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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of installing a fold-down type of hook on the exterior roof of my TJ, at center-of-gravity, which I can use to remove the top by myself with a small ceiling hoist in my shop.

Any reason this is a bad idea?
 

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Problems??
1) Potential leaks.
2) Reinforcing the roof to displace the hook weight so the hook does not pull right through or cause long term problems. ie. stress cracks.
The hard top only weighs aboout 150lbs., but lifting all of that weight, without displacing it appropriately, could definately cause major damage to a $1000.00-1500.00 roof.
Worst case secnario, ask a friend for help and reward them with a six pack twice a year.
Just a few thoughts that I hope will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Problems??
1) Potential leaks.
2) Reinforcing the roof to displace the hook weight so the hook does not pull right through or cause long term problems. ie. stress cracks.
The hard top only weighs aboout 150lbs., but lifting all of that weight, without displacing it appropriately, could definately cause major damage to a $1000.00-1500.00 roof.
Worst case secnario, ask a friend for help and reward them with a six pack twice a year.
Just a few thoughts that I hope will help.
Good points.

I've been a roofing contractor for 32 years so I know some really good sealants that will be watertight and the right methods to apply it.

Also a good point on somewhat of a plate on the underneath side to spread the weight a little...probably heavy guage aluminum plate or stainless steel. That said, and I'll have to look closer to confirm this, but I assume the top is made using chopped fiberglass/resin technique. Our family's manufacturing company (koldking.com) uses the very same Binks chopper motors to build roofing spray rigs which use the Binks choppers but use clay-based asphalt emulsion rather than resin. If the tops are indeed chopped glass, they're pretty strong and won't require a large base in order to support 150 lbs.

Since I had my first '78 CJ7, I've wanted to rig up this kind of foldable hook so that I could simply keep a small rope & pulley arrangement in my tool box, throw it over a stout tree limb, and pull the top off anytime if I'm out of town.
 

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i'd worry bout the fold dn hook rattleing. my hard top does enough of it by it's self that i have a rolled up blanket stuffed between the roll bar and roof.
i use 4 rachet straps hanging off the garage ceiling to remove mine then put on the soft top. i also use those same straps to hang my rolled up soft top for winter-keeps it off the floor and out of the way.
 

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i was thinking the same thing and it will be this summer's little project, but instead of putting a center hook, i will install roof rails. That way the weight distribution problem will be solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i was thinking the same thing and it will be this summer's little project, but instead of putting a center hook, i will install roof rails. That way the weight distribution problem will be solved.
I figured I'd set the top on a piece of pipe on the floor and roll it till it is close to balancing to find the c.g.
 

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I figured I'd set the top on a piece of pipe on the floor and roll it till it is close to balancing to find the c.g.
what i meant by installing the rails is for permanent use, not for finding the CG of the top, just hook the lines straight to it. 4 hooks will be fine.

also the rails look nice on a TJ hardtop, i saw one somewhere on the forum. And you put some stuff on the top using the rails to secure them.
 

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They make hoists that have a frame like a giant T To lift your top. Or you could make your own with some 3/4" galvanized pipe, some rope and pullies from the hardware store....
 

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Your CG will not be on the roof. It is a bad idea. I can assure you finding the CG by rolling the top on a piece of pipe is not the way to find it. CG is located in 3dimensions. Look at all of the top hoists that are sold on the market and then create your own based on their designs. Those companies spent money to have designers and engineers locate the CG and create a 4-point lift with spreader bars.
 

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I use two straps. one on each side. The straps go through the front window opening and the back window opening so there is a strap around each sid of the top. Tie each strap together so there is a loop of strap on each side. Put each side's loop into the lifting hook and lift the top.

I find this simple and fast. Almost as fast as the OP's hook if the straps are prefabricated and kept with the hoist or top.
 

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I just installed a Racor lift to lift off my hardtop in the spring. I just need to figure out if I should use hooks or straps to secure it to the lift. I may use a platform to hook up underneath it as well so it isn't hanging by the straps all summer.
 

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blownki said:
Your CG will not be on the roof. It is a bad idea. I can assure you finding the CG by rolling the top on a piece of pipe is not the way to find it. CG is located in 3dimensions. Look at all of the top hoists that are sold on the market and then create your own based on their designs. Those companies spent money to have designers and engineers locate the CG and create a 4-point lift with spreader bars.
I made a lift for my last Jeep and it worked well. I used a Prusiks hitch to adjust the center of gravity, a 3:1 hoist, and a progress capture device made of another Prusiks hitch. Worked well to lift the top off solo.
 
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