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Purchased a Jeep a few weeks back, haggled on craigslist for a soft top, 90 degree weather: it was time to hang the hard top up.

So, I shopped around for a hoist. All the ones I saw had the hooks strap to the top of the hard top. I understood it was probably fine, but I preferred my hard top to be stored similar to the way it was stored on top of the car, resting on its bottom edges. Also, I knew I could do the job pretty inexpensively.

I took some measurements, set off to Lowe's, and behold, came home with the necessary materials with a bill under $50.00

Parts:

2 * 2x4x8

2 * 2x3x8 (weird size, considered a 2x2, but this seemed sturdier and about $0.50 more expensive....)

12 * eye bolts (once you see the hoist, you will understand why so many eye bolts were needed for my design)

8 * corner brackets to connect the lumber. Not necessary, but felt more comfortable with it

A product similar to this: Amazon.com: RAD Cycle Products Bike Lift Hoist Garage Mountain Bicycle Hoist 100LB Capacity (2-Pack): Sports & Outdoors
^^see the hoist hooks? I put in eye bolt in each of the hooks (8 total)

I also had to tie down straps lying around that I used as backup for the hoist (the remaining eye bolts were used here). Also, attached some bungie cords to the back to ensure the back doesn't dip from the center of gravity.

Now the rest is pretty self explanatory. Measure the hard top, build a frame resembling the shape of the top. Install the hoist. Tip: build the hooks according to the center of gravity of the hard top. It is pretty heavy in the back compared to the front. Adjust the hooks and supports accordingly.

One suggestion, go to the dollar store and pick up a few pool noodles. They are great to put on the bottom to avoid scratches to the top. Also, you can put them around the hooks to, again, prevent scratches. While youre there, pick up some noodles for the bottom of your doors when you take them off to avoid scratches. Multi tasking?

Here are some pictures of the final product. Pretty happy with the results.
 

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I like it! I'm not in the mood to spend a couple hundred dollars on something I'm sure I can build myself so I was actually happy to find this post. But now that you've finished yours why don't you head on over to Colorado and put mine up for me. :drinks:
 

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Excellent work. I did something similar 40 years ago to store a canoe in my carport upside down. Most store a canoe right side up, but then it catches all kinds of crud. I like the safety straps in case the lifting lines come loose.

One suggestion - when it comes time to put it back on, get some 1x2 material to put over the edges of the tub when you lower the top. I would wrap the 1x2s with some old towels where they cross the tub. That way when you lower the top, you can get it lined up while on the 1x2s rather than trying to line it up swinging from the rafters. Once lined up, you can slip the 1x2s out.
 

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Good work.

I am going to do the same thing for my long term storage only I was just going to use 2 4x4s to go side to side on the top (perpendicular rather than parrallel to the sides of the top) and then strap them to the ceiling eye bolts. That gives you almost 4" per side that the tops weight will sit on...plenty I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like it! I'm not in the mood to spend a couple hundred dollars on something I'm sure I can build myself so I was actually happy to find this post. But now that you've finished yours why don't you head on over to Colorado and put mine up for me.
Pay for my ticket and Im out there. Wouldnt mind a nice summer trip to Colorado!

One suggestion - when it comes time to put it back on, get some 1x2 material to put over the edges of the tub when you lower the top. I would wrap the 1x2s with some old towels where they cross the tub. That way when you lower the top, you can get it lined up while on the 1x2s rather than trying to line it up swinging from the rafters. Once lined up, you can slip the 1x2s out.
Good idea. Might as well make it easy to put back on while its already lifted up. I like it.

I am going to do the same thing for my long term storage only I was just going to use 2 4x4s to go side to side on the top (perpendicular rather than parrallel to the sides of the top) and then strap them to the ceiling eye bolts. That gives you almost 4" per side that the tops weight will sit on...plenty I think.
Yes, I was thinking the same thing originally. The only two reasons I went with my current design instead are a) didnt want the chance that one of the supports would be bumped and the hard top get knocked off and fall, and b) I am going to hang my hockey gear from the horizontal supports to air out, sort of a makeshift airing rack. Later on when the hardtop is on the Jeep I will probably throw a plywood sheet over the frame and use it to store some more things like a small boat or lawnmower. More universal use of the hoist, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
omg... those pool noodles are genius!!!!
I would like to claim that as my own.... but then I would be lying. Found that when I was perusing this site; it seriously is a great idea, and then you can just put the noodles for your door under your seat so you take them off whenever.
 
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