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Remodeling A Jeep With A Quadratop and Bedtred

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on July 15, 2015
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The average lifespan of a shingle roof for your home is said to be between 15-20 years. The average lifespan of your home’s carpet is said to be around five. We’ve owned enough soft top Wranglers over the years to figure out that we’re lucky to get three years out of a top and maybe two out of the stock carpet.

Mud, trees, sun, and terrain outcroppings pick away at the life of your top and carpet. Thrown in a few ripped seams, broken zippers, and leaky spots, and you’ll soon have your carpet out and be on the search for a new top like we were.

Since the previous owner of our new-to-us Wrangler Unlimited had bent the original soft top frame in what looked like a wheeling mishap, we couldn’t just get new soft top material and drape it over the OE bow assembly. We had already decided on replacing the carpet with a more durable BedTred kit we found on Quadratec, so we decided to take a look at the tops while were cruising on the site. We ended up landing on Quadratec’s QuadraTop Complete Premium Sailcloth Top in Black Diamond.

The QuadraTop (PN 11000.2635K.07) we went with included the bow-assembly our Wrangler needed, along with the better sailcloth fabric that we wanted. Press-polished 40-mil-thick tinted vinyl windows were also standard with the kit. In terms of quality, Quadratec boasts that its QuadraTop comes from a partnership with the exclusive supplier of OE soft tops.

Coupled with our BedTred Premium Molded Floor Kit, everything came to a grand total of a little over $1,500. While not inexpensive, we don’t have any reason to believe that we’ll ever need to replace the BedTred flooring. Sure, this won’t be our last soft top, but that’s how it goes when you routinely wheel your Jeep. If we can manage to keep our new top’s bowing intact, the next time we need a top it will only cost a fraction of what we paid this time out.

We spent a few hours one afternoon in the driveway to install it all. It’s a pretty easy one-man job, but a warm day and extra set of hands will make it go a little smoother. Logging miles with the top has been easy, as has testing the water-tightness of it. We did have one spot that leaked near the rear passenger door, but we adjusted the top in that area, and have not had any issues since. Wind noise compared to the old top is much better, as is the visibility out of the windows. Overall, we’ve been happy with the new liner and top. It makes the Jeep feel (and smell) new again, which is always a great bonus.

Cargo Conundrum

The noise reduction, durability, and clean fit and finish make the BedTred a favorite product. But, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t point out one area of contention. Since the cargo area lift cover is raised, BedTred makes its cargo area cover with slits on either side so you can still lift the panel. The issue is that it exaggerates the fact that the cargo lift panel makes the floor uneven. We had trouble with the Velcro coming unattached when sliding in heavy items and didn’t really like the look of the raised center. We decided to cut the piece off that covered the panel cover to get our flat-ish floor back. We’d love to see a BedTred include a replacement panel on future models to eliminate this issue.

The QuadraTop setup we purchased is intended for those who don’t have existing soft top hardware or framing. This meant we received new door frame assemblies. The fit is the same as factory, but has a unique drip rail that runs above both doors.
What we often refer to as the frame, Quadratec calls the bow assembly. This is the backbone of the top. Since our factory one was damaged, we had to start from scratch. You’ll have to assemble this setup piece by piece, but thankfully each bag is properly labeled. Inserting the front portion of the top will be the most challenging and time consuming part of the process. We found using tape to keep the top in place on the front runner was the key to a smooth install.
In addition to bolting the fabric to the bow assembly, the QuadraTop uses front and rear top arches. These work great to keep water from pooling on the roof, which was an issue we had with our factory top.
There are a variety of top fabrics to choose from when searching for a replacement top. We’ve had great luck with sailcloth tops over the years as they tend to insulate and hold up better over time. Quadratec uses a 3-layer, 28-ounce pinpoint black-denim sailcloth that comes with a three-year warranty. The two straps you see hanging in the back allow you to roll up the rear window, which is great for those trail days when you are constantly grabbing gear out of the back of the Jeep.
Each window has 40-mil-thick press-polished tinted windows. This equates to them actually being easy to see out of and not having an ultra-wavy appearance. We’ve scrubbed them down a few times, and they appear to be holding up well. A few light scratches from tree limbs have left their mark, but no real damage has occurred.
For those of you who can’t get enough sun in your life, the QuadraTop has a quick fold-back feature that allows you to easily cruise uncovered. The arch assemblies can be removed as well for a more unobstructed view.
The Jeep’s original carpet was toast. To upgrade, we went with a BedTred kit from BedRug. BedTred is formed to have a factory fit. Offered as a multi-piece system, we opted for the entire kit, which includes panels for the cargo area.
Our reason for going with BedTred over a traditional carpet was simple: it’s waterproof and easy to clean. Given that it uses Velcro attachment points, we can easily remove it after a long day on a trail and hose it off. The 1⁄4-inch polypropylene foam is engineered to never absorb water, stain, hold odor, or mildew.
Fitment in the rear was exact as it slid between and around the seats to provide ample floor coverage. We can still access our drain holes easily as well. The finish of the floor is extremely smooth and easy to clean. It reminds us of the heavy-duty vinyl floors that you can get in a work truck, which is something we really dig.
Up front, the BedTred panels form around the firewall and transmission tunnel to create a seamless fit. Adhesive-backed heat shields are also included to deter the radiant heat from the tunnel.

Sources

Quadratec
West Chester, PA 19380
800-745-2348
www.quadratec.com
BedRug
Old Hickory, TN 37138
800-462-8435
www.bedrug.com

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