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Old 05-11-2014, 11:58 AM   #1
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Self-made hard top lift for garage

Ot the soft top on for the summer and warmer weather but now i am left with the hard top taking up a garage bay. I am planning on building a lift for it to stay at the top of the garage all summer until i need to put it back on

Basically looking for advice, tools i will need, and maybe even a step by step description on how to make it.

I have a jk unlimited 2013

Thanks yall!!

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Old 05-11-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
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Here's one posted yesterday
Racor Ceiling Rack - Hard Top Hoist

I've seen people use two straps and those eye bolt to hoist their top off. If you do a Google for DIY wrangler top hoist there's a bunch of ideas.

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Old 05-11-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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4 eye bolts in the beam and 4 ratchet straps.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:54 PM   #4
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We went one step further withe the bolts and straps and bolted rails to the beams, then hooked the ratchet straps through the rail...used cut bed rails for it. Not the best pic but you get the general idea. 4straps for each top, and there's room on top still for my freedom panels!
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:44 PM   #5
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I actually went to Fleet Farm and bought two kayak hoists. Each one can handle about 125 lbs. Bolted them into the ceiling joists. This kit came with straps for kayaks, and fit for the removal of the hard top. Nice little pulley system! Best part...each hoist was $19.99 and came with all the hardware
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuda0005 View Post
I actually went to Fleet Farm and bought two kayak hoists. Each one can handle about 125 lbs. Bolted them into the ceiling joists. This kit came with straps for kayaks, and fit for the removal of the hard top. Nice little pulley system! Best part...each hoist was $19.99 and came with all the hardware
Sounds like a good system. Any pictures or more info? Thanks

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Old 05-19-2014, 07:54 AM   #7
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Pics of pulley system. 2 kayak hoists
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:10 AM   #8
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Had the top off yesterday with 70's temps....then the rain clouds came in. Regardless, that was the first time I've taken her off! My family is hooked!
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuda0005 View Post
Pics of pulley system. 2 kayak hoists
What brand of pulley is this? Looking at a few on Amazon, not sure which is best.
Do you have any pics of the hardtop suspended?
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuda0005 View Post
I actually went to Fleet Farm and bought two kayak hoists. Each one can handle about 125 lbs. Bolted them into the ceiling joists. This kit came with straps for kayaks, and fit for the removal of the hard top. Nice little pulley system! Best part...each hoist was $19.99 and came with all the hardware
I like your idea.

I found a similar Kayak hoisting system at Wal-Mart.
A little less than $30 for one.

Shoreline Marine Kayak Hoist Storage System: Outdoor Sports : Walmart.com

I like that it says that this is a -
Even-pulling, 2-rope hoist system
1-person operation

Looking at the pictures, I'm not really sure how I would attach these to the garage rafters.

My garage ceiling is sheet rocked. My main concern would be that I would miss the mark (even with the stud finder) and NOT bolt SQUARELY into the rafters. Then, have the hardtop come crashing down, onto the garage floor.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuda0005 View Post
I actually went to Fleet Farm and bought two kayak hoists. Each one can handle about 125 lbs. Bolted them into the ceiling joists. This kit came with straps for kayaks, and fit for the removal of the hard top. Nice little pulley system! Best part...each hoist was $19.99 and came with all the hardware
I almost, almost, almost, went that route....but I ended up building my own system.

Still....good call IMO.
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:43 PM   #12
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Just took my hard top off for the first time yesterday. Definitely could use a pulley system next time lol!
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:24 AM   #13
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My garage is also sheet rocked...but not taped and mudded, so I was able to see the nails/screws that hold up the sheet rock easily. And when I drill a hole as a guide for the anchor screw....I could see wood particles coming out of the hole after the drill bit made it past the dry wall. I ratcheted in each anchor bolt by hand, and it was difficult, so I know I was in the joist.

Also, on thing to note...I'd probably not leave it hanging. We just went for a quick trip...but if you are leaving the hard top off for a while, I'd at least bring it to the floor level so there is less risk of it falling. From everything I've read..people typically put the hard top on a rack and wheel it away
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:08 AM   #14
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There are many different options that you can design and make. I put a winch on a bar attached to the ceiling in different points so i can move it side to side. I used some Bosch extruded aluminum scraps that i found at work to make the frame and some spare 10000 lbs ratchet straps that i had laying around to make the lift. The possibilities are endless as to how you can design a lift.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
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My garage is also sheet rocked...but not taped and mudded, so I was able to see the nails/screws that hold up the sheet rock easily. And when I drill a hole as a guide for the anchor screw....I could see wood particles coming out of the hole after the drill bit made it past the dry wall. I ratcheted in each anchor bolt by hand, and it was difficult, so I know I was in the joist.

