Jeep Wrangler JK 4 Door Suntop Cargo Top – Black Diamond Review & Install


The Suntop Cargo Top in black vinyl is for
anyone with a 2007 to 2018 four door JK that’s looking for a modular soft top that is going
to give you some unique features that you’re not going to find in every other top out there. This is going to be a nice, easy one out of
three wrenches for the installation, and we’ll show you how to do it in just a second. So, when you’re looking at your three major
categories of soft tops, you’re going to find replacement soft tops for those of you who
already have a soft top and just need new soft top material and windows. Your frame is already in good shape. You’re also going to find complete replacement
soft top. That’s going to include all your soft material,
all of your windows, and all of your frame. That’s gonna be a little bit more expensive
but you’re going to end up with something that is a factory-like soft top, and again,
it comes with all of your components. And then your third category of soft top is
going to be something like this one. A top that is going to either add or subtract
some factory features and give you, usually, a different look from a factory top. This one in particular is going to be a modular
top. So, while you’re buying the cargo top from
Suntops, it really comes with two different pieces in two different boxes. You’re going to have what essentially equates
to a safari top, up top here, and then another piece that is one piece, it’s both your windjammer
and also your tonneau. So, really three pieces that come in two boxes
under one name, the cargo top. And the nice part about it being modular is
that you can just remove the Windjammer and the tonneau if you chose to, and just have
your safari top in place. You could remove this and just have these
in place if you wanted to. Probably not a very common configuration,
but you could. And if you do remove the windjammer and the
tonneau cover, and you have a safari top in place, you decide you wanna go completely
topless, you can actually roll this top up. It’ll store just above the windshield, at
the top of the windshield frame up top, there’s a couple of straps that you hook to themselves,
and hold the rolled up top so you don’t have to completely remove it from your Jeep, because
the top does bolt down. So, up at the windshield frame, you do have
some nut and bolt hardware. But, the fact that you can just roll this
up and store it up front means you don’t have to undo that nut and bolt hardware if you
do wanna go completely topless. So, that’s one of those features that not
every other top has. Now, because of that, you do have a buckle
sticking out the front of the top, at the top of the windshield, that is visible. So, if that’s something that’s gonna bother
you, maybe you take a look at one of the other options out there. But, if you like the functionality of being
able to roll and stow this top, that is just the price you’re going to have to pay. This top is going to be a black diamond material,
which is very similar to what you’d find on your factory style soft top. So it’s going to be a nice vinyl material. You’re going to have a tinted window in the
back here. It is a DOT approved tinted window, so, it
is going to give you a little bit more privacy, block out some UV light, and it just gives
the Jeep a little bit more of a stealthy look. From the side, of course, you’re going to
have a completely different look than pretty much anything else will give you. This windjammer and tonneau cover style almost
gives you a pickup truck styling that a lot of people really like. You’re gonna get that from this top as well
as all of the other flexibility. Now, the fact that this is modular also means
that if you wanted to pull off the windjammer tonneau piece, you can actually get a piece
that works with your safari top that acts as three rear windows, and instead of having
this truck-style tonneau and windjammer, you can end up with a fastback style top, and
that’s just by buying one additional piece. So, again, the modular aspect is really nice
if you’re going to be taking advantage of it. One of the other big advantages to this top
is the price tag. This is going to come in at right around that
$650 mark, which is a very inexpensive top when you compare it to a lot of the other
ones on the market. And, when you consider the fact that this
comes with the top windshield frame bar. This also comes with the door surrounds that
you need, and while it doesn’t actually utilize the tailgate bar, it does come with a solution
for the tailgate area here. You’re really getting everything you need
all in one box, a modular solution for a lot less expensive than a lot of the other tops
that have the same features would be. So, one out of three wrenches, as we mentioned
before, for the installation of this top. Let me show you how to do it. For this installation, we used a 13 and 14-millimeter
