Just finished installing RACOR lift for hard top - Page 5 - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #121
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Got it done today...loaded it up with some weight to "test" it out. All in all a fairly easy install. Couldn't get is centered on the fluorescent, but that's ok, that's not really centered on the garage stall anyhow.

I didn't have to but any extra hardware. All of the lag bolts worked fine. As you can see from the photos, I used rubber pipe insulation to cover anything that may come in contact with the jeep top.

3 more weeks of "nesting" and we should be bringing her home!










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Old 05-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #122
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So I just installed my lift. I am probably overly concerned with damaging any of the rubber weather seals so I did it a little different. Now I have it installed, but I have not actually tried it just yet. I am waiting for the weather to cooperate so I have a reason to take the top off other than just to say I can .

Since I wanted to be able to have the crank on the side of the Jeep I had to run the lift parallel to the rafters. So I first mounted the support arms to two 2x6", each around 52" long. Then from the attic I put three cross beams across four rafters, one on each end and one in the middle. From these cross beams I dropped 6 1/2" threaded rods with nuts and washers. These threaded rods dropped through the drywall and then through the 2x6 and bracket, again one on each end and one in the middle. Sorry I did not take any pictures of this, but if someone is curious just say so and I will go back. The nice thing with doing it this way was that it was relatively easy for me to install the brackets w/ attached 2x6 without any help. Since the threaded rods were hanging down I just had to get the nut on the rod once it was threaded through the 2x6 and bracket. On the bottom side this nut and washer were just put on the threaded rod far enough so the rod extended a couple threads past the bolt. At this point the brackets with attached 2x6's were hanging down a couple inches from the drywall. Once all six rods where secured on the bottom side, tightening the bolt in the attic pulled the bracket up snug against the drywall. This gave me flexibility in leveling the system out in the event that the ceiling was not level. I apologize for how messy the garage is, I know it makes it hard to see the details on the lift. I used two blue pool noodles to pad the bottom of the lift.

I do like the idea of adding the U-bolts to secure the rack to the frame. Those J-bolts they provide just do not seem secure. I think I will be going back and adding a few on each side for extra safety.

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To secure the top to the Racor lift I made four big "J" hooks out of 4" wide steel flat stock with a loop at the top. The inside of the hook is lined with felt as well as the front lip to prevent any damage to the top. I had some extra heavy duty tie-down straps that I stitched to the loop at the top of the hook.

By schirmyver at 2012-05-08

I then wrapped the strap up and through the Racor lift as shown. This actually held really good, but to be extra sure I had some left over child safety seat-belt brackets that I used to lock the strap in place.

By schirmyver at 2012-05-08

Now I just need some sunny warm weather to give it try.

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Old 05-09-2012, 05:38 PM   #123
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I'll take 4 JHooks!
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #124
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Those J hooks are awesome.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:22 AM   #125
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I'll be trying it out tomorrow morning and let people know how the J-hooks worked out. One thing I did not mention is that the bottom of the J-Hook has a hole that should line up with the bolt hole in the top. I plan on putting the bolt back through this hole just to prevent the hook from sliding. I know I am probably being overly concerned, but it did not cost a dime to drill four holes. I failed to mention that the bottom of the J-hook is lined with a rubber pad, where the back and front are lined with the felt so the top should not slide at all.

Thanks for the kind words on the J-hooks. I tend to over-engineer everything I do as I like to do things once and not worry about fixing it later.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #126
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Love the info in this thread - I was getting ready to order the Harken Hoist to be ready for topless this summer, but now that I see the front panels on the shelf...hmmm.

MikeJeep - what size are those BFG AT KOs you are running on that beautiful detonator yellow Jeep?
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:29 AM   #127
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So I finally had a chance to try the lift out this morning. All in all I am happy with how it turned out. I am going to make a couple changes now that I have used it.

