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How to Install Bestop Soft Top Replace-A-Top with Tinted Windows on your 1997-2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ

Tools Required
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Safety Glasses
Extreme Terrain
Shop Parts in this Guide

Parts List

Fabric Top 
Qty - 1
Quarter Window, Right
Qty - 1
Quarter Window, Left 
Qty - 1
Rear Window
Qty - 1

1 Remove Quarter Windows and Rear Window

Remove the Quarter Windows and the Rear Window. Remove the metal Tailgate Bar from the bottom of the Rear Window and set it aside.

Release the plastic strip sewn to the top above the doors. Pull down and out to slip the plastic out of the channel. 

2 Release Windshield Latches

Release the latch that secures the header to the windshield. Pull up on the lever and then down and out to release the hook from the slot in the windshield frame. 

3 Release Rear Corners

Release the rear corners of the top. Pull gently down and then out to release the plastic strip from the retainer on the vehicle.

4 Unsnap Rear Bow

Unsnap the fabric from the rear bow and allow the bow to drop onto the tailgate.

5 Unfasten Center Bow

Unfasten the fl ap around the Center Bow. 

6 Remove Corner Screws

Collapse the bow assembly down onto the tailgate. With the bow assembly laying on the tailgate, remove the screws that fasten the fabric to the corners of the header. Set the screws aside for use in installing the new top fabric.

7 Remove Screws Holding Fabric to Header

Flip the top fabric back over into the rear of the vehicle (so that the fabric lays backing side up) to expose the plastic strip along the edge of the fabric. Remove the eight or fourteen screws that secure the fabric to the header. Set the screws aside for use in installing the new top. Then remove the old top fabric from the vehicle.

NOTE: Due to a recent header assembly modification by Daimler Chrysler, the plastic strip on the windshield header may have 8 screw locations instead of 14. Both attachment numbers of screws will securely fasten the header and perform as the original design was intended.

8 Remove Plastic Extrusion

If you have a 1997 vehicle with a slip-on plastic extrusion on the door surround, it must be removed. Pull down on the extrusion to work it loose.

9 Install Top Fabric on Header

In order to install the top fabric, make sure that the Center and Rear Bows are in the folded down position on the rear of the vehicle. Lay the top fabric, backing side up in the rear of the vehicle with the plastic strip facing up and aligned with the front edge of the header. Locate the round hole that marks the center of the plastic strip (all other holes are slotted). Install a screw in the round hole to secure the fabric to the header as well as to center the top. Then proceed to install screws in the remaining seven or thirteen holes along the front of the header.

10 Install Corner Screws

Flip the fabric over so that it wraps around the header and drape the top fabric over the tailgate. Raise the header slightly and work the pockets in the fabric over the corners of the header. Install an oval head screw in each corner to secure the fabric to the header.

11 Snap Top to Rear Bow

Raise the header and bow assembly toward the windshield and into position. Inside the top, snap the fabric to the Rear Bow (six snaps).

12 Secure Rear Corners

Make sure that the Center Bow is centered in the hook and loop flap inside the top. Do not fasten the flap at this time. Pull down gently on the Rear Bow and work the plastic sewn to the rear corners of the top into the retainer on the vehicle.

13 Secure Header to Windshield

Close the header latches to secure the front of the top to the windshield. Catch the hook in the slot in the windshield frame and then close the lever over it so that it lays flat against the windshield frame.

14 Secure Center Bow

Wrap the hook and loop fl ap inside the top around the Center Bow and fasten it to itself.

15 Attach Quarter Panel Zippers

Locate the left and right Quarter Panels and orient them with the zipper along the top and rear of the panel. Start the zipper at the front top corner of the Quarter Panel, next to the door. Hold the end of the zipper and close the zipper slider 10" - 12" along the top of the panel.

16 Secure Front of Quarter Panels

Roll the plastic along the front of the Quarter Panel into the channel of the Door Surround on the vehicle.

17 Secure Top above Door Openings

Locate the two plastic strips sewn to the sides of the top, above each door. Slip the strips into the channel in the Door Surround above the door opening. It is easiest to insert the front plastic strip into the channel fi rst.

18 Secure Quarter Panels

Close the zippers on the Quarter Panels the rest of the way to the lower rear corner of the panel. Start at the rear and roll the plastic along the bottom of the panel into the retainer on the vehicle. Then fasten the hook and loop strips along the top and rear of the panel to the top.

