02-06-2011, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
alternative to hanging the hard top from a garage ceiling
I've been considering how to manage removal should I be tempted when the winter leaves here.
I'll be losing my garage space soon, but I have plenty of outside space.
I built a device to remove & hold my pick up canopy. Cost was nearly zero and took a few hours at most to construct. It's been in use holding up stuff of one kind or another for going on 15 years, so the design was pretty good.
Parts list: 4- 8' steel T-posts;
2- 1" used pipe long enough to drive pick up thru;
2- 1" used pipe long enough to reach from rear to front T post at diagonal as brace
Park vehicle some where out of the way where you can leave the canopy/hard top for months/years on end;
Drive T-posts at corners a few inches short in front to rear of length of the canopy/top leaving a few inches body clearance on each side, minimal whatever is necessary.
Move vehicle out of way.
Devise trusty way to support pipe cross-bars. I used 4-6" stainless steel hose clamps (not included in parts list).
Do NOT attach firmly at this point YET.
Lay pipe & clamp down in handy position for now.
Determine best angle of brace from low in one end to high on the other front-to-rear, to stabilize rack. You will need a clamp for each end of these diagonals too.
Trial assemble cross bar pipe to confirm it will work as anticipated. Take back off.
When assembled, the entire unit can be deflected at the top of the posts 3-4" wiggling gently by hand, which is not a problem.
Back rig tail end back past rear post a few inches. Raise rear of canopy enough to insert cross bar pipe under neath.
Go to front of canopy, repeat.
The top/canopy will be resting on the body with the front and rear cross bars in position.
Since the actual lift is only one corner at a time, and only 2 or 3 inches, additional person helping lift is not really necessary. While they may help, too often there will be constant inquiry, asking for explanation, trivial conversation or absurd opinions on design changes based on lack of experience or supposed educational advantage.
An unencumbered individual can construct this device alone. The project will prove a satisfying and useful rack if directions are followed.
Ideally, you will only raise cross bar about 2 or 3". Clamp one side then the other. Go to other end and repeat.
Pull rig forward slowly.
Best to do this when significant other or distracting family members vie for attention complicating assembly of
JeeperJake (c) Nearly Free Support Rack System.
I'll try to get a photo of mine posted later.
Offered to JKers and Jeepers in general as an ongoing Share-the-Wrangler-Wealth program.
get in--buckle up--hang on
"soothing agricultural implement/personal servant/Walter Mitty multidimensional access utility device conveniently travels on pavement when necessary and often keeps me warm/cool/dry/soothed as needed."