Regarding the "J-Hooks" I made. Here is a better picture of how they look and how the top is resting on them.
By schirmyver at 2012-05-11

They work fine, but I failed to realize how big the bottom lip is on the top. I think I am going to add some spacer blocks to my hooks so that the top is not actually resting on the lip. Again I am sure it is strong enough, but I would feel better if the top was resting on the same mounting points as it does when in use.

The other thing I may change is that since I have the straps going through the wire grid, it does flex a little under the weight of the top. I think I am going to add a bit of support in this area. I was thinking about stitching a loop in each of the straps, fishing that loop up through the wire mesh and then running a 4' section of black pipe through the loops. This way the weight is distributed to the larger end supports.

Either way it was pretty nice being able to back into the garage, lower the rack, lift the top a couple inches to put the hooks under the top and then hoist away. Once I get the hang of it I think I can be topless in less than 5 minutes.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:51 PM   #128
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Man, that is the business! Great job!

I think I'm sold on the Racor system because it seems like the most secure way of storage.

But, can someone answer if the stock metal support beams are strong enough to screw into the joists to store my hardtop, or, are the 2x6's necessary? My garage has one of those pointy 'mesh' ceilings [which makes it challenging to locate the center of each joist] with no access to the inside to use bolts since it's directly underneath a bedroom.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:04 PM   #129
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The stock metal supports have 6 or 7 holes in them, and it is best to put a screw through each hole, for max strength. If you can't orient the supports parallel to joists that are 48" apart, then you can secure 2X4 and screw the metal to the 2X4. I hope that made sense.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #130
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The metal side rails are definitely strong enough, you do not "NEED" the 2x4 or 2x6. It just comes down to whether or not you can locate joists 48" apart, where you want the lift, and you can insure you are screwing into the center of each joist. I added the 2x6 because where I wanted the lift was exactly in between where the joists ran. If I had the space to move it a foot either way I probably would not have added the 2x6.

If you do not own one, I would buy or rent a good quality stud finder so you can insure you are screwing into the center of the joist. Also if you can get a buddy to help it makes it a lot easier. I did mine on my own and hanging the brackets was a PITA.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:15 PM   #131
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Good tips! Thanks guys!!

...Sounds like all I need is a good stud finder and some beer to lure a friend over....
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #132
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What a PITA this thing is! My rafters are 16 on center, but shifted 6 inches off the center of the garage, plus there is 2 layers of drywall (fire code, built my house 3 years ago) and my rafters are engineered i-beams, so finding the center with a stud finder is very tough. Spent two hours, cursed, went up the ladder 30 times, put holes in my ceiling, threw my tools and got nothing accomplished.. Maybe tomorrow...
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:10 PM   #133
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Engineered I beams. Ok, that's a problem. The pressed board between the rails is probably not thick enough to hold a lag bolt. If you can get up into the rafters. You might be abl eto work downwards instead of up into the joists?
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #134
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Yeah, they are great since they are straight and flat, but a monster to screw into. I can't get above the garage, dead space, so I'm going to have to scab 2x4s across and then attach the lift. Was hoping to get the top off Friday night, this might take me a few more nights, might have to call out sick tomorrow
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:53 PM   #135
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Ohh, totally! This is a sick call if there was one. I can write you an excuse. Sounds like you need a couple of cross boards and then screw the Racor into the cross boards. Ths will work just fine
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:12 PM   #136
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All done!!! First time with the top off!, only had her for 4 weeks now. I loved my jeep before, now it's just bad ass. I think the wife is jealous and pissed, Thats why the pup is out in he garage with me... Oh well, made it just in time for topless day.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:26 PM   #137
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Awesome job. The only comment I have would be to add a board between the ceiling and the drive gear. I was noticing that as I raised the top the drive gear portion of the bracket would twist. I then read one review that said the bracket bent. I added a small section of 2x4 under the drive gear and it prevents this twisting action.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:29 PM   #138
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Now THAT"S a study looking install! And it seems to have passed the Lab test
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:09 AM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schirmyver
Awesome job. The only comment I have would be to add a board between the ceiling and the drive gear. I was noticing that as I raised the top the drive gear portion of the bracket would twist. I then read one review that said the bracket bent. I added a small section of 2x4 under the drive gear and it prevents this twisting action.
Thanks! Noticed that twist right away, its bothering the heck out of me. When I put the top back on, I'll put a few 2x4s under each side.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:28 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitkojm View Post
Thanks! Noticed that twist right away, its bothering the heck out of me. When I put the top back on, I'll put a few 2x4s under each side.
The added support is probably only needed on the drive gear side, but I will watch when I raise my top. I am sure it can't hurt to be on both sides so maybe I will add the other side as well.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:47 AM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schirmyver

