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Jp How-To: Top Off Your Wrangler

Posted in How To on November 1, 1998
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Since most Wranglers have been sold with soft tops, an extensive aftermarket has developed for hardtops. Hardtops, after all, offer more security, as well as a quieter ride. One company making a name for itself in this market is Deep Woods Inc., Oneida, Tennessee, located on the outskirts of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

The installed top gives this Wrangler a "safari" look.

Deep Woods' market was originally the small "Brand X" sport/utility vehicles, but with the introduction of the Wrangler and its subsequent popularity, the company expanded its line.

Deep Woods tops are made of three layers of hand-laid glass mat. Foam and chop guns are not used, which use more resin than fiberglass and result in a heavier top, according to the company. Deep Woods' Wrangler tops with tinted windows are under 150 pounds. The tops feature a textured finish on the exterior (easier for owner touchup), a charcoal felt liner on the inside, and options that include an interior light, a sunroof, and roof racks. Each top bolts onto a Wrangler body where the framed-not roped-windows and other options are installed before shipping and installation.

Deep Woods also offers half doors with sliding glass windows. Originally built of fiberglass, the doors are now constructed of aluminum, which, the company says, has a better seal. Windows in the upper half doors are not tinted.

With the half doors, after three months of field testing, the only noticeable detraction was the wind noise created when the door windows were open, a situation correctable with wind deflectors in front of each window. A swing-away spare-tire carrier would also alleviate the coordination required to operate the rear lift window and the rear-mounted spare.

Deep Woods offers factory installation, which a surprising number of buyers opt for, combining it with a visit to Big South Fork. For those who want to install these units themselves, the process is exceedingly easy with a few tips from the factory-which is always ready to offer technical advice over the phone.

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