Cheaping out on a soft top

97' 4 Popper

Opened a Can of Worms
Supporting Member
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Oct 11, 2020
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679
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CNY
So the soft top of my TJ needs to be replaced, and I'm in a bit of a pickle.

My TJ is in pretty rough shape, it's basically a rust bucket. I'm not trying to sink anymore money in it, as I already have spent a lot on it and the problems are still not resolved. Calling it a parts jeep would be too kind. I don't anticipate having this TJ for more than a few more years. How much will I regret buying a cheap, 200-300 dollar soft top? I was thinking about getting a quadratop.

I know the quality will be pretty bad, but I won't be putting the top down and up constantly. It will be up for the whole winter, then in summer I won't be putting it down, just windows and doors out. It would be left with windows out for the entirety of the summer. I don't need a soft top that lasts 10 years, more like 2 or 3.

Will I be okay buying a quadratop, or even a random no name brand like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3146448697...pid=5337789113&customid=&toolid=10001&mkevt=1
 
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Hell, you could just keep a rain jacket and coat in the Jeep in case of wet or cold weather... Maybe just buy an oiled duster that serves both purposes. With the jacket/coat taken care of, forgo the top...

Rampage tops are really cheap and last a couple years...
 
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Thank you guys for the replies, makes me feel a bit better about getting a cheaper top and not having issues straight out of the box.

Hell, you could just keep a rain jacket and coat in the Jeep in case of wet or cold weather... Maybe just buy an oiled duster that serves both purposes. With the jacket/coat taken care of, forgo the top...

Rampage tops are really cheap and last a couple years...

I appreciate the sentiment, but there is a big difference between what a person can do and what is desirable. You also have to keep in mind the weather differences between Upstate NY and Alabama. Temperatures will easily drop below 20 degrees in January. I have and do regularly drive my TJ in 30-40 degree weather with the back window completely out. The zipper broke and the rear window has been out ever since. I've also ridden my motorcycle in 39 degree weather. Doesn't mean its fun or a good idea. It's best to replace the top now before it gets too cold.

I have a brand-new boxed Sierra top I decided to sell I'll send you a message.

Okay, I really appreciate that, let me know the details!
 
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I've had my Sierra Offroad top for 2 years now. Zero complaints, other than I really wanted a Bestop for the new TRAMP stamp logo. I couldn't justify paying another $400+ for it though. 🤫

Rubi 7 2 23 1.jpg
 
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I appreciate the sentiment, but there is a big difference between what a person can do and what is desirable. You also have to keep in mind the weather differences between Upstate NY and Alabama. Temperatures will easily drop below 20 degrees in January. I have and do regularly drive my TJ in 30-40 degree weather with the back window completely out. The zipper broke and the rear window has been out ever since. I've also ridden my motorcycle in 39 degree weather. Doesn't mean its fun or a good idea. It's best to replace the top now before it gets too cold.

I lived up in the Watertown area for a few years... I feel you on the cold! I remember it getting to -30 to -40 before adding any windchill calculations into the mix. When I moved up there, I drove through an ice storm, every 20-30 minutes I'd have to stop to remove the 1 inch of ice from the wipers so they'd work again.

I was just teasing you... mostly...
 
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I hope you're not their spokesperson. :unsure: "Hey, our tops might last 2 years, if you store your Jeep inside and don't drive in the direct sunlight." :cool:

I went through 2 tops (1 was warranty replacement for the first) in 2 years. They apparently don't believe that people use their Jeeps outside in the UV. First top all the stitching dissolved, second top all the nylon straps/zipper cloth deteriorated then the stitching went... That was in S. FL, so YMMV, but I went with a Bestop, and it's now on it's 5th or 6th year. (it's a pre-tramp stamp top)
 
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I went through 2 tops (1 was warranty replacement for the first) in 2 years. They apparently don't believe that people use their Jeeps outside in the UV. First top all the stitching dissolved, second top all the nylon straps/zipper cloth deteriorated then the stitching went... That was in S. FL, so YMMV, but I went with a Bestop, and it's now on it's 5th or 6th year. (it's a pre-tramp stamp top)

I bought ONE Rampage top years ago. The stitching started to rip while installing it. I got my full refund and never looked back.(y)
 
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We had the Rampage top for about 10 years. Those were all Socal years (no winter) with the Jeep spending 95% of nights in the garage.
It failed as you would expect, with seams coming apart, the brackets and frame wearing out and the windows discoloring, but to get 10 years out of an inexpensive top is nearly unheard of.
Don't even think about getting any replacement parts for it though.
The only reason we upgraded to the Bestop was because I sold an unused hard top and only had to dig in my wallet about $300, which is about the same as the cost of the cheaper tops.
I got the hard top out of the garage and got a twill Bestop for $300.
I was almost ready to pay someone to take the hard top just to get rid of it! ;)
 
I lived up in the Watertown area for a few years... I feel you on the cold! I remember it getting to -30 to -40 before adding any windchill calculations into the mix. When I moved up there, I drove through an ice storm, every 20-30 minutes I'd have to stop to remove the 1 inch of ice from the wipers so they'd work again.

I was just teasing you... mostly...

I grew up in NorDakotah. Wind chill is for girls. Also note I live in South Florida now lol.
 
I have the thicker Trilogy material. They say it fits 03-06' ONLY, but I corrected them and said 97-06' tops all fit. I've swapped all years with no issues.

Is that so!? Yeah I was just looking and I have an ‘02 so I wasn’t sure.

But I can’t find anyone who sells it in saddle
 
What was really funny about that area of ny; Fort Drum, NY is where soldiers stationed in Alaska go for cold weather training...

Oh wow I never knew that, that is interesting. I'm assuming you went to Watertown for military work?

Man the weather changed fast, they are predicting a small snowstorm tomorrow, so a lot of salt will be dumped. Now driving the LJ is officially no longer an option, atleast until there is some rain to wash the road off (it lives in the garage most of the year anyways).

Shout out to @Jerry Bransford for selling his top to me. :) This forum is the best, awesome people, lots of information and resources. Only reason I found the LJ I have now is because it was posted in the for sale finds.
 
Not sure what “cheap out” implies but
Theres quality Sierra sailcloth tops for $200 on the market

I dont see a reason to pay 3x-10x for similar end results

Man the weather changed fast, they are predicting a small snowstorm tomorrow, so a lot of salt will be dumped. Now driving the LJ is officially no longer an option, atleast until there is some rain to wash the road off (it lives in the garage most of the year anyways).
No car wash nearby with an undercarriage blaster?
Hell I pay $20 a month for unlimited washes and go once a week in winter so the salt doesnt eat any vehicle I drive