A red 2005 Jeep Wrangler is parked in the woods with a soft top on after leaving a Jeep dealer near you.

Removing Your Wrangler’s Top and Doors Is Simpler Than You Think

If you’ve searched for a “Jeep dealer near me,” you may be interested in purchasing a Wrangler. But you might also have concerns about buying one if you’ve never owned a Wrangler before. A common concern that Wrangler buyers have is how often you will need to replace the Jeep soft top? The answer to that one is an average of 3 to 5 years. While soft tops are great for many reasons, they do have a shorter lifespan than hard tops.

Another concern that Wrangler owners may have has to do with top and door removal. As exciting as it is to have the top off of your Jeep Wrangler, the actual process of taking it off may feel overwhelming. The same goes for taking off the doors as well. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be so complicated!

Despite their short lifespan, many drivers prefer the soft top because it’s lightweight and easier to take on and off. In this article, we address both the soft top and the hard top. We’ll explain how to remove and replace the soft top, the hard top, and the doors on your Wrangler, making this a much less demanding task. Without further ado, let’s get started!

When To Replace Your Soft Top

While the general lifespan range is 3 to 5 years, there are a few things you’ll want to look out for when determining whether or not you need a new top. If your soft stop suddenly stops sealing well, it might be time to replace it. You’ll also want to look out for discoloration, holes, loose seams, mold, and bends in the plastic windows. It’s important to stay safe and keep yourself dry and warm during unpleasant weather, so always make sure your soft top is ready to roll.

Removing The Soft Top

To remove a soft top, you need to start by removing the rear and quarter windows and storing them in a safe place. These are fastened with a combination of Velcro, zippers, and plastic clasps, making them easy to remove. After that is done, you can unfasten the roof latches from inside the cabin. Some of these latches may be hidden behind the front row sun visors, so be sure to check there if you can’t find them. Simply pull these latches back to release them. Once everything has been unlatched, you can pull the top all the way back from outside the Jeep.

If you have the Sunrider soft top, then folding the top back will be easier, but you will require a tool to unscrew the brackets from the vehicle. Once the top is folded all the way back, simply remove the bolt on each side, and the entire top can be lifted off as a single piece. While the process of removing the soft top on a Jeep Wrangler may seem complex, it is actually quite simple. When you visit your nearest Jeep dealership, simply ask the sales team to demonstrate the process, and you will have no problem doing it yourself down the road.

Replacing The Soft Top

You’ll eventually need to put your top back on. The party doesn’t last forever. To do so, simply repeat the removal process in reverse. While it may take a bit of work to line everything up correctly the first time, this is a process that becomes easier with practice, and you will soon be able to do it in no time. However, remember to take it slowly the first few times and make sure that all the parts are securely attached at all the correct locations – the last thing you want is for something to come flying off when you take your Jeep out on the highway. You also need to make sure that all the seams are properly closed up so that you won’t have any rain or wind entering the cabin. But don’t be scared, just follow the proper steps, and you will soon be enjoying your Wrangler in style.

A red 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is parked angled left with a hard top on.

Removing and Replacing The Hard Top

While removing a Wrangler soft top is an easy job for anybody; removing a Wrangler hard top can take a bit of planning and experience. While it is not a difficult process, the hard top itself weighs around 100 lbs, and removing it can take a bit of work. Generally, it is best to have a friend (or several friends) with you to help lift it off. Alternatively, there are several products designed to support the weight of the hard top while you remove it. However, if you have the physical strength and know-how, it is entirely possible to remove a Wrangler hard top by yourself without any special devices.

Before you get started on taking off the top, make sure that you have the right tools – you need some Torx nut bits to remove the bolts. Your Jeep should come with the appropriate bits and a small ratchet, but if you’ve misplaced them or bought the Jeep used, then check the manual for the right sizes and pick them up at your local hardware store. Once you’ve got your tools and figured out your plan of attack, it is time to get down to business.

Begin by unlatching the smaller panels above the front seats. These are secured with a combination of rotating latches and a safety catch and are lightweight, allowing them to be quickly removed without any tools. Once they are off, locate the rear window defroster wiring and the wiper-fluid tube and disconnect them. After that task has been completed, it is time to pull out your Torx bits and unscrew all of the bolts holding the hard top to the body of the Wrangler.

When you have made sure to remove all of the bolts, then you are ready to remove the top itself. You will need to lift it straight up off the body and then place it gently on the ground, so this is where having a bunch of strong friends or a hoist comes in handy. Be gentle and make sure to be careful with the back window. Additionally, don’t forget to keep all your bolts and accessories locked up safely somewhere, so you don’t lose them.

To replace the hard top, simply retrace your steps. Put the top back on, bolt it back down, reattach the wiper wiring and wiper fluid tube, reattach the front panels, and you are ready to go. That’s all you need to know for hard top removal and replacement! While it can take a bit of work to man handle the top off, the process itself is relatively straightforward, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

A burgundy 2021 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited is parked in the mountains with its doors and top off.

Removing And Replacing The Doors

To take the doors off of a Wrangler, you will need to start by disconnecting the wiring harnesses. Simply open the doors and remove the interior panels to access the connectors. Once they are exposed, gently pop the connectors open. Then take your the appropriate Torx bits and unbolt the door stops from the inside. The next step is to unbolt the hinges from the outside. After the hinge bolts are removed, simply lift the doors up and place them in a safe place.

Repeat this for all other doors, and you’ll be set! To replace the doors, simply line the door back up with the bolts, screw the bolts back in, and reconnect the wiring. While it takes some minor manual labor, removing and replacing your Jeep’s top and doors isn’t nearly as complicated as it may seem at first. Just be sure to keep the right tools and keep track of your bolts and attachments. If you can do this with ease, you’ll be set to cruise with or without your Wrangler’s shell!