Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Jeep Wrangler



  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    While the SWB TJ top takes getting used to, I have no idea how much work is involved with the Unlimited's top. I know it is longer and will be more to manage.

    That said, I'm sure a hard top for the Unlimited would pretty much require a winch type setup to take it off. But that does mean you have not lost any real storage - just leave it hanging in the garage. Now if you don't have a garage, just find a tree and hang it from there. :) just kidding.

    Having hard or dual tops is MUCH easier if you have the space to store the hard top when it is not being used. At Camp Jeep, those hard tops were HUGE and I can only imagine the efforts to remove and store them.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hi, Karl. Welcome to the board!

    Karl, a hardtop can be suspended from the ceiling of the garage, if you have the proper set-up. Hoists can be purchased with the attachment/suspension points designed specifically for the Wrangler hard tops. Not sure if you can use the same ones for the longer Unlimited tops or not, but, if not, I'll bet someone makes them for the Unlimiteds. Suspending them from the ceiling, of course, means you are not taking up floor space.

    The 05s will have a six speed manual tranny as standard and an optional four speed auto. The 04s have only the auto available.

    There will be a Rubicon edition of the Unlimited in 05, or at least that's the rumor (Is it official now, anyone?).


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    gimme gimme gimme (with a 6 speed please!)

    I was wishing Camp Jeep would raffle off a Rubi or Unlimited, but they only gave away an 05 Grand Laredo (and that was a 2 year lease). But it was won by a Lieutenant at Vandenberg AFB - so that was cool. I had talked to her and her friend on the trail rides before we left that day and they were talking about modding their TJ. Funny. :)

  • karlw90karlw90 Posts: 59
    ...Thanks everyone for the advice so far!! One of the main reasons I am considering the Jeep Wrangler is because of it's "fun-ness"! And also with the Unlimited it will be a little more practical, too! Even though I love my sports car, I always get jealous on a nice day when I see a Wrangler drive by with it's top off. It looks so much fun. Plus with its 4x4, driving in the winter won't be a nightmare that it can be sometimes.

    From what some of you have said, it sounds like the soft top should be good enough to handle the Chicago winters?? I do have a 2 car garage, so a hardtop is a possiblity, but I'm not too sure about installing a winch system in my garage. Is it something you could take off and lift with the help of a couple of friends?

    Thanks again -
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    A hard top would have the advantage of having windows that can be scraped without being scratched. Also, your rear window would have a wiper/washer and defroster.

    The hard top can be taken off without a hoist, but it is HEAVY! I believe the standard hard top is 140 lbs, and the longer one used on an Unlimited would weigh significantly more.

    It's a tough job for two people to handle even the standard length hard top. I would definitely want a hoist for the Unlimited top. The hoist would have the advantage of saving floor space in the garage, also.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The top could be lifted by you and a friend or two. The Hoist setup Tom mentioned would be very easy to do. You could build one yourself if you are handy in that way, but it would serve 3 purposes:
    Makes lifting a very easy matter, especially if electric.
    Saves your back
    Saves floor space otherwise taken up.

    As for the Chicago winters, the soft top should work for you to keep you warm - the Jeep heater could keep Satan warm! But I wouldn't keep it outside when the snow is coming down. The snow could weigh down the top and cause the fabric to stretch or tear if it got really heavy (like it can do in Chi-town).

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    We thinking alike today. :) hehehe

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Adjust the rear brakes, not the handbrake cable. That should only be adjusted if a new cable is fitted.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    "...There will be a Rubicon edition of the Unlimited in 05, or at least that's the rumor (Is it official now, anyone?)..."

    Didn't you see my pics a couple of days ago? It wasn't just an Unlimited with "Rubicon" on the sides of the hood!

  • 99tj99tj Posts: 187
    I also live in a cold weather area, I would get the hard top if I were you. Being able to scrape the real windows and defrost the rear one is something I couldn't live without.

    Me and a buddy were able to get my Sport hardtop off. With the extra weight of the larger unlimited top, you'll probably need 3 people.
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    for '04, they didn't offer a dual top option on the Unlimited - one or the other; not sure if that will change in '05.


