Just about everyone on the entire galactic internet agrees that the Bestop Trektop NX is the best Jeep soft top on the market. It’s widely applicable, fitting all Wranglers from ‘97 to present, and it fits so well, some dudes like The Jeep Doctor claim that it offers better leak protection than the factory hardtop. And if you go with the NX model, the windows are all removable. But because the TrekTop fits so well, installation and use can take some familiarizing. We’ve scoured the infotubes for some unofficial, but extremely useful, tips and tricks to help with your Bestop Trektop NX install and operation.
1. Lay it out in the sun, but gently.
You don’t want to install this thing in the middle of a winter night. It needs to be warmed up to properly fit over your Jeep. The windows are installed separately (which makes for the super cool safari top option when they’re out), so they’ll also need to be warmed up. Just make sure you don’t just toss them on a rough, stony driveway. They’re about as tough as soft windows come, but they’re still susceptible to scratching. Lay them on a dark blanket for added sunliness. (Dark colors get hotter in sunlight than light grey concrete.)
2. Once installed, leave the TrekTop fully closed for at least a week.
The previously mentioned safari mode can be fantastic, and since the roof folds back into a sunrider formation, you also get a convertible. But like a middle schooler who got transferred to a new district, on Mars, the TrekTop needs some time to adjust. It will stretch out, but if you lose the windows before it does, getting them back on might be a chore. We also recommend leaving the sunrider closed for just as long.
3. If the back is sagging, the top support may be on upside down.
Some owners reported an initial sag in the rear of the TrekTop before realizing that they’d flipped the front support over. This can be tricky, because it’s a flexible element and could pop in either way. When you take your TrekTop out of the box, the top side of the bow has a strip of removable paper to protect the smooth, slippery surface during shipping.
4. And you can pull that paper off.
Some folks complained about this white paper thing coming loose over time and looking crummy. Well, mister, your reading skills are crummy, because the instructions clearly state that you should pull this off during installation. Bestop shrinks it to the support during shipping, rather than using an adhesive, so there’s no residue.
5. Speaking of that front support…
You can easily pop it out when you have the sunrider open. Some felt that it was obstructing the convertible experience, and these same people were possibly left with an untanned stripe across their hairless thighs. Possibly. But you can just pop it out. Toss it in the back, use it as a straight-edge, wield it to thrash your enemies.* But it doesn’t have to ruin your perfect top-down day.
6. When you first install the rear windows, leave the sunrider all the way open.
Bestop recommends unlatching the sunrider for easy window installation, but many users have found it easier to fold back the roof completely. The sunrider is shaped like a huge lever, so it will be less work using it to pull the roof taut once the windows are in.
7. Just barely start the zippers.
The Jeep Doctor chimed in again to report that where the Bestop instructions say to start the window zippers one or two inches, it should really only be a few teeth. To do the actual pulling, he recommends spark plug wire pliers, which offer plenty of leverage and grip on something that might be tough with mere mortal human fingers.
Hopefully these hints will give you a hand with your own Bestop TrekTop NX. Now get out there and enjoy the summer in your Jeep. That’s all anybody really wants, right?
*Bestop and StreetsideAuto.com are not responsible for bodily injury incurred due to the wrath of bethrashed enemies.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.