YJ and TJ hardtops are very similar in size and shape, so many people think that one hardtop will fit both models.
However, there are actually some small but important differences between the two, so you can’t just swap one top onto the other without doing some modifications to get it to fit properly.
Here’s how to know if your YJ hardtop will fit your TJ Wrangler and how to make it work properly when you do find that it does indeed fit.
What size is the hardtop for my Jeep Wrangler TJ?
Some people find that hardtops for previous models of Jeep Wranglers fit their new model Jeep Wrangler, while others can’t seem to make it work.
The main thing to keep in mind is that most hardtops are designed to fit two specific sizes: two-door models and four-door models.
A few manufacturers will say whether or not their product will fit both two-door and four-door models, but other companies won’t mention size compatibility at all.
Will a YJ hardtop fit a TJ?
It’s very likely that an aftermarket hardtop will fit a Jeep Wrangler; after all, they are similar vehicles. As far as factory hardtops go, though, things get more complicated.
You see, back in 1995 when Jeep introduced its YJ (aka Wrangler 2), it was slightly wider than previous models and included a 2-inch wider windshield frame.
This means if you want to install your ’95 hardtop on your ’97 soft top, for example, you’ll need to buy new mounting brackets since those on your ’97 won’t be able to accommodate that extra 2 inches.
Will a TJ/YJ hardtop fit a 2012 Wrangler?
The answer to will a YJ hardtop fits a TJ is, no. The roof of your 2012 Wrangler is not removable, while most older models are.
What you may want to know though is that many newer Wranglers have the same problem as your classic jeep: they can’t withstand very strong winds without letting in more air than you might be comfortable with.
What are the benefits of the YJ hardtop?
The factory hardtops on earlier Jeeps, such as ’86-’95 Wranglers and ’87-’98 Cherokees, are great in theory but fall short in reality. They leak like crazy due to poor design and cheap materials.
They’re heavy as sin, awkward to install, and expensive to replace. And they’re unreliable the latches tend to fail before you can get your Jeep safely parked after that big drive from Moab or wherever.
What is the difference between the YJ hardtop and the TJ hardtop?
Jeep Wrangler YJs were produced from 1986 to 1995 and are easily distinguished by their round headlights. The Jeep Wrangler TJ was introduced in 1997 after major changes were made to both the interior and exterior of Jeep’s iconic off-roader.
Despite looking like they might be interchangeable, these tops are different in almost every way: form, fit, function, and mounting points. To know whether or not your hardtop will work on your Jeep requires an understanding of these differences.
Can I tow with the YJ hardtop?
Yes. The easiest way to tow your Jeep Wrangler with a hardtop is by purchasing an aftermarket hitch for your model year. These hitches attach directly to your vehicle and can be installed without modifying your vehicle.
The truth is, there are no rules when it comes to hardtops. Some manufacturers use all-new hardtops for different years, but it’s very common to take advantage of any new model release and mold your hardtop to fit your classic Wrangler.
Your best bet is to measure, measure again and compare that measurement against known measurements from other Jeep models. Once you have an idea of what will fit (or won’t), you can go ahead and make that top yours.