Premium Soft Top Shrank? WTH?

Medictrode

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
50
Reaction score
22
Location
South Jersey
Vehicle(s)
2018 JL Rubicon, 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon
Most "Techs" aka Parts changers aren't Jeep people and they honestly have no clue in general. But that's a story for another time..

As others have stated the soft tops shrink and amazing amount and simply won't fit when cold. BestTop recommends a warm day and leaving the top laying in direct sunlight to loosen it up. As someone else suggested, a heated garage or small space would help, but heat that space so it's sweltering in there, then hurry and pop that thing on. Good luck.
Advertisement

 

Majestic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
659
Reaction score
626
Location
NC
Vehicle(s)
2013 JKUR, 2019 JLUR
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.
It’s not really a problem. It’s a known condition that has happened to every Jeep softtop ever produced. You yanked off brand new softtop windows immediately after buying and left them off for 5 months and are trying to put them in in the winter. Your top is now basically 5 months older than the windows and the two haven’t stretched together.
Once all the fabric stretches out it’ll get much easier.

Had you gotten the hardtop you wouldn’t have been able to pop out the rear windows which led to your problem in the first place.
 

OldGuyNewJeep

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
3,177
Reaction score
5,230
Location
CT
Vehicle(s)
2018 Wrangler JL, 2016 Yukon XL
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.
Your dealer should have been able to resolve this. Warm up the panels and they’ll go right on. When you put them on/off frequently there’s no issue with temperature. I had mine on and off all summer in CT, and plenty of nights the temps dipped down into the 60s. Never an issue with shrinkage.

I think since your top was so new and the windows were off for so long you ran into the problem. I wouldn’t sweat it.
 
OP
OP

dgoldenz

Active Member
First Name
David
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
30
Reaction score
15
Location
Las Vegas
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLU Sport
It’s not really a problem. It’s a known condition that has happened to every Jeep softtop ever produced. You yanked off brand new softtop windows immediately after buying and left them off for 5 months and are trying to put them in in the winter. Your top is now basically 5 months older than the windows and the two haven’t stretched together.
Once all the fabric stretches out it’ll get much easier.

Had you gotten the hardtop you wouldn’t have been able to pop out the rear windows which led to your problem in the first place.
As a first-time Jeep owner, it's still a problem for me since I had no idea. Have no experience with prior generations of Wranglers. Would have been nice to get an explanation or warning from the dealer about this, they just took the windows off, put the top down, and sent me on my way.
 

KDB

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
430
Reaction score
672
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2018 2 Door JLR
Vehicle Showcase
2
As a first-time Jeep owner, it's still a problem for me since I had no idea. Have no experience with prior generations of Wranglers. Would have been nice to get an explanation or warning from the dealer about this, they just took the windows off, put the top down, and sent me on my way.
Not trying to be harsh here but this is really on you, based on what you said you didn't even take your own windows off as it sounds like the dealer did that for you.

As a consumer the onus is on you to educate yourself on what you are buying. As others have stated this is known issue with any soft top. When I purchased my first jeep with a soft top back in '09 I was aware of this as I had done my research as I should have. Since then I've just accept it for what it is, a jeep thing.

Learn from this for future purchases however, the dealer and his techs don't care about much more than selling you a product. I have found that most interactions that I've had with dealers I appear to know way more than they do.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP

dgoldenz

Active Member
First Name
David
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
30
Reaction score
15
Location
Las Vegas
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLU Sport
Not trying to be harsh here but this is really on you, based on what you said you didn't even take your own windows off as it sounds like the dealer did that for you.

As a consumer the onus is on you to educate yourself on what you are buying. As others have stated this is known issue with any soft top. When I purchased my first jeep with a soft top back in '09 I was aware of this as I had done my research as I should have. Since then I've just accept it for what it is, a jeep thing.

