Soft top vs Hard top regarding MPG?

Lightsped

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Is the hard top heavier enough to lower MPG/accleration on a JL? Specifically on a 2 door, but interested in results on the 4 doors as well.





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SecondTJ

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Hard top is around 110 lbs.

It’s not heavy enough to significantly influence mpg or acceleration.

I weighed my unlimited hard top, 100 lbs. unpainted, not including freedom tops
 
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GreyFox

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Too many variables to really tell. Regular soft top vs premium? Top up or down? Location of said Jeep? How does the operator like to drive (i.e. lead footed)? Weather?

But FWIW, I get approximately 24.8 mpg in my stock JL with the regular soft top, in Ohio flat farm country, with the top in Sunrider position most days utilizing cruise control whenever I can. Now, it will be interesting to see what I do get when we head to the Smoky Mountains at the end of October:like:
 

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GSM National Park. One of my favorite places on the planet. Me and my family have made 3 trips there this year. Cannot wait to make the trip in my Jeep. Have a great trip!!!! Not sure what part of Ohio you are in. I am in Southern IN. Half way between Indy and L’ville
 

GreyFox

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GSM National Park. One of my favorite places on the planet. Me and my family have made 3 trips there this year. Cannot wait to make the trip in my Jeep. Have a great trip!!!! Not sure what part of Ohio you are in. I am in Southern IN. Half way between Indy and L’ville
I'm right next door to Richmond! We also make about 3 trips a year to the Smokys, but this year we haven't been down yet. But we have trips scheduled for October and December. If I could talk my husband into moving to TN, I'd be packing last night:LOL:
 

higbyz

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Yeah, just normal interstate driving.

Any idea how much the soft top assembly weighs?
We have been running the hard top and average between 27 and 28 mpg ( 4 cyl ,91 0ct non ethanol) Been saving the soft top for next spring . I dont expect much deviation form the 27-28. Its gonna feel like a new car when I pull that soft top out of the shed.
 

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Even in the controlled environment of a static wind tunnel, the test results between hard and soft tops would be too small to notice any difference in fuel economy. Assuming that the hard top is heavier than the soft, its more rigid and wind resistant structure would offset that weight difference. Every movement made from the soft top, by the wind current going past it, will create more wind friction and offset its lighter weight.

Next time you're around a typical patio umbrella and its windy enough to be rocking it back and forth, close it just enough that the fabric isn't pulled tight. Note the amount of movement. Than fully open it so the fabric is pulled tight. You'll find it to have considerably less movement because the tight fabric is more resistant to the wind.
 

higbyz

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Even in the controlled environment of a static wind tunnel, the test results between hard and soft tops would be too small to notice any difference in fuel economy. Assuming that the hard top is heavier than the soft, its more rigid and wind resistant structure would offset that weight difference. Every movement made from the soft top, by the wind current going past it, will create more wind friction and offset its lighter weight.

Next time you're around a typical patio umbrella and its windy enough to be rocking it back and forth, close it just enough that the fabric isn't pulled tight. Note the amount of movement. Than fully open it so the fabric is pulled tight. You'll find it to have considerably less movement because the tight fabric is more resistant to the wind.
Yeah my initial thought, when I saw the post, was that the hard top would produce better mileage due to less friction
 

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Yeah my initial thought, when I saw the post, was that the hard top would produce better mileage due to less friction
Assuming again, and further, that the hard top is lighter than the soft top, it would still require the controlled environment of a static wind tunnel to be able to measure the minute difference between the two. The only appreciable difference would be in comparing a 2 door to a 4 door, as far as the OP's initial questioning of fuel economy.
 

Jeepinjack66

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I'm dying because I'm thinking why is this even a discussion? who drives a wrangler for gas mileage? if you are worrying about mpgs, a wrangler should be your last choice. Someone had to say it :bandit:
 

JLUin818

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well, according to Broscience, the hardtop is nice and slick and air just flows over it. while the standard issue soft top is SAILcloth and we all know if you were to put a sail on the jeep it would cause major drag and kill your mpgs.

so im going with mpg worse in soft top. at least the base soft top.

the premium top requires premium fuel, because premium.

therefore, the hard top is the best choice for mpg/value.
 

ar15rifle

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We get a couple of MPGs better with the hard top installed (painted one) than we do with the soft top (premium version). Also, we've found that the ethanol gas in the midwest gets several MPGs lower than the 'normal' gas.
 

Rahneld

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;)Whenever I use my soft top I always prop it up halfway to Sunrider position.

It points to the sky.

I always seem to get better MPG with the hard top. Even if it's loaded with gear.

I don't know why.;)
 

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