socket with a 3/8ths extension driven by our 3/8ths electric impact. We also used a 14-millimeter and an 8-millimeter
wrench. We needed a small 3-millimeter Allen head
socket driven by our quarter-inch socket driver, and finally, we used a razor. So, the first step in our very easy one out
of three wrench installation is going to be a little bit of assembly here at the table
before we jump over to the Jeep, and what we’re going to be assembling are our door
surrounds. They come in two pieces, and you simply bolt
them together. The last bit of assembly to do on the table
is getting our header installed into our soft top material, and this it just attaches with
some Velcro. So, we’re gonna open up the pocket in the
front of the top here, slide the header in, and then just make sure it’s firmly secured
down. Now we can move over to the Jeep and get our
door surrounds installed. Now we’re over on to our Jeep. We have our hardtop removed. If you have a soft top on your Jeep, you’re
gonna wanna remove that as well. Any sort of door surrounds, any tailgate bars,
any other hardware, you can get rid of all of that stuff. Everything you need is included in this kit,
and we’re gonna start by installing our door surrounds onto the Jeep. So, they really just sit in this fashion here. This bar is going to sit in this hole in the
tub, and this tab is going to go on the bottom of the sport cage. In the front, there are also a couple of other
bolt holes where this is gonna get bolted down into that sport cage. All the hardware you need to do that is included
in the kit. So, we’ll get the doors popped open and get
this set in place. So, we’re just going to set this bar here
into the hole in the tub and the rest of the frame aligns with the holes in the sport cage,
and we can grab some hardware and get it bolted on. So, for this back-most hole, we’re gonna be
using one of the long bolts that comes in our kit along with the flat washer and a lock
nut. So, we’ll slide the bolt down through our
new door surround here, through the factory hole in our sport cage, and washer and nut
it on the bottom side. We are going to leave this hardware loose
until we get everything started. So, we’ll move on to our next attachment point. The next bolt goes here in the middle. It’s just going to be a bolt and a washer
because you already have a threaded hole in the top of the sport cage. So, we’ll get that started. Again, leaving it loose until we get our last
bolt in place. There’s one more spot for another bolt up
front here but we’re gonna hold off on that, because the header actually shares this same
mounting point and this same piece of hardware. So, at this point, we’re gonna leave those
bolts that we already installed loose. We’re gonna jump over to the other side and
install the door surround over there, then, when we get the header in place, we’re gonna
come back to these mounting locations with these bolts and get everything bolted up once
all of that hardware is installed, then we can go back and tighten everything. So, we’ll go through the same process on this
side. Now it’s time to get our top installed. So what we’re going to do is throw the top
with the header on it because we already put those pieces together, on top of the windshield
frame. We’re going to invert the top so it’s pretty
much laying over the hood, and that’s gonna give us access to the arms that are on that
windshield header that we already installed. That is going to bolt to the front mounting
location through the sport cage and through those doors surrounds that we already installed
to get everything nice and tight. So, we’ll hop up on the running board and
get this installed. So, here you can see those arms I was talking
about here. They’re going to align with the holes in the
sport cage and the door surround is going to align with the bottom side of that, and
everything gets bolted straight through. Before we fully tighten this hardware down,
we’ll go over to the other side and get the other hardware started. Now we have a wrench and an impact and we’ll
go through and tighten all of the hardware down on both sides. With all of the hardware tightened down, we’re
gonna move on to installing the windjammer and tonneau portion of our top, and the first
step in doing that is getting those back seats put down. The next step in our tonneau and windjammer
cover installation is to install these sport cage covers. There is a left and there is a right, so you
may have to play with them for a second to figure out which side goes where, but they
sit in this orientation, so the smaller part, when it’s Velcroed together here, is gonna
go on this vertical. The larger portion up here goes to this intersection
where all three of the tubes on the sport cage come together, and you don’t really need
anything up in this upper area because, of course, the top is going to be covering that
once we get that flipped back over the rest of the sport cage. So, we’re going to attach to this side and
