The black denim top that I got from Mike
served me well and convinced me that a black top was what the Jeep needed. It also
convinced me that it was too noisy for the amount of time I spend in the Jeep. It
flapped, whistled, generated white noise, and generally left me with tinitus for hours
after a long ride.
I kept hearing about the superior noise
dampening of the sailcloth top, but the price of admission was a show stopper. It's
not so much that it is super-expensive, as the fact that it costs just enough that it's
hard to justify when you have a nearly new, albeit tan, top, and a serviceable black top.
Then I decided to do something I should
have done a long time ago. Put all my factory parts that have been replaced with
aftermarket stuff on Ebay. So I scraped together everything I had. I came up
with side steps, 2 sets of coils, three GS/A's. And both of the other tops...
I also weeded out my die cast collection of cars that I had that I didn't care about, cars
that I had not looked at, cars that I had not even in some cases opened. Dug out
some old cameras that didn't work and sold them in pieces.
Soon enough I had defrayed the cost of
the sailcloth top that I was able to place the order. It came very fast, and on the
coldest day we'd had in weeks. I assembled the top onto the frames inside the warm
house, with my kids asking 2000 questions. The screws were tedious but easy enough
to install. Fortunately I had compulsively stored them in their holes on the header
so that I would not lose them.
The next task was to remove the hard top
and store it. This required that I move the roof rack out of the way. So I
prepared the work area, got all the screws loose. Removed all the stuff that needs
to be out of the way, then called Carl over for some heavy lifting. Once we had set
the hardtop aside, I brought the top outside and quickly installed it onto the Jeep.
By the time we got the side curtains in place and zipped, the whole thing was as stiff as
a board. Matching my fingers.
The next day I took a few pictures.
It's a great looking top, and it is quieter than the denim tops by far. I do not
find it to be as quiet as the hardtop - that sounded too good to be true, and it seems
that the reason is the roof rack. But for that I think the top would be far more
quiet. But the sailcloth is a definite improvement. Well worth the money.