Bestop Jeep Element Doors with Enclosures

Sep. 29, 2010 By Pete Bach
Doors on any open-top Jeep vehicle are an important option. Option? That’s right. At one time, doors were actually an option on Jeep trucks. For agricultural work, military use or civilian fun off-road, doors were something that weren’t really deemed as a necessary item.

The Bestop Element Doors with paintable enclosures.

Don’t get us wrong, we love having solidly built, factory hard doors on our new JK Unlimited Project; however, running trails with them is less than desirable. We wanted a versatile option that would allow us the protection of a full door but also have visibility of the trail while running with no doors at all. Bestop had the answer for us. 

The Bestop Element Doors are a product that we can no longer live without. They give us the options that we need for all driving conditions and seasons, as well as offer the visibility of the trail that we demand. Tube doors are nothing new to the Jeep off-road aftermarket, but the Element doors come with several different options. A steel, paintable Enclosure Kit is available that bolts to the tube doors, giving the function and appearance of a factory Jeep half door. To fully enclose the cab, you can use Bestop’s optional, soft upper half door, giving you the rugged feel and look of a true Jeep.

Here are the Bestop Element Doors only.

Hitting the trail with no doors on a Jeep is ideal but there is no protection from the elements or losing a driver or passenger. We’ve seen it happen, and though rare, people CAN and DO fall out of Jeeps in rough conditions! The Element doors provide protection against this but still give a “doors off” feeling and almost no trail visibility is lost. This really is the perfect off-road-friendly half door. 

Here are the Element Doors with Enclosures.

Here are the Element Doors with Enclosures and upper soft door.

Fall is an unpredictable season during the year in much of the country. At altitude in Colorado, nights can dip into the high 20s, leave morning off-road adventures crisp and cold. Cold is fine, as long as you have a barrier on your Jeep to protect you from it. With the Bestop Enclosure Kit and Soft Upper Half Doors, we don’t worry about the cold, and when it warms up during the day, we can remove the Enclosure skins and upper portion of the door, leaving us with the much-desired tube doors. Little storage is needed to stow these pieces, as they are lightweight and thin in design.

The Bestop Element Doors with Enclosures are one of our favorite parts we’ve installed on our new Jeep; however, there were a few small bugs to be worked out. Simply put, the tube doors are loud. Once off pavement, they rattle … and they rattle a lot. Not to worry because there’s an easy fix. A little bit of electrical tape on the door strikers proved to be the cure, and our Jeep with tube doors is, once again, rattle-free. 

On the trail, the Element Doors really shine!

Installation of the Element doors is simple.  Bolt on the latches, remove your factory doors, install the new Bestop doors. That’s it! Installation of the Enclosure Kit is a different story though.  The front Enclosures can use either Jeep TJ-style mirrors or factory JK mirrors with a spacer to fasten them up on the forward side of the door. At the rear, the Bestop door latch bolts over the enclosure holding it in place. We had some alignment problems while trying to secure both areas at the same time. We finally got it lined up by keeping all bolts very loose, then lining everything up and tightening. We do like the fact that you can use the JK factory mirrors with the provided spacers from Bestop, but we chose the TJ mirrors to stay on permanently. The option is nice.

Here are the provisions to mount the factory JK mirror or TJ mirror.

The rear enclosures were a little easier to install, mostly due to the lack of side-view mirrors. Small hooks at the bottom rest on the lower tubing of the doors and one bolt fastens to a captured bolt on the back side of the enclosure. We had to do a little tweaking to the hooks to get the bolts to line up properly, but all in all, they went together smoothly. 

Two small hooks help keep the Enclosures secure.

Once we had the Enclosure Kit on the Element doors, we added the included rubber molding and the fitment was near perfect in every area. The new doors look like factory units, and personally, we like the look of the flat back, but our intent is to have them painted to match the Jeep, which you’ll see in up coming installments. 

The Doors fit nicely with the help of rubber molding.

The Upper soft doors were also installed during a recent trip that put us over 11,000 feet altitude at times. The fully enclosed Jeep was very welcome as the temperatures remained in the 30s for most of the mornings. As the days warmed, we stripped down to just the Element doors for the trails. This is truly the ultimate in versatility!

The Bestop Element doors with Enclosure Kit is one of our favorite and most useful upgrades we’ve made to our JK.  The tube doors are something we will not hit the trails without. The enclosures give us that cool half-door look and help keep our belongings in the Jeep, and the soft upper doors keep the heat in when we need it during cold days on the road or on the trail. What other door options do you need?  None!

Bestop, Inc.
P.O. Box 307
Broomfield, CO 80038 U.S.A.
Toll Free: (800) 845-3567 (U.S. and Canada)
Main: (303) 465-1755 (International) Newsletter
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