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Old 04-22-2009, 12:42 AM   #1
canuck37
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 87491
Join Date: May 2005
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Fraser Valley, BC
Vehicle:
03 Sport
Blk/Slvr

Default ATTN: ARE Cap Owners

For a number of reasons, I find that I am either going to have to sell my 03 Baja or buy an ARE cap for the back. I built my own OzzBros style cover some time ago, which is very nice but doesn't provide enough covered storage.

I have a few questions for any ARE owners out there who might care to comment.

1) When installed, is the 3rd brake light permanently disabled or can it be re-connected when running without the cap on?
2) Any noticeable difference in vehicle handling and/or mileage when cap is installed?
3) Did you have it installed professionally and if so, any problems encountered when taking it off and reinstalling yourself?
4) Are water leaks a concern?
5) Just out of curiosity, my 03 is the black/silver version. I am tossing around either a silver cap or a black one. Maybe one of you PhotoShop wizzs could show me what that might look like??
6) When the cap is locked, is the back totally secure or can someone still get the tailgate down and gain access easily (yes, I realize if someone really wants in they will get in)?
7) Are the any interior lights already installed?
8) Are the side windows screened or able to open? (not clear on their website)

Any other issues that you have encountered with the cap that might make my decision easier?

I really don't want to part with my Baja, but need the additional covered storage for long and frequent trips I am having to make now. I would appreciate any constructive feedback. Thanks,
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:04 AM   #2
weiVA
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 72942
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Vehicle:
2005 Baja T
Atl Blue Pearl

Default

Quote:
1) When installed, is the 3rd brake light permanently disabled or can it be re-connected when running without the cap on?
I bought mine used, but it should come with a wiring harness. IIRC, the harness does disable the Baja's 3rd brake light. Since the receiving end consists of female spade connectors, I'm going to splice a solution myself which allows both the cap and Baja light to operate. There is about 6" of wiring coming from the cap.

Quote:
2) Any noticeable difference in vehicle handling and/or mileage when cap is installed?
No change whatsoever. I was hoping for a gain of 1-2mpg highway, but nope. It feels like it weighs about the same as our factory hard cover too (just distributed differently) so handling really isn't affected. No noticeable change with cross winds either.

Quote:
3) Did you have it installed professionally and if so, any problems encountered when taking it off and reinstalling yourself?
Bought used. Installed myself. It definitely requires two people as it's bulky and watch your fingers! Having a third person push up from the inside or have a lift hold it up slightly during removal goes a long way as pinched finger insurance.

Haven't had any problems except a bit of rubbing on the paint since we didn't have truck cap mounting tape.

Quote:
4) Are water leaks a concern?
Dry just like the factory hard top even in hurricane force rain.

Quote:
5) Just out of curiosity, my 03 is the black/silver version. I am tossing around either a silver cap or a black one.
I'd go black to match the Baja body, but that's just me. I'm not imaging saavy.

Quote:
6) When the cap is locked, is the back totally secure or can someone still get the tailgate down and gain access easily?
The lock and handle are pretty durable feeling. If you were to not open the liftgate and unlatch the tailgate, it will hold up the tailgate. Of course, you could pull hard on the tailgate and break the cap's liftgate. They can also just break the glass as you alluded to.

The tint on the cap is dark. With ambient sunlight or parking lot lilghting, someone would have to put their face directly onto the glass to peep in. Unfortunately, the tint and added obstructions increase your blind spots dramatically. It's doable, but I've considered blind spot mirrors as an added precaution.

Also, if you have the Subaru security system, the jounce sensor will go off if you close the liftgate without disarming the alarm. The liftgate closes with that satisfying of a slam.

Quote:
7) Are the any interior lights already installed?
There are no additional lights. I make use of the Baja's built-in cargo light. I haven't had a need for additional lighting than that.

Quote:
8) Are the side windows screened or able to open? (not clear on their website)
The side windows are not sliders. They open via turn knobs, folding outwards. The screens are mounted on the inside. When driving, enough air circulates to make towels flap lightly which is nice for airing out wet gear.

