Free Breeze! Bestop Element Door Review
One of the best things about owning a Jeep Wrangler is having the ability to strip it down to the bare minimum. In less than an hour, you can fold the windshield, remove the top and pull the doors. This less-is-more approach is one of the reasons the Wrangler platform is so popular for recreational and hardcore off-road enthusiasts. After all, the less material left on the Jeep, the fewer the components that can be damaged off-road.
Over the years, we’ve become accustomed to enjoying the benefit of a tube door for when we hit the trail. For Jeeps with full doors, it not only helps shed weight, but it also prevents the very costly doors from being damaged off-road. Even factory half doors can be pricey to replace. On Wranglers such as ours that are lacking the niceties of air conditioning, the tube door can really help with air flow.
With spring finally here, we sprang (see what we did there) for a new set of doors for our TJ. While there’s an assortment of tube-style doors to choose from, we opted to get a set of Elements Doors from Bestop. Beyond the basic needs of being lightweight and well-made, we like the fact that we can easily upgrade the element doors with gear bags, door surrounds and even uppers if we wanted to go down that road.
While the video above offers insight into the ease of install, we’re highlighting more about the Element Doors in the article below.
For the ’97 to ’06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, you’ll simply unbolt the stock doors from the factory hinges. Once the doors are unbolted, remove the strap that’s securing the door to the tub. Bestop sends the Element Doors in nice foam packaging, which we found made for a great base to set our stock doors down so they wouldn’t be damaged in storage.
The Element Doors slide into the stock TJ hinges and come with a keyed door latch which you’ll bolt to the door.
You may need to adjust the door striker for the Element doors to shut properly. Our TJ required us to move the striker just slightly to achieve proper alignment.
To ensure your doors don’t swing out wildly and damage your Jeep (or the vehicle next to yours), Bestop uses straps to keep them in place. The small bolt-on bracket above is used to depress the door lamp indicator, so everything works just as it did stock.
If you’re going to use the doors on the street, you’ll be glad to know that you can bolt up your stock mirrors. We’re using Bestop’s High Rock 4x4 replacement mirrors. These are a tremendous upgrade from the old-style Wrangler mirrors and much easier to adjust and see out of.
The complete install took less than 30 minutes for both doors. While we can upgrade the Element doors later if we want, for now, these offer the extra airflow (and arm resting point) we were looking for.