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Thread: Rugged Ridge $350 soft top review

  1. #1
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    Default Rugged Ridge $350 soft top review w/ PICS and write up

    COMING!!!! as soon as it gets here in 2-7 business days...
    Last edited by 91YEEPER; 03-21-2011 at 23:53.

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    welp as soon as the replacement gets here ill let you know. put a hole in the one they sent my with my finger... pretty thin material.

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    My toys haul themselves. Sandbagger's Avatar
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    reviews? I should do that. Something to kill time until my Heep gets out of hock.
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    ok so here we go. after getting my top and driving it for over a week now i think ill up date this. first some pics and ill continue on with the next post.

    31572916421_ORIG-1.jpg31572971270_ORIG.jpg31573052960_ORIG.jpg31573411162_ORIG.jpg31573347152_ORIG.jpg

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    sorry for the crappy pics, cheapo cell phone cause it was all i had with me.

    so the story begins, find cheap top, need new top, order contact DIRTY DOG OFFROAD and after a good 30 mintues on the phone talking we finally get around to talking about buying a new top. order top on friday, ships out monday arrives thursday (might have been wednesday, dont remember). wife puts top inside house, park jeep in heated garage for a good couple hours to let everything warm up real good. as i pull everything out of the box i immediately notice how loud the material is, it sounds like im unwrapping xmas presents. the new top shipped weighed in at some high 20 lbs (i believe). the stock sail cloth alone weighed in at 39lbs.

    i had the heat cranked up to 75* in the garage as the directions stated it *should* be installed in 70* temps. get the stocker off and start the install. first the 14 screws that hold the top on to the header fall right through the slots in the plastic sown into the top. i ended up using 1/4" flat washers to make it work. it was a royal pain in the ass to try and line up the plastic piece with centering it on the stock header piece using the wsahers. i had to stretch the poo out of it to get the outside screws to even start.

    i finally get the front attached to the header and begin flipping the top over and doing the snaps on the rear bar. i follow the directions to hook the rear corners up and the attach the front header. i couldnt get anywhere near to hooking the header to the windshield. i had a buddy come over so we were on each side pulling it down to try and stretch it to even get the latch in the slot. after putting weight on it for prolly 30 minutes just to get the latches in the windshield it still wouldnt close like it was supposed too. take break with just the latches in the slot and come back another 30 min or so later. we finally get the latches down and start sliding the plastics over the doors into the slots. there was a ton of material on the pass side so it slid right in. the driverside was the exact opposite. figuring it being a new top and need to stretch i put a slight amount of umph into the pulling and put my finger right through the material. FML.

    i contact DIRTY DOG OFFROAD the next day and send them a pic. they were very quick with a response of "WE'RE ON IT". snip/snip (short version) new top shows up next week. i notice right off the bat the new top is a different material than the first, the header piece was molded differently and the screws didnt need washers. in the first few pics you'll notice a certain amount of excess material above the doors at the header piece. It was a under $400 top so i was expecting a certain amount of chinsyness or quality control concerns. the new top was even more of a pain in the ass to get on. the header piece had to be redrilled in 2 holes to get it the use the stock 14 screws. i never could get the header to latch so we (friend and myself) ended up latching the windshield and pulling down on the rear corners and hooking them second. ended up bending the poo out of my stock hardware. not a big deal the top was on and only needs to last 3 months (or there abouts)

    the way the material was cut and sewn on the rear pass area is very inaccurate and causes the material to whip around alot more than it should. i ended up coming to a happy medium with getting the doors to latch, seal, and lay flat. the driverside door still doesnt seal right at the lower corner of the windshield and lets water in when i hit puddles. the door upper seal is about 2.25" too long on both the front and rear of the door and i wasnt sure what to do with it. i tried it with the seal sticking in and out and left it sticking in like the last picture shows. I ended up stopping on the first drive to bend in the door uppers to help them seal better. the first time i got up to 45-50ish the door uppers started pulling out and flopping around.

    i took the windows out today and the rears with the way the top connects is a huge pain in the butt as the zippers are really tucked up high in the top. i couldnt get the rear window unhooked after i unzipped it as the 2 zipper ends do meet up right and allow the rear window to slide out of the zippers. i ended up just rolling it up and using the elastic straps, its up and works ok. i made a 170 mile trip on the freeway a couple days ago and had to crank my pretty updated stereo really loud to even hear it over 45mph. if im driving in and rain or wind its ungodly loud. worse than the $400 bestop tiger top for my 42 MB. so far its kept the rain out, my schit in, and looks decent. would i buy another top from them, prolly not. would i try out other rugged ridge products, without a doubt. im all about trying new crap and being a guinea pig. theres another issue that once i talk to jeff at Dirty Dog i may post up.


    throughout the whole ordeal Jeff (Dirty Dog Offroad) kept in contact and was very thorough in the information he was able to pass on to me. when i called about the tear in the top i prolly wasnt the most calm and we quickly came to a decision and a new RR top was sent out. i almost told him to send a BESTOP out but decided to try the rugged ridge again.

    *edit* ill go ahead and post up what i said i wasnt going to post up till i talked to Jeff. Jeff if you like ill remove this part of the post. Jeff sent me an email a few days ago just checking up to se how the new top was doing. i didnt respond back right away because of my work schedule. He sent another email yesterday to ask again if i was having any issues. its nice to see a company actually follow up and stand behind a product or customer service. in the email he sent me yesterday upon inspecting the top that ripped, Rugged Ridge said it was not a material defect and would not be warrantying the new top that was sent out. Jeff didnt automatically charge my credit card, didnt call bitching about how i jacked up a new top and i owed him for the new one, or that i needed to send the new top back. in the future i will definitely be doing business with them as long as they continue these business practices. thanks Jeff.
    Last edited by 91YEEPER; 03-22-2011 at 00:12.

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    looking at the material you could tell it was a cheaply made top, not unexpected but not sure what $350 gets you these days. there were spots in the material where the little diamond pattern wasnt the same and spots where the material seemed like it got hot or didnt laminate correctly. you can see in a couple spots where the top was mechanically folded and the layers of the sailcloth are slightly separated.

  7. #7
    mors tua, vita mea kheihn's Avatar
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    Good to know! I tried going to the D.D. site but it was down today. I guess I will spend the extra cash when I go for a soft top!

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    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Thanks for a detailed review yeeper. Looks like my future business will be going to DDO too

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