    PS - got my $75 rewards drive debit card from Jeep last week. Planning on putting it towards a new camp tent.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Yeah, Mac, but they might have been prototypes.

    I believe they really will offer them: it's just that I can't remember seeing an "official" announcement.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    from this site:

    scroll down to Wrangler and you'll see:

    Jeep Wrangler
     (BGK) Antilock brakes have a Job #1 of 9/7/04
    (RBQ) AM/FM/CD/6-disc changer on hold - TBD
    (YAA) RHD postal truck has a Job #1 of 10/4/04
    (PGV) Beryl Green paint has a Job #1 of 10/18/04
    TJJS78 LWB Rubicon model has a Job #1 of 11/8/04
    (PV5) Impact Orange production delayed until 10/4/04
    (PBT) Patriot Blue paint has a Job #1 of 8/23/04
    (PSB) Bright Silver paint has a Job #1 of 8/23/04

    Looks like the first ones will start production 11/8

  • mcrrtmcrrt Posts: 93

    I bought an Unlimited back in June & love it! The soft top isn't bad to put up or down; takes me about 10 minutes for down, a little more to put it up. If you don't need the whole top down, there's a neat sunroof feature the folds back the front part in just a minute or two.

    I wouldn't lock yourself into a hardtop just yet. I live in Michigan, and I'm bettin' I'll be OK with a softtop this winter. Wranglers are reputed to have heaters stoked by the fires of hell, so warmth shouldn't be a problem, although I'll acknowledge that the hardtops' wiper and defroster would be nice in the slop.

    Major changes for '05: Solar yellow (like mine) and Shale green are replaced by Impact orange and Beryl green. 6 speed manual available in Unlimited, and the black fender flares and top are replaced with a medium gray (boo!). Unlimited will be available in 3 trims: base, premium, and Rubicon.

    I use my Unlimited as my DD for a 20 mile round trip commute. It's of course a little loud, and the ride a little stiff, but with the longer wheelbase it's a lot less darty at freeway speeds than a SWB Wrangler. I'm averaging about 16mpg.

    Hope this helps-let me know if you have any other questions!

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Why don't you try to get down here for a little wheelin' with me before winter?

    I will keep in mind that you are in your daily driver and that you are a long way from home, so, I will take you to "safe" places. I can guarantee you the time of your life, and I can ALMOST guarantee, no damage. I would be foolish to say no chance of damage, cause anything can happen, but I know places that are fun that should not lead to any damage at all.

    How far is your part of MI from Ky Lake?

    You know LBL has a lot of nice attractions for vacationers, so there would be other things for you and the Mrs to do while you are here besides wheelin'. There's a state park resort lodge that has very reasonable rates, and the setting is beautiful.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • drosketerdrosketer Posts: 203
    I bought my Buffy just this past winter, and I can attest to the fact that the heater is quite sufficient to keep you warm in the coldest of winter days (we get week long stretches of -30 C or so... don't know what that is in F, but let's just say it's friggin' cold... ;-) ).

    I'd almost be willing to go with a softtop only, but there is something to be said about being able to scrape/defrost your windows. Softtop is easy to operate (once you've done it a couple of times), and the hardtop is MUCH easier to handle with a friend.

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    All this talk about scraping windows might change my mind, but I don't think so. By the time I hit the freeway my Jeep is warm enough to have melted the windows, so I would assume it would be the same with the soft top. If I lived in the city, I'd probably reconsider.

    For all with soft tops - how long do they last? Should I factor in replacing it at some point?
  • jeff62301jeff62301 Posts: 310
    you aren't that far from where I live, how about deciding you need that unlimited NOW!, I think I'm heading to Carmax in Atlant within the next couple weeks to get one. the dealers here aren't willing to come close on price. we could fly down together . two brand new unlimiteds would look great driving together, and I'll be there might be rough mountain roads in KY to break them in on the way home.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    You're right that they were prototypes. Production hasn't yet started, as twylie indicated. However, they will go into production. Below is a cut 'n paste from the relevent DC press release, the "official" announcement if you like :--)!


