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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did some research and searching here on the forums and I was wondering what would be the best option for my hardtop JKU.

My key factors are:

1. Safety - I have 2 kids 4 and 6 (don't want it dropping from the ceiling or tipping from the dolly)
2. Which system is best for the hardtop - Ive seen the Dolly - is that ok for the hardtop?
3. I have a painted top - I don't want to scratch it - or crack it
4. Would you recommend a hardtop storage bag?


Thanks for the advice
 

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I was concerned about the same thing with my two boys, 3 and 5. I think the hoist is safer because it gets the top up and out of the way where the kids won't be tempted to play on/around it. I got a harken hoist, which is very stable on its own but I still added a secondary safety net just to be safe. It cost $30 - 4 eye bolts, 4 carabiner clips, and a 1,200 lb break strength cargo net off Amazon. As you can see in the picture it hangs below the hardtop just in case the hoist fails.
 

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I like the hoist as well. I bought the Racor from Amazon and the thing isn't going anywhere with 2 ratchet straps...I cover the top with moving tarps and make sure they're covering where the straps touch the top on the front and back, but I've hoisted the top up and down close to 20 times and never had a problem. I'm also able to put the freedom panels up top for storage.

I will tell you though that to lift it off, my cordless drill isn't powerful enough, I need my corded drill. The cordless can lower it fine, but up is a no-go.
 

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Hoisted mine in the old house, it was fine as it was over the hood of the jeep so, never ran into it. I had the option to put the front roof pieces on top of the of the back pieces so those were up and out of the way too. This house we put it on a dolly and were lucky enough to put in a shed as in the garage it would have taken up too much space. The dolly caused the edges to be chipped on the back by the window. Could have been the model, I don't know. Never any damage with the hoist. Park a car under the roof and the kids shouldn't be able to get anywhere near it to cause them or the unit any damage.
 

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First summer I took the top on and off, takes two people minimum to remove safely. Then I installed the Racor lift. I can now remove the top on my own and install it on my own in a few minutes without any help. If you have the space go with the life IMHO.
 

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I was concerned about the same thing with my two boys, 3 and 5. I think the hoist is safer because it gets the top up and out of the way where the kids won't be tempted to play on/around it. I got a harken hoist, which is very stable on its own but I still added a secondary safety net just to be safe. It cost $30 - 4 eye bolts, 4 carabiner clips, and a 1,200 lb break strength cargo net off Amazon. As you can see in the picture it hangs below the hardtop just in case the hoist fails.

This is what I've done. But I built my hoist from materials I had at home. All I had to do was buy the winch. I also have mine supported with tie-downs just as a precaution. My kids are also 4 and 2, and I don't worry about it falling. I do have to worry about hitting my noggin on it every now and then.
 

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Hoist. I also store my freedom panels on top like bills1974. I also made a plywood deck for the winter time to store my summer doors and tops when I have the hard top on.

:beerdrinking:
 

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Not dumb at all, I ran with my top suspended from May-September last year only putting it on a few times. I used a quality 1" strap for mine with pipe insulation wrapped around the seals and the corners, had no warping at all. Temps here will get over 105 and the garage gets very hot, still saw no impact to my roof at all. This summer I'm going to switch to some 2" straps, just for better peace of mind. Took my top off Saturday loving having it off for a couple of days, I'll see about weather come Wednesday.
 

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I haven't had mine off yet but plan to use chain hoist that I already have in the roof of my detached garage. I'll probably use some good straps and pipe insulation around the seals and just hoist it up. When we had our TJ, the top came off at the beginning of summer and didn't go back on until fall and we plan to pretty much do the same with our JK.
 

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I haven't had mine off yet but plan to use chain hoist that I already have in the roof of my detached garage. I'll probably use some good straps and pipe insulation around the seals and just hoist it up. When we had our TJ, the top came off at the beginning of summer and didn't go back on until fall and we plan to pretty much do the same with our JK.
Curious about the chain hoist. I will be doing the same thing with a chain hoist. Are you just hooking the straps to the hook on the hoist? Do you cross the straps in the middle? Thanks!
 

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Curious about the chain hoist. I will be doing the same thing with a chain hoist. Are you just hooking the straps to the hook on the hoist? Do you cross the straps in the middle? Thanks!
I haven't actually done it yet, only had the Jeep about a month. The plan is to run straps through the back window opening on the outside of the hinges, underneath to the front. Just simple, stout 1" cargo straps. I'll use two, one for each side. I probably won't cross them, just pull them together at the top to go through the hook on the chain hoist. I'm running them on the outside of the hinges to keep them from pulling together in the rear so I'll have more stability. From experience hanging a pick-up topper on this chain hoist, I know I'll have to run a rope or cord from two corners to the wall to keep it from spinning on the hook, but that's not a big deal.
 

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Tons of info on this out there...my $.02

4 quality eye bolts, two quality high load rated cam tie down straps, pool noodle. Done case closed. And yep I stole this idea from a thread started on here in 2012 I believe.

However, if you have someone to help you for 2 min to pull it off and store it then why not?
 

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Great thread...would not have guessed that the winch would beat the cart by a margin of like 10 to 1!

Just got my JKU, and my wife and kids got me the Harken winch for Xmas...can't wait to get it installed and get the top off!
 
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