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Old 12-21-2011, 07:16 AM   #1
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Hardtop Hoist - Straps vs. J-Hooks?

Hi, I've been lurking for a while, this is my 1st post.

First of all, thanks to all for your questions and input in this forum; I've learned a lot and bought my Jeep with confidence knowing the options I wanted and the pricing that would work for me and a dealer (used AMEX/Zags buying service stacked with Tread Lightly for a great discount under invoice). I'm happy with the deal and really excited to finally own a Jeep.

To the point: I've read everything I can find about hardtop hoists and have just one question remaining; Will a system that uses straps cause damage to the top in any way? I'm concerned mostly with the lip/tongue at the front of the top that the front panels mate to (2 door JKS) and the rubber seal at the top of the rear window opening.

The Harken Hoist (straps) seems like a good choice for around $100, a J-hook system seems to be about $200. Any advice to be found in your wisdom and experience?

Thanks.

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Old 12-21-2011, 07:56 AM   #2
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The Harken Hoist (straps) seems like a good choice for around $100.
I agree. I have this hoist and have bought pool noodles and cut for straps so it really protects your hardtop and the system is solid and so easy to use.

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Old 12-21-2011, 08:42 AM   #3
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The Harken Hoist (straps) seems like a good choice for around $100.
I agree. I have this hoist and have bought pool noodles and cut for straps so it really protects your hardtop and the system is solid and so easy to use.
x2......and use pool noodles!
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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Can't beat the RACOR hoist and I use "J" hooks with my rack !!

If you haven't gotta hardtop rack--then straps are OK, strategically placed and truss'd

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Going to build one this winter, but I'm also going to build a rack around the hoist, so I can raise the top, slide a piece of plywood under it and lower the top on it. It will still be up out of the way. That way I won't have to worry about any long term damage from hooks or straps.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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I use gutter straps. The "hooks" are flat, spread out the load more than a j-hook.

And a Racor hoist.

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Old 12-21-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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I use 4 bicycle hooks in the ceiling with ratchet straps - $20 out the door. I've had my top of 7 times since August and no issues.



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Old 12-22-2011, 06:45 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for the input and advice; this forum rocks... I'm leaning towards the Racor lift but - in true Jeepster fashion - with some modifications to use j-hooks or straps or perhaps a combination of the two.

Happy Holidays!
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:44 PM   #9
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I'm getting a Racor lift as well. Still not sure what the best solution is to mount the hardtop to the hoist. Any pics of how the J-hooks are used? I've seen a lot of people wrap straps around the entire hardtop but that seems process intensive.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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can anyone give me an idea what a 2dr hardtop weighs
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:08 PM   #11
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Does anyone know of any options to help with hard top removal if you don't have a garage large enough for a hoist? Thanks to a 5" elevated slab in my garage (the previous owner poured in) the Jeep can't clear the garage door, let alone have enough room for a hoist to lift the top off.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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Does anyone know of any options to help with hard top removal if you don't have a garage large enough for a hoist? Thanks to a 5" elevated slab in my garage (the previous owner poured in) the Jeep can't clear the garage door, let alone have enough room for a hoist to lift the top off.
I'd have to jackhammer the floor, 5", thats crazy!
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:37 AM   #13
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Does anyone know of any options to help with hard top removal if you don't have a garage large enough for a hoist? Thanks to a 5" elevated slab in my garage (the previous owner poured in) the Jeep can't clear the garage door, let alone have enough room for a hoist to lift the top off.
Short of a big low hanging branch on a nearby tree or a big cherry picker, Id say a stout neighbor and a six pack!
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:31 AM   #14
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can anyone give me an idea what a 2dr hardtop weighs
I believe it is 95 lbs.

I just installed the Racor rack/hoist and love it. Easy to install and operates with a drill (˝" chuck required). Will use it for ceiling storage and for hardtop hoist (holds up to 250 lbs).

The gutter straps I ordered to use with the lift will arrive at the end of the week. The straps are 30" with gutter fixtures on each end (4 for $5 + shipping at Amazon) and I think they'll work. I'll post pictures when complete.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by b.lister View Post
I believe it is 95 lbs.

I just installed the Racor rack/hoist and love it. Easy to install and operates with a drill (˝" chuck required). Will use it for ceiling storage and for hardtop hoist (holds up to 250 lbs).

