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How to Install Rugged Ridge Soft Top w/ Clear Windows & Door Skins on your 1997-2006 Wrangler

Tools Required
  • (1) Shoe Horn
  • (2) Safety Glasses
  • (3) Razor Knife
  • (4) Phillips screwdriver
Extreme Terrain
Shop Parts in this Guide

WARNING: This product is designed to enhance the appearance of the vehicle and to shield the occupants from ordinary weather conditions. Do not rely in any way on the components of this product to contain occupants within the vehicle, or to protect against injury or death in the event of an accident. This top will not protect the occupants from falling objects. Never operate vehicle in excess of manufacture's specifications.

Removing the Old Top

CAUTION: Safety glasses should be worn at all times while installing this product.

Step (1) : Remove the quarter windows and rear window. Remove the metal tailgate bar from the bottom of the rear window and set to the side. It will be reused.

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

Step (2) : 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.

Step (3) : Release the rear corners of the top. Pull gently down and then out to release the plastic strip from the retainer on the vehicle.

Step (4) : Unfasten the flap around the middle bow.

Step (5) : Unsnap the fabric from the rear bow and allow the bow to drop onto the tailgate.


Due to recent header assembly modifications by Daimler Chrysler, the plastic strips on the windshield header may have 8 screw locations instead of 14. Both attachment number of screws will securely fasten the header and perform as intended.

Step (6) : Collapse the bow assembly down onto the tailgate. With the bow assembly laying on the tailgate, remove the screws that fasten to the corners of the header. Set screws aside for use later. They are reused for the installation of the new top.

Step (7) : 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 the secure the fabric to the header, setting the screws aside for use in the installing the new top. Then remove the old top fabric from the vehicle.

Installing the New Top.

Step (1) : 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.

Step (2) : 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.

Step (3) : 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.

Step (4) : Raise the header and bow assembly towards the windshield and into position. Inside the top, snap the fabric to the rear bow (total of six snaps).

Step (5) : 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 corner of the top into the retainer on the vehicle.

Step (6) : 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.

Step (7) : Wrap and fasten the hook and loop on the two flaps inside the top around the center

Step (8) : Locate the left and right quarter window panels and orient them with the zipper slider about 10" - 12" along the top.

Step (9) : Roll the plastic along the front of the panel into the channel of the door surround on the vehicle.

Step (10): Locate the plastic strip sewn to each side of the top, above each door. Slip the strips into the channel in the door surround above the door opening.

Step (11): Close the zipper 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 rear of the panel to the top.

Step (12): Remove the rear window from the box and lay it flat 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.

Step (13): Insert the tailgate bar into the mounts on each side of the tailgate opening with the vinyl side of the rear window towards the outside of the vehicle.

Step (14): 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 in sandwiched between layers of fabric in the corners so be careful not to catch extra fabric in the zipper. Close zipper.

Make sure that the tailgate is centered and is securely in the mounts. Then tuck the flaps on the rear window under the top fabric.

Installing the New Door Covers.

CAUTION: For the best results and to minimize scratches on the windows, remove all jewelry before installing the door covers. This door cover is designed to fit very tight on the door frame. We recommend using a shoe horn to help work the corners of the cover over the frame without tearing the fabric.

WARNING: DO NOT pull on the weather-strip to assist in the getting the door covers on the door frames. This will tear the weather-strip and the door will not seal properly.

Step (15): Remove the fabric upper doors from the vehicle. Use a razor knife to cut the stitches on the old door covers and take them off of the door frames.

Step (16): Unzip the windows and separate the hook and loop fasteners on the door covers Lay the door cover on a flat surface with the outside facing down. Start by working the lower rear corner of the door frame into the pocket in the lower rear corner of the cover. Then work the lower front corner of the frame into the cover. Work the top front corner of the frame into the corner of the cover, between the hook and loop flaps (not between the zipper and the flap).

Step (17): Use the tap sewn into the cover to work the last corner of the frame into the corner of the frame into the corner of the door cover, again between the hook and the flaps. Make sure that the top edge of the door cover is straight along the top of the door frame. Work around the door fastening the hook and loop strips tightly around the door frame. Once the door cover is on the frame, the tab in the top rear corner of the cover may be cut off with a pair of scissors if desired.

Step (18): Reinstall the upper doors. Insert the pins into the grommets in the lower door.

Folding the Top Down.

Step (1) : Remove the quarter panels and rear window curtain and store them carefully.

Step (2) : 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 opening 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 ware, it will need periodic cleaning and maintenance.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 small flat head screw driver and GENTLY pry apart to prevent permanent damage to the snap or the top fabric.

Keep windows clean to avoid scratching. DO NOT use a brush on the windows! Wash with a water soaked cloth or sponge and a mild dish washing detergent. NEVER WIPE THE WINDOWS WHEN THEY ARE DRY! Be careful when cleaning snow or frost from the vinyl WINDOWS WHEN THEY ARE DRY! Be careful when cleaning snow or frost from the vinyl windows since they are easily scratched and may crack at low temperatures. DO NOT roll the sides or rear window in cold weather. The windows become stiff and will crack.