Premium Soft Top Shrank? WTH?

dgoldenz

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I leased a JL with premium soft top back in August and they took the windows off/top down while at the dealer, and then I never put them back on because the weather was nice. It's finally cold outside and when I went to put the windows back on,, I couldn't get them to lock in. Either the pieces that wrap around the sides could be put in, or the snap in piece on the rear side/column could be put in, but not both. Popping one into place would pop the other spot out of place. The rear piece also seemed too small to get both sides to lock in, only one side at a time could lock in wrapped around the side piece.

I took the car to the dealer today to see if they could help me with it. The tech spent about 45 minutes trying to get the windows back on before he finally gave up. After talking with the service manager, they said if the soft top is off the car for an extended period of time, it can potentially shrink and not fit when you put it back on. It's currently at the dealer being looked at for a warranty claim, but it will be a few days before I hear anything back.

Has anyone else seen this before? Wtf kind of garbage "premium" top can't even be taken off the car for an extended period of time without becoming useless?
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TTEChris

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My softop has stayed loose, but I am constantly installing/removing the panels due to rain. It also never REALLY gets cold in Houston.

My experience installing Trektops on JK's is that they are VERY difficult to install in the cold(especially when new.) If you let the panels sit outside in the direct sunlight or in a heated room it makes installation much easier.
 
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dgoldenz

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I probably should have mentioned that I live in Las Vegas. It doesn't get that cold here either, lowest temp is about 35 degrees.
 

Geos7812

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I have no experience with the soft top on a Jeep. However, I have a Softop pickup cover. Let me tell you that temp outside is a huge factor. Try again, when it is warm, sit it in the sun and try at the warm part of the day. It didn’t shrink... more like tightened.
 

JeepDave

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The manual says the top will start shrinking folded down at 72 degrees or less and/or if it has been folded down for a long period of time. It doesn’t reference the windows shrinking too but they’re made out of the same stuff so they probably do too. Says to warm it up and pull gently to stretch it back. Maybe get out the hair dryer and heat the windows up.
Did you store them where they’d be less than 72 degrees for a while?
 

Stingrey

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My softop has stayed loose, but I am constantly installing/removing the panels due to rain. It also never REALLY gets cold in Houston.

My experience installing Trektops on JK's is that they are VERY difficult to install in the cold(especially when new.) If you let the panels sit outside in the direct sunlight or in a heated room it makes installation much easier.
This.
I'm new to Wranglers myself but my buddy has had them for a long time. One of the first things he told me about putting on my soft top is lay it in the sun to warm up because its nearly impossible to install cool or cold.
 

ExitLeft

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I haven’t installed the soft top on my JLU yet, but my preveious experience with a JKU is that you will not be able to install it below 70degrees. Try putting a space heater in your garage if possible to get the temp up. I know you said you’re in Vegas, but if it’s only in the 70s you may struggle.
Another way is to put it on and put the heater on high in the Jeep and let it warm up the soft top material
 

TX MOAB

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I probably should have mentioned that I live in Las Vegas. It doesn't get that cold here either, lowest temp is about 35 degrees.
That’s cold enough to shrink it enough to make installation tough.
 

W5MQS

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I leased a JL with premium soft top back in August and they took the windows off/top down while at the dealer, and then I never put them back on because the weather was nice. It's finally cold outside and when I went to put the windows back on,, I couldn't get them to lock in. Either the pieces that wrap around the sides could be put in, or the snap in piece on the rear side/column could be put in, but not both. Popping one into place would pop the other spot out of place. The rear piece also seemed too small to get both sides to lock in, only one side at a time could lock in wrapped around the side piece.

I took the car to the dealer today to see if they could help me with it. The tech spent about 45 minutes trying to get the windows back on before he finally gave up. After talking with the service manager, they said if the soft top is off the car for an extended period of time, it can potentially shrink and not fit when you put it back on. It's currently at the dealer being looked at for a warranty claim, but it will be a few days before I hear anything back.

Has anyone else seen this before? Wtf kind of garbage "premium" top can't even be taken off the car for an extended period of time without becoming useless?
I'm calling a big ass POPPYCOCK on that BS! :swear: What about those of us who order a premium soft top AFTER the fact? There's no telling how long that top has been just sitting around, unattached to a Wrangler, and I'm sure it would fit...at least it had better fit. I think the issue is that it has just been cold out and yes, the material will contract a bit. But...if you follow the directions of the company that makes it...Bestop...they clearly state, for new tops, to leave it in the sun for a couple of hours so it will heat up and become more pliable during the install.
 

Firecracker18

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Yup - it's not just Jeeps but any convertible - premium (aka cloth) or not (aka vinyl). The top will tighten when cold. If it's up no biggy - the frame holds it in place well. But if it's down there's no constant stretch put on it so it shrinks a bit.

Here's a quick clip to explain in detail:

 

wrc777

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I haven’t installed the soft top on my JLU yet, but my preveious experience with a JKU is that you will not be able to install it below 70degrees. Try putting a space heater in your garage if possible to get the temp up. I know you said you’re in Vegas, but if it’s only in the 70s you may struggle.
Another way is to put it on and put the heater on high in the Jeep and let it warm up the soft top material
I wonder what they do at the factory? I doubt it is much over 70 degrees there and the tops are probably stuffed in a box and shipped from the supplier.
 

DCELL

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I wonder what they do at the factory? I doubt it is much over 70 degrees there and the tops are probably stuffed in a box and shipped from the supplier.
If it's built to order, the soft top is on before the tires....
 

ads75

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I have always read that prior to installing a soft top, any year, any model, for best/easiest results, let it sit in the sun and warm up first. Not just the JL, not just the premium top.

I also didn't realize people went 4 months topless, or windows/sides. A little jealous on that one.
 
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dgoldenz

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Thanks for the info from the manual, I had no idea and I find it pretty concerning that the techs at the dealer really had no clue either. If I had known this was a problem, I would have just opted for the hard top. It's nice being able to put the top up and down easily with the soft top, but I wouldn't have wanted to do it at the expense of this kind of crap.
 
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