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4Wheel Drive Magazine
Attn: Christian Lee
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Electric-Powered Soft Top
Q: I'm in the beginning stages of converting my 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited for wheelchair accessibility and was wondering if you know of a source that offers custom powered soft tops? I plan on raising the roof and will have a custom rollcage made, but I'll need a top to go with it. Thanks.
A: Vinh, there was a company out of Colorado that produced an electric convertible soft top for Jeep Wrangler TJ, however, it seems that the top is no longer in production. The top was displayed at the SEMA Show in 2005, though I have heard and seen very little about it since then. This being the case I would look for a convertible top shop in your area to inquire about custom jobs. I don't imagine that it will be an inexpensive proposition, but maybe worth a try.
You also might contact Newport Convertible Engineering [(714) 632-3287, www.newportconvertible.com] in Placentia, California. They offer custom power convertible tops for a wide range of vehicles — many which were never offered from the factory as convertibles, including the Hummer H2 and Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Your final option is to sell your '05 Wrangler and purchase a 2007-and-newer Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited and install the new electric power soft top that was recently introduced by Rugged Ridge [(770) 614-6101, www.ruggedridgeoffroad.com]. The Rugged Ridge Power Top Kit fits all 2007-to-2012 four-door Wranglers (a two-door kit is in development) and comes complete with a sailcloth top, windows, power top frame, hydraulics, wiring harness, and an installation packet. There is some sticker shock involved, however, as the kit retails for just under $5,000. A custom top would likely run even higher. Hope this helps. 'Wheel on.
Jeep Grille Covers
Q: In the October 2011 article, "YJs Rule," on Page 50, the Jeep has a heavy-duty mesh grill cover. I would like to find out who makes it. Any help you can give me would be great. Thanks.
A: John, the grille cover shown on the Jeep YJ is a radiator bug shield. They are typically available from a variety of vendors. I think the one in the picture you indicated is a Rugged Ridge product. Rugged Ridge [(770) 614-6101, www.ruggedridgeoffroad.com] offers the shields for 1955-to-1986 Jeep CJs and 1987-to-2006 Jeep Wranglers. Rugged Ridge also has a similar grille insert available for JK Wranglers. Thanks for writing.