Learn from this for future purchases however, the dealer and his techs don't care about much more than selling you a product and I have found that most interactions that I have had with dealers I appear to know way more than they do.
How exactly would I know to educate myself that the soft top can shrink? I read a lot of posts on this forum before I even bought it and didn't see it mentioned anywhere. As a consumer, you would expect to be able to buy a brand new car and not have to worry about whether you can put the top back on 4 months later or not. It seems strange to me that people just want to accept this as a "Jeep thing" and get over it. If this is a well known issue, there should be some kind of warning about it instead of burying it in a 600 page owners manual. I don't want my top to be rendered useless if it stretches out of shape after the warranty is up, or have to heat it up and use trial and error until the damn thing actually fits back on the car. It's a brand new car, not something that's 10 years old!.

I'd have to think just being on this forum in the first place puts everyone here in the top 5% of "most educated" Jeep buyers. Your average person would have no clue this is a problem. If the dealer-trained employees don't even know it's a problem, how can your average consumer be expected to know? It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth about the whole experience from a customer satisfaction standpoint.
 

jedisrus

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jose
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
90
Reaction score
144
Location
New Mexico, Not really new - not really Mexico...
Vehicle(s)
2018 GCM JLUR 3.6 Auto
Vehicle Showcase
1
How exactly would I know to educate myself that the soft top can shrink? I read a lot of posts on this forum before I even bought it and didn't see it mentioned anywhere. As a consumer, you would expect to be able to buy a brand new car and not have to worry about whether you can put the top back on 4 months later or not. It seems strange to me that people just want to accept this as a "Jeep thing" and get over it. If this is a well known issue, there should be some kind of warning about it instead of burying it in a 600 page owners manual. I don't want my top to be rendered useless if it stretches out of shape after the warranty is up, or have to heat it up and use trial and error until the damn thing actually fits back on the car. It's a brand new car, not something that's 10 years old!.

I'd have to think just being on this forum in the first place puts everyone here in the top 5% of "most educated" Jeep buyers. Your average person would have no clue this is a problem. If the dealer-trained employees don't even know it's a problem, how can your average consumer be expected to know? It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth about the whole experience from a customer satisfaction standpoint.
I get what you are saying. And if it weren't for this post I wouldn't have known about the issue when I go to switch tops when the weather warms up.

But, now that you know, have you tried reinstalling your windows after warming everything up?
 

RussJeep1

Banned
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
2,548
Reaction score
1,931
Location
Westchester, NY
Vehicle(s)
JLU Sahara
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 sorry for your headache David.

I must say though, you seem to have answered your own question.;);) WTH: why the hardtop?...because the soft top shrinks.;)
 

KDB

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
430
Reaction score
672
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2018 2 Door JLR
Vehicle Showcase
2
How exactly would I know to educate myself that the soft top can shrink? I read a lot of posts on this forum before I even bought it and didn't see it mentioned anywhere. As a consumer, you would expect to be able to buy a brand new car and not have to worry about whether you can put the top back on 4 months later or not. It seems strange to me that people just want to accept this as a "Jeep thing" and get over it. If this is a well known issue, there should be some kind of warning about it instead of burying it in a 600 page owners manual. I don't want my top to be rendered useless if it stretches out of shape after the warranty is up, or have to heat it up and use trial and error until the damn thing actually fits back on the car. It's a brand new car, not something that's 10 years old!.

I'd have to think just being on this forum in the first place puts everyone here in the top 5% of "most educated" Jeep buyers. Your average person would have no clue this is a problem. If the dealer-trained employees don't even know it's a problem, how can your average consumer be expected to know? It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth about the whole experience from a customer satisfaction standpoint.
I can understand your frustration with your dealer but that’s not on Jeep. The soft top is designed the way it is to be as tight as it can so it doesn’t “billow out” while driving down the road.

Consider yourself now educated. You have been told numerous times now what to do, lay the windows out in the sun for a bit on a warm day where it’s at least 70 degrees F and reinstall the windows. As others have stated it will be hard the first few times but after they have been on for awhile it gets easier. I lived in Phoenix for 4 years and would have issues there as well on colder days trying to get my windows back in. Now back in Wisconsin it’s even more of an issue but I’m aware of it and deal with it as I should so it’s no longer an “issue” to me. Overall it’s a minor thing to deal with that doesn’t take away the fact that your driving a Jeep Wrangler.
 
