Jeeps have a long and rich history of producing highly capable vehicles suited for city driving and off-roading right out of the factory. Modern Jeeps have a robust design and incredible hauling capabilities, making them all-around vehicles. Moreover, you can choose from various models, trim levels, and other options that let you customize your Jeep according to your needs and lifestyle.
Soft tops are some of the most notable features of Jeeps, particularly the Wrangler model line. These modular roof assemblies are easy to install and store when not in use. These soft tops make open-air driving easier and more enjoyable than ever.
Jeep soft tops come with removable windows and panels to take your vehicle out the way nature intended: feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. But like any other component of the car, the soft top along with its windows and panels must be properly taken care of to maintain their condition and prolong their lifespan.
This blog shares tips on how to store your Jeep’s soft top windows and panels the right way.
How to Store Jeep Soft Top Windows and Panels
Storing your soft top and its panels properly is vital if you want to extend the lifespan and overall enjoyment of using your soft top. Most soft top assemblies can last from five to ten years, depending on usage and the material they’re made of. Preventive maintenance goes a long way if you want to keep your soft tops in working condition when you need to use them.
Here are some tips on how you should store your Jeep soft top windows properly:
Clean your soft top
Proper soft top maintenance includes regular cleaning of the whole assembly. Make sure to rid the soft top surfaces, windows, and panels of any dirt or debris before you disassemble everything. Dirty tops can scratch the window panels and encourage mildew growth that’s difficult to clean and get rid of in the long run.
We recommend cleaning the windows and panels from left to right instead of doing circular or swirling wiping patterns. This way, you’re going with the natural grain of the materials and minimize the chances of scratching the surfaces.
You can also use a soft cotton rag or a microfiber towel to avoid scratching your windows and other panels while you clean them. Refrain from using paper towels and applying too much pressure on the surface of the assembly to avoid scratching and damaging it as you clean.
Use the right cleaning products
We recommend using the right kind of detergent or cleaning agent to wash your convertible roof. You can also use white vinegar in an undiluted solution to remove molds on your soft tops. Let it sit for about an hour before wiping away so that the mold can fully absorb the vinegar.
Afterward, rinse your soft top with warm water and apply a roof proofer or protectant to make the surface hydrophobic and repel water. If your soft tops are made of delicate materials, you can use a soft horsehair brush for scrubbing the surfaces to avoid scratches.
Do not use bleach when cleaning your soft tops and other related components, as this chemical is highly corrosive when used on the wrong material. You should also avoid products with ammonia or alcohol, like household window spray cleaners, as they can result in cracks, streaking, and discoloration. This is why it’s always ideal to use products specifically formulated for cleaning car windows, panels, and other vehicle surfaces.
Avoid soft touch automatic car wash services
Stay clear of soft touch automated car washes, as the brushes can damage your soft top, windows, and panels. The bristles in these automatic car washes tend to be coarse and hard, which can puncture and scratch your windows and soft tops.
If you’re unable to clean your car regularly, especially during winter, you might need to opt for touchless or contactless washing services for your Jeep. They forego automated car cleaning bristles and instead use high-pressure water to get rid of the dirt, gunk, and other build-ups on your car. But these are not as effective as deep cleaning your car, especially if it has accumulated mud and grime from your trips.
Fold it carefully
Another tip on how to store your Jeep’s soft top windows is to roll them up neatly and tightly after you have cleaned them prior to removal. This will also make storage much easier. Follow the instructions included in your soft top packaging.
We do not recommend rolling the windows and panels for long periods, as this can deform them over time. You also risk their surfaces rubbing together, which can cause scratches and marks in the long run.
But if you need to roll your windows and panels, lay a towel on them first. Afterward, secure them loosely with hook-and-loop straps or rope to minimize their surfaces from rubbing against one another.
Pro tip: Take this opportunity to inspect your panels carefully. Check for any holes or tears on the surfaces. You can stitch and patch up any small holes with ease to prevent the damage from getting worse until you get a proper replacement.
Don’t know how to remove and reinstall your soft top and can’t find its user manual? Here are general steps you can follow:
Jeep Soft Top: Removal
Unclip the sun visors to access the header latches of your ride. Then, click the latches open. Take note that some older vehicles will have their clip retainers above the front and rear doors.
The front of your soft top has a hinge mechanism. Fold it back while keeping your fingers away from the metal bars. You’ll want to pull the fabric back to prevent it from being crushed by the hinge.
Open the swing gate at the rear of your vehicle and unzip (or, if you don’t have zippers, undo the channels) the back window. Once you’ve done this, you can roll out the bottom retainer bar, tilt, and pull it out.
The quarter windows can easily be removed by lifting the snap in fasteners on the bottom rear corners of the back windows, and the grommets at the top. From there, undo the channels and the leading and bottom edges, and slide rearward off the c-channel at the top
To fully remove your soft top, find the latch on the bars. You’ll often find these just above the front of the rear windows, typically marked with a yellow rubberized cap.
Press the latch down and slide the top back on the railing. Do this until the latch folds over itself.
Rest the U-shaped frame on the back of your ride. Secure the bars with the fastener strip and close the tailgate afterward.
Jeep Soft Top: Installation
Remove the fastener straps from the side bows of the back of your Jeep.
Open the tailgate and lift the soft top, drop the sidebar onto the railing, and slide it forward until you hear a click.
Fold the header toward the windshield.
Reach inside the front doors and loosen the latches under the sun visors. You’ll eventually tighten these later.
Replace your rear quarter windows by reversing the procedure used above to remove them
Position the tailgate bar by sliding it through the back window strip. Ensure the rubber seal is on the bottom outside.
Push the tailgate bar into place. Zip (Or secure channels) and ensure the window is closed.
Close the tailgate once done.
Secure the header windshield latches.
Find an indoor storage space
Storing your Jeep soft top by yourself can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the proper storage for it. The assemblies can develop mildew, get damaged by UV rays, and get dented or scratched if not stored in the proper place.
It’s best you find a temperature-controlled indoor storage space to keep your convertible roof in its best condition. Joiiio provides the full service soft top prep and storage throughout the winter to ensure your soft top is maintained properly for the seasons to come
Joiiio eliminates the hassle of removing, storing, and reinstalling your soft top windows and panels — we do all the work for you! You can message us whenever you need to revert to your soft top, and we will gladly schedule the appointment.
Protect Your Jeep Windows and Panels with Ease
Jeeps are one of the most iconic vehicles in the world due to their unique design, modular features, durability, and off-road reliability. Wranglers, in particular, have special roof assemblies that let you switch from a topless to a soft top as the seasons change or if you want to enjoy the breeze of summer drives and enjoy the view of the great outdoors. Know how you can maintain your soft top windows and panels and prolong their lifespan with Joiiio.
Visit the Joiiio page to learn more about soft top care tips from the experts and other useful and interesting topics about Jeeps.