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Old 12-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #1
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Hardtop Hoist

Hi all

I am looking for ideas in how to build an overhead hoist for my 3 piece hardtop. All ideas are welcome.

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:47 AM   #2
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There are a to of posts about building your own hoist. If you do a search for hard top hoist, you should have PLENTY of material to keep you busy for a couple of hours.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/search....rchid=14737354

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. New to site so trying to figure how things work on here
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:00 AM   #4
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The above link doesn't return any results. Here are some to get you started:

My $30.00 Hardtop Hoist!

Which Homemade Hoist design is the best < $100 ?

Hardtop Hoist
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TC Kim View Post
Thanks for the info. New to site so trying to figure how things work on here
No problem! Just thought you could search and have a TON of information to keep you busy before everyone wakes up this nasty, cold morning...
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadiJeff View Post
The above link doesn't return any results. Here are some to get you started:

My $30.00 Hardtop Hoist!

Which Homemade Hoist design is the best < $100 ?

Hardtop Hoist
I apologize if the link didn't work. I tried it and it worked for me. Maybe that was because it was in my cache.

Sorry, Jeff! Wasn't trying to be a jerk on purpose.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:32 AM   #7
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Looks like I have lots I reading to do. Thanks for all the info
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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I bolted 2X4's to the ceiling in my garage, sunk in some eye-bolts, and added tie-down straps.

Total outlay, less than $40.

Time to remove/install roof, approximately 30 mins.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
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In my garage my rafters and such are all exposed. I just attached 4 ratchet straps, ran them through each side of the hardtop to each other and started ratcheting. Takes me about 15 min to get it on or off. Pretty easy!
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:51 AM   #10
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There are tons of threads on it and plenty of options.

If I had to do it over again, I would go with a Racor.

But your options may also depend on your garage.

I made my own:





And yes (for anyone wondering), those are what the saddle/oak Hotheads look like installed.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:03 PM   #11
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Heres a link to mine:
cheap and easy hardtop hoist
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #12
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Racor, mine is mounted over the rafter ties. It's not visible in this shot but allows for over six foot headroom when cranked up all the way.



One day in the warm, I'll show how I did it. It's high mounted and on rollers to tweak the location side to side.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #13
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I went with the Harken Hoist. Could have saved some bucks and done a DIY, but it was worth it to me to pay $130 and have everything needed in a nice and easy package.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:29 PM   #14
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I went with the Racor system, partially because I wanted to be able to store items on top along with the hard top and during the winter when the hard top was on I wanted that extra space too. Install was easy but I need to shorten the loops that go through the eye bolts so I can get it closer to the ceiling during the summer months.


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Old 12-07-2013, 08:16 PM   #15
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+3 for the Racor. I shortened the loops and also bought shorter eyebolts so it snugs up to the ceiling when I need it too. When my top isn't hanging from the bottom of it, I use it for storage (roof panel bag, boogie boards and the like)
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #16
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I made one for my 2-door hardtop out of some 2x4's and plywood. One trip to lowes for some misc eye-bolts and pullies is all it took.

Cheap JK 2-door hard top hoist. | SWBCrawler
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #17
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Went DIY with mine. Winch from harbor freight, and built a t-bar utilizing super strut and a block and tackle. Total $45 and couldn't be happier...can get the top off solo in about 8min
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:44 PM   #18
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Racor all the way. Read the reviews on Amazon, get better hardware, and you'll never regret it!
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:45 PM   #19
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^ oh yeah, 5 min on or off with power drill
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TC Kim View Post
Looks like I have lots I reading to do. Thanks for all the info
While your searching for home made top hoists search a little more for those of us that made them and dropped the tops.
Not going into it here again when I made mine I would have bet it was done way better than most, it was way overkill for that light top. Mine hung there for months until someone ran into it and got it swaying and down it came. What a mess. You just think it can't happen to you
I have an hardtop hoist now I bought much cheaper in the long run.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:41 AM   #21
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While your searching for home made top hoists search a little more for those of us that made them and dropped the tops.
Not going into it here again when I made mine I would have bet it was done way better than most, it was way overkill for that light top. Mine hung there for months until someone ran into it and got it swaying and down it came. What a mess. You just think it can't happen to you
I have an hardtop hoist now I bought much cheaper in the long run.
Wow, that really sucks. I'd be interested in seeing pic's of the hoist you built that failed. Not to poke fun at you, just to see if i've suffered any of the same design flaws.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #22
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While your searching for home made top hoists search a little more for those of us that made them and dropped the tops.
Not going into it here again when I made mine I would have bet it was done way better than most, it was way overkill for that light top. Mine hung there for months until someone ran into it and got it swaying and down it came. What a mess. You just think it can't happen to you
I have an hardtop hoist now I bought much cheaper in the long run.
+1000! I'm buying a hoist for next summer. I lucked out and only busted out the rear window, but it was $250 to replace and the fiberglass around the corners got mashed a bit.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:27 AM   #23
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The way mine is set up, it isn't going anywhere....but I would still get a Racor just for the ease of being able to use a drill.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #24
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Wow, that really sucks. I'd be interested in seeing pic's of the hoist you built that failed. Not to poke fun at you, just to see if i've suffered any of the same design flaws.
I don't have any pics of it but it looked like a few in this post I used yellow tie down straps. I would have bet anything it would not have failed the hoist itself didn't fail it was the way I had the top hooked with the tie down straps. It cost me $450 out of my pocket. Our 4x4 wheel shop told me it happens a lot more than most people will admit. Just be warned.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:34 PM   #25
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I put a Racor up on Thanksgiving. Works great. As mentioned though, get new hardware. The nuts n bolts that ship with it are really cheap Chinese crap. Also, the drill attachment requires a drill with a 1/2" chuck. If you have to ask the question your's probably doesn't have it
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:26 PM   #26
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I'm in the research phase of what to do for a hard top hoist too for our JKU and undecided.