Quote:
Any other issues that you have encountered with the cap that might make my decision easier?
The ARE cap complements the Baja perfectly. Just do it! It has made the Baja infinitely more useful. It provides easy access, lockable, dry storage for your cargo. Additionally, the extra height allowed me to finally put in spreader bars to compartmentalize groceries, bungie cords, etc. Many daily objects fit now without folding open a hard top halfway. We now either have the cap on full time or off, there hasn't been a desire to put the hardtop back on really.

Even people who hate the looks of the Baja comment on how it looks 1000% times better with the cap on. Me, I always thought the Baja looked just fine.

The *only* negative I've come across is that the bed extender can not be used with the cap. The cap gets in the way since the extender needs to be vertical for installation. I suppose I can dremel the mount a bit to make it just pop in, but there haven't been enough occasions where I need the cap and extender. And such a mod would allow the bed extender to pop right off unless I put a latch on it.

Last edited by weiVA; 04-22-2009 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
canuck37
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 87491
Join Date: May 2005
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Fraser Valley, BC
Vehicle:
03 Sport
Blk/Slvr

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by weiVA View Post
I bought mine used, but it should come with a wiring harness. IIRC, the harness does disable the Baja's 3rd brake light. Since the receiving end consists of female spade connectors, I'm going to splice a solution myself which allows both the cap and Baja light to operate. There is about 6" of wiring coming from the cap.


No change whatsoever. I was hoping for a gain of 1-2mpg highway, but nope. It feels like it weighs about the same as our factory hard cover too (just distributed differently) so handling really isn't affected. No noticeable change with cross winds either.


Bought used. Installed myself. It definitely requires two people as it's bulky and watch your fingers! Having a third person push up from the inside or have a lift hold it up slightly during removal goes a long way as pinched finger insurance.

Haven't had any problems except a bit of rubbing on the paint since we didn't have truck cap mounting tape.


Dry just like the factory hard top even in hurricane force rain.


I'd go black to match the Baja body, but that's just me. I'm not imaging saavy.


The lock and handle are pretty durable feeling. If you were to not open the liftgate and unlatch the tailgate, it will hold up the tailgate. Of course, you could pull hard on the tailgate and break the cap's liftgate. They can also just break the glass as you alluded to.

The tint on the cap is dark. With ambient sunlight or parking lot lilghting, someone would have to put their face directly onto the glass to peep in. Unfortunately, the tint and added obstructions increase your blind spots dramatically. It's doable, but I've considered blind spot mirrors as an added precaution.

Also, if you have the Subaru security system, the jounce sensor will go off if you close the liftgate without disarming the alarm. The liftgate closes with that satisfying of a slam.


There are no additional lights. I make use of the Baja's built-in cargo light. I haven't had a need for additional lighting than that.


The side windows are not sliders. They open via turn knobs, folding outwards. The screens are mounted on the inside. When driving, enough air circulates to make towels flap lightly which is nice for airing out wet gear.


The ARE cap complements the Baja perfectly. Just do it! It has made the Baja infinitely more useful. It provides easy access, lockable, dry storage for your cargo. Additionally, the extra height allowed me to finally put in spreader bars to compartmentalize groceries, bungie cords, etc. Many daily objects fit now without folding open a hard top halfway. We now either have the cap on full time or off, there hasn't been a desire to put the hardtop back on really.

Even people who hate the looks of the Baja comment on how it looks 1000% times better with the cap on. Me, I always thought the Baja looked just fine.

The *only* negative I've come across is that the bed extender can not be used with the cap. The cap gets in the way since the extender needs to be vertical for installation. I suppose I can dremel the mount a bit to make it just pop in, but there haven't been enough occasions where I need the cap and extender. And such a mod would allow the bed extender to pop right off unless I put a latch on it.
Thanks a bunch for your thoughts, it really helps to have someone else's perspective who has been there/done that! I actually went into the local ARE dealer today and got a quote ($2300 installed! - whew!) and am almost ready to jump. I am going to call around to some other ARE dealers within a few hundred miles of here and see if they are any cheaper. The fellow said he had done 2 others and they are by far the hardest install they do. Said it took 4 guys about 3 hours to get it all done. I have read it is a pretty challenging install, but didn't realize it was that bad. Guess that's why they are charging $150 to install it... He also said it was probably best to leave it on, once installed, due to the difficulty factor and to avoid leaks, etc..

