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Old 08-11-2012, 05:43 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern coast of Maine
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merlinmaine is on a distinguished road
Another Hardtop Lift

I'm a little ole geezer ( 63 and 105lbs ) so I needed a really easy way to pop off my hardtop. Heck it weighs close to 50 lbs more than I do. Rolled down to our woodlot and picked a nice straight spruce tree about 10 inches at the butt and cut it to about 15 feet. Chained it off to the jeep and hauled it out.
a little tree climbing and I hauled one end of it up into a large pine, tied off to the jeep, raised one side and then the other, piece of cake. A couple of lengths of chain to wrap around the spruce and 2 pulleys. I used the chain rather than drill for hooks and weaken the beam.

The real key to it was the winch I found. Overkill on the rating but it has a constant brake, so I have control of the hardtop at all times. I can drop it a half an inch at a time. Nice smooth easy action.

Dutton-Lainson Winch with Automatic Brake — 800-Lb. Capacity | Hand Winches| Northern Tool + Equipment

I fussed about a cradle to lift it with but realized the PO had done in the gutters on the hardtop already so I just used 1/2 inch nylon rope to run through the top.

Start to finish it takes 15 to 20 minutes to pop off the top or put it back on.

DSC00287 by Don in Maine, on Flickr

DSC00286 by Don in Maine, on Flickr

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:47 AM   #2
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yea, 57 here and i also do it by my self and had to figure out something. i use 4 tie down straps attached to the rafters in the garage-1 at each corner. back in, remove bolts/latches, raise each corner a few inches and drive out-reverse to install. thought i'd have probs since the straps only rachet in 1 direction but releasing 1 at a time isn't that bad and only comes down a few inches. i park my lawn tractor under it so the floor space is not wasted. 2nd summer with this system(done it 3 times-had to try the softtop when i got it in the fall) and it works fine. maybe some day i'll fig out a different system but for now it ain't broke so why fix it

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Old 08-12-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Ellington, Connecticut
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good ingenuity folks. i bought a lange hoist-a-top system ($150), works great and as your home made systems show it is a good way to store the top up and out of the way.
2002 Wrangler Sahara, all stock, 5-speed, Dana 44, dual tan tops, 2nd owner.

2008 Hemi Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4, Quadradrive II, original owner, 24,000 miles.
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