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How to Install Rugged Ridge Exo Top on your Wrangler

Installation Time

4 hours

Tools Required
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • Torx bit socket wrench (T30)
  • 5mm, 6mm Allen Keys
  • 13mm Socket
  • Torque Wrench
  • Sealant (black Permatex®, or similar)
  • T30 Torx
  • 13mm Socket Wrench
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
Extreme Terrain
Shop Parts in this Guide

WARNING: The EXO-Top Roof Rack System is rated to a dynamic 300 lb, evenly distributed
load. Further loading could result in serious injury or death.

NOTICE: Minor weeping may occur after first rain, as fabric will adjust to moisture. See
maintenance for further instructions.

Cage Assembly/Cage Hardware

1. Base, LH     (1)      

2. Base, RH     (1)      

3. Top Bar     (1)      

4. Rear Bar     (1)      

5. M8 Button Head Bolt     (10)      

6. M8 Hex Nut     (10)      

7. M10 Button Head Bolt     (4)      

8. M10 Washer     (4)      

9. Nut Plate     (4)      

*Hardware for 2007-9 Non-Cable Surrounds

1. Cable Retainer     (2)      

2. Gutter Bracket, LH     (1)      

3. Gutter Bracket, RH     (1)      

4. Self Tapping Screw (2) 

1. Front Bow Assembly     (1)      

2. Carriage Assembly, LH     (1)      

3. Carriage Assembly, RH     (1)      

4. Rail     (2)      

5. Front Rail Bracket     (2)      

6. Mid-Rail Bracket     (2)      

7. M8x18 Flathead Bolt     (6)      

8. M8 Nylon Lock Nut     (6)      

9. Socket Cap Screw, long     (4)      

10. Socket Cap Screw, short     (2)      

11. Flat Washer     (4)      

12. Cable Bracket, LH     (1)      

13. Cable Bracket, RH     (1)      

1. Soft Top Fabric (1)

2. Rear Window (1)

3. Side Window, LH (1)

4. Side Window, RH (1)

5. Carabiner (2)

Section A - Preparing for Installation; Removal of Factory Top

1. Soft Top owners: Refer to owners’ manual for instructions on lowering factory top. Once open, unscrew shoulder bolts fastening it to vehicle’s roll bars. Remove canvas from assembly.

Hard Top owners: Refer to owners’ manual for instruction on removing factory hard top. Skip to STEP 4 once hard top is removed.

Hardtop owners will need to purchase a factory header, tailgate bar, tailgate bar retainers (LH, RH), and Surrounds (LH, RH)

These factory parts are required:

Header - 68049276AB
Tailgate Bar - 55395757AC
Tailgate Bar Retainer, RH - 55395760AB Tailgate Bar Retainer, LH - 55395761AB 2010-15 Surrounds, RH - 5182822AD 2010-15 Surrounds, LH - 5182823AD

Note: After removing header and factory soft top, assembly should look as shown on right.

2. Remove metal soft top mounting brackets attached to roll bar in cargo area.

3. Remove screws from underside of header at each end that attaches fabric tabs.

4. Flip header and fabric. Remove screws from top of header at each end. You will now be able to remove OE soft top frame.

5. Loosen all screws from top side of header. Do not remove completely.

6. Release fabric from header. Keep header and all hardware for soft top installation.

Section B - Cage Assembly and Installation

1. Assemble cage as shown in diagram above, adding sealant to all joints, as shown on right.

2. Insert bolts to joint areas.

Do not fully tighten bolts until at this time to allow for fitment adjustments.

3. Attach cage to frame using provided buttonhead bolts and nut plates. Fully tighten bolts to 25 lbs.

Section C - Surrounds Assembly and Installation

If you have 2010 cable-type surrounds (PN 5182822/3AD), skip to step 4.

1. For 2007-9 vehicles with OE surrounds, peel back foam from front of surround. Align gutter bracket with two recesses and attach through middle hole of bracket using Self Tapping Screws as shown in figure a. Reapply foam.

2. Insert cable retainer into corresponding lip of door surround. Remove red backing from double sided tape and apply pressure upwardly to secure into position as shown in figure b.

3. For all surrounds, replace rear knob with supplied long socket cap screw and fiat washer.

4. If surrounds were purchased, first snap surrounds to roll bar and body of vehicle.

5. Secure surrounds using long socket cap screws at rear mounting locations.

Section D - Bow and Slider Installation

1. Unzip rollbar and remove factory bolts. Repeat for both sides.

2. Place bow, as shown below, on bar near front removed bolt, mark line on fabric, and make 2” cut. Repeat for both sides.

3. Align rail brackets with correct side and placement on sliders and attach with bolts.

4. Place rail on rollbar, mark line on fabric, and make 2” cut on rear points for rail installation. Repeat for both sides.

5. Place cable bracket on rollbar, mark line on fabric, and make 2” cut on rear points for installation. Repeat for both sides.

6. Install bow, rail assembly, and cable bracket to rollbar using factory bolts. Loosely tighten.

NOTICE: For right side drive vehicles, quick release will be on right side.

NOTICE: ​Test bow function before moving to next step.

