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Bestop Sunrider for Factory Hard Tops; Black Twill (07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK)

Item J145536
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      Video Review & Installation

      Eric: Hey guys, I'm Eric with ExtremeTerrain. Today, we have a review and installation of the Bestop Sunrider with Black Twill material, fitting all 2007 to 2018 Jeep Wrangler JKs with the Factory Hard Top. And you should really check this out if you want a much more convenient way to open up the Freedom Panel area of your JK Wrangler. Now, I'm a Wrangler owner myself and I do love the relatively easy-to-use open-air option Jeep's Freedom Panels provide. And just a couple of minutes are all you need to take the two panels off and Jeep did a pretty good job with their design on these. However, there are several limitations to Freedom Panels that are all fixed by the Bestop Sunrider. Now, the first one is the most obvious, and that's when you take the panels off, where are you gonna put them?Now, you can store them in the cargo area of your Jeep, but they take away space that you may need to carry coolers, gear, and beer. So, cutting into already limited space is not really the best option. And with the Sunrider, you open it, fold it back, there's nothing to remove and nothing to store. Now, another drawback to the Freedom Panels is you can't remove or reinstall them on the fly. You have to pull over and spend a few minutes handling them. Now with the Sunrider, you can be spontaneous and pop it open or pull it closed pretty quickly. Kind of allows you to maximize the time you leave it open. Like if you see some storm clouds building, you can wait till the last minute before closing it uptight. Likewise, if you're driving in rain and all of a sudden it stops, and the sun comes out, flip the two latches and fold it back. Either way, opening or closing, it's easy to operate.The Bestop is one of the most popular brands in soft top products for Jeeps right now. And they've really earned that reputation with their well-designed products made from quality materials and a level of fit and finish that really leads the industry. Now, all that quality does come at a premium price, however. Coming in around $1,000 that is a price that puts it close to prices of other full soft tops. Now, but as you'll see during our installation demo here in just a second, Bestop manufactures their products to a better than OE-grade level.Now, as far as that installation goes, we're giving it a basic one out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter. Give yourself about one to two hours to get your Sunrider installed. Now, the only tools you're gonna need are a pointed pick awl or Phillip head screwdriver, a box cutter, and a T30 Torx bit or a T30 screwdriver. And while the installation is pretty easy, let's check out this clip, submitted to us from an ExtremeTerrain customer who has a couple of tips and tricks to help you through the installation.Man: Okay. I've assembled the tools that are recommended for this installation and it's pretty simple, not a whole lot of stuff. First thing is a step ladder, small step stool. We're also parked right next to a low retaining wall. So we're gonna use that for one side and the step stool for the other side. You also need a knife. You need a Torx T30, screwdriver it's a little six-pointed star-type screwdriver for the six screws that we've got for installation. And a small screwdriver or an awl in this case, just to help line up the holes to get ready to start the screws through, and safety glasses. We will be installing the Sunrider. It's not heavy, but it's a little awkward. It's easier if you have two people. So I'll be on one side. My wife, Ginger will be on the other side and we'll lift it into place and I'll set up the camera on a tripod so you can see that.Okay. I've got everything out of the box now. I'll go over it for you real quickly. There is a batch of instructions. There's a card that you can go to the website and start your warranty. There are the two straps to hold the top open. There are six screws. There are the handle screws, couple of brackets. There are the door rails left and right, and then there's the actual top itself. And I believe the next thing on the list is to take out the Freedom Top panels, the original, and I'll show you how to do that. If you haven't done it before, it's pretty easy. And then we'll go from there. Hi, we're gonna take out the Freedom Top panels now. You take out the driver side first. There are several steps. It will help if you release the visor and swing it to the side that lets you release one clip, and then you've got these little guys you turn on the driver side. There are three of them. And then the other thing you do is loosen this and take it out and hang onto it because it will be used for the Sunrider.I'll stick it in the cupholder, move the headrest slightly out of the way. And there it is. The panel is out. I'll get on the outside to lift it out. It's not heavy, it's a little clumsy. And then I'll take it out. So I'm gonna take this and store it away because we will not use it. Okay. Now I'm gonna do the passenger side real similar to the driver side. It's easy to get the visor out of the way. Unsnap the roof. There