1) I've seen the various cheaper DIYers using 4 individual straps or one single lift point and have ruled those out. I know I want a 4 pt lift and torn on if I should bother with the deck.

2) I like that the racor ($140) comes with a deck that I can put the fronts onto. I also like that it's got two cables for front and back. I've mixed feelings about the hand crank and hooking up a drill in our 10' ceiling. My hammer drill has 1/2 chuck. But how hard is it to do by hand? Also, since I want side access I'd need to get creative with some wood on the ceiling first to be able to mount it sideways. I really don't like that the deck isn't the width of the hard top and from seeing what people are doing, stressing the deck, causing it to bend, and then having to spend time to change hardware and strength the deck, I guess I have to figure an add'l $50 to "finish" the racor. I assume the racor is somehow self locking or braking? That is, it doesn't go down unless your turn it? What's this brake? Anybody ever read of it failing?

3) So then I look at the harken 4pt 200lb. $160. More expensive No deck. But I'd mount the four corners in the right spots. I don't like how all four points converge into one single rope. One point of failure? I'd also need to get creative and swing the rope out to one side to be able to have enough distance to be able to raise/lower enough. I don't like the reviews from people complaining the auto brake gets stuck and makes lowering harder. I'm pondering that if I do go this route that I would fashion my own deck using some angle iron from home depot, thing is to make a lightweight deck somehow. I can always hook up a cheap power winch if needed, but how hard is it really to lift by hand?

4) Then I wonder can I do it myself using basic parts. Everything at home depot, pulleys, rope, etc says "do not use for lifting". So what rope does one use? I see I can buy the harken pullies for $11 each. Can't find pigtail lags anywhere. Seems like I'd be spending at least $120-$140 to essentially get the parts individually. I guess I could use a basic eye with a quick link? Then I was thinking I could mount my spare boat trailer winch to the wall, but then will that be a lot of hand cranking?

5) I see thule offers a lift (200lb) similar to racor for $134 but no deck and uses pullies from the central shaft. At least I could mount the pullies out to the sides at the right distance. Then just need to fashion a deck. Should I bother with a deck? Seems like it would be nice to be able to store more lightweight stuff on their too if I'm going to go through the trouble of a lift.

I've decided that whatever method I choose, I will install 4 extra eyes and using 4 add'l safety straps to hold it up once it's lifted. Overkill, but I will sleep safer at night.


Racor:
Racor PHL-1R Pro HeavyLift 4-by-4-Foot Cable-Lifted Storage Rack - Amazon.com

Harken:
Amazon.com: Harken Utility, Bike and Dinghy Hoisters 4 Point Hoister 200# System: Sports & Outdoors

Thule:
Amazon.com: Thule 571 Roof Mount Cargo Box Storage Lift: Sports & Outdoors
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:42 PM   #27
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Racor - I use the hand crank, it's easy, and the 10 foot height puts the crank at chest level, plus, by hand you can lower the top slowly to perfectly align the pilots. My set up (post#12) hooks to the eye bolt, it doesn't even touch the platform. I use it on a whim in the spring and fall and it hangs all summer, no problem.

If the Racor can hold that big boy in post #18 on one edge, an evenly supported 125lb top is nothing.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:56 PM   #28
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Hand crank works fine, obviously faster with the drill setup. If you have a kid, then hand crank works great. The width is fine, I haven’t changed anything except to add the pipe foam and nylock nuts to the eye bolt. I routed the straps to wrap over the end of the rack, which is made of of 4 steel bars. May bend a bit but it’s not breaking. I can’t see why you would spend another $50 on it, but justify it how you with. There is a lock at the top, a yellow chock that swings into the spot where the crank attaches that would prevent it from spinning.

Do what works best for you. I went between the Harkin and Racor for several months, felt the Racor offered more for what I wanted.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:16 AM   #29
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3) So then I look at the harken 4pt 200lb. $160.
The Harken is only $130 on Quadratec: Harken Hoister Garage Storage 4-Point Lift System

That's the one I have and it seems to work well.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:42 AM   #30
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Have 2 of the Racor in my garage. One holds a dragon (don't ask) ant the other the hard / soft top. Just added some foam at corners to protect hard top. Use two ratchet straps to hold the top up. Holds it very we'll. I can change the top by my self. My garage is tall enough so I can walk underneath it or park a vehicle underneath. Have been using them for years.

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