OP
OP

dgoldenz

Active Member
First Name
David
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
30
Reaction score
15
Location
Las Vegas
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLU Sport
I get what you are saying. And if it weren't for this post I wouldn't have known about the issue when I go to switch tops when the weather warms up.

But, now that you know, have you tried reinstalling your windows after warming everything up?
I left the car at the dealer to see if they could either fix it or get it fixed as a warranty claim, but they said they won't be able to get to it until Wednesday. I also called Jeep Cares to complain about it because personally I think it's ridiculous. Asked them to switch out my soft top for a hard top, I'm sure the answer will be "no" but you never know until you ask.
 

mwilk012

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Messages
4,359
Reaction score
3,925
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle(s)
2018 Ocean Blue JLU Rubicon
I left the car at the dealer to see if they could either fix it or get it fixed as a warranty claim, but they said they won't be able to get to it until Wednesday. I also called Jeep Cares to complain about it because personally I think it's ridiculous. Asked them to switch out my soft top for a hard top, I'm sure the answer will be "no" but you never know until you ask.
Obviously the answer will be no. Every material on earth expands and contracts with temperature changes, just stretch it back out and get in on the Jeep. You’re going to have a lot of issues owning this vehicle.
 

Neanderthalman

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
335
Reaction score
521
Location
Ontario, Canada
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLUR
Alternative thought - I had difficulty with my first install that sounds a little like this

The problem I had is that the order of installation for the side windows is WRONG in the manual.

After sliding in the top retaining bar/clip, the next step should be to feed the bottom retaining strip into the body groove, at least near the rear corner support. Don't snap in the corner support until the bottom strip is in the body groove.

What was happening to me the first time was that the bottom strip was jamming and not going into the groove. This meant the rear corner supports were not fully snapped in but wouldn't go in any further. I was thus unable to install the rear window and it seem like it wasn't long enough.

Turns out, it was user error.

In my defense, first jeep, in the dark and rain. I figured it out immediately in daylight.
 

Majestic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
659
Reaction score
626
Location
NC
Vehicle(s)
2013 JKUR, 2019 JLUR
As a first-time Jeep owner, it's still a problem for me since I had no idea. Have no experience with prior generations of Wranglers. Would have been nice to get an explanation or warning from the dealer about this, they just took the windows off, put the top down, and sent me on my way.
It’s in the manual. In the dealer’s defense they probably assumed you would put the windows back in at some point within the next 4 months. You didn’t see any of this on the forums already because people don’t commonly do that.

Taking something to get fixed at the dealer is the slowest way to fix anything.

Try parking in direct sunlight, layout the windows in the sun. After a few hours flop back the Sunrider. That will relieve tension on the top. Then slide in the windows and latch the Sunrider back down. The Sunrider top gives you much more mechanical advantage over trying to muscle in those clips with your fingers.
Eventually the top will permanently stretch and will go in much easier.
 

thecritter

Well-Known Member
First Name
Rusty
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
527
Reaction score
687
Location
East Texas
Vehicle(s)
2018 Crystal Granite JlU Rubicon
Vehicle Showcase
1
What @Majestic said put it in sun rider install all the back windows and use the leverage of sunrider position to pull it back and latch it. I remember seeing a post or two of people having problems latching it back in cool weather. Here in East Texas can be 85 in day and 40 at night can be a pain to get back window 6" pieces to seat in the corners. On the bright side hopefully you don't have any sag above the back windows.
 

nerubi

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
4,001
Reaction score
5,265
Location
Nebraska
Vehicle(s)
2019 JLR, 2020 VW Tiguan
Occupation
Retired
Vehicle Showcase
1
I left the car at the dealer to see if they could either fix it or get it fixed as a warranty claim, but they said they won't be able to get to it until Wednesday. I also called Jeep Cares to complain about it because personally I think it's ridiculous. Asked them to switch out my soft top for a hard top, I'm sure the answer will be "no" but you never know until you ask.
Are you kidding me? This is completely on you for not reading the manual. I don't even have my JL yet and I've read the entire manual including for the soft top even though I'm getting the hard top. Take responsibility for your screw up and quit blaming Jeep.
 
Advertisement

PSC Motorsports
 
Advertisement
Top