is only one of these pivots to do. And then the screw. You also wanna hang onto this one. You'll use it for the Sunrider later that day and save that one in the cupholder. That should be loose. It is. And again, it's not heavy, just a little awkward.The next thing you need to do is clean the opening really good. That's the existing gaskets that are part of the rest of the roof and the windshield frame. If you use just some soapy water and a rag, that's what I'm gonna go over it with. And then we'll go from there. I got a microfiber towel and just a little bit of Dawn dish-washing soap in a bucket here. And I'm just gonna wipe these down really good, try to get all the dirt off. Make sure they're nice and clean before we put the Freedom Top on or the Bestop on.So these seals are relatively important to avoid leaks and make it fit nice. So getting it good and clean is not a big effort, definitely needs to be done. So there's the front gasket really nice and clean and ready to go. Now I'm gonna clean the back gasket. And there's a part of the shelf of the existing hard top here. I'm gonna go ahead and wipe that down. Make sure we're not trapping any dust or dirt. And I'll come back and give it a rinse here and then we'll be done with this step. Okay. I'm back to dry this off. I've got a damp rag with just some clean water in a bucket. And I'm just gonna go over these gaskets one more time, try to make sure there's no soap residue on them and then we'll be ready to move on. So I'll wipe them all down one more time and wring it out. And that should do it.Okay. We're gonna start with the left door rail and it looks like this and the instructions say this is part 516.91 for the left side, which is what I've got. There's a tag on it. At first, I didn't see how this fit, but there is a nice tidy way for it to go. It's gonna sit in this gasket right here. It's going to this part right here is gonna straddle the rail and you wanna make sure the bottom slips in and gets tight to the rail and not on the outside of the foam wrap of the tube. So it goes pretty much like that. So it's sat down into this gasket. This is gonna line up with the hole in the tube when I get it in place.Now the other trick is on the back end, there is another gasket, existing part of the roof. And this wants to sit in that. So I'm pivoting it a little bit and then the bracket's gonna go underneath the structural tube. So that's basically the position it's gonna go in. I'm gonna put the front knob in and it threads. I don't know if you can see, it threads through the tube. I'll get it there eventually. There it goes. You don't wanna cross-thread it, so I'm being a little bit careful, but once I got it and it's not gonna get tightened down really tight because we still got more things to do on this side. So, that's the position it's gonna wanna sit in. It nested into the gasket front and back. And that's about the way we want it to look.The gutter of the existing roof and the gutter of the Bestop are close to lining up. And we'll go to the next step. Okay. There is an additional step to mounting the rails for the four-door Jeep. There is a knob screw that's going to go on the back of the top rail, just like the one in the front. There is no hole existing in the wrap of the structural tube, so we need to make a hole and what we're gonna do, you can feel it there's a hole in the tube itself, just no hole in the wrap. So we're gonna cut a hole with just a couple of slices in this, it doesn't have to be big, so that we can feed the other knob down through. And it's going to engage in the bottom of the left door rail and we'll show you what that is. So I'm gonna feed my awl through the hole on the top. I'm making a hole in the nylon wrap of the tube. And I'm gonna feed it down through the tube and steer it through this threaded hole in the bracket because that's where our knob screw is gonna go.So I'm there and you can see what I've done. That's where I'm gonna make my incisions to make this just a little larger. And then we can stick the turn knob through there and tighten this down and then we'll go do the same thing on the right side. So, if you can see I've pushed the awl all the way through the nylon padded wrap of the roof tube. The tube itself, the steel tube has the holes already in it so we're just getting this aligned. Here's my awl passing through the tube and it's showing me where I wanna slightly enlarge my hole. And I'm going to end up taking this rail back off to make the same cut on the bottom. So I'm just gonna make a nice star shape cut in my nylon wrap here.Actually, it doesn't have to be that it can just be a straight slot. That'll give me plenty of room to feed the turn knob through. And I'm gonna take my bracket off and make that same cut on the bottom now that I've got it marked and then we'll come back. I made my slice in the nylon. It doesn't have to be large. It's enough to feed this through. I'm feeding through the hole and the steel tube that's already existing. And I'm getting it lined up with the bracket, the Bestop bracket underneath that's part of the rail. And you need to hold up on the bottom so you're not forcing it down. And let's see if I can get the thread started. There it goes.And I managed not to cross-thread it. And I'm not cranking it way down tight, but there