Converting a factory JK/JKU hardtop to modular

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Any idea if the rear slider window kit will be available for the 07-11 Unlimited hardtop?
I don't know, that's up to the company. If they ask me to do the engineering on kits for the early model JKUs or JKs I'll do it and it won't take long. BTW the breaks are at 07-10 and 11-present. The 11-present JKU kit has been one the market for a while; the 11-present JK kit became available a month or so ago.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The factory is catching up with this thread, here's a photo showing how the side panels can be removed from the new JL hardtop...



Easy enough to do with a JK hardtop following instructions in this thread :).



Although the one in this thread has an optional B-pillar (seen in the photo above) for attaching roll-up soft sides to. I wonder if the JL has roll-up soft sides or it that's something I'll have to build ;).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
It'll probably have one of those plastic-folding window surrounds like the JK soft top has.

I'm sure you could design something better. ;)
The photos I've seen of the interior of the JL hardtop so far don't seem to have any provision for attaching roll-up soft sides, so maybe it is something I'll have to design. I'll bet it could be a popular aftermarket accessory, roll-up soft sides are very easy to store in the Jeep, the factory hard panels probably wouldn't be all that easy to store if you take them off on the trail somewhere.

I don't have any plans to buy a JL though, but maybe if a friend ends up with one I'll do some soft sides for them.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I find deals for damaged hardtops all the time on Craigslist. Here's a listing for two late model JKU hardtops: https://cleveland.craigslist.org/pts/d/damaged-jeep-wrangler/6343259285.html. Both are damaged, but the damage is repairable, especially if you bought them to convert to modular parts since you'd be doing fiberglass work for that process anyway. Both tops seem to have the side windows, although on one the glass is dark tint and on the other it's lighter. They want $200 each, could probably get both together for less than $400 and then you'd have extra parts for doing things like cargo hatches in one of the pairs of side panels, skylights in one of the roof panels, etc. Good material for a project.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Jeff,

I believe I have seen this answer somewhere in this thread or maybe others, but I was wondering about hood latch replacements for 2004-2006 Wrangler Unlimited? Does anyone have experience with good solutions...whether simple latch or locking latch mechanisms? Thanks!!
This is probably the wrong thread to post that question - this thread is about JK hardtops, not LJ hoods. You might get more response if you start a separate thread that LJ/TJ people would notice.
 
I find deals for damaged hardtops all the time on Craigslist. Here's a listing for two late model JKU hardtops: https://cleveland.craigslist.org/pts/d/damaged-jeep-wrangler/6343259285.html. Both are damaged, but the damage is repairable, especially if you bought them to convert to modular parts since you'd be doing fiberglass work for that process anyway. Both tops seem to have the side windows, although on one the glass is dark tint and on the other it's lighter. They want $200 each, could probably get both together for less than $400 and then you'd have extra parts for doing things like cargo hatches in one of the pairs of side panels, skylights in one of the roof panels, etc. Good material for a project.
Here is one in FL right now also. No glass but cheap. https://lakeland.craigslist.org/pts/d/jk-hard-top-250-firm/6413178120.html
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Since windows are easy, sliders cost about the same as factory replacement glass and are more functional.



Rear liftgate glass is a bit harder to find, but not impossible, I bought one a while back for about $150.

There's hardly a time when there isn't a damaged hardtop within about 3-4 hours drive or less from me, and $200 or so seems to be a common price.
 
Since windows are easy, sliders cost about the same as factory replacement glass and are more functional.



Rear liftgate glass is a bit harder to find, but not impossible, I bought one a while back for about $150.

There's hardly a time when there isn't a damaged hardtop within about 3-4 hours drive or less from me, and $200 or so seems to be a common price.
See the sliders would be awesome on the side and if you could somehow incorporate a rear window like on a soft top so you could just roll it up or take it off all together perfect. The rear glass is the only thing I do not like about the hard tops. And yes a barn door would be perfect :D
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
See the sliders would be awesome on the side and if you could somehow incorporate a rear window like on a soft top so you could just roll it up or take it off all together perfect. The rear glass is the only thing I do not like about the hard tops. And yes a barn door would be perfect :D
Can't argue with that, the barn door is probably the single most useful enhancement I've made to both my JKU and my LJ.

I did show how to sew a soft barn door in my earlier in my barn door thread; it doesn't roll up but it does work just like the hard barn door and it I also showed how to sew one with a zip-up window. A soft barn door could be a DIY option for someone who bought a used hardtop that didn't come with rear hatch glass.

These two photos show a soft barn door on my Jeep...





BTW the soft barn door pictured above is compatible with the factory hardtop.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Hi Jeff,
did you ever make one with the wings for the wider top glass on the 2012 -2017?
No, I haven't had a reason to make a soft barn door for the late model factory hardtop yet, but I have made hard barn doors for both models. A wide soft barn door for the late model hardtop would be constructed just like the one I made for the early model, and would attach to the same hardware on the tailgate.





Before anyone runs out to make a soft barn door for their late model hardtop, I should point out that installing a barn door for the late model wide-hatch hardtop (either hard or soft barn door), you do need "wide-swing" hinges to make the barn door work. The top hinge in this photo is a wide-swing hinge, notice the hinge pin is further to the right than the hinge pin on the factory hinge. (Factory hinges work fine with barn doors on early model narrow-hatch hardtops)

 
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Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
Had I kept the Jeep, that would have been the next mods on my list. :beer:
The usability of that feature is epic!
I was looking into making an insert for the rear opening of the soft top, so the soft barn door (for the top like you have) would have worked out great. :)
 
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