hey stubEXrube how does that hardtop removal method of yours work? thanks
I'll take a few pics, but it is the all time cheapest and easiest way to remove and store a (2 door) hard-top. Setting the eye-bolts in the correct locations, and doing it the first couple of times (until familiar with the procedure) will take the most time. I have been using this method for over a year now, and from start to finish (from removing the bolts & front panels, backing the jeep into the garage, lifting the hard-top, and driving out topless) takes me under 20 minutes to do.
I'll try to explain it real quick and get pics tomorrow. Basically you need to have a garage or shed to be able to do this. It requires setting 4 eye-bolts into the ceiling or rafters. Two of the eye bolts will utilize two lengths of rope to suspend the front of the hard-top (run through the holes that are used to attach the top to the jeep). The other two eye-bolts will suspend the rear of the hard-top, by way of the ratchet strap.
Back the Jeep into place after setting the eye-bolts where they need to be. (It is also best to #1.remove the front two panels. #2.remove or keep the doors open. #3.remove the 6 bolts that hold the hard-top to the Jeep- before doing this. It makes the job quicker and easier). Use a step ladder when hoisting the front part of the hard-top. Run the rope through (left or right side) hole (from underneath) and up to the eye-bolt. (You need to make sure that you have a LARGE knot tied in the end of each rope beforehand- as this knot is what will actually suspend the front on both sides. It also helps to stuff something between the Jeep tub and hard-top to keep it lifted so that you can tie the rope snug at the eye-bolt....or have someone else hold it up off of the jeep for you). Run it through the eye, and tie a knot or two (making sure that the rope is taught and that the hardtop is about 6" above the Jeep. Repeat the other side. The front is now lifted.
For the rear- Hook one end of the ratchet strap through one of the eye-bolts (left or right side). Open the rear window and lift up slightly with one hand as you slide the strap between the Jeep tub and the hardtop. Hook the other end of the strap to the opposite (last) eye-bolt. Again....lift up the hard-top slightly to slide the strap under the other side. Wherever the ratchet meets the strap...insert it and SLOWLY ratchet it up. Doing this slowly prevents the hard-top from shifting suddenly (in case the Jeep isn't perfectly centered under the 4 eye-bolts). Raise it up to about 6" (like the front....so that the hard-top is suspended evenly on all 4 corners). Make sure that the load is distributed evenly between all 4 suspending points. There should be no slack in the front ropes or the rear ratchet strap when completed. *As you ratchet the strap, the hard-top will shift slightly. Just stop and use both hands to gently lift and wiggle the hard-top, so that it continues to raise up evenly.
Despite the lengthy instructions (and the lack of visual aid...lol), this is such a simple, quick, and inexpensive way to lift and store the hard-top. If the eye-bolts are set adequately/ deeply...then this very safe also. I can provide tomorrow, dimensions/ lengths/ sizes/ etc of the mounting pattern, eye-bolts, rope, and ratchet-strap used.
*Thebeatenpath- sorry for the major hijack. I'll move this post out of this thread if you want me to.