Replace Your Beat-up Factory Ragtop and Hardware.
There’s a reason why soft-top Wranglers have been and continue to be Jeep’s best-selling short wheelbase model -the open-air experience (especially on the trail) is priceless. But with the wind-in-your-face exhilaration comes a harsh reality. That conglomeration of canvas and vinyl eventually deteriorates with use and exposure to the elements. The good news is you can replace your factory top fairly easily and inexpensively, and with more choices than what was offered by the manufacturer.
Bestop’s Supertop is a good way to upgrade your Jeep CJ, YJ, TJ and JK (or Suzuki Samurai, Geo Tracker and assorted soft top 4x4s), and the company offers a slew of tops with various configurations and materials.
Our project YJ is typical of many trail veterans. The 22 year-old top was beyond shot, and duct tape was the only thing even attempting to hold the broken hardware together (and doing a poor job of it). Since this is a 1987 model (with the button-snap upper door halves), there was no replacing the OE hardware and simply adding a replacement top. Just as well, as it turns out, because for a few bucks more a complete Supertop kit includes the full top, new upper door halves and all new hardware.
The general design of the Supertop and its hardware is fundamentally the same across the YJ and TJ Wrangler platforms. There are some minor design differences, but the installation is pretty much identical. If you don’t run into any hassles, the installation can be done in an afternoon (2-4 hours, depending on your comfort level). Cold temperatures and some issues with drilling/modifying the door channels (specific to 1987 models) stretched out our work time, but was no fault of the Supertop. You’ll have the best luck doing this when the temperature is well above the 70-degree mark.