    With unmatched off-road capability, the 2005 Jeep® Wrangler lineup continues to grow the Jeep legend with new options for Jeep enthusiasts. For 2005, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited adds a new Rubicon model (late availability), allowing hard-core Wrangler Unlimited owners to “Go Anywhere, Do Anything and Bring Everything.” Also adding more capability for Jeep in 2005, all Jeep Wranglers feature an all-new six-speed manual transmission. A new Premium package is available on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The Premium package features new and unique cloth seats, silver painted center stack and instrument cluster bezels, bright grille and body color fender flares. Also new for 2005 is an optional
    six-disc in-dash CD changer system (late availability). No vehicle illustrates the legendary Jeep 4x4 capability better than the Wrangler, the heart and soul of the Jeep brand. Wrangler is the icon of the brand, offering open-air fun and freedom with award-winning off-road capability to young buyers, seasoned off-road enthusiasts and those who are young at heart. With the addition of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in 2004, Jeep has delivered the joys of “Jeeping” to new customers.“The Jeep Wrangler and the Wrangler Unlimited are the heart and soul of the Jeep brand,” said Jeff Bell, Vice President—Jeep. “We have expanded the rugged appeal of the standard Wrangler to a whole new group of Jeep enthusiasts with the Wrangler Unlimited and now the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. The Wrangler Unlimited builds on the unique elements of the original Wrangler and continues to deliver a true emotional connection to Jeep customers. But with the Unlimited, Wrangler now appeals to a broader range of core customers who require more space.” All Jeep Wranglers wear the Jeep Trail Rated® badge, indicating that the vehicle has been designed to perform
    in a variety of challenging conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, circulation and water fording.


    Building upon the success of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, the 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon takes extreme off-roading to a new level.The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon model builds on the award-winning capability of Wrangler Rubicon with an off-road system that includes locking front and rear differentials, front and rear Dana model 44 axles, four-wheel disc brakes and a 4:1 low-range transfer case. Not only is this premier off-road package fully synthesized by Jeep engineers, it’s an exceptional value to customers.“The Wrangler Rubicon was too popular with Jeep owners not to expand it to the successful Wrangler Unlimited,” said Bell. “With the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, we brought the Jeep sense of freedom and adventure to a new customer who required more space. The standard wheelbase Wrangler Rubicon continues as the ultimate off-road Wrangler, but both are rigs that are ready for serious off-road trails—and at a significant savings, compared to the costs of modifying the vehicle with aftermarket hardware.” The Rubicon editions feature a Rock-Trac™ transfer case with 4:1 “low range” that slows vehicle speed to give the driver more control, while increasing the amount of torque available at the wheels. In addition, the front and rear axles include “air-actuated” Tru-Lok™ locking differentials to maximize traction. The Wrangler Rubicon also features Goodyear Wrangler “Maximum Traction/Reinforced” 31-inch tall tires with a beefy tread pattern that wraps around the sidewall to help grab ledges along the trail. This state-of-the-art off-road tire includes a three-ply sidewall and advanced silica compound for excellent durability and puncture resistance. The LT245/75R16 tires add an extra half-inch of ground clearance to the Jeep Rubicon models. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Unlimited Rubicon feature unique exterior design cues that include heavy gauge diamond-plate sill guards, 16-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels and a “Rubicon” graphic placed prominently on each side of the hood............"
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    When quoting from a press release, please provide a link to the source. Thanks!

    tidester, host
  • Softtop and winter:

    Warmth is certainly not an issue with a soft top in the winter. The hard tops do not improve warmth that much anyway because they are not lined. Instead of a few layers of canvas, the hardtop only provides a layer of fiberglass. I'd say they are a draw.

    The hardtop has the advantage of being able to scrape snow and ice from the windows, and the rear defrost as has been mentioned.

    One other advanatge, and that is the flip up glass rear window in the hardtop. Trying to work the softtops zipper in the winter is a PITA as it clogs with snow and ice, and moving the window is a delicate balancing act in the cold so it doesn't crack from being brittle. If you need to use the storage area in the back a lot and cannot get by with just the swing open tailgate door, a hardttop will be far more convenient than having to deal with the rear softtop window. If you won't really need to have that big of an opening for anything, then the softtop would be fine.

