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Moses, I just bought a beautifully restored  97 TJ from a friend. My question is what is your take on the after market hardtops that are available? Rally Tops and DV8 has mixed reviews. My 97 has half doors so I'll be looking for the hard upper doors. Just looking for your thoughts.

Thanks

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Hi, Monty...So your V-6 CJ now has a stablemate?  The best hardtop for a TJ is, not surprisingly, a complete factory top (used at this point).  They fit well, seal well and the windows work.

If that's not an option, which doors do you have on the TJ?  Factory soft top half-doors?  What kind of windows or doors do you need here?

Moses

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Hi, Monty...I checked out your beautiful "new" TJ in the Gallery.  Looks like a factory soft top model with half doors and no roll-up windows.  If you can find a complete top and doors, you can install the complete setup.  Look around the internet, I recently searched for a TJ hard top that our youngest son needed.  We could not come up with much in the aftermarket.  If you find something, share the link, and I'll look at it.

I worked with Mopar®/Jeep® when the TJ launched in 1997.  The hard top versus soft top was a dilemma, as you either had one or the other.  The conversion does involve doors with windows.  There was an early and unique option available on the '97, and that was a hard top option that had a soft top as well.  The soft top stowed within the hardtop.  When you lifted the hard top off, a factory soft top was accessible.  This was very rare and only offered early-on.

If you can live with a cloth top, you have the correct factory doors for a soft top model.  Bestop has always been my choice here, as they made the OEM tops.  You can get a complete soft top that will work with your half-doors.  It would come with upper door insert frames that have the canvas with windows.  See the Bestop catalog online.

Moses

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For aftermarket hard tops I've found a couple, https://www.rallytops.com/shop/jeep-tj-2-pc-hd/  , https://dv8offroad.com/collections/jeep-jk-hard-tops/products/tj-top . I might be able to find a set full doors. I wasn't holding my breath on finding a factory hardtop. With rally top they offer a hard upper door.  With no experience with half doors. My concern is attaching the hard upper door, how durable will it be? Just fyi the TJ has the 4.0 with a automatic.

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Monty, if you can get a pair of full factory doors, that would be smart.  There would be more security (lockable) and no concerns about window integrity or the attachment method.  I looked at both tops (had seen the Rally Top before).  The DV8 uses soft top upper sections, so the security factor goes away.  There's no mention whether the DV8 will work with hard doors, if so, that would be a consideration.

Given the high cost for either of these tops, I would try to find a good used TJ factory hardtop and doors.  Fit, integrity, security and safety would be assured.  Considering the cost of these aftermarket tops, a good used factory hardtop with doors should be available for less.  I'm thinking $1200-$1500 for good doors and top?  Maybe more?

For $2700, I would expect an as-new factory hardtop and factory doors with an exceptional history—like stored for over a decade and barely used.  Make sure latches, door opening mechanisms and seals are in top condition.  Be certain you get a copy of the door lock key.

Moses

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good morning Moses, Well I bought a used hard top for the 97. Found some doors from a 2001 sport. Those will fit correct? Also is replacement seals for the doors and top. Is it worth the extra bucks (at times twice) to buy mopar over  fairchild or doorman etc?

Roger

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Monty...My Mopar® catalogs show these numbers for complete TJ Wrangler door shells.  Check with your local Jeep® dealer's parts department.  Have them compare these door part numbers—1997 versus 2001.  They should be able to share which doors match and fit with specific year tops.  Part numbers get superseded. 

If that does not help, recycling yards have parts interchange books that can narrow down the fit.  Otherwise, it's a matter of trial fit to see which doors match up.

Complete Doors:

1997

04864668AB 1 Right
04864669AB 1 Left

Door Shell:

2001

55176536AC 1 Right
55176537AC 1 Left

Moses

 

 

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