Winter and Hard Top Installing

Is that time of year, and the Jeep gains 140 pounds.  For most Jeeps installing the hard top is easy.  However with the American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) tire carrier/fuel caddy  makes the process just a little more complex.  Add the 3.5” lift and tires, I just need to lift it higher to clear the tire carrier.

Because I have painted and installed the MOPAR headliner kit, I wanted to keep the interior of the jeep as clean as possible when its not on the Jeep.  I have build a shed/box to put the hard top in and close it to keep pollen, dirt and dust out and keep it clean.  I also use the shed/box to store off my off-road gear, fridge, tent and other camping gear.  This keeps its all organized and clean.

For me to install the hard top its best to have three people but I need at least two.  Like I said, with my Jeep build, I need to keep the rear glass open, and the tailgate partly open (about 1/2 open) .  Having the glass open does not hep with weight distribution of the hard top.  

We can keep the glass closed until we get to the Jeep, which make it easier.  I do park the Jeep fairly close to the garage so I don’t have to walk very far.  Once we open the glass we have to lift the hardtop up and over the tire carrier.  Once we clear the tire carrier we can have a third person fully open the tire carrier and close the glass.  Once the hardtop is on I bolt it to the tube, there are four T30 bolts on each side.  There is also two T30 bolts up on the outside of the “B” pillar.  After you have it secured you can instal the two freedom panels.  I have a video below on how to do that.  

Installing that Hard top is daily easy, its weighted unevenly and it’s awkward.  It’s made of fiberglas; so it is very unforgiving if you drop it.  The glass is also easy to break, so I use painters tape to make sure the glass doesn’t open.

Having the Hardtop on in the winter I believe is good idea if you in a road salt environment or cold temperatures.  The windows do not like cold weather r and can crack.  Also road salt and the other stuff the city’s put down rear havoc on the zippers.  I would wash my soft top regularly and spend alot of time making sure the zippers are clean and I use the Bestop/MOPAR zipper cleaner.  The hardtop does keep the interior warmer, and the headliner kit is even better insulation.

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