the other side with the Velcro and then move on to the next step. The next step is to slide this metal bar into
the pouch sewn in the bottom of our tonneau cover, and this is going to be at the corner
of the windjammer and the tonneau, and it’s gonna hold tension on the bottom of our new
rear window. So, we just have to get this lifted up and
slid right through that sewn pouch. And once that’s in, we can get the windjammer
and tonneau cover roughly laid into position on the Jeep before we finish getting it strapped
up. Before we start with the straps at the top
of the windjammer, we’re gonna wanna get the metal bar tucked underneath the sides of the
tub rail. This has a little bit of a lip on the bottom
of it so it’ll slide neatly underneath the tub rail, and again, that’s going to allow
us to tighten our straps pulling up while it’ll keep the bottom of the window nice and
tight. So, grab our side here, put it at a little
bit of an angle, and then there we go, we have our lip underneath. We can pull up on the bar and it’s not gonna
move. Now we can move on to some of those straps
up top. As we work our way up to some of those upper
straps, we’re going to stop and Velcro this part here onto our door surround, the rearmost
bar of our door surround, which is right here, and we’ll do that on both sides. Next, we’re going to unbuckle and then re-buckle
this strap, and this goes on the other side of the rearmost bar of the sport cage. So we’ll unbuckle that, pass it underneath
the sport cage here, and then we’ll get it re-buckled. We’ll do the same thing over here on the other
side. The next thing we’re going to attach is this
flap and that’s gonna go over the center of this part of the sport cage, and it’s just
going to attach with some Velcro. Just rotate this around a little bit so that
this window is on the bottom covering up our length. The last set of straps up top here is this
nice wide one, it has two metal buckles on this side and a couple bits of Velcro on the
other side, and these just meet in the middle and we’re gonna pull them as tight as we can
and get them attached. Now you’re pretty much done with the windjammer
part of your top, we’re moving on to the tonneau, and this essentially attaches just like your
soft top would, underneath the J channel, on top of your tub. So, we’re gonna start on this side, work our
way around. You have some little straps here that’ll help
you pull and tug to get that little bit of stretch you’re going to need to get the pieces
of plastic tucked underneath the J channel. So we’ll work our way down this side, down
the other side, and then there’s an additional step we need to do at the back to make sure
that that is going to stay nice and secure. When you get to your sport cage here, you’re
gonna come around and re-Velcro just on the other side, and then keep working your way
down with your plastic clips. One of the last steps to get our tonneau cover
fully attached is to put our piece of Velcro across the top of our tailgate. As you can see, on the underside of the tonneau,
you have the corresponding Velcro, so that’s gonna stay nice and tight. Ensure that you don’t have any flapping here,
but also ensure that any rainwater that does fall on the tonneau is just gonna run right
over the top. So we’ll get the tailgate open, and get this
stuck on. As you can see, we have a little bit of extra
Velcro on the back here, so we’re gonna use a utility knife, of course you could also
use a pair of scissors, to cut off the excess. With the Velcro installed, we can just close
the tailgate, and stretch our tonneau over top of the new Velcro attaching it down. Now we can get our top flipped back and attached
down. So we’re gonna flip it over top of the Jeep,
and as we work our way down the door surrounds, there are going to be Velcro straps that are
gonna go around the door surrounds and hook to themselves, and that’s gonna keep this
area above the door nice and tight. So we’re gonna do that on all four doors. Again, we’re gonna start in the front, work
our way to the back over here on the driver’s side, jump to the passenger and do the same
thing before we attach the final straps at the back of the Jeep. The last thing we’re going to do to get that
top tightened up is attach this strap on this large buckle in the back corner of the Jeep
and pull it nice and tight. We’ll start over on this side, but the other
side is just the same. Once you have your main straps tightened down,
you can go back and tighten up all of your other straps and make sure all of your Velcro
is seated properly, and then you’re done with your installation. So, if you are looking for a modular and uniquely
styled top for your JK, I would recommend this choice from Suntop, and you can find
it right here at extremeterrain.com.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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