Hard Top - Do you use it?

hefavitzen

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rock Hill
State
SC
#1
Hey folks, I am waffling between buying a soft top or a hard top. I am not a fan of the Best Top top, as I like the more "safari" look of the K-Line top in the summer. However, currently I plan on installing a more "family style" cage that is similar to Mr. Sunnyshine's so I can run a canvas top from front to back without the soft top structure rattling around and in the way.

But, I like the idea of a hard top, but it seems like it is rare to see a Scrambler with one actually on the Jeep. I was wondering if the hard top, in the end, was too much trouble or too heavy to take on and off or whatever.

I live in South Carolina where it is does not get that cold for long but it rains a LOT. Like, often and a lot. Plus, my head isn't quite as thickly covered in hair so I prefer a strip of fabric covering my head but want the sides open most of them time. The idea of a hard top with windows that slide open is appealing as I am hoping it won't be so noisy as a soft top and still let plenty of air / light in. I have ZERO experience with hard tops though, so I could be wrong.

I am from Oklahoma so am used to it being cold and windy from Oct to April, then rain for two months then dry, HOT and windy from May to Sept, and then all over again. There you need a top on from Oct to May and then can go topless for the summer with very little chance of getting rained on.

Your feedback is appreciated, Jeff.
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
OKC
State
OK
#2
I am a transplanted Okie, from South Dakota. Up north the half cab was left on year round. Your assessment of OK is pretty spot on. I run a full length bikini top full time. Haven't had the doors on in 5 years, even took the door strikers off the tub. In the winter I just wear more layers. It looks weird but is still fun.

I have a friend in Colorado with the Bestop and I will likely get one in the future. Its a pretty clean installation, as long as you can stomach the required holes. The ability to zip out the sides and doors is super nice. Full doors seem to "seal" alright but obviously not as good as a fiberglass top. There is also plenty of room under the top to fit a full family cage.

I'm not sure if the Bestop will take highway speed without doors and sides. My bikini top takes less than a minute to remove and install, so I remove it before tow it anywhere. All in all, I think the bestop is the most versatile option.
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
#3
If you have a hard top, keep it. If you're buying a top, I'd probably get a soft top if you like to ride with the top and doors off.

My solution to this issue was to put my hardtop on my CJ-7, then buy another CJ-7 that I put a Bestop Supertop on. The hardtop Jeep is my hunting/mud/winter Jeep, and the other one is used in summer and around town. The softop equipped Jeep probably get 10x's the miles of the other one.
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#4
Mine came from the factory with only a soft top, and that's all it's ever had... Sometimes I like the idea of a hard top in the winter, but i've never put much energy into getting one.
 
City
Lake Country
State
BC
#5
I like to run hardtop. That said if it was easier to remove I also like the bikini. Have a brand new full best top still in the box🐒 I just run half door, no windows unless it gets cold...getting older so love the heat!! 20191005_162717.jpg
 

Rosco1974

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Haven
State
UT
#6
I was lucky enough to get a full length ACME hard top earlier this year. I ran it for a minute. Super nice for keeping the inside dry/secure, but I hated the noise. It sounds like a tunnel. I prefer the half cab. Have had a full Bestop in the box and extra bows for about 3 years now, but cant bring myself to drill the holes.
 

gr8dain

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
#7
I use the hard half top in the winter and the bikini the rest of the year. I do not want to have a back seat as I like the truck utility of it, so a full hard top was never in the cards. When I bought it the Jeep cam e with a Tiger Top (the roll up side windows) and I liked the ease of dropping the top and putting g it back up. I had a back seat then that was useful for the kids. I would not have gone with the hard top as I was sure it would be too much effort to ever take it off. I am lazy. In addition, I really have no good place to store it when the top is off. Of course, the soft top degraded over the years. So there are downsides to both.
 

mhinchliffe

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
W-S
State
NC
#8
Here's mine with every flavor top I have. Personally I like it with no top and doors. Mrs. CJ8 laid down the law the the 'lil CJ's have to have the doors on to ride in it, no biggie still topless! My second favorite is the full Acme top. Warm, secure looks good on it. Then the K-Line full soft top is a nice this time of year top with its ability to go safari top in just a few minutes or run fully enclosed in just a few minutes. I'm a tall 6'3" and find the half top to be just too small and confining plus it only affords me 1 passenger and we're a family of 4 - another vote for the Acme. I hope this helps you out visually, same Jeep, same lift, etc.

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ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#9
Might be an unpopular option, but my goal is a Hard Top Scrambler, Soft Top Scrambler, and a Half Cab Scrambler. That way, I pick the version that fits the mood. (I don’t like removing the tops, it is much easier to just grab a different set of keys.)

I’m off to a bad start since I now have 2 hard top versions. I do have a half cab and a STC soft top though, just no scrambler to put under them, yet.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#10
So I guess I have a unique POV here, but I'll share it anyway.

I'm actually more going to answer from my experience with my LJ with the GR8TOPS Safari Cab, per your comment about the hard top/slider windows. The Safari Cab has this setup with nice screens and it's really next to worthless overall with the rear door closed. There's no comparison at all to a soft top with the windows out, just not anything close to the air flow.

One, it's too hard to get back there to open them, so they only get open if there's someone in the rear seat to operate them. Two, they just don't let in that much air -- compared to windows out of a soft top. My postal runs either the full bikini top or the roof of the Bestop soft top 98% of the time (for the same hair-challenged reasoning :rotfl:)

WIth the World Cab, it's an absolute oven even with the windows down, the front footwells just bake and no air flows through them AT ALL. The only way it's tolerable to me is with the doors removed, running the tube doors and even better with the rear door removed too. My wife HATES running the World cab (or the soft top with all the windows closed and soft doors for that matter) due to how hot the front footwells get. I don't run carpet and have no insulation, so that's my fault, but the airflow just isn't there, regardless.

If I were making the recommendation, it would be for some flavor of soft top with removable windows to run the roof as a long bikini. Get yourself a GR8TOPS Jeep Jacket to throw on when needed to deal with those southern rain storms so you don't have to worry about doors and windows.

My :twocents:
 

Scott_P

Legacy Registered User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Benzonia
State
MI
#11
mhinchliffe:
Your Jeep looks great in all its forms! The K-line soft top looks like it is in great shape...mine is starting to get a little rough.

Back on topic: I have never run a hard top on my Scrambler...I run a K-line soft top. Like BW, I run 99% of the time with the top on, but have the side curtains rolled up safari style. Jeep just gets too hot otherwise. (I also don't run any floor insulation or carpet. Someday I may look at insulating the firewall.) The wind noise from the top is much less too. For cool nights or unexpected rain, you can stay pretty warm and dry by just putting the doors on even with side curtains rolled up assuming it's not too windy.

I so wish someone would make a soft top like the JKU top for a scrambler...those are so tight and surprisingly quiet.

Disclaimer: I live in northern MI and due to salt, my Jeep is a garage queen Nov. - March.
 
City
Westminster
State
Md
#12
I tried to take my shepherd out for a drive in just the half top. Uh that didn’t work she was to big to fit in the passenger area. So I have to get my old full soft top out and try again.
 
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