How Heavy is a Jeep Wrangler Hard Top? YJ, TJ, LJ, JK, JKU, JKU, JL, & JLU – Compared!
A hardtop can be heavy, and different situations call for different tops.
Whether you’re taking it off or putting it on, it’s good to have some idea of how much it’s going to weigh.
That will help you get an idea of how many people you’ll need to help you out and how able they all need to be.
How Heavy is a Jeep Wrangler Hard Top?
Most Jeep hardtops weigh around 140 pounds. However, the JK can be much lighter at 90 pounds, and the YJ and LJ can get up to 150. This can significantly influence the weight of a Jeep. It is highly recommended to get two or three people to help remove or put the hardtop back on a Jeep.
We’re going to look at seven different models of Jeep Wrangler in this table: YJ, TJ, LJ, JK, JKU, JL, and JLU.
Then we’ll look at the benefits of having a hardtop on and off, decide which is better in which situations, and then discuss what you need to know when taking your hardtop off or putting it on.
Jeep Hardtop Weights by Model
There are quite a few Jeep Wrangler models each with a different hardtop weight.
Find your model and it’s weight in the following table!
|Jeep Wrangler Model||Hardtop Weight|
What Model Do I Have?
If you’re wondering which of the above abbreviations apply to your Wrangler, the best indicator is the model year.
The YJ, “Yuppie Jeep,” is the oldest of this bunch, replacing the CJ in 1987 and coming out until 1995.
TJs, “True Jeeps” replaced those in 1996, first coming out as a 1997 model.
The “Long Jeep” LJ started coming out in 2003 until both TJs and LJs were replaced in 2007 by the new JK, the first Wrangler to have a four-door version, the JKU.
JKs and JKUs kept coming out until 2018 when the present models (JL and JLU) debuted.
Like the JKU, the JLU is the four-door version.
If your Wrangler was made in 2018, it could be a JK or a JL.
The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is the positioning of the lights.
On the JK, the headlights are next to the grille but don’t touch them.
Meanwhile, the JL’s headlights overlap with the grille, pushing their curve into it.
Additionally, the blinkers on a JK are directly below the headlights.
However, the JL puts them on the front of the fenders.
If you’re looking to install a hardtop, there are a few benefits you’ll get out of it over a soft-top or no-top.
For one thing, they last longer.
Because they are more durable, the hardtop is likely the one you want to keep on by default when you’re just going from point A to point B.
That way, it lasts longer and lets you get more use out of your soft top when you want it.
A hard top is also better at insulating the cab than a soft top.
oft tops will keep off the wind, sun, and rain, but they’re not as good as hardtops at regulating temperature.
You’ll find that it’s a lot easier to keep a hardtop at a comfortable temperature because it’s thicker and better at keeping heat both in and out.
Hardtops also help with storage.
With the hardtop equipped, you can put a bike or a boat on top of the vehicle. You can also store your gear securely inside.
A thief or a bear will struggle more with the hard top than a soft top.
A hardtop also makes the ride quieter and easier to clean up after.
Then again, there are plenty of reasons that you might want to remove the hardtop.
You might want to reduce your Jeep’s weight to improve gas mileage.
A lighter Jeep is also easier to control: less weight means less time it takes to stop when you need to, and the same thing applies to steering and handling.
With less weight, you’ll also have an easier time getting out of ruts, snow, deep water, and other sticky situations, should you ever get stuck.
Though, with a lighter Jeep, you’re a lot less likely to get stuck in the first place because there’s less weight to get you stuck.
So if you’re into intense wheeling, bogging, or mudding, taking off the hardtop might be a good idea to give you more control and spend less time in unpleasant situations, leaving more time for fun.
All in all, it looks like keeping the hardtop on is a good idea for long-term and short excursions, and taking it off specifically for off-roading trips can give you a safer and more enjoyable experience.
You can enjoy all of these benefits, both hardtop on or off.
However, you’ll need to put in the effort to remove it or replace it throughout your trip.
You’ll also need to store it properly.
Installation and Removal
Even if it’s only a 90 pound JK that you’re removing or installing on your Jeep Wrangler, you’re going to want some help moving it around.
You might not consider it incredibly heavy, but it’s a big piece of hardware, awkward for one person to move around.
You will at least want two people: one on each side, and the process will go even smoother with three people helping.
The third person should hold up the back, where the heaviest window is.
You can try opening the windows to get a better grip when putting it on or taking it off, and opening the back window when taking it off will make it “back heavy” and thereby easier to remove.
When you’ve got two or three people helping out, installing or removing your hardtop shouldn’t be a problem at all, as long as each person helping can lift the appropriate ratio of weight.
If it’s a 90 pound JK, everyone helping (in a three-person team) needs to be able to lift at least 30 pounds, which should be easy enough for most people.
The heavier YJ will require everyone in that same three-person team to lift 50 pounds.
A two-person team will mean each person carries half the weight: that’s 45 pounds for the JK and 75 pounds for the YJ.