Hardtop creaks after putting it back on

linuxos77

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Greg
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We got a 2020 JLU back in January and the New England weather finally had a long stretch without rain over the weekend so we took the hardtop off (we've taken the freedom panels off many times, but this was the first time removing the entire top). Last evening I put the top back on and everything went smooth enough but I was worried about over-tightening the hardtop bolts, so I just hand tightened them the most I could. This morning the wife is complaining about the top sounds creaky. I know in our Renegade the MySky panels creak a bit for a day or two when the panels are put back on or during temperature swings (here went from 90 yesterday, to 60s last night).

So couple questions, does it take a day or two to "settle" or should I tighten them more using that tool? I know there's quick release thumb bolts available, is there ones people would recommend? I always get nervous trusting products on Amazon I've never heard of (I've gotten burnt too many times).





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Mikester86

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Page 71 in my 2020 Owner's Manual:

The Torx fasteners that attach the hard top to
the body should be torqued as follows using the
provided #50 Torx head driver and ratchet:
 Hard top to B-pillar: 119 in-lb +/- 23 in-lb
(13.5 N·m +/- 2.7 N·m)
 Hard top to J-rail: 154 in-lb +/- 30 in-lb
(17.5 N·m +/- 3.5 N·m)
 

TwoDoorDylan

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Had a similar creaking issue with what I thought was the hard top not being fully secured after putting it back on. Turned out it was the door seal /gasket on the bottom of the rear window (makes contact with the tailgate when closed) that was making the creaking noise. (Sounded like styrofoam rubbing around.) Dressed the seal with some 303 aerospace protectant and it has been silent since. Try adding some sort of gasket/rubber safe dressing to the area (doesn't have to be 303) and see if that helps. Quick, cheap, and easy to do and may solve the creaking issue you are having.
 

Rhinebeck01

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@linuxos77

As @TwoDoorDylan mentioned the sound you are hearing may just be the dry rubber gasket on the rear/hatch window rubbing on the lip of the tail gate. Takes but a minute to lube there with something or apply anti squeak tape there. I chose the far less expensive route and just lubed it with dielectric grease that remedied the squeak/creak..

DO come back and post how you ultimately remedied the issue.

Read here:
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...ng-rubber-at-bottom-of-the-cargo-glass.53565/
 

JimBob

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Before taking the top off of our 2021 Sport S 2door, the top was quiet. Removed it and put it back on a couple of times and just used the included wrench, guessing at the tightness. It always creaked. Bought an inexpensive inch pound torque wrench from Amazon and put the top back on yesterday, torqueing it to the specs listed in the owner's manual. Drove it today and it is quiet, just like when new. The engineers who designed the vehicles and provide the guidance in the owner's manual just might actually know a thing or two about these things.
 

Canyonero02

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If you tightened the bolts as tight as you could with the supplied tools then you definitely over tightened. Hard top bolts don't need to be tightened much, just snugged up. The manual, as stated earlier in inch pounds, equates to roughly 10 ft/lbs. Not much.
 

LarryB

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As Rhinebeck says, I would bet the problem is with the rubber weatherstripping in one of two locations. It may be on the strips on the hardtop / over the windshield where the freedom panels meet up … or it may be the back rubber where the back window / tailgate meet the Jeep.

I have heard 303, I have heard (and used) Gummi Pfledge and have also heard/used silicone based lubricants. All of them work. Give a good coating on all of the above seals. Be wary of Vaseline, dish soap or any oil-based lubricant as their use may cause long-term issues.

The sun seems to really beat up those seals … I do it at the first sign of squeaks and it lasts for a while.
 

Outrun

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An alternative to lube is dusty dirt. Seems to work too and happens automatically.
 

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