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Thread: full hard vs. full soft top. pros and cons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    City/State
    Farmington, NM
    Scrambler Year
    1981
    Year Purchased
    2014
    Posts
    462

    full hard vs. full soft top. pros and cons

    I don't want to buy both to I was hoping someone could share their experience. I'm leaning toward the soft because I don't the I would ever actually take the full hard off once I got it on and would like to occasionally have a bed to use but I'm worried about wind and flapping noise. can someone provide some input?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    City/State
    Lake Keesus, WI
    Scrambler Year
    1982 Scrambler Base
    Year Purchased
    2010
    Posts
    815
    I had a full hardtop on my 8. Our two kids had the back seat. We always voted as a family when the top would come off during the summer and it wouldn't go back on until school started in September. Too much work to take on and off. Also I can't bring rained soaked kids to school. Before the top came off, we would remove the doors and remove the lift gate to provide some relief but still keep the rain out. I never used a soft top for the eight, but we have one for the LJ. Most of the summer the LJ is driven with the side and rear windows removed and the top up to keep the sun out. I loved the hard top for spring and summer, no real noise to speak of. Our jeeps are never driven during the winter due to salt on our roads, but the hard top would be preferred during the winter. Just my sc-rambling two cents.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    City/State
    West Bend, WI
    Scrambler Year
    82 and 84
    Year Purchased
    1990
    Posts
    292
    I switch off between an ACME full hard top and my Whitco full soft top. The only reason I do this is because the hard top is a lot less drafty in the colder months. I was actually very surprised that the hard top was NOT that much quieter than the soft top. The hard top came with one of my scramblers almost 28 years ago and we just never got rid of it. Maybe it's just mine but it really didn't fit all that great. The door openings don't line up all that well along with the tailgate, etc. No matter how I adjust it, something is off. So if I had to choose between the two, I would without question get a GOOD soft top. I personally would never spend the money on a hard top. In my opinion it would be a complete waste of money.
    My Rides...
    84 Scrambler 28,000 original miles
    82 Scrambler (resto project)
    29 Chevy truck
    88 Firebird Formula WS6
    98 camry (daily)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    City/State
    West Bend, WI
    Scrambler Year
    82 and 84
    Year Purchased
    1990
    Posts
    292
    Well hi Jeff! I haven't seen you in a while Boy did we have a difference in opinion. lol
    My Rides...
    84 Scrambler 28,000 original miles
    82 Scrambler (resto project)
    29 Chevy truck
    88 Firebird Formula WS6
    98 camry (daily)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    City/State
    Lake Keesus, WI
    Scrambler Year
    1982 Scrambler Base
    Year Purchased
    2010
    Posts
    815
    Hi Ron... My hard top fit mint (and quiet) after a lot of adjustment. It also had a stock lift gate. I also have an appreciation for keeping myself dry and warm (and also the ability to keep my tools locked up and safe). Not much security with a soft top. Differences in opinion and in use are great!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    City/State
    Lake Keesus, WI
    Scrambler Year
    1982 Scrambler Base
    Year Purchased
    2010
    Posts
    815
    The Scrambler we keep in northern WI has a hard top with sliding windows and screens, which is unique and useful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    City/State
    West Bend, WI
    Scrambler Year
    82 and 84
    Year Purchased
    1990
    Posts
    292
    I have the sliders with screens as well, I do agree they are nice to have. Do you use factory hard doors or the fiberglass ones? I have the fiberglass ones and maybe that's where a lot of the noise is coming from I have some factory hard doors but I just haven't had a chance to paint them yet. Here are the glass ones in case anyone is interested. Sorry, crappy pic I know.
    20171008_105926.jpg
    My Rides...
    84 Scrambler 28,000 original miles
    82 Scrambler (resto project)
    29 Chevy truck
    88 Firebird Formula WS6
    98 camry (daily)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    City/State
    Lake Keesus, WI
    Scrambler Year
    1982 Scrambler Base
    Year Purchased
    2010
    Posts
    815
    Factory hard doors. The hard top is also helpful in carrying a canoe or kayaks.

    DSC00927.jpg
    Last edited by jak inc; 12-05-2017 at 08:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    City/State
    Redmond, OR
    Scrambler Year
    82 base, 81 SR
    Year Purchased
    2002
    Posts
    9,320
    If you live in a snowy climate, you can't open the rear window of the soft top in winter- the zippers ice up and the plastic window gets brittle. Plus you can't scrape ice off plastic windows. The tailgate is a bear to open with a soft top too.

    Randy S.
    "It's not what you buy, it's what you build"
    82 Scrambler "Copper" 5.3 LS/4L60E/241OR/D44&HD20/4.56 locked
    Build Thread-http://www.cj-8.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19032
    87 J20 "Blue" 6.0 LS/4L80E/241C...Current Build
    81 Scrambler "Red"...Waiting Patiently
    1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 Wagoneers...
    73 VW Bus- for sale
    www.oldsoulsretros.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    City/State
    Farmington, NM
    Scrambler Year
    1981
    Year Purchased
    2014
    Posts
    462
    all good info, even if it has only made my decision harder! keep the info coming.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    City/State
    West Haven, UT
    Scrambler Year
    1982
    Year Purchased
    2009
    Posts
    590
    Quote Originally Posted by Randyzzz View Post
    If you live in a snowy climate, you can't open the rear window of the soft top in winter- the zippers ice up and the plastic window gets brittle. Plus you can't scrape ice off plastic windows. The tailgate is a bear to open with a soft top too.
    Truth. I switch with the seasons on my YJ. I have crack the soft back window before and the hard top holds more heat. At one time I wanted the ambulance style seats and a Mohave heater in the back of the 8. If I had that setup I would just run the soft.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    City/State
    Farmington, NM
    Scrambler Year
    1981
    Year Purchased
    2014
    Posts
    462
    Anyone know what happened to the thread about putting a third bow in your soft top? I can't find it and apparently it helped with flapping and rustling noise,

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    City/State
    Palm Bay, FL
    Scrambler Year
    '83
    Year Purchased
    2001
    Posts
    1,036
    Quote Originally Posted by redking11 View Post
    Anyone know what happened to the thread about putting a third bow in your soft top? I can't find it and apparently it helped with flapping and rustling noise,
    http://www.cj-8.com/content.php?45-Adding-a-third-bow-to-a-Scrambler-Bestop-Supertop

    You will need one of these to view the pics until they get redone.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/photobucket-embedded-imag/ogipgokcopooepeipngiikdkpmcpkaon

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/photobucket-fixer/?src=cb-dl-recentlyadded

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    City/State
    Berlin, ct
    Scrambler Year
    1984 CJ8 / 1980 CJ5
    Year Purchased
    2010
    Posts
    1,064
    I had an acme hard top and sold it to get my supertop. I just like the ease of use with a soft top better and with the blazer motor I do not have a heater issue in the winter. The hardtop was surprisingly loud and I really didn't like how the Jeep handled with all the weight on high up top.
    MY RIDES:
    1984 CJ-8
    1961 Willys Wagon

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    City/State
    Farmington, NM
    Scrambler Year
    1981
    Year Purchased
    2014
    Posts
    462
    do the full hard tops get hot in the summer? I don't have a/c in my scrambler. I mean I fugure if you take of the doors and open the windows your going to get plenty of air. My guess would be that a hard top painted something other than black might actually be cooler than a black soft top. I'm in TX for the time being so I'm more worried about heat than cold.

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