The added support is probably only needed on the drive gear side, but I will watch when I raise my top. I am sure it can't hurt to be on both sides so maybe I will add the other side as well.
All done, much better now. Put a 2x4 under the drive and roller side, the drilled through the metal support and put another lag bolt through it, should stop the twist and the sag.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #142
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Thanks for supplying the added gear drive support images. I installed the racor lift this weekend and the gear box literally shattered on the first lift (dropping my hardtop about 2 inches). I'm guessing it was due to the twist and that my gearbox looked like a much older one as it was green and rubber/plastic, nothing was yellow like the ones in the pictures on here.

Thanks for the ideas!
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:36 AM   #143
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Just got my Jeep this week and have my Rancor arriving later today - looking at all the different arrangements to secure the hardtop to the rack for lifting I was wondering if anyone has tried to lift the hard top using a roof-rack mounted to the hardtop?
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:31 PM   #144
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Racor ordered via Amazon Prime :^) Looking forward!
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:56 PM   #145
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Anyone have this installed in a 8'6" high garage? I would need to store the top then park under it. Would like to see pics if there are any in an 8'6" area.

Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:41 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitkojm View Post
All done!!! First time with the top off!, only had her for 4 weeks now. I loved my jeep before, now it's just bad ass. I think the wife is jealous and pissed, Thats why the pup is out in he garage with me... Oh well, made it just in time for topless day.
So what is in the bag, the front part of the top? What do you all do with your doors?
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:11 PM   #147
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Smile Installed and lifting!

Love it! If I designed this lift I would have definitely beefed things up a bit, but it seems to work just fine. Next up I need to invest in a cordless 1/2" drill. My electric 1/2" drill runs it up and down quite nicely, but it is a bit unwieldy.

I'm also going to replace the 1" strap on the drivers side with a matching 2" strap like the one on the passenger side. With the 2" strap I don't think I'll need any additional padding to distribute the load.

Fyi, my ceiling is 10' 2" high.



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Old 07-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #148
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Finished my Racor install this weekend and hoisted the hard top off. Went great. My garage set up where I wanted to place the Racor though didn't work with the need for 48" joists so my dad and I mounted 2x6s to the side walls and then ran 2x6s across to create our own joists. Worked great and so far she's holding up well. It was pretty tight getting the jeep backed into that section of the garage though which made it a bit tight getting the ratchet straps hooked and so on, but I'm running a soft top for the next few months so thankfully I won't be putting the top on and off too often. More for longer term storage while I'm running the soft top. Put the freedom panels on top of the rack to store them as well.

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Old 09-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #149
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After sitting in the box for a year I have finally cleaned up the big garage so I can put it up. It is over 12' to the rafters and it is only me but should have it done by the weekend.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:55 AM   #150
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I installed my Racor this summer, but just finally getting around to posting about it.

The install went smooth, directions are not super clear but if you go slow and think through it you won't have any troubles. I was able to tap directly into the rafters so the install was easy, I just need to adjust the jeep a bit off center to line up but its not a problem. I put some of the left over foam tubes I used on the frame to protect the rear seal of the window.

While hoisted up it's a bit tight under the roof but plenty of room to walk around without hitting it. However I think this winter I'm going to change how the wires attach to the frame so I can get it a bit closer to the ceiling. The cable clamps were a royal PITA and very loose so make sure tighten those down firm.






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