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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok - so I started on a project this past weekend trying to replicate this Instructables:

http://m.instructables.com/id/Jeep-Hardtop-Hoist-1/?ALLSTEPS

FYI in advance, I'm doing this on my phone and it won't let me add multiple photos at once, so bear with the multiple posts.

I started with a collection of parts:


image-1428582169.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
When I first started, I was able to pull the top off high enough to get the Jeep out from under it.



image-2538106095.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At this point things were looking pretty good, but I found some weakness in the system so I beefed them up. Primarily the last anchor and where my winch mounted were a concern since they are single points of failure. After I lowered the top to the floor, this is when the funkiness started.

A few lessons learned at this point:
- buy pulleys that swivel (mine were binding since they couldn't rotate)
- be sure to reinforce your last anchor (I had a catastrophic failure with my own body weight fortunately - didn't get the stud all the way...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Picture of reinforced header and location where winch is mounted. Both are quite solid now and I ensured I dead middle of a 2x6 with my last pulley...


image-566554276.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's a picture of the top a few feet off of the ground. Notice how cockeyed it is. If I go to straighten it out by adjusting the ratchet straps, I reduce the overall lift height potential (which is not desired). I thought weight might be an issue, so stacked up the freedom tops on the front, didn't really help - same reaction. Thoughts?

And yes, the lines were taunt and evenly distributed when I started... I'm stuck at this point and not sure the next thing to try to get this thing to crank straight up...


image-409486729.jpg
 

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I was following your posts over the weekend and was going to do the same type of pulley system but decided against it. Right now I'm just using four ratchet straps coming down from four Eye bolts in the ceiling. It's fairly easy and a lot less complicated than all those pulleys. Let me know if you need a hand with anything. I'm in Ahwatukee. Sorry though that I don't have any advice for you it's kind of hard to tell what's going on from the pics.
 

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Use two kayak hoists from menards cost is $40. Only drawback is w one person operating it you need to alternate hoisting each side. Can still get the top off in less than 15 minutes.

They come w hooks that should be covered w some padding and duct taped.
 

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It looks (from the pictures here) that you have the cable from the winch coming to a point where your four lift lines attach to it? So in theory, as you crank the top up, all four lines should raise at the same rate and distance with each crank of the pulley. Is that how you have it set up? (I can't really tell for sure from the pictures here.) If that is how you have it set up, how much stretch do you have in the rope you are using? Also, is the pulley cable attaching to the ropes in the center of your system? It seems that each rope needs to be pulled the same distance in order for each corner of your top to raise evenly and the only way to do that is to ensure that the connection point is centered such that each rope moves the same amount when you crank on the pulley.

What you have setup is a good system. I use a similar system for lifting the shell off of a pickup. It took some tweaking to get everything to move at the same rate and distance, but once it is setup, it works easily and you can do it by yourself.
 

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One last thought...as the pulley cable gets closer to your rope pulleys, the angle of the ropes probably changes in relation to the cable and their ceiling pulleys. As those angles change (which would be more apparent as the top gets closer to the floor) the distance that each corner of the top moves will change. So when the top is higher off the floor those angles are probably smaller and result in less difference. If you can find a way to keep those angles from changing much, the corners of the top will rise at the same rate. I used an eye screw placed in the ceiling that the ropes run through before connecting to the cable pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the posts. It's hard to describe the behavior and the angles. Let me try and describe how it's hooked up again - starting from the hard top.

Hard Top --> Ratchet Strap --> Rope --> Pulley --> 4to1 line reducer (not sure technical name) --> single wire cable --> Pulley --> Boat Winch

I have not measures that the rope is the exact same length. I did however try to center the 4-1 line reducer at the mid point of the closest 2 pulleys. When I crank, it's like the system is lifting the lightest points first, dragging the reducer towards the back of the system (off to the right toward rear of top). I end up with the top a foot off the ground and the back still on the ground. Your right that as I get higher, the angle adjusts and the system slowly starts to move back to center. It's the first 6ft I have an issue with. Probably would work fine I never put it on the ground.
 

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Are your ropes pretty stretchy? It would make sense that the heavier end is lifting last due to stretch in your ropes if there is any. Otherwise, all 4 of your rope lengths have to be equal and the angles all need to stay fairly constant in order to make each rope move equally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think it's best for me to draw. Here is what it looks like when it starts:


image-620398544.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
End position.


image-2714018516.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So the RF and RR rope is clearly longer than the LF and LR. RF goes up first, last to go up is the LR. Almost a foot difference. If I can't get this pulley geometry figured out, its going to be ratchet strap time :)
 

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Ok, I see the issue.

You are drinking macro-beer.

If you were drinking a good micro beer, your hoist would look like this.



Although the next morning it would probably look like this.
 

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LOL. Maybe a good microbrew will help.

I would consider putting a pulley/eye screw in the middle of your system. If you place an eye screw in the center of the X that would be formed if you drew a line from the pulleys at LF, RF, LR, RR, and then put your ropes through that eye screw before they are attached to the cable, then the angles wouldn't change as you raise or lower the top. An eye screw will increase the resistance in your system so a pulley(s) that will handle 4 lines would be better. I'll try to post a pic of what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So no significant modifications to the system yet. I did manage to get it up. Get your mind out of the gutter... :$

image-2855634520.jpg
 
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