What’s better than cruising down the highway in a convertible, the wind blowing through your hair? Doing so in a Jeep. Between convertibles and motorcycles, it’s fair to say that a great many Americans have a deeply ingrained love of nature whipping around them on a drive. The biggest problem, however, is that both convertibles and motorcycles have a reputation for being somewhat less than safe. So, how can you enjoy the feel of cool, fresh air around you as you drive, but still stay safe? That’s where the Jeep Wrangler comes in.
It may not have quite the same maneuverability as a motorcycle, but with the top off and the doors removed, your Jeep Wrangler can provide you with the same feeling of freedom comes from being surrounded by more nature than machine—and boy, is that a liberating sensation. A Jeep brings a few benefits that those sleek convertibles and motorcycles can’t offer, namely, a broader range of functions and capabilities. With a Wrangler, not only can you enjoy the wind whipping around you on a drive, you can also get off the highway and drive into real nature without worries about getting stuck in a muddy patch or skidding on a slick surface. The thick tread on the tires help you get a grip and the rugged, raised suspension means you can go further with less worry. Plus, if the worst does happen and your Jeep topples over, the roll bars are there to provide additional protection that you definitely don’t get with either convertibles or motorcycles. In essence, it’s freedom to really get off the beaten path and go enjoy nature.
Converting Your Jeep
With the top on and doors firmly in place, it can be hard to imagine a Jeep offering the same airy feeling as a motorcycle. So, of course, the first step is getting rid of those encumbrances! Jeep Wranglers are designed with easy to remove tops and doors, so the trick is just knowing where to release connectors. For most Jeep owners, that’s a big selling point. Even a hard top is light enough that you can pop it off without much hassle and set it aside for a day in the sun.
Jeep door removal is a bit more complex, but only a little bit—and will depend on the age of your Wrangler. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the steps to remove your model’s doors, but it’s generally a simple procedure. Fold in the mirrors, unscrew the nuts holding the hinge bolts in place, remove the bolts, and unhook the safety strap that connects each door to the body. Sounds simple, right? The more complex part is, surprisingly, how and where you store the doors.
Avoiding Door Damage
There are a couple of key things to be on the lookout for when storing your Jeep’s doors. The first is damage to the paint. A car’s paint job does more than keep it looking pretty; it actually serves as an anti-rust measure, which helps protect all the interior functions of your vehicle. This is especially important if you live somewhere humid, you live in a region that gets a lot of snow (and snowmelt chemicals on the roads), or you go off-roading regularly. Even one small chip in the paint can quickly rust and become a big problem, so you’ll want to be sure you’re storing the doors on a blanket or a Jeep door rack.
The other main concern is everything happening inside the door. First, be sure you roll the windows down before you pop the doors off. This will ensure they are better protected against breakage or scratches. If you’re laying the doors flat to store, place them interior-side down for more stability and less chance of damage. Along with watching out for the windows, you’ll want to consult your manual about disconnecting any electrical components before you just tug the door away. If you have power locks or power windows, you’ll need to disconnect the electrical connection from the body. In addition, you may need to go into the fuse box and remove the “Door Jam Defeat” fuse so the alarm and dome light don’t stay on.
Safe Jeep Door Storage
The biggest risk involved with popping your doors off is storing them improperly and causing damage. Resting them on a blanket is a good start, but a Jeep door holder or other Jeep door storage option can make all the difference. They allow you to store your doors upright and minimize chips or dings that may happen while they’re not attached to your Wrangler. To help you better protect your Jeep’s doors, TopLift Pros is here to help you out. Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to hear when our new Jeep door rack rolls off the production line. Do you already have our Jeep hardtop storage and removal system? We’re also getting ready to release a Jeep door holder attachment that connects to our Top Lift Pro Tool. Visit our online store to see how TopLift Pro can make Jeep door and hardtop removal and storage a breeze!