7. Secure Front Rail Brackets to front mounting point of Surround using factory bolts.

8. Loosen Allen bolts on slider carriage to allow for testing of fitment. Bolt on side will need to be tightened.

CAUTION: Two small bolts on carriage tube need to be checked for tightness before installation​

9. Install slider carriage to rail. Cycle slider carriage through rail and adjust bolts as necessary to ensure easy sliding.

10. Install slider arms to header.

11. Install header-slider carriage assembly to rails from rear of vehicle.

12. Slide header-slider carriage assembly to front of vehicle and latch header hooks when they are centered in footman loop.

13. Ensuring cage is centered between front and rear surrounds, tighten all surround and rail bolts.

14. Remove header-slider carriage assembly to prepare for soft top installation.

Section E - Soft Top Assembly and Installation

1. Install Soft Top Fabric to Header; tighten all remaining header screws. Ensure cable ring is tight before installation by squeezing ring with pliers.

NOTICE: Ensure channel in soft top has cleared lip in header. Tab on header will remain on outside of fabric as shown on right.

2. Fold fabric flap over metal tab (connected to cable) and attach to header using factory header screws.

3. With help from second person, position header and soft top fabric in rear of vehicle, as shown on right, to prep for installation.

4. Loosely attach rear hook and loop flaps to lower rear bar of cage.

5. Slide header-slider carriage assembly into rail. With help of other person.

6. Carefully slide entire assembly to forward to soundbar.

7. Attach carabiner and spring cable to first hole in cable bracket. Ensure cable is positioned outside the slider rails, near the rear frame pillar, as shown below. If needed, carabiner and cable can be moved to second hole for adjustment. Header can now be locked into place.

CAUTION: Ensure carabiner has spring end facing front of vehicle as shown on right

Cable Bracket may be adjusted downward for better cable fitment inside channel

8. Tightly attach side hook and loop flaps; loosely attach all Hook and loop straps.

9. After tightly securing rear hook and loop flaps, flip and lock front bow assembly in upright position. Secure center hook and loop strap.

10. Lock rear fabric into tub and tighten top rear hook and loop straps to secure fabric.

11. To install side windows:
Start rear zipper first, then top zipper, only zipping 3-4 inches.

12. Insert fabric behind cage, moving forward and down.

13. Insert plastic retainer in groove of door surround.

14. Fully zip top zipper, then fully zip rear zipper..

15. Insert tub rail, then on front side of surround.

16. To install rear window:

Zip top zipper first, then sides.

Install Tailgate Bar to channel in rear window.

17. Pull hook and loop straps around cage and pull as shown; do not over-tighten.

18. Walk perimeter of vehicle and retighten large Velcro flaps to properly tension top.

Operating Procedure

CAUTION: Do not attempt to operate the Rugged Ridge® Exo-Top while vehicle is in motion.​


1. Unlatch hooks from front header bar.

2. Release front hook and loop straps and bow. 

3. Slide header bar to sound bar.

4. Tuck fabric under first cage bar and header. 

First set of side straps release to allow header to slide  further back. 


1. Keeping header bar attached in front, remove windows 

2. Rear corner panels are tucked above rear soundbar and secured with snaps, located on each side of top. 


1. Remove all windows and hook and loop straps.

2. Slide header back to sound bar.

3. Begin folding rear fabric to front of vehicle.

4. Once folded, undo spring and carabiner and tuck into side flap.

5. Rear side flap can be attached to cage as shown on right.


1. Remove all windows and hook and loop straps.

2. Undo bow strap, do not lower bow.

3. Slide header back and over sounds bar, off slider rails.

4. With tailgate open, fold fabric.

5. Close tailgate and rest header on tailgate or rear rollbars.

Care and Maintenance

In order to maintain its appearance and increase longevity of use, your Rugged Ridge® EXO-Top will need periodic cleaning and maintenance.

Side Assemblies, Bows, and Arms: Regularly clean all side assemblies, bows, and arms. Regularly clean and lubricate all joints with WD-40®.

Fabric: To preserve a quality fit, do not keep EXO-Top in a folded position for extended periods of time. When cleaning EXO-Top, fabric should be washed with mild soap, warm water, and a soft bristle brush. Use clear water to rinse to ensure all soap has been removed. If a rip or tear occurs in fabric of your cnavas, repairs can be made with Bondex®. On the inside of your canvas, iron on Bondex® where rip or tear occurred. For further information, read instructions provided with Bondex®.

Windows: Ensure windows are kept clean to avoid scratching. Do not wash with brush, as this will cause scratching. Wash windows with a watered-down cloth or sponge. Do not clean windows while they are dry, this will cause scratching. Use caution while cleaning in low temperatures as windows will be more susceptible to scratching and cracking. Do not roll up windows in low temperatures as this will cause windows to stiffen and crack. Windows should be clean when rolled up.

Zippers: Keep zippers clean and lubricated to provide smooth operation. If a zipper opens after fully zipping your EXO-Top, a slider may be defective, but repairable. In this case, pull slider to the end and open position. Using a pair of pliers, carefully clamp down on your slider as shown on right and close zipper again. If problem persists, try clamping down on slider more firmly, then closing your zipper again.

Water: If water begins to seep through fabric seams, use 3-M Scotchgard® on inside of fabric to prevent further seeping.