Wanted to share some thoughts and experiences now that the top is off (learning new things)


AustinJeepTJ

♪~ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Washington
I have had the top off for almost 3 weeks now and, although the weather in the PNW has been great, I feel like I don't want to go back to the hard top. It's been an amazing experience. I feel like it is a whole new vehicle. Even driving through heavy rain like we had this past weekend, I have been having so much fun with the Jeep. I feel like I have achieved next level.

I went to Walker Valley ORV and was blown away at the difference in touch and feel. Those obstacles that were intimidating before felt immediately achievable probably because of the visibility and being able to clearly hear everything. Getting all senses (even mouth fulls of mud) involved.

I am learning a lot about how to clean mud out of the cab, which is awesome. So, carpet may be coming out. Doing a lot of digging on rhino lining the interior. This forum has a lot of great information for that, so thanks in advance to all of you! I am also looking into MicroBan marine carpet, but not sure if it's worth it because the surfaces are generally different underneath; steel vs fiberglass. That's probably overthinking it.

The Smitty Built trail mirrors are not meant for the freeway. ;)

I am running the Smitty Built extended bikini. Maybe "top off" is stretching a bit but I wanted to keep the sun off the top of my head.

The Smitty Built cab cover actually keeps the interior drier than the hard top. I have been chasing a leak for some time. Last Saturday, the rain was drenching and the interior stayed dry. I am happy with that cover, so far, since the TJ is parked outside full time.

Lastly, security. My roadside and trail recovery gear is in totes which makes it easy to store those things in the garage. And now that I am putting the cab cover on, it makes it easy for me to remember to, at least, put the roadside kit in the Jeep before I head out. I think the thing that worries me the most is that someone can just hop in and take the parking brake off and pop it into neutral and roll it into some general direction. But that isn't as big as me being bone headed and leaving the key in the ignition! 2 or 3 times now, this has happened. Once at the grocery store. (smh)

Over all, I get it. It's awesome. Thank you!

20210609_112502.jpg


20210607_163114.jpg


20210607_155739.jpg
 

imahnu17

New Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Houston, TX
Hey @AustinJeepTJ

I've made the same change to my jeep recently. Have you been caught in the rain while just running the smittybilt extended bikini? I'm curious how the interior would do getting rained on.
 

Jramos013

Avatar on an avatar
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
551
Location
San juan
Totally agree with the op. My first tj had the hard top. I had to sell it, got my current one with a softtop back in 2016. After that i would not even considered going back to a hard top. The ability to go topless at any given time with the family its just priceless. Given that i live on a hot/summer climate all year round It did get hot in the cab at some time but the hothead liner solve that and the AC keeps up just fine. Not sure how that would be in colder weather.
 

kiwi

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Messages
121
Location
Seattle
I'm also in the PNW, took my top off in april, then had to put it back on a week later for rain. Then took it off a week later, then had to put it back on again for rain :(
My soft top is just as much of a pain to get it hooked up properly, so i'll look into the cover. Also looking to get a new soft top and sell the hard top, but at the same time, i love how the hardtop looks and functions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vasq

B00mb00m

R&D Engineer Acme Co.
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
2,265
Location
Washington
I LOVE running no top or sunshade, but dam we just get too much rain here. The best option ive found is run a frame softop and half doors, remove the side panels. It's about the smae as running a bikini top but you can throw on the side windows and soft door uppers if needed. IT was needed last weekend at Reiter. Absolute downpour! My buddy was running bikini top only, it looked COLD.
 
  • Like
Reactions: harbiison and kiwi

B00mb00m

R&D Engineer Acme Co.
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
2,265
Location
Washington
Also, my Portland and WA brethren, consider adding SKIM to your rig for a little piece of mind, wont stop a flat bed hauler but at least a dope head with a screwdriver wont be able to drive your jeep away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Apparition and Vasq

Bluovalguy

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Oregon
I’m in PDX area and the first time I took the top off I stayed off all summer. When it went on in the winter I hated it :)

Took it off about three weeks ago and I love it. I had kicked around a hard too when I first bought it last year, but decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. I like the ease of taking the soft top down.
 

alittleoff

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
926
Location
406
Pro tip; Crank the steering wheel all the way right or left when parking it.
So if someone kicks it in neutral, it may not end up too bad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AustinJeepTJ

Vasq

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
1,957
Location
Everett, WA
GAH! You guys are making me jealous! I just picked up a dark tan factory hardtop that's been carefully stored for YEARS and is in pristine condition. I love my hard top in the winter, but I haven't had a soft top since 2016.

I can't wait to get my rear end back together and start doing some walker shake down runs.
Jeeps are looking great guys!

@AustinJeepTJ I'm gunna have to look into snagging one of those covers, that's pretty slick.
 

Apparition

Next stop - The Rubicon
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
12,976
Location
Twin Cities, MN
Hard top is hanging in the garage, no intent to put it back on. One jeep has a trail cover and the other has the Trektop on, I have options.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Terry Tiemeyer
OP
AustinJeepTJ

AustinJeepTJ

♪~ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Washington
Hey @AustinJeepTJ

I've made the same change to my jeep recently. Have you been caught in the rain while just running the smittybilt extended bikini? I'm curious how the interior would do getting rained on.
It rained significantly this past Saturday and the rear seat back to the brunt of it. Other than that, it was ok. I am not a physicist but I think the 'flying brick' aspect of the Wrangler contributes to the rain wrapping around the driver and the front passenger, but would be miserable to be in the back.

It was hard to share my joy since my ear to ear grin was covered by a mask, glasses and winter hat. I don't even think I cared showing up for work with half my left leg soaked.
 
OP
AustinJeepTJ

AustinJeepTJ

♪~ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Washington
GAH! You guys are making me jealous! I just picked up a dark tan factory hardtop that's been carefully stored for YEARS and is in pristine condition. I love my hard top in the winter, but I haven't had a soft top since 2016.

I can't wait to get my rear end back together and start doing some walker shake down runs.
Jeeps are looking great guys!

@AustinJeepTJ I'm gunna have to look into snagging one of those covers, that's pretty slick.
That cab cover is really easy. After some practice, its less than 5 minutes to throw on.

I'd love to tag along on a shakedown run if you need a trail partner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vasq

suicideking

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
679
Location
Riverside, CA
If I didn't wheel so much, I would never put the top on. I love driving on the street topless, but don't like it much on the trails because of the dust and dirt. I really wish Jeeps had an electric convertible (like most auto convertibles).
 

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
9,131
Location
Alabama
Instatrunk for security , top off for happiness.

I’ve had a lot of Jeeps....the top systems are so improved from 87 forward , but no top to me is not just a feature...its a way of life, an attitude, a way to get from here to there as fun as possible. The freedom of a motorcycle, the safety of a car or light truck.

I tend to lay my top back when weather tends to be unpredictable...for this:
DF7E84FA-7C4B-434B-A4FD-98366D8E1C18.jpeg
But I really live for this -
374ABC1B-D528-4AF7-9D63-3DED8026C2B0.jpeg
 

harbiison

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
142
Location
Buffalo, New York
being a ginger who burns easily ive stuck to the frame soft top with no windows and doors off and it’s proven difficult but worth it we’ve had a ton of rain and it’s been a lot of on and off constantly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AustinJeepTJ