2021 Ford Bronco: Here's how you lower and remove the soft top

We show you how to operate the origami-like roof on the Bronco, including the top's various fun-in-the-sun positions and removing it altogether.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
3 min read
2021 Ford Bronco Soft Top Removal - customization
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2021 Ford Bronco Soft Top Removal - customization

Just six bolts hold the new Bronco's soft-top assembly to the body.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Ford's reborn Bronco SUV is shaping up to be of the hottest new vehicles to come out in, well, decades. This retro-inspired off-roader not only looks great and promises to deliver loads of capability, it also offers plenty of customizability thanks to its patented modular design. Its standard soft top, for instance, conveniently locks in several positions and is fully removable so you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the sky above. Here's what you need to know about getting the most out of this origami-like roof. We're going to use a four-door Badlands trim as our demonstration vehicle, but the same basic process applies to the two-door model, as well.

Enjoying a little fun in the sun while driving your 2021 Ford Bronco is simple. To retract the top, simply release a pair of interior latches on the windshield header bar. Just pull down (it takes good bit of force, so be warned) and the front of the roof disconnects from the body. Next, push the leading edge of the fabric top upward and rearward in an arc until it safely latches in position. Unless you have arms as long and flexible as elephant trunks, you'll probably have to stand up on the sill or seat (shoes off, or course).

The top on this four-door model opens further, but before you can fully lower it, you have to undo the panels on the sides and rear of the vehicle. Fortunately, this is also a simple task, as they're all held on by Velcro and a few clasps. Just undo these attachments, unhook the side window panels and they slide out of their corresponding grooves. It's simple! (Note: Sliding them back into place can take a bit more effort, so be patient).

Watch this: 2021 Ford Bronco: Folding and removing the soft top

Next, while standing on the second-row driver's side sill, you pull a small lever, which undoes latches on both sides of the roof assembly. This allows you to push the top stack further back, to lock it safely in position behind the cargo area. This provides an unobstructed view of the sky above for everyone in the vehicle, not just folks in the front seats. (Ford has done a particularly good job with this -- even on the four door, there's no center support brace between the two rows of seats to ruin the view like there is in a Jeep Wrangler).

Finally, the Bronco's entire soft-top assembly can be removed, but this takes a bit of work and a pal. You've got to crawl into the back and pop off a plastic trim piece on each side of the cargo area. With the toolkit that comes standard with every Bronco, you can then access the six 13-millimeter bolts that hold the assembly in place. Once these are removed, you and a decently muscular friend can carefully lift the roof, which, along with the windows and associated brackets, weighs 110 pounds, off the back of the vehicle.

For additional details and to see all this in action, be sure to watch our video embedded above. And if you can't get enough 2021 Ford Bronco, we also have separate video features about swapping out its grille and how you can remove its doors and fenders so make sure to check those out.

The 2021 Ford Bronco is highly customizable

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