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03 and newer soft top hardware differences?


 
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saharatj98
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Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Location: Federal Way, Washington USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 3:01 pm    Post subject: 03 and newer soft top hardware differences? Reply with quote

Anyone know what the differences are in the hardware that makes 97-02 tops not compatible with 03-05 tops? I want an 03 or newer sail cloth top in a color that I can only get for a 03-05.
Thanks
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ehirner
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who told you they're not compatible?

To my knowledge, you can easily use an 03+ top on a 97-02. To make it easiest, I would recommend having the entire setup, including all the hardware and other parts.
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WhatWasIThinkin
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Epping New Hampsha

PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im not a 100% up on this, but I beleive the only differences are at the windshield. As far as I know they are compatable. Its just a matter of removing the windsheild interior trim peices ....or something along those lines.
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saharatj98
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Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Location: Federal Way, Washington USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I haven't seen them side by side but in pictures the bows and door surrounds look identical. I know on 03's they added plastic trim around the windshield inside. OMG don't want to see any paint inside the Jeep! My dealer rarely has any soft tops this time of year so I haven't been able to take a close look. Thatnks for that though... Anyone else know? I'll be buying a rubi in a few months and then i'll know, but I was hoping to know sooner...
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quadna71
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in my '03 sport's defense, the reason for the new plastic cladding isn't to cover up the paint - it's in compliance with new/updated federal requirements regarding head protection and padding in case of accidents. the only thing that i see possibly being a problem is that the latchs that hold down the top's header are completely different. the tang that inserts into the windshield frame are wider...and maybe even centered differently. want me to take a picture of them and post it?
chris
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saharatj98
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Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Location: Federal Way, Washington USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that would be cool. I figured maybe the extra trim was partly for occupant protection, but cosmetic too. Long ways to go to hit something if you're belted in. You are more apt to hit the back of the door/window frame with the back/side of your head after impact than the windshield frame. Anyway, who would have thought a Wrangler would have a 5 star safety rating for crash tests either by looking at it.
If the only difference is the latches, then if the new tops come without the header then it should attach to all of my older hardware. They must come with the headers and that's why they sell tops 1997-2002 and 2003- current?
Thanks for the help! Pics would be great!
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quadna71
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, i'm a slow putz...but i didn't forget about ya. here's some shots i took this morning.






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saharatj98
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Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Location: Federal Way, Washington USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know what? It looks identical to mine. The plastic header with the latches on it and the rubber seal mounted to the windshield. It all looks identical. The only difference I see is the plastic cladding trimming the inside of the windshield which underneath is probably identical too. I am betting now that 03 and newer are just separated because the colors are different. If the new tops come with a new header maybe it looks the same but the seal surfaces might be improved and won't match and seal correctly. Fix for that is either a new windshield to top seal to match the top or put the old header on the new top to match the windshield seal...Hmmmmm. The door frames look identical in pictures as do the bows and obviously the new tops attach the same to the body... Interesting.... I will find the answer to this somehow.
Thanks
Chuck
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ehirner
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The clamps are more narrow. Otherwise, it's identical to my knowledge.
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