Barker's Badass Ragtops
Just how luxurious do you want to get with your Wrangler? Is it your prized possession that is awarded every trick piece you can find to put on it? Because we have a doozie to show you, and it might be the very thing that finally gets your friends to agree that money can buy you some things that you just can't build on your own. After lots of research and trial and error, the folks over at the Barker Gang Garage have come up with an electric folding soft top for Jeep TJ Wranglers that gives a bit of luxury to a utilitarian-built vehicle. Besides the wow factor that'll impress your friends, the top offers the easiest, most convenient changeover from an open top to a soft top in less than a minute. With the push of a button, the top folds up or down, with the only other operation being two clamps you have to attach at the windshield.
We couldn't wait to try one out, but we wanted to create a challenge for the Barker Top guys, and see if we could make one fit on a YJ Wrangler. The body lines are very similar, and with some finessing we were wondering if we could get one to fit a pre-'97 Jeep. We talked with Dennis Barker himself, and it turns out that they'd already done just that. We'd be able to make the top fit on a YJ if they changed a few brackets and we did some rollcage fabrication. The rollbar behind the front seats needs to go in a couple of inches on a YJ to make it work, requiring cutting and welding. If you are not willing to attempt this, then please have a skilled fabricator look at it for you. The top bolts onto the stock TJ rollcage without any issue. Other than the cage mods we had Fabworx Off Road make for us, we only had to ream out a couple holes here and there, and line up the windshield brackets, but our install team did pretty well at getting a sweet folding soft top on in just a few hours (not including cage mods).
Keep in mind that this is no top for you crazy few that have the potential to roll your Jeep just on the way into work in the morning. You'd not be happy that you just wrecked such a fine quality top, so we suggest removing it before any hazardous wheeling trips. The top is easy to take off with just a few bolts and can be left at camp while you go wreck your rig, so you can make sure that you can at least close your top up in style, even if you don't have a straight panel left on your Jeep.