (I bought the Best top "cart" and its real easy to remove, still need two people because the top to so long, heavy and awkward to handled alone) and I leave the soft top on for as long as I can in the fall. Its a Jeep and the top is removable, remove it and enjoy the sun! Otherwise you might just as well own a Liberty..... heaven forbid LOL

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    City/State
    Alexandria, LA
    LJ Year
    2005
    Posts
    82

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    Believe me when I tell you, I remove the top as soon as i can. I pulled it off for camping and wheeling a couple weeks ago.

    In the middle of a little rock race in which the jeep earned second.



    On the way home.



    And the new half doors with new sliders since they fit the top,a lot better.



    You can also see the tiny piece of the hardtop that chipped off just by the passenger door. When I remove it to paint, this will be fixed too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    City/State
    Carrollton, TX
    LJ Year
    2005
    Year Purchased
    2005
    Posts
    5

    Re: hard top.... the wave of my future?

    I've had a hard top since I bought my jeep in 2005, also I have a wilderness rack by Garvin originally made for a soft top. I will eventually install a roof top tent. I have always love the hard top vs the soft top for safety, and comfort reasons.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by brown_mule; 12-28-2013 at 05:40 AM. Reason: add a picture

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