Also, on thing to note...I'd probably not leave it hanging. We just went for a quick trip...but if you are leaving the hard top off for a while, I'd at least bring it to the floor level so there is less risk of it falling. From everything I've read..people typically put the hard top on a rack and wheel it away
I leave my top hanging. I don't have the space to store it on the ground. Quite a few people leave it hanging. The benefit is that you can usually park (nose first) under the top in the garage. My hoist is built in a manner that it could hold +800 pounds easily.

The weak point would be the lag screws tearing out of the wood, or a 2x6 breaking. I have a couple of bicycle hooks that I use to hold the top, but I have lag screws to the outside of those if I want to use more weight.

I have two ratchet straps rated at 10,000 pounds each (3,300 pound working load each). Those are connected to home-made pulleys which consists of two lag screws in each corner with a 5 inch long, 1/2 inch thick lag bolt with PVC pipe around it running between.
The two straps that hold the top webbing slings rated at 6400 pounds each.









When I put in each pair of lag screws in the ceiling (with the lagbolt running through them), I hung from each set to make sure the threads could handle my 210 pounds....so each corner (from the ceiling at least) can hold +200 pounds. I also set on each 2x6 (like a big swing) so I know that even with weight in the middle of the wood, the 2x6's could handle the weight.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Pics of pulley system. 2 kayak hoists
Which pulleys are those? Where did you get them?
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Pics of pulley system. 2 kayak hoists
Damn! Wish I saw this 2 days ago. It looks like it would be perfect in my garage. Instead I just did this. 2 2x8 in the ceiling with eye bolts. Total cost of $22.39 (so far). Just need to buy the straps and take delivery of my soft top.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:17 AM   #18
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Pics of pulley system. 2 kayak hoists
I like that but one question-the kayak hoist I saw said "rated for up to 125 lbs". I thought the top was 100 lbs at most. Wouldn't 1 hoist have worked?
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:58 PM   #19
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I started building mine last night.... I used some Uni strut for the T-frame and cut u bolts to make the hooks. The hoist should be going up tonight maybe!


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Old 05-21-2014, 10:37 PM   #20
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@jdthai - Atwood Kayak Hoist at Mills Fleet Farm
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:42 PM   #21
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@OldNSalty - I have a 3.5year old...would rather be safe than sorry. It's a risk thing. $20 extra bucks for peace of mind. Also...I had a hard time finding the exact weight of the hard top. Some said 100 lbs, some 125, and others 150. Again, mitigating risk by getting two
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:50 AM   #22
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I feel so lazy, not building my own. I bought and installed the Harken hoist. I really like the whole block and tackle thing. So easy to lift.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:53 PM   #23
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I opted for an inexpensive and effective way. Start to finish the top is removed in under 10 minutes.
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:40 PM   #24
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All done.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:53 AM   #25
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All done.
simple but effective right?
I need to add the pool noodles to mine to protect it better.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:02 AM   #26
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Very Simple. Got the idea from others on the site and combined them. Wasn't hard at all. I do suggest running the strap thru the pool noodle and then wrapping the noodle in duct tape (or similar) to keep it from ripping apart.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:11 PM   #27
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Finished product...pic of the top hanging over the hood
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:16 AM   #28
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Finished product...pic of the top hanging over the hood
Looks good!
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:28 AM   #29
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Finished product...pic of the top hanging over the hood
Looks really good, i think pulling in is the way to go.
Nice work
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:53 PM   #30
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Looks really good, i think pulling in is the way to go.
It looks like you have room to lift it higher.
If you did, you might be able to back in instead.

I mention this because, if, for some reason, the hardtop were to fall down, if the front of the jeep is under the hardtop, not only does the hardtop get hurt, but so does the hood area of the jeep.

However, if you were backed into the garage, & the hardtop fell, your roll bars should stop the top from damaging the rear of the jeep. (Hopefully.)

The hardtop would still suffer, but at least the roll bars would have protected the rest of the jeep.

Just my 2 cents.

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