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Old 05-15-2013, 10:30 AM   #1
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DIY Hard Top Hoist - Thoughts

I was looking at putting together a hard top hoist system myself based upon the Harken Hoist. I did a very rough sketch of it.

Was wondering if you all thought it was worth going this route or to just purchase the Harken Hoist?

From what I can tell this system really won't save any money of the Harken Hoist using the components I found at Tractor Supply.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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Looks like it will work fine. But if you're not going to save any money, ehy wouldn't you just get the Harken?

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Old 05-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #3
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I made my own as well. If I had to do it again....I don't know. I would either go with a Racor, or try a slightly different design.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:18 PM   #4
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I made my own. I spent just as muck as buying the harken. I sold my hard top but if I had to do it again I would just buy the harken.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
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I just bought and installed the Racor. It was an easy Saturday morning project and is very well built. Super easy to get up and down. For the investment I have in my Jeep, I didn't mind doing the lift right. About $160 from Amazon and I added two 2x4's I had laying around.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildfowl View Post
I just bought and installed the Racor. It was an easy Saturday morning project and is very well built. Super easy to get up and down. For the investment I have in my Jeep, I didn't mind doing the lift right. About $160 from Amazon and I added two 2x4's I had laying around.
How tall is your ceiling where you mounted it?
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:19 PM   #7
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The reason why I built my own is because I wanted a higher weight limit than what was offered and my garage has limited room it it. I basically need a Racor with stronger material, and the ability to get closer to the ceiling. I like features from the Harken, the Racor, and stuff I've seen on the web.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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I built my own hoist. I did the "4 come-alongs" attached to beams in the ceiling of my garage. You can literally hang from each come-along. Attach the straps to the hardtop, ratchet it up, drive away. It works great and the total investment was $32.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:42 PM   #9
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I built my own using a design from another JK site. I used super strut channel and a 440lb hoist from harbor freight. My main challenge was reinforcing the engineered I beams in my garage ceiling. After that, it was very simple.

It's twisted around, but you can kind of see it in this pic:
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:34 AM   #10
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I built my own from a "vague idea/lack of design" that ended up similar to what your drawing - skipping the hand winch, I just tug through the pulley. In my case it works ok, but the lack of a ratchet isn't great. I think it ended up with a similar cost to the cheaper ones you can find, but significantly higher capacity. My concern in my case is that my garage rafters are pretty low - when I lift I've got only about an inch or so extra clearance.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:38 AM   #11
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MAG00, I did exactly like your drawing for the top of my K-5 Blazer... they weigh a LOT more than a JK top... it worked just fine. Going to do the same again for the JK this weekend up at the lake... I'm using 1/2" wide pulley's, and climbing rope...
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:52 AM   #12
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I was considering making my own, similar to what you're proposing. Cost was going to be a wash between it and the Harken. I decided to go with the Harken since I knew it would work. Why reinvent the wheel.

Harken works fine, directions were straightforward and there was no guesswork or surprises. I haven't installed a hand-crank winch, but frankly, don't need it. I purchased a cleat to tie off the pulley rope when hoisted.

I pulled the hard-top off about three weeks ago, so the top has been hanging overhead since. Out of sight, out of mind. In my opinion, there's really no value in creating your own version of the same thing unless there is substantial savings. Go with the Harken.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:30 AM   #13
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Here are some photos of mine. My goal was to make my own pulleys and use 2" wide ratchet straps. My homemade pulleys use two very thick eyebolts, along with a 1/2 inch thick bolt in each corner. That way I lift other things with the hoist (like our motorcycles if need be).

I'm thinking of replacing my ratchet straps with winches so I can get it closer to the ceiling.

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:53 AM   #14
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Mark, is that thing blocking the beer fridge??? That's a big no no

I think some of the difference in thought, may be between 2dr and 4dr folks... you can easily raise the 2dr top even without a hand winch... just makes it easier to put back on...
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Mark, is that thing blocking the beer fridge??? That's a big no no

I think some of the difference in thought, may be between 2dr and 4dr folks... you can easily raise the 2dr top even without a hand winch... just makes it easier to put back on...
Oh no... I would never block the kegerator. You can see in the second pic down that there is still enough room to get to it. Now, the deep freezer (which is next to the kegerator)....yeah...that is a bit of a chore right now...but made easier with easy access to beer!
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #16
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4 ratchet ropes and 4 eye bolts from lowes 55 bucks. Place one at each corner, lift one side first then the other.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:13 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the input and ideas. I ended up building my own last night. With 3 kids and all their activities, the middle of the night seems to be the only time I can get project likes these done.

Same basic design as a Harken but with a lot more weight capacity. Still gotta get the hand crank installed. Took the top off last night after I finished and took the kids to school this morning with the top off. They thought it was cool. LOL

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