Dealer advised that the 3rd brake light is wired directly to the rear brakes, not the center light on the roof and that they just remove the bulb from the existing light. Also, he said there is an interior light above the rear door. Wonder if that is a change from the one you got or he is mistaken? No big deal either way really.

Anyone else have any comments that might help me decide?? Thanks again!
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:56 AM   #4
weiVA
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 72942
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Vehicle:
2005 Baja T
Atl Blue Pearl

Default

Sounds like ARE may have finally used an inline tap like the one for a hitch receiver.... hmm... gives me idea. But why remove the bulb? The 'glare' won't impact your visibility.

3 hours sounds like a long time. I have mine on and off in 15 minutes, granted the center light isn't hooked up but you'd think that'd be a one time thing. I will agree that once you have it on, you won't want to take it off. But for that matter, you won't need to take it off. It will change the way you think of the Baja.

Edit: Wiring harness for me as a mod = too expensive to justify the time savings. Splicing is back in my schedule tomorrow.

Last edited by weiVA; 04-24-2009 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:19 PM   #5
Kev5n24
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 105711
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vegas
Vehicle:
2005 Subaru Baja
Black on Black

Default

just pried one, got the same quote. totally more then i expected, but im thinking about it. finding a used one probably very needle in hay stack-ish eh?
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #6
Traffcon21
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Member#: 280491
Join Date: Apr 2011
Default

Canuck37, what are you going to do with the bed cover you have now? I need one, let me know
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:43 AM   #7
canuck37
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 87491
Join Date: May 2005
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Fraser Valley, BC
Vehicle:
03 Sport
Blk/Slvr

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traffcon21 View Post
Canuck37, what are you going to do with the bed cover you have now? I need one, let me know
I've had it for over 2 years now and am very happy with it. Not planning on selling the Baja yet, but when I do, I may decided to sell the ARE seperately, since it seems to be in demand and might be worth more than on a trade......
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:23 PM   #8
Traffcon21
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Member#: 280491
Join Date: Apr 2011
Default

I was talking about the flat cover, not the ARE.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
canuck37
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Member#: 87491
Join Date: May 2005
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Fraser Valley, BC
Vehicle:
03 Sport
Blk/Slvr

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traffcon21 View Post
I was talking about the flat cover, not the ARE.
Sold it - sorry......wasn't much use.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
PenguinSub
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Member#: 271739
Join Date: Jan 2011
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev5n24 View Post
just pried one, got the same quote. totally more then i expected, but im thinking about it. finding a used one probably very needle in hay stack-ish eh?
There is one for sale on scoobytruck.com right now. I was just looking at it today. Check it out:

http://scoobytruck.com/bb/viewtopic....p=10641#p10641
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:52 PM   #11
Kev5n24
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Member#: 105711
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vegas
Vehicle:
2005 Subaru Baja
Black on Black

Default

thanks for the heads up, id totally outbid anyone interested in it (probably) if it was only black. be a tough get too, im in vegas :-P
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #12
PenguinSub
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Hey man, just tryin to help out a fellow Bajaha-er.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:21 PM   #13
Kev5n24
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 105711
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vegas
Vehicle:
2005 Subaru Baja
Black on Black

Default

much appreciated too, and if you see a black on let me know, and i get it, ill smoke you out like theres no tomorrow! I'd give ya rep here too if this site was into that sorta thing :-P

Check out this sick pick i found snooping around that site, black baja, just like mine, but with an ARE cap, so sweet looking.
http://www.wgz.org/bmeyer/pic/Subaru/baja/cap/Cap1.jpg
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