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Old 04-01-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Hard Top Hoist and Storage

Hey guys and gals! I finally found a soft top for my LJ so I need some tips on hoisting the hard top off. I know you can buy these but they are pricey. Surely you all have made your own versions of these, so lets have it!

I do have an LJ, but I think the ideas are universal. Also I want to leave it suspended from the ceiling and park under it. Thanks!

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Old 04-01-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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you can do it with a come-along and ratchet straps. the only special thing about the hoist-a-top is the T-Bar bracket. You can use nylon straps and hooks for this, but I love my hoist-a-top, I got the manual version and put up extra hooks in the ceiling to stabilize the top and I just leave it hanging. The makers of the hoist tell you that you don't need reinforcing hooks, but it is unstable without them.

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Old 04-01-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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I have the manual version. It was a little over $100 and it is GREAT!
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:45 PM   #4
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I've done a coulple google searches on this subject and that came up with some good ideas with some good pics.

Corey.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:53 AM   #5
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I just hoist mine up with motorcycle tie downs.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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I took an idea from stu-offroad.com. I got about $20 dollars invested and it's totally stable.
Basically, I hung 2x4's above the rafters in my garage, got 3/8" eyebolts attached through them. 4 cam straps hanging/hoisting the top from that. it goes up in less than 20 minutes.

Here's his write-up: Jeep Hard Top Storage
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedickip View Post
I took an idea from stu-offroad.com. I got about $20 dollars invested and it's totally stable.
Basically, I hung 2x4's above the rafters in my garage, got 3/8" eyebolts attached through them. 4 cam straps hanging/hoisting the top from that. it goes up in less than 20 minutes.

Here's his write-up: Jeep Hard Top Storage
That's it!! I'm gonna do that.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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Yep. Stu has it right. Thats what I'm looking for. If anyone has anything else keep the idears coming.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:55 PM   #9
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I plan on doing something similiar, except running 2x4's front and rear of the top (overkill I know, but maybe more stable and I have some on hand so...). Then using rope and a boat winch to raise the roof. I dont want to use rachet straps because of 15' celings.

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Old 04-03-2009, 08:41 PM   #10
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I bought some 7/16 screw in eye bolts. I will screw then directly to the 2x12's that make up the ceiling of my garage and the floor of the loft above. You guys think that is an okay way to go about it? Each eye bolt has a 350lb weight limit x's the 4 or 5 I use. Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:00 AM   #11
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I am fabricating a more industrial & finished lift system. I know it is probably overkill, but it is just the way I design. I am having it done in CAD and going to build a wireless remote circuit for the small power winch. Don't know why they charge so much, I should be able to build everything and install it including custom electronics for ~$100.

Will keep this updated if anyone has interest.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:58 PM   #12
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I'm sure the eyebolts will work. I had the problem of my rafters not aligning with the corners of my top, so I had to run the 2x4's adjacent to the rafters. Also, I used very large washers to help "disperse" some of the weight across the top of the 2x4. Not sure if an Eyebolt would do the same.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by AndyLA View Post
I am fabricating a more industrial & finished lift system. I know it is probably overkill, but it is just the way I design. I am having it done in CAD and going to build a wireless remote circuit for the small power winch. Don't know why they charge so much, I should be able to build everything and install it including custom electronics for ~$100.

Will keep this updated if anyone has interest.

Ooooo cad.. Watch out everyone this dude is out to make the world turn over on it's other axis. Is Cad really all that neccessary to take the hard top, off your jeep??? Just undo all the nuts and bolts, grab a few neighbors that haven't had tooo many beers yet and lift it off. Set it on some cardboard in the garage and there ya go!! DONE...

I went to the local junk yard and cut the seat belts off of a few volkswagens to build a sling...bolted them together with some nuts and bolts, used an old boat winch bolted to my wall with about 15 feet or rope and some boy scout knots and cranked it off by myself in a matter of about a half an hour. It's not rocket science.....
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:28 AM   #14
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I actually use the eyebolt-straps-from-the-rafters method and it works great. The one thing I have done that I haven't heard anyone mention is this. I drilled 4 holes in my top at appropriate stress points (corners), and have corresponding eyebolts mounted permanently, using (from top of threads) 1.5 inch washer, 2.5 inch washer, grey silicone window caulking for weatherproofing, the fiberglass of the top itself (now looking at the inside of the top) another 2.5 inch washer, and other 1.5 inch washer, then a locknut.

The weight distribution is fairly even and no flexing of the top. I back into the garage, hoist it up, and drive out. Maybe 10 mins max.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:35 AM   #15
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i did the ratchet-strap method a little over a week ago. Very straightforward, and very effective. All told I spent a little inside of $25 on it. One thing that people recommended after I posted pics of mine was to support the backend of the top with a 2x4, do not hook directly to the top, as the weight will cause it to stretch and warp over time.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:15 PM   #16
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I bought a $100 Harbor Freight winch with 400 pound single 800 double line lifting capacity 110 volt. Bolted it to my floor joist. Then I welded a "T" from some unistrut (get it at Lowes its cheap. I put three of those rubber coated hooks through the holes in the strut then tied three rags around it to keep from scratching the top and it works great.

For my next trick, I bought another piece of unistrut and bolted it to one rafter..parallel. I bought two 400 pound capacity trolleys from unistrut and bolted/welded my winch to them. Now (maybe today) I'm going to build a table/workbench at the back of my garage so when I hoist it off the jeep, I cam roll it to the back of the garage. This way all of my junk can stay on the floor and I can set the top over it. I'll try to take some pictures later.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:43 PM   #17
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Here are some pics...



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Old 04-26-2009, 08:47 PM   #18
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Mine's set up kind of like ccrane with a cheap winch from harbor freight, some piping, padding, and chains attached to the eye bolts to hold everything up
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ccrane2299 View Post
I bought a $100 Harbor Freight winch with 400 pound single 800 double line lifting capacity 110 volt. Bolted it to my floor joist. Then I welded a "T" from some unistrut (get it at Lowes its cheap. I put three of those rubber coated hooks through the holes in the strut then tied three rags around it to keep from scratching the top and it works great.

For my next trick, I bought another piece of unistrut and bolted it to one rafter..parallel. I bought two 400 pound capacity trolleys from unistrut and bolted/welded my winch to them. Now (maybe today) I'm going to build a table/workbench at the back of my garage so when I hoist it off the jeep, I cam roll it to the back of the garage. This way all of my junk can stay on the floor and I can set the top over it. I'll try to take some pictures later.
ccrane, what is the advantage of the t-bar? I was going to get the same winch and simply attach four hooked straps to the winch hook. Once it is in the air I was going to have similar set-up as above with 4 eye bolts and two longer straps (looped under the top) to hold the top up long term. We probably will not have the top up for more than a weekend at a time.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:56 AM   #20
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01TJ- I have the same issue with ceiling height. my plan is to use my front winch with a cable and pully system to get it up there then hang it with chains/eyebolts. I think the winch system will work for me because the remote is long enough to let me guide it off the back.

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