19 Install Tailgate Bar on Rear Window

Remove the Rear Window from the box and lay it fl at with the backing side up. Locate the Tailgate Bar set aside in Step One. The bar has a “C” shaped channel, when viewed from the end. Orient the bar with the round seal down and slide the “C” channel on the retainer onto the tubed strip sewn to the backing side of the Rear Window.

20 Install Tailgate Bar on Vehicle

Insert the Tailgate Bar into the mounts on each side of the tailgate opening with the vinyl side of the Rear Window toward the outside of the vehicle.

21 Secure Rear Window Zippers

To start the zipper, pull the two sliders as far down as possible on the driver’s side of the window in order to catch the sliders to the pin. Once the zipper is caught, start the top slider 1/2". Then hold up the top of the window with one hand and close the zipper with the other. The zipper is sandwiched between layers of fabric in the corners so be careful not to catch extra fabric in the zipper. Close the zipper. Make sure that the Tailgate Bar is centered and is securely in the mounts. Then tuck the fl aps on the Rear Window under the top fabric.

22 Secure Rear Window Flaps

Inside the top locate the fl aps sewn to the top on each side of the rear window opening. Pull the fl aps over to cover the zipper and tuck them in.


When operating the vehicle without the Quarter Windows, the Rear Window should be rolled up and secured with the elastic garters for proper ventilation.

23 To Fold the Top Down Remove Quarter Panels and Rear Window

Remove the Quarter Panels and the Rear Window. To remove the Quarter Windows, unzip the rear and top zippers. Release the plastic strip from the retainer. Release the Hook and Loop Fasteners from around the Vertical Retainer.

To roll up the Rear Window, remove the Tailgate Bar and open the zippers on each side of the window to the top. Start at the bottom and roll the window to the inside. Avoid wrinkles in the fabric and window. Secure it in place with the elastic garters inside of the top.

24 To Fold the Top Down Collapse Top

Release the front of the top from the windshield. Raise the front of the deck and collapse the rear bows, tucking the two plastic strips above the door openings and the stay pad on the rear bow inside of the bows, Wrap the fabric around the bows, then tuck the rear legs of the top under the bows.

Care and Maintenance of your New Top 

Your top is made of the finest materials available. To keep it looking new and for the maximum possible wear, it will need periodic cleaning and maintenance.

Washing: The fabric should be washed often using soap, warm water and a soft bristle brush. Rinse with clear water to remove all traces of soap.

Zippers: Keeping the zipper cleaned and lubricated with a silicone lubricant will help prevent damage and keep the zippers in a smooth working condition. If a zipper opens behind the slider, the slider may have been spread apart. This problem can usually be repaired by using an ordinary pair of pliers to bring the sides back into parallel. Return slider to the end of the zipper in the normal Open position. Squeeze lightly at first and test the zipper. If the zipper continues to remain open squeeze more firmly with the pliers and try the zipper again. Repeat this procedure until the zipper operates correctly.

Water: In the event of seeping through the seams, 3M Scotchgard® may be applied on the inside of the seams to stop the seepage. Rips in the fabric may be repaired with Bondex® iron on patches. Iron the patches to the Inside of the top, carefully following the Bondex® instructions.

Snaps: Keep snaps cleaned and lubricated with silicone to help prevent snaps from sticking to the studs. If a snap does become stuck to a stud, use a screwdriver and GENTLY pry apart to prevent permanent damage to the snap or the top fabric.

Limited Warranty

We warrant our product to be free from defects in material and workmanship, for the terms specified below, provided there has been normal use and proper maintenance. This warranty applies to the original purchaser only. All remedies under this warranty are limited to the repair or replacement of any item or items found by the factory to be defective within the time period specified. If you have a warranty claim, first you must call our factory at the number below for instructions. You must retain proof of purchase and submit a copy with any items returned for warranty work. Upon completion of warranty work, if any, we will return the repaired or replaced item or items to you freight prepaid. Damage to our products caused by accidents, fire, vandalism, negligence, misinstallation, misuse, Acts of God, or by defective parts not manufactured by us, is not covered under this warranty.


Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, or the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

For further information or request for warranty work, please contact:
Bestop Inc. Customer Service
(800) 845-3567
​(303) 465-1755