If you love taking your Jeep out on the trails and mud runs on the weekends, good for you. It’s getting used the way it was meant to be used. Sometimes all that Jeep love translates into Jeep repairs and restoration, however. If your Jeep TJ hardtop is leaking or shows signs of excessive wear, it’s probably time for a new one.
Before you get all excited and choose the flashiest model for your hardworking ride, take some time to learn about hardtops. A little knowledge will help ensure you get the right one for your Jeep.
Proper OEM Fit
The first thing you should do is compare original equipment manufacturer hardtops with aftermarket hardtops. Both have their place and their purpose on your Jeep. An aftermarket part may offer more style options than OEM. You may be able to get some custom features you wouldn’t otherwise have.
However, one of the biggest benefits of OEM hardtops is the fit. These hardtops are made by the same manufacturers that built your factory-installed hardtop. Therefore the measurements are precise and exact. There is no jimmying, fiddling, or wedging required. If you want a hardtop that fits just like the one that came with your ride, OEM is the way to go.
Types Of Finishes
So many Jeep owners are going for a whole look. They want everything from wheels and tires on up to have a certain vibe. If this applies to you, you had better consider your hardtop finish. Hardtops come in a variety of finishes that can enhance the look of your ride. Some types to consider include:
- Smooth matte
- Satin black
- Raw finish to be painted
To get a true custom look for your Wrangler, have one of the primer-only hardtops painted to your specifications. It’s a nice way to set your Jeep apart from the crowd.
While you’re at it, shop for some other details to make your ride extra special. Check out black lugnuts, tire covers, or after-market bumpers. Personalizing your Jeep is part of the fun of ownership.
Number of Pieces
Jeep hardtops come in a number of pieces. You get to decide which style is right for the way you use your vehicle.
- One-piece tops: If you don’t need fancy features, this is a cost-effective option. Some one-piece tops have a carpeted interior liner for better warmth and sound insulation.
- Two-piece tops: These tops have a front panel that can be removed for open-air driving. This makes your Jeep more like a convertible.
- Three-piece tops: Typically the most expensive, these tops are divided into two front sections and a rear section. This makes the top easier to remove and install. Since there are more seams, however, there is a greater chance of leaks and wind noise.
If you’re in the market for a new hardtop, go to your local parts store or go online today to learn about your many options.