    There is no dual top option for the Unlimited either. You would have to buy the vehicle with one top and order the other seperately for tons of $$.
  • mcrrtmcrrt Posts: 93
    I guess I have the same curiosity as mtngal: how long should I expect my soft top to last? If I could get it to hold together for about 5 years I wouldn't be upset. I figure if I could get 2 years out of a set of windows before they get scratched all to hell, that would be OK too. How long are soft tops holding up for you folks?

    Another question: How long before I develop the famous "Jeep rust"? Specifically the rust that you tend to see around the door and tailgate hinges. I know these exposed joints are more predisposed to rusting, but it sure would be nice if they didn't start looking bad until I had the thing paid for (only 58 months from now...sigh). Anything I can do to help prevent this rust from occuring, or am I just doomed to it, as I live in the "salt belt" of the midwest? Thanks for your comments!

  • jptjjptj Posts: 53

    My 98 still has the original soft top and still looks good. Staying in a camp ground during the week I do not a have a carport to park "Eugene the jeep" under so he stays out in rain, snow or shine. Ice is not a problem I let my vehicles warm up. Around 1990 I put a New Bestop (tiger top) on my cj.This May I had to replace a zipper on the driver’s side. And Eugene will turn over 175K on the way home tonight.

    Have a great day
  • mcrrtmcrrt Posts: 93

    Thanks for the invite! I'd love too, but with both my wife and I working, and the demands of the twins (9 months old next week!), I'm lucky if I can out to dinner occasionaly with my wife, let alone out of state! Maybe in a year or two, as I am getting tempted to try some "mild" trails.

    "Hi" to Ross Allen

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Man, both of you work, and you have a set of nine month old twins! Whoa!

    That just means that you find some very willing (I'm sure) relatives to take care of the twins, and you and momma have a little get away. I just happen to know a perfect place for that, too. :)

    I'll pass your greeting along to Ross Allen.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Marcus - I don't have any problem with rust on my '98, but then, I live where they sand the roads, not salt them. I don't think the one time I took him out on the beach counts, though it did take me a couple of weeks before he got a bath.

    Thanks, Walt, for the top info. My vehicles get parked outside all the time, and usually under a sappy cottonwood that needs trimming. The sap isn't as bad as pine tar (I've learned not to park under them), so knowing that I'll get good service from the soft top is nice.

    I have wondered about the back window situation. Since I have the hard top only, I was surprised to find the bar that the soft top attaches to just above the tailgate. The zippers don't worry me as much as that bar does - can you just unzip the window and remove the whole thing easily? Perhaps I've been spoiled with the hardtop!
  • wheelsdownwheelsdown Posts: 250
    Couple of things about the soft top. I live in Chicago area. The few times I had ice (not left out much), I just tapped the plastic windows with my gloved hand and the ice broke off enough to drive. Inside warmed up quickly and melted the rest.

    The rear window zips out real quick. It will take some practice to figure the best way to lay it in the back (kind of hard to explain) to make the zipper easy to start. I can do it now in about 30 seconds max.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    "you aren't that far from where I live, how about deciding you need that unlimited NOW!, I think I'm heading to Carmax in Atlant within the next couple weeks to get one. the dealers here aren't willing to come close on price. we could fly down together . two brand new unlimiteds would look great driving together, and I'll be there might be rough mountain roads in KY to break them in on the way home."


    KY???? Bring it on, you guys can stop by Turkey Bay and wheel with me! :)


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • gman1259gman1259 Posts: 209
    As far as which tops is better in the cold winters, I do not know. I live in So. Cal. and have no idea what it would be like to have to scrape windows (I do not count the trips to Big Bear or Mammoth). But, I can say each top has its advantages. Since I have a place to winch my top off I fine the hard top to the one I use the most around town. If I travel to some place I may what take the top down I would defiantly use the soft top. I personally would buy both tops, even if I had to pay extra $$ for them.

    There are extras that should be purchased with either top. For the hard top get an insulated liner for around $70.00 plus. When traveling with the soft top a roll for the windows is a must (cost $70.00 plus).
  • 99tj99tj Posts: 187
    I've seen a "quilted" liner on Ebay for around $70. Have you tried this Gman? Anybody else tried this for thier hardtop?

Sign In or Register to comment.