Jeep Soft Top Flapping (Causes & Possible Fixes)

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Nobody wants to experience a problem with any part of the vehicle when they are on the road. A smooth running engine, a solid wheel, a functioning braking system, and other effective parts. However, did you know that you can experience a glitch with your soft top?

Flapping is one of the problems encountered by many users of jeep soft tops. Keep reading this article for the causes and the possible things you can do to fix the problem.

Causes of Jeep soft top flapping

Many jeep owners most times are happy when they get their soft top installed and there are no issues with it. It then becomes surprising once they begin to experience problems with it and they do not know the cause.

If you know the likely causes of the problem, you will know how to avoid it and possibly fix it when it happens. Below are some of the causes of soft jeep top flapping.

Speed

The way you will speed when you are within the neighborhood is different from the way you will move when you are on an interstate trip.

The problem might be there but negligible since you have not moved interstate since you installed the soft top. In most cases, when you move at a higher speed, probably 75mph and above, the soft top will begin to flap. The problem could become disturbing if there is any channel for air to penetrate the convertible.

Fabric

Did you know that there are different makers of jeep soft tops? Well, there are OEM and aftermarket soft tops. The implication of this is that the material will be different.

For instance, the material of the OEM soft top might be thicker than that of the OEM counterpart. So, if the fabric of your soft top is not thick enough to withstand the wind, it will flap.

Installation

A glitch with installation could cause a lot of issues with the soft top. Installing it is easy with the aid of the manual and possible online tutorials.

Not only this, there are other conditions such as the weather. If you have done a poor job when you were installing the soft top, it could flap. Apart from this, if you have installed the wrong size, flapping and other issues are inevitable.

Lack of maintenance

After installation, proper maintenance is the next thing that you need to do to avoid having issues with the soft top. In a situation where you do not maintain the soft top the way you ought to do, it will likely get worn easily.

Over time, the soft top could be perforated and that will serve as a means for the wind to penetrate the soft top when you are on the road.

Window

Cruising the jeep with a window that is not properly zipped will make the soft top flap. This is because the wind would easily penetrate the soft top and the result you will get when you move at a higher speed is flapping. If you do not fix this quickly, the zipper could get damaged.

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Possible solutions to a flapping Jeep soft top

Knowing the causes of soft-top flapping is good; what about the solution? Now that we have discussed the causes, we should go to the possible things you can do to fix the problem. Below are some of the things you can do to resolve the problem.

Inspect the soft top

Before the problem degenerates, it is advisable that you park the jeep and inspect the soft top, provided you are on the road. You should first check the window zipper to know if it is rightly locked.

If not, you should do the right thing immediately. Apart from the zipper, you should also inspect the soft top thoroughly for any possible holes. If there is any, you should seal the holes immediately. You can make use of a weather seal.

Reduce slack

Due to poor installation, the soft top will slack and that will make it flap. To resolve the problems, you can reduce the slack. All you have to do is gently move the cover from the edges to position, then retighten the bolts that hold it in place.

Buy straps

You can also resolve the issue of flapping with the use of straps. Doing this will reduce the effect of wind on the cover when you are in motion. Just buy new straps, install them on your jeep, and then use it to hold the soft top in place.

Use a thicker soft top

The steps highlighted above might not resolve the problem if your soft top is designed with soft fabric. To permanently resolve the problem, you should opt for a thicker OEM soft top. That is not all, you should also ensure that you install it correctly.

Seek help

You could be making the same mistake consistently during installation. In situations like this, you could still experience flapping despite trying some of the solutions highlighted above.

It is recommended that you seek help if the problem persists. For instance, you can contact the manufacturer of the soft top or seek help from a professional in your vicinity.

What are the things I can do to prevent my soft top from flapping?

A flapping soft top could make you feel uncomfortable when you are driving. You can prevent this from happening rather than enduring disturbing noise. The following are some of the things you can do to prevent your soft top from flapping.

Proper installation

If indeed you want to avoid the flapping of the soft top and other potential issues with it, you should ensure the proper installation of the soft top. The manual is detailed enough and you can also get clarity on any instructions when you watch tutorials on YouTube.

However, there is a professional installer, who can do a perfect job for you with a few bucks. If you have any problem during installation, you can go to any installer in your vicinity.

Regular maintenance

The soft top will not only wear quickly if you do not maintain it properly but you will also likely experience different problems with it, including flapping.

Caring for the soft top includes regular cleaning with auto-rated soap, parking in a shady location, clearing snow during winter, and many more. You can go through the manual of the soft top for more maintenance tips.

Inspection

The soft top also experiences wear anytime you hit the road. The way you care for it will determine how soon the wear will overwhelm it.

However, with regular inspection, you might discover some parts that are not aligned, parts that should be replaced, loose bolts that should be tightened, and many more.  

Other likely problems of the jeep soft top

Apart from the flapping issue that has been discussed earlier, there are other likely issues that you can experience when you install a soft top on your jeep. These problems are caused by different factors. Below are some of the problems, the causes, and the possible solutions.

Misalignment

Soft tops are produced to fit perfectly on the jeep. While this is a general truth, many users have stated that they have a different experience with it. The problem could be due to poor installation, lack of inspection, wear, and possibly harsh weather.

To fix the problem, you can start by reinstalling the soft top. You can go to a professional to avoid the mistake you made earlier. In a situation where the misalignment is due to loose bolts, you can gently shift it back to position and retighten the bolts.

Discoloration

This problem deals with the look of the soft top. You will likely notice a change in color after a few months of installation.

Discoloration or fading of the soft top color is usually caused by long exposure to UV or the use of harsh cleaning material. Avoiding the problem is better and easier than fixing it.

All you need to do is to ensure that you regularly park the vehicle in shady locations. You can even construct a garage for it at home, if possible. Also, whenever you want to clean the jeep, you should make use of only auto-rated soap.

Water leakage

The soft top is designed to be water and weather resistant but you have to properly install and maintain them. The sad reality is that the soft top could leak water into the jeep.

The problem is caused by poor installation, the presence of holes on the soft top and the frame, age, lack of inspection, and many more.

To fix the problem, you have to block the channel that leaks water into the jeep. If it is caused by holes on the soft top, you can block it with the use of a weather seal.

You can also use silicone to fix the problem of big holes in the frame. In a situation where the problem is caused by poor installation, you should seek help and ensure proper installation.

Conclusion

You will not know if the soft top flaps or not when the vehicle is on a dead stand. However, the problem can be resolved with the solutions highlighted in this article.

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