Finding a tear in your Jeep’s soft top can be problematic, especially in stormy weather, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive repair. While a tear can be a distraction, it can also become a safety hazard if it distracts the driver while they are driving. Repairing a soft top is something that almost any Jeep owner can take care of on their own.
There are many ways to repair a tear in your soft top aside from using duct tape. The first thing you should do is to clean the area surrounding the tear using a damp clean cloth and allow it to dry. The first repair method many Jeep owners use is to apply a piece of aluminum waterproofing tape that has black tar backing to the back side of the soft top. After you have securely pressed the tape onto the soft top you can then paint over the tape using latex paint that is the same color of the inside of the soft top. Once the paint dries you will have a waterproof repair that closely matches the color of your soft top.
The second method used by many Jeep owners is to use a leather needle or other type of strong needle and sew the tear in the top back together using a very strong nylon thread. These items can be purchased at a fabric store if you do not have any around the house. Holding the two pieces together you will want to carefully begin sewing the top back together. To ensure that your repair is strong enough to hold up against wind and weather you may want to double stitch the top. After you are satisfied with your seam you can then apply seam sealer to the visible stitches inside the top. Seam sealer is used to help protect the thread that is exposed to wind, rain and snow.
The final two methods that experts suggest are placing a piece of fabric, ideally from an old soft top or biking top that you are no longer using, to the inside area of the tear using E600 Glue. When cutting the piece of fabric you should cut it at least one inch bigger than the tear. This will give you plenty of room to work with and you won’t find yourself struggling to cover the tear. The other method is to use an iron on patch to cover the tear. This is a repair method that should only be used as a last resort because the high heat from the iron may increase the damage by melting the area around the tear.
While these are all excellent ways to repair your soft top, if the tear is more than you can repair on your own you should consult with an expert to determine if the repair is worth attempting or if the top should just be replaced. But if the tear is minor any of these repair methods will work.