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Old 08-10-2019, 06:26 PM
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Hoist A Top for 2003 TJ - Screw Holes to Use?

Installing a Hoist a Top for my 2003 TJ. My TJ originally came with a hardtop, but the first owner removed it to install on another of his TJs, and put that soft top on what is now my Jeep, which I bought about 2006. I then bought another OEM hardtop to replace the soft top and have it for 10 years. Today, I installed a Lange Hoist a Top, and I followed the directions correctly, even though the directions leave something to be desired. When I installed that TJ hardtop 10 years ago, there were only three screws per side with the top,even though there was a leading edge hole on each side by the passenger compartment; I just used the three screws per side the original top owner provided, and left unused the front holes, and that's the way it's been for all these years. Now that I'm installing the Hoist a Top, when I use the second set of holes, as shown in the instructions, the top lists drastically forward when raised by the lift. I saw a Youtube of someone doing the same hoist and a YJ, and he too was told to use the second hole from the front, and his also listed badly. He said he resolved the problem by using the "first" hole from the front, one that I had not used at all previously for my Jeep, and that resolved his problem. I'm reluctant to do the same because that forward, first hole is very near the edge and I wonder if it can take the stress. Anyone had similar experience?

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Old 08-10-2019, 09:39 PM   #2
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The first hole is for the plastic dowel sticking up out of the body to help locate the top onto the body.

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Old 08-11-2019, 09:16 AM
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Thanks for that clarification on the purpose of the first hole. The plastic centering dowels must have been removed by the prior owner. I didn't see a reference to these dowels in the Jeep manual, but in looking at the manual, it says there are supposed to be only three T40 screws on each side to secure the top, and that's what I've used to date. The Lange Hoist a Top instructions say to the use the second hole, but the hole location where they show in their instructions that the lift bolt is to be inserted, which they refer to as the "two door hole", which would be my first hole (not counting the dowel hole) is too far forward and causes the lifted top to list badly, actually to the point of being unusable. There are no other holes in the hardtop/body to move the lift bolt forward in an attempt to offset the out of balance and listing. I can't imagine they expect an owner to drill net-new holes in the top and body to accomplish level.

In going back through the installation instructions, which aren't great, the only thing I"ve deviated from is the distance from the middle single pulley to the third single pulley. The instructions call for 34" center pulley to center pulley; mine are about 34 1/4" to 34 1/2"; I can't imagine a 1/4 to 1/2" difference in what's called for in the instructions causing this degree of listing. I've tried contacting the manufacturer, but I'll have to wait till Monday when they're back in the office to go any further. I wish they had a video that dealt with the TJ exclusively, but I can't find one.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:13 PM
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I broke the code. I reacted too early. Problem solved. I kept working at it and focused on getting the cable lengths to where they should be, and all is well now. The first hole, not the dowel hole, IS the one to use. The provided drawing is bit misleading. Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:31 PM   #5
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No problem. I know that a lift makes it really easy to get the top off & on.
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