Can I drive with top off and freedom panels on?

four low

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Going Back to the Beginning, that rear half door " pick up" configuration is excellent, and is certainly what I would do if I didn't have a 2 Dr. Bestop makes a wrap around wind breaker, and a double tonneau to make this all weather.
Maybe Bronco Competition will make this a possible factory offering on the 4 dr platform. Rear seat removal, a bulkhead, and almost " Instant Scrambler "
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daveprice7

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This will not work on the 2020 2dr Rubicon. Just tried it tonight.
I have a 2dr sport with soft top, but I'm picking up a hard top this weekend and was planning on going "backless" with the freedom tops on during the summer instead of the soft top. Is there something about a 2dr that prevents using the freedom tops without the back? I was under the impression everything was basically the same from the sound bar forward. My wife doesn't want her Jeep topless, but casual observation made it look like the panels would latch everywhere except the back outside corners, where they normally would latch to the back portion, but they seem secure enough without those engaged.
 

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I have a 2dr sport with soft top, but I'm picking up a hard top this weekend and was planning on going "backless" with the freedom tops on during the summer instead of the soft top. Is there something about a 2dr that prevents using the freedom tops without the back? I was under the impression everything was basically the same from the sound bar forward. My wife doesn't want her Jeep topless, but casual observation made it look like the panels would latch everywhere except the back outside corners, where they normally would latch to the back portion, but they seem secure enough without those engaged.
I could not get it to sit correctly...it did not appear to be safe to operate the Jeep this way. Might be better to try a bikini top for the front seat only if you want to run backless.
 

daveprice7

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I could not get it to sit correctly...it did not appear to be safe to operate the Jeep this way. Might be better to try a bikini top for the front seat only if you want to run backless.
gotcha. I got one o them sun shade type deals, but I do a fair amount of highway driving, so I like being able to seal up in the front to make it a bit less blowy... I had this idea of being able to toss the freedom panels in the back when I'm not on the highway rather than fight with a bikini or sunshade that usually involves removing and re-attaching all sorts of tensioner/adjustments/bungees, etc. I guess I'll tinker with the freedom panels when I get 'em and see if it secures OK for me or if I need to do some fabbing to make it work!
 
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I drive my '21 2 door with only the Freedom panels constantly. Yes, only 3 of the latches are used. Yes, it is rock solid and I've never had an issue at any speed. Yes, this thread was resurrected after 2 years of being dormant.
 
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What's wrong with driving with the rear glass open, I haven't done it myself but I've seen plenty of people do. Only thing I can think is maybe if it's a bumpy ride it puts stress on the hinges and glass?
The majority of the stuff I read that said it was a bad idea was primarily due to wear/strain on the window struts. I have a buddy who rode like this a lot with an older Jeep and said it caused it to rattle a lot.
The other concern I saw was exhaust fumes, but that's no different than concerns with riding backless.
My final concern was that if the Jeep flexes just right (or wrong depending on how you look at it) the unsupported glass may fracture.
All that said, I have seen a lot more people driving with the rear glass open since posting this thread.


Yes, this thread was resurrected after 2 years of being dormant.
LOL yeah it's a Lazarus thread for sure. I'm glad that it has helped other people with the same question get the answer, instead of having to post it and wait for a response.
 

daveprice7

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The majority of the stuff I read that said it was a bad idea was primarily due to wear/strain on the window struts. I have a buddy who rode like this a lot with an older Jeep and said it caused it to rattle a lot.
The other concern I saw was exhaust fumes, but that's no different than concerns with riding backless.
My final concern was that if the Jeep flexes just right (or wrong depending on how you look at it) the unsupported glass may fracture.
All that said, I have seen a lot more people driving with the rear glass open since posting this thread.
I got my hardtop last weekend.... and just unbolted the rear glass hinge to pull it off. This is a fantastic configuration for an open-air feel without being too turbulent. In a 2-door, without back windows to roll down, freedom tops off was kind of uncomfortable to drive on the freeway... now, it's great - air flows through without blasting you or causing so much wind noise you can't hear the radio.

The downside is.... apparently those rear liftgate hinge bolts are made of paper, and I broke one of them off while REMOVING it. So, if anyone does do this... remove those bolts very slowly, with even pressure, don't use an impact driver... then throw them away and get quality hardware to replace them.
 

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Unfortunately Winchell @Shots, it is only in our minds that we can, in the heart of Winter, drive with the top on, and the Freedom panels off, wishing for warmer weather. ;)
 

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@daveprice7 glad you tested this - I've been wondering if there was a way to drive without the back windshield. I didn't want to just leave it open cause I figured a good bounce would shatter it, but I'm also pretty aware that with the windows open/freedom panels off, it's kinda like driving around with an opened parachute attached to the back.
 

MrMischief

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You absolutely can with a 2dr. I do it all the time, the corner latches don't get used but the rest do, it's rock solid and sits flush.
I have an "issue" of the center rears will work themselves open when driving in this config on a dirt road or at highway speeds. I suspect bumps and maybe a small amount of bouncing with the wind occurs and this allows the latches to vibrate loose. I tried taking a wrench to it to see if I could tighten it just a little, didn't get a budge on the screw. I'm hesitant to give it any real torque though. Ever since I got my spiderweb shade I haven't used the top in this configuration, so it's not an issue for me. But have you ever found yours working themselves loose?
 

daveprice7

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@daveprice7 glad you tested this - I've been wondering if there was a way to drive without the back windshield. I didn't want to just leave it open cause I figured a good bounce would shatter it, but I'm also pretty aware that with the windows open/freedom panels off, it's kinda like driving around with an opened parachute attached to the back.
Yeah, it's really easy.. First, disconnect all of the wires/hoses. You can just pull the fluid hose off the nozzle on the window and pop the defroster wire off on the passenger side (it's just a snap-connector, but do this carefully - word on the street is that this is a fragile connector). Then you can pull off the grommet where the hose and wire are coming from, tuck those loose connections up into the cavity, and put the grommet back (it doesn't need tools, it pulls off real easy). Behind the grommet on the driver's side, there's a plug to detach the wires to the glass, so you can just unplug it and tuck the plug end back into the roof cavity. The grommet on the driver's side stays with the glass.

Open the glass and support the end while you pry the release clips on the struts to remove the struts from the window on both sides. The window side of the struts will need something pointed to release them. I used a 12v electrical tester probe, but I'm sure a nail or a screw would work. The body-side of the struts can use a flathead screwdriver to release the clip.

Now, you open the glass and stand under it, resting it on your head and you hold the bottom edge of the glass to steady it. You can fold up a small towel to put between your head and the glass if you want to give yourself a bit more working time before it starts to get uncomfortable. Now, you just (slowly, carefully) remove the four 10mm hex head hinge bolts and it's off.

I'm considering going to my local plastics shop and have them make me an acrylic copy of the glass I could keep with me above the roll bar in the back. Four bolts to put it on or take it off, no worry about breaking anything.
 
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