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When you say hardtop, the rigid automotive roof structure would probably come to mind. This solid roof can effectively ward off air, moisture, dirt, and other elements from the cabin, thanks to the seams surrounding the roofline. Compared to the soft top, the rigid roof design allows better sound insulation. It also doesn't break or tear easily and can help keep the cabin warm or cool, no matter what the weather is outside.

Over the years, hardtops have become as versatile as they could ever be. They now have more functional designs that even allow open-air driving. They come in detachable and retractable types and even pillar-less body styles.

Retractable hardtops: Retractable hardtops can be automatically lowered or raised through a motor and several hinged panels, much like a folding soft top. When lowered, these tops may be stored in a trunk or may occupy a dedicated storage space in the vehicle. These tops are more commonly found in luxury convertibles than in sports cars. Convertibles that have these hardtops include the Mazda Miata MX-5, Lexus IS C, and Volkswagen Eos.

Detachable hardtops: These hardtops can be made from lightweight metal alloys, fiberglass, or plastic and may come with a rear glass window. These hard roofs can be removed from the vehicle in one piece. Some convertibles offer detachable hardtops as an option, especially for winter driving. Convertibles and roadsters that are designed with detachable hardtops include the Ford Thunderbird, Chevrolet Corvette, and Mercedes Benz W113.

Pillar-less hardtops: Pillar-less hardtops are less rigid compared to the pillared type. Without a center pillar, they need to be supported by a firm underbody. Vehicles with pillar-less body styles may actually be mistaken for convertibles with tops raised. The Mercury Commuter, Pontiac Catalina, Mazda Luce, and Toyota Crown are just some of the vehicles that feature the pillar-less roof design.

The hardtop may also be an option for the rugged and versatile Jeep, and this can be replaced following these steps:

How to replace the hardtop on a Jeep

Removing the old hardtop

Step 1: Remove the bolts that attach the slide rails inside the Jeep to the top's rear end. Use a ratchet for this.

Step 2: Snap the latches connecting the windshield frame to the top's front end.

Step 3: Slide off the top from the rails. You'll need someone to help you hold both sides as you do this.

Fitting in the new hardtop

Step 1: Lay the new top on the Jeep's rear and fit this onto the windshield as you slide it forward. Have someone to help you out with this.

Step 2: Secure the top to the windshield with the clamps.

Step 3: Seal the top into the body through the bolts. The nuts should be threaded and tightened with a screwdriver.

Step 4: Push the top rear window into closed position as you open the tailgate.

Note: A properly installed hard roof allows you to adjust the door hinge, windshield, and tailgate surface of the Jeep with no trouble at all.

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