it is. So that rail is on there pretty good. And like I said, I have not tightened these yet. All right. I'm gonna go around and do the right side. For the rear hole, I'm gonna feed the awl down through, make a hole that lines up with the existing hole in the steel tube. There isn't already a hole or a cutout in the nylon padded wrap here so I've created a hole. I'm gonna feed it all the way down through and come out the bottom, if you can see that. So that's a nice round hole that aligns. So I go ahead and make a slot cut in the top and the bottom.And if you can't see this in the dark, trust me. And then we're ready to put the right side bracket on. You turn it the right way. Again, the front of it. This grabs around the tube and needs to be inside the nylon padded so you see what I've done. And it also sits in the little gasket right here. So it sits right down in that. And then on the back, it sits down in the gasket, the existing roof gasket in the back. And I'm gonna use my awl again, you can use just a regular screwdriver, to make sure I've got things lined up in the front, which I do. And I'll put the turn screw in, jiggle things around a little bit to get it to line up. There it goes. Not tight all the way. And we'll line things up again in the back to make sure we're on target. That's where we're going with it.I need three hands. I'm holding up on the bottom until I get the thread started. Okay. I had to jiggle it around a little bit and finally got the threads straightened up, trying to be careful not to cross-thread anything. So if you start feeling some resistance, you're going wrong, back it up, start it in again. Anyway, there it is. It's in place. It's nested down into the gaskets front and back. It's grabbed around the tube in the front and it's attached to the structural tube in the back. So we're good. We're ready for the next step.Okay. Now that we have the right and left rails in, we're gonna bring the Sunrider top around and set it in place. The back screws don't need to be in place. In fact, they don't wanna be in place prior to the top. So we just basically confirmed the alignment for the back screws. Now we can take them out and set them aside. We'll set the top on and then these screws will go back on and hold it in place. So I'll take them out now and set them to the side. And at this point, you don't hang on to the roof rail as you're climbing up, you need to feed down through the top, into your hole, you feed it through, and get it ready.I've moved around to the driver side. We've got the Sunrider set in place. We need to align the hole in the Sunrider with the hole in the top rail of the Jeep. And I'm using my awl or you'll use a screwdriver to get that lined up and you want it to line up all the way down through to the bottom side of the rail that we just put on. So I've got that pretty well lined up now. And I'm pushing up from beneath to try to get it threaded and it's started and that's golden. So I'm not gonna go super tight with this just yet. I still need to get the right side snug down and then we'll come back. I moved back over to the passenger side. I'm using my trick again to just make sure I've got everything lined up. That looks pretty good. So it's basically where we want it to be, see if I can get it threaded. I'm pushing up from underneath. And I got it. Next step is to reuse the Freedom Panel knobs to secure the Sunrider in the same places. Let's see if I can do that. There I got it.Okay. I'm not gonna snug that all the way down. That was one. And this is the second one. And you can feel it slip into space. You don't wanna cross the threads again. And we're not going super tight with it. Just wanna make sure everything is in place. Okay. Next step, I'm at the right roof rail. It doesn't matter which one you do first. I've got one of the Torx head screws and there's my T30 Torx screwdriver. And we're gonna go up through the bottom of the rail and we're gonna line it up with the top. So I've started that screw up through the bottom. And it's going to thread into this. You may have to push this around a little bit to get it to start, trying to make sure I don't cross-thread. I can see it in there. I think I'm going. Well, it helps to keep the screwdriver in the screw.Okay. So I did a little tugging and pushing to get things to line up just right. And you can see the screw is coming up through there and that's what we want it to do. And that's clamping the Sunrider, the actual top to the rail and it's clamping over the steel rail of the Jeep. And we'll go over and do that on the driver side next. We're on the driver side and the trick that I keep discovering is the use of this awl. You can get things aligned a little better. You see there's a little bit of movement because you've left things loose.So I'm using the awl to get the screw hole aligned from below, that's the nice thing right there. So I'll put the Torx screw up through the bottom while things are in alignment. And life should be wonderful. There's the screw. And it threaded right away. Those are fine thread screws. They are crossable so be gentle, be patient, you'll get it. And I'm not gonna crank it all the way down. Just gonna make sure that we're all aligned and then we'll move on to the next step.All right. So I double-checked the instructions, which