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Hard Top

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How To Install a Hard Top in 5 Steps

Cruising with your convertible down the road or on any place you wish would look much cooler with the addition of an aftermarket hard top. You see, hard tops on your auto provide a sporty appeal while keeping it protected from external elements especially during winter or rainy season. This is probably why most convertible owners prefer hard tops over soft tops. If you have recently bought a hard top for your convertible, but is quite unsure about how to install it, then this is your lucky day. Here is a quick five-step guide in installing a hard top.

Required skill level: Novice

Needed tools and materials

  • Wrench set
  • Assistant
  • Preparing for installation

    To make the installation job easier, open the auto's front doors and lower the mounting brackets found on the windshield. Make sure that you perform the installation in a wide area to avoid scratching off the part's surface.

    Lifting the hard top with an assistant

    Unless you are the man of steel, lifting the hard top all by yourself is impossible. So to continue with the installation process, call an assistant in order to lift the top onto the vehicle. Ensure that the hard top is aligned properly to prevent possible setbacks.

    Placing the mounting clamps

    Once you and your assistant have settled the hard top in place, secure the mounting clamps through the parts' holes. To ensure proper and tight fitting, press them in lock position. The installation should not take long so be sure to double-check if the clamps are in lock position.

    Installing and tightening the hard top bolts

    There are holes along the inside edges of the hardtop where the bolts should be secured tightly in place. If you want to ensure that the aftermarket addition does not fall off when you are driving around town, thread the nuts onto the bolts and tighten them using a wrench.

    Connecting the wiring harness

    Lastly, connect the wiring harness to the vehicle's rear windshield wiper motor. This is done by pressing the two connectors together. You should know that the installation is done when you hear the tabs click in place.

    Hard Top Articles

    • Smittybilt vs. Keystone: Which Brand Wins The Hard Top Battle?

      Strength, durability, and resilience to mold buildup-now these are just some of the things one might consider in installing a hardtop to your auto. If you want these features on your car's hard top, then consider the Smittybilt and Keystone brands. These two manufacturers offer the best hard tops in the automotive market. If you can't decide which type better suits your vehicle, here is a quick and easy-read guide to help you out:

      Strength and rigidity

      It is important for every car owner that a hard top installation provides better resilience to external elements than a soft top. You see, the Smittybilt brand offers a reinforced honeycomb and hand-laid fiberglass design that ensures optimum protection from rain, dirt, dust, and other external elements. On the other hand, most Keystone hard top parts are built with fiberglass-reinforced plastic shell for better durability. You see, this brand also keeps your auto well-protected from dangerous elements. Smittybilt and Keystone brands are at par with each other when it comes to ensuring a strong and rigid hard top.

      WINNER: Smittybilt and Keystone

      Mildew protection

      To provide the most protection, a hard top should feature mildew resistance for longer service life. You see, both brands are crafted with a UV stable gelcoat, but Smittybilt ends up a little notch higher because it is engineered with military specification, mildew free, carpeted headliner. This setting keeps mildew and mold problems at bay for a longer hard top service life.

      WINNER: Smittybilt


      If budget is a huge factor in choosing a hard top for your auto, then consider buying a Smittybilt brand. You see, this brand is relatively cheaper than Keystone. They average around 1,700 USD while Keystone offers the hard top around 2000 USD. So for budget conscious consumers, Smittybilt brand is the better choice.

      WINNER: Smittybilt


      Smittybilt offers direct fit setting while Keystone is an OE replacement, so it is a win-win situation with the two hard top brands.

      WINNER: Smittybilt and Keystone

      The verdict

      Both Smittybilt and Keystone hard top brands offer high-quality and durable parts, but based on a few categories, Smittybilt ends up a little level higher with lower price, better durability, and mildew protection over the Keystone brand.