Do you have a new Jeep Gladiator, and do you want to know how to store the Freedom Panels whenever you decide to remove them? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
The Freedom Panels of your Jeep Gladiator come with their own bag with a foam bottom. Place the Freedom Panels inside the bag for proper storage.
Let’s talk more about the Freedom Panels on your Jeep Gladiator in the succeeding sections. If you’re still planning to buy a Jeep Gladiator, learn more about this feature in the sections below.
What is a hardtop?
The first automobiles do not have roofs. This did not last too long, though. Cars soon had fabric roofs and this design took over the cars with no roofs.
Cars with rigid roofs soon came out and immediately became popular. Their popularity quickly made them the standard for automobile manufacturers.
The hardtop roof soon came out and cars that had them quickly became the new standard.
Hardtop roofs are made from rigid materials. Modern cars have hardtop roofs that are commonly metal. Modern hardtop roof designs can be detachable or retractable.
Detachable hardtop roofs are often made of light and durable materials to make it easy for drivers, even female drivers, to lift them off their vehicles. Retractable hardtop roofs, on the other hand, have several sections that separate and fold automatically into the rear compartment of the car. Modern versions have motors that fold and deploy the hardtops for the driver.
What is the Freedom Panel in Jeep Gladiator?
The Freedom Panel is Jeep’s redesign of old technology—the hardtop roof technology.
The Jeep Gladiator made the hardtop even easier to remove by dividing the hardtop roof of the Jeep into three parts. The three parts of the hardtop make it lighter and thus easier to remove manually.
The smaller parts also make it easier to store.
The front half has two parts—the driver-side hardtop and the forward passenger-side hardtop.
The rear hardtop is a single piece all the way to the rear window. This makes it heavier to remove. It requires the use of tools to remove and the help of a friend to lift from your Gladiator.
The Freedom Panel is not a standard feature in Jeep Gladiators. Jeep buyers can have the Freedom Panels with the soft top option for an additional fee.
With both roof types available, you have the option to remove the entire hardtop and use the soft top on your Jeep instead.
How to store Freedom Panels in Jeep Gladiator?
Removing the Freedom Panels from your Jeep is the first step to storing them. Fortunately, the Freedom Panels are lightweight and can be taken out of your Jeep even without tools.
Here are the simple steps to store the Freedom Panels of your Jeep Gladiator. Keep in mind that these steps can also apply to the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
Preparing The Storage Bag
The storage bag for the Freedom Panel is normally in a roll and inside a plastic bag. If this is the first time that you’re going to remove your Freedom Panels, you will have to unpack the storage bag first.
Here are the simple steps to follow to prepare your storage bag for your Freedom Panels.
- Remove the storage bag from the plastic bag and unroll it.
- Place the storage bag on top of a stable surface. A table will do as long as it is not on an incline, and whatever you place inside the bag will not slide out. You don’t want your Freedom Panel to slide out of the bag while you’re removing the other one. Dropping the panel to the floor can scratch the paint or damage it.
- Position the storage bag on the table so that the handles are closest to you and the bottom is farthest from you. The bottom is the flat side without a zipper.
- Observe your storage bag. One side of the top has a right angle while the opposite side is round. The side with a right angle should be on your right, while the round side of the bag is to your left.
- Unzip the bag and open it.
- Pull out the felt cloth.
Removing The Driver’s Side Freedom Panel
We’re starting the removal process with the driver’s side Freedom Panel because you will not be able to remove the forward passenger side Freedom Panel unless the driver’s side Freedom Panel is no longer there.
Preparing Your Jeep Gladiator
- Park your Jeep Gladiator on level ground.
- Activate the parking brakes.
- Put the transmission to first gear unless you have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport. If this is the case, put it in “Park(P)” instead.
Removing The Panel
- Unclamp the L-clip on the rear-left side from the driver’s seat.
- All the clips are made of a black firm, plastic-like material. You’d easily find them.
- Unclamp the L-clip on the rear center. It is the one closest to the driver’s seat. It is on the rear right of the driver’s seat.
- Unclamp the L-clip on the front center. It is closest to the steering wheel.
- Lower the driver’s side sun visor.
- Unclamp the toggle clip under the sun visor.
- Lift the driver’s side Freedom Panel. Use your dominant hand to lift it from inside your Gladiator while lifting it with your other hand. Switch your dominant hand to the outside and lift the panel with both hands. Bring the Freedom Panel to the bag.
Putting The First Freedom Panel In The Bag
- Slide the Freedom Panel into the bag with the paint side facing the table. The narrowest side or the side that faces the driver’s side door should be closest to you.
- Fold all the clips. They should be down or away from the edges.
- There are two foam holders at the bottom of the bag. Slide the first Freedom Panel into the two foam pieces.
- Place the felt cloth over the first Freedom Panel. The felt cloth will prevent the two panels from rubbing against each other.
Removing The Front Passenger’s Side Freedom Panel
- Unclamp the L-clip on the rear-right side from the front passenger’s seat.
- Unclamp the L-clip on the rear center that is closest to the front passenger’s seat. It is on the rear-left of the driver’s seat.
- Unclamp the L-clip on the front center that is closest to the front passenger’s seat.
- Lower the front passenger’s side sun visor.
- Unclamp the toggle clip under the sun visor.
- Lift the front passenger’s side Freedom Panel. Use your dominant hand to lift it from inside your Gladiator, then support it with your other hand. Shift your other hand to lift it from outside. Bring the Freedom Panel to the bag.
Putting The Second Freedom Panel In The Bag
- Fold all the clips on the Freedom Panel. They should be down or away from the edges of the panel before you position the panel inside the bag.
- Slide the second Freedom Panel into the bag with the paint side facing up. The narrowest side or the side that faces the front passenger’s side door should be closest to you.
- Insert the second Freedom Panel into the topmost indent of the foam holder.
- Adjust the panels and the bag until the bottom zipper covers the bottom panel.
- Bring the other side of the bag down over the second panel.
- Slowly zip the bag while pulling the zipper away from the panels. Doing so prevents the bottom of the zipper from scratching the paint of the two panels.
- You can store the Freedom Panel bag at the back of your Gladiator or somewhere in your garage.
- Keep in mind that the sides of the storage bag don’t protect your Freedom Panels from scratches or impact. If you store it in a location where a heavy or rough object can fall or scratch the sides of the bag, then the paint job of your Freedom Panels can be damaged by the object.
- Moreover, if the bag falls over or drops to the floor, it is also possible that the panels will be damaged or the paint will be scratched.
The key to storing the Freedom Panels of your Jeep Gladiator is to place them in the correct way inside the storage bag.
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