The gutter straps I ordered to use with the lift will arrive at the end of the week. The straps are 30" with gutter fixtures on each end (4 for $5 + shipping at Amazon) and I think they'll work. I'll post pictures when complete.
I use the Racor hoist and it works great with straps and the pool noodles. My hardtop gets strapped to it for easy removal from my JKU and my freedom panels set on the platform above the hardtop. When my hardtop is on the JKU, the softtop is on the Racor hoist platform stored out of the way.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #16
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I just put a racor I'm the garage, but its winter in the midwest. So I haven't used it yet. Does anyone use the platform to store doors? The garage is 12 feet high so I could have them stand up on the platform. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #17
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I use the platform-


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I just put a racor I'm the garage, but its winter in the midwest. So I haven't used it yet. Does anyone use the platform to store doors? The garage is 12 feet high so I could have them stand up on the platform. Any thoughts?
My ceiling is 10 ft-



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Old 01-04-2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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I believe it is 95 lbs.

I just installed the Racor rack/hoist and love it. Easy to install and operates with a drill (˝" chuck required). Will use it for ceiling storage and for hardtop hoist (holds up to 250 lbs).

The gutter straps I ordered to use with the lift will arrive at the end of the week. The straps are 30" with gutter fixtures on each end (4 for $5 + shipping at Amazon) and I think they'll work. I'll post pictures when complete.
Sweet, I'd like to see it in action and if you could share a link to buy/ pictures if it's a good solution. thanks
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:06 AM   #19
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I also just installed the Racor lift in my 11' garage for the purpose of storing my hardtop in the summer. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to connect the hardtop to it. I would like to connect it somehow where I don't have to worry about it warping or bending while hanging there. Anyone have pics of using a platform under the hardtop somehow?
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:09 PM   #20
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I know i could have built it cheaper but I went with the lang hoist setup (cheaper manual one) and it uses hooks. There is a small gap between the cap end of the hook and the roof so it is resting more on the U part of the hook. To alleviate some of the stress I stuck small foam blocks on the cap end of the hooks and the inside roof. Haven't had a problem yet.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:44 PM   #21
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does anyone one have a video on this, or similar process. Spring is coming and i want to remove the top lol
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:00 PM   #22
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I installed a Lange power hoist. It's fine, and I won't bash on it, but if I did it over, it would be the Harken. 2 reasons: Simplicity, and you can raise your top all the way to the ceiling. That's important if you have ceilings <=9'.

I was originally looking at the Racor system, but my garage ceiling is 9'. The Racor would have left the top a little too low when stored.

The Lange is very easy for one man removal/installation... $.02
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:30 PM   #23
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can anyone give me an idea what a 2dr hardtop weighs

According to my scale, the 2 door top with Freedom panels weighs 136 lbs. Each power / heated mirrored door weighs 62 lbs.

Regards.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #24
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I debated the Racor and Harken for a while, but settled on the Harken since it could get the top tighter to my ceiling in the garage.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:03 PM   #25
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I just installed the Lange hoist-a-top today & just got to the end & I'm missing the rear "L" bracket it went together good but useless without that part ill call tomorrow & see how long it will be to get this part .
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:27 AM   #26
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I have a chance to buy a Lange Originals Power Hoist-a-Top for 225. The only thing is it is for a 4 door and I have a 2 door. Does anyone know if it will work? I know the part numbers are different. 12020.09 are for a 2 door and 12020.08 is for a 4 door.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:37 PM   #27
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I have a chance to buy a Lange Originals Power Hoist-a-Top for 225. The only thing is it is for a 4 door and I have a 2 door. Does anyone know if it will work? I know the part numbers are different. 12020.09 are for a 2 door and 12020.08 is for a 4 door.
I bet it will work I have a 4 door & it does have a lot of adjustment I'm still waiting for a missing part to ship so I can't use it yet it was missing the rear L bracket .ive had lots of older jeeps in the past with hardtops a YJ & TJ & two grown men have a back braking time removing them especially if they are lifted I took my 4 door top off once so far & it's lighter than any of the older models but still tuff so I got the power lift so I could use one finger. & the wife can do it with ease .
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:12 PM   #28
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That’s what I thought it is for a 4 door and I have the 2 door so I don’t see the weight being a problem. I might have to adjust where the cable attaches to the frame that hooks to the top.

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