I occasionally do. And it said these screws, you should go ahead and tighten them down. So this is the first ones in the assembly process where they're saying, go ahead and snug it down. So I'm gonna go ahead and tighten this one down on the driver's side. And then I'll go over to the passenger side and tighten that one down. And there it is. So I'm going ahead and tightening this one down as well. This is the first two of the Torx screws. And that's good. Okay. This one's a tricky one to get the camera on. Maybe you can see it. Here is a bracket. Is that in the screen? And there are two screws that are going through this. I'm holding one right now. I'm in my own light, but there's one of them.Yep. Okay. I got it started. And another. These are the Torx screws again. Two of them per bracket, two brackets, one on each side. So this bracket is clamping the whole Sunrider assembly to the existing fiberglass roof. And that's what that white edge is that you're seeing. And I'm working them down, back and forth, side to side so I don't tighten one all the way without tightening the other. And that one's tight. And that one's tight. There we go.And now I will switch over and do the same thing on the passenger side. Same process as we just went through on the driver side. And I'm working in my own shadow. One screw's started. Another screw's started. And I'll take them both up together. A few turns at a time. Getting there. Pretty tight. And we're good. Okay. The next step is to tighten all the knobs. We're at that point, we're almost done. So I'll go ahead and tighten all six of them and I'm gonna do them in pairs for no good reason other than maybe it'll keep everything nicely aligned and uniformly snug. So that's the two back ones. It feels pretty good. Okay. And then go ahead and get this one, and this one, I'll multitask. Those are nice and snug. This guy right here and this one. And that's it. And now the next trick is to go ahead and pivot this guy forward and see what we got.So I was closing this and it is pretty tight and I think that's just because it's been in the box. Today's temperature is upper 60s, real low 70s. I don't wanna force this too hard at first. I'm gonna give it a few minutes to kind of stretch out and warm up. I was looking at it and I see that the fit of the Sunrider on the gasket and everything back here on top looks very nice and uniform. So I'm thinking that's gonna be a nice seal for weather purposes. And I will go ahead and give this another tug and see if it's ready to close all the way.Okay, so this is the top installed and closed. I have the visors swung out of the way so you can see the first time we closed it really tight. I'm thinking it'll loosen up as it stretches out a little bit. It's nice and secure though there's no doubt about that. We're all done. Let's see how this works. I'm gonna practice closing and opening and see how that goes. First thing I think is visor's out of way. There is a handy ledge to grab a hold of. I got both hooks to engage easily. And that's it. It's in, visor's back, and that's good.Okay. I'll open it up now see how easy that is. The visor's out of the way. I would not recommend trying to do this while you're driving. Unhook front, fold it back, that's pretty easy. Visor's back. It is a fantastic wide-open roof. This is pretty awesome. It's a wide-open view from the driver's and passenger seat, and it clears my bike rack nicely. Here's what you see from the passenger seat and the driver's seat.Eric: All right. That wraps up this review and install of the Bestop Sunrider with black Twill Fabric, fitting all 2007 to 2018 JK Wranglers with the Factory Hard Top. And, of course, for all things Wrangler, keep it right here at

      Product Information

      Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation


      • Flat-Style Hard Top
      • Folding Panel Design
      • Greater Aerodynamics
      • Reduces Wind Sound
      • Puncture and Corrosion Resistance
      • Limited Lifetime Warranty
      • Easy Installation
      • Fits 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Models


      Flat Streamline Design. If you are tired of the noise and the lame outline your stock top is giving your Jeep Wrangler, then swap over to This Bestop Sunrider for Factory Hard Tops; Black Twill. These Folding Hard Top rocks a more modern and plain design that makes your vehicle look smaller compared to the large curve that your OEM top gives. It also reduces wind sound and a more aerodynamic feel to your vehicle.

      High-Grade Strength. This Hard Top features a tough material build that is dependable and will not crack or puncture easily with exposure to weather and dust. It is rust resistant and will retain its color even after a long day, driving in the sun.

      Warranty. There is a limited lifetime warranty on This product.

      Installation. This product is easy to install and should take about 1 hour.

      Application. The Bestop Sunrider for Factory Hard Tops; Black Twill fits 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Models.


      Bestop 52453-17

      CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

      Installation & What's in the Box

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      • (1) Hard Top
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