Cheap and Easy Hard Top Hoist - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 70 Old 06-02-2011, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Cheap and Easy Hard Top Hoist

Seems to be a lot of you that are like me and don't want to drop big $$$ on a hard top hoist, so I thought I'd throw this idea out for y'all. I have done this in two different garages for both my two door and four door and it is very secure.

I screwed 4 eyebolts into my ceiling joists in my garage. When I back into the garage, 2 bolts line up with the front of the hardtop and two with the rear. With the back glass up I run tie down straps (non-ratcheting type) from the rear eye bolts, through the gap between the glass and the top, under the top, and hook them to the front eye bolts. Then I un-bolt the top and pull the straps tight. The top will lift right off and hang securely out of the way. I lift mine high enough that I can pull straight into the garage with enough clearance between the top and my hood.

*Note: I used the chain to hook the front of the straps to because the straps weren't quite long enough.
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post #2 of 70 Old 06-02-2011, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 70 Old 06-02-2011, 10:22 PM
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I like it. Simple and cheap. Now I just need to clean my garage so that I can actually pull the Jeep in to take the top off.

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post #4 of 70 Old 06-03-2011, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSUJeep View Post
Seems to be a lot of you that are like me and don't want to drop big $$$ on a hard top hoist, so I thought I'd throw this idea out for y'all. I have done this in two different garages for both my two door and four door and it is very secure.

I screwed 4 eyebolts into my ceiling joists in my garage. When I back into the garage, 2 bolts line up with the front of the hardtop and two with the rear. With the back glass up I run tie down straps (non-ratcheting type) from the rear eye bolts, through the gap between the glass and the top, under the top, and hook them to the front eye bolts. Then I un-bolt the top and pull the straps tight. The top will lift right off and hang securely out of the way. I lift mine high enough that I can pull straight into the garage with enough clearance between the top and my hood.

*Note: I used the chain to hook the front of the straps to because the straps weren't quite long enough.
Wish I could do something like that, but my apartment garage is so short, I wouldn't be able to lift the top. Running topless is cool, but not in the hot dry days we've had so far.


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post #5 of 70 Old 06-03-2011, 07:12 PM
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I can't wait to have a garage! I took my top off a few weeks ago with the hopes of putting it in the basement; alas the door frames and hallways in military housing are too narrow. I envy all of you topless JK'ers.
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post #6 of 70 Old 06-11-2011, 07:29 PM
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I can't wait to have a garage! I took my top off a few weeks ago with the hopes of putting it in the basement; alas the door frames and hallways in military housing are too narrow. I envy all of you topless JK'ers.
Just a thought for living on base. I might try asking around the motor pool, CE, or if you have a do it yourself auto shop on base, one of those might have someplace in a fenced in lot you could store it. it may be outside, but build a table to put it on and cover with a tarp.
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post #7 of 70 Old 07-05-2011, 11:54 AM
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Just a thought for living on base. I might try asking around the motor pool, CE, or if you have a do it yourself auto shop on base, one of those might have someplace in a fenced in lot you could store it. it may be outside, but build a table to put it on and cover with a tarp.
You may have a storage area available to rent monthly through MWR.
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post #8 of 70 Old 07-09-2011, 09:10 AM
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This is a GREAT idea.. I've been looking into all kinds of different ways to hoist off my top solo, (the girlfriend.. while pretty, is kinda weak and scared to help ) I am gonna give this one a go and see how it works for me.

Is there a reason you didn't use ratcheting straps?? I would think they would help raise the top up to the ceiling which would make backing in for re-intallation of the top that much easier, no? I guess maybe ratcheting the roof would cause it to lift uneven.. but I'm curious to hear whether or not its been attempted.

Thanks for the idea.. nice work.
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post #9 of 70 Old 07-09-2011, 09:23 AM
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This is a GREAT idea.. I've been looking into all kinds of different ways to hoist off my top solo, (the girlfriend.. while pretty, is kinda weak and scared to help ) I am gonna give this one a go and see how it works for me.

Is there a reason you didn't use ratcheting straps?? I would think they would help raise the top up to the ceiling which would make backing in for re-intallation of the top that much easier, no? I guess maybe ratcheting the roof would cause it to lift uneven.. but I'm curious to hear whether or not its been attempted.

Thanks for the idea.. nice work.
I dont think ratchets will be able to lift to the roof. You can only wind so much of the strap in the ratchet before it binds up. Other than that it should work fine, but i think the pull type will be easierto use. Just my. 02

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post #10 of 70 Old 07-09-2011, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Is there a reason you didn't use ratcheting straps??
Thanks

The ratcheting straps require you to ratchet the top off of the jeep with each strap individually.

With the non-ratcheting, all you have to do is stand behind the jeep and pull both straps and off it comes. A lot easier.

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post #11 of 70 Old 07-09-2011, 07:38 PM
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Ya I guess that makes sense. I always think the top is gonna be heavier than it actually is, so that's probably why I was thinking ratchet straps. I guess it would be pretty easy to actually lift the top up quite high using pull straps.

Thanks for the reply.
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post #12 of 70 Old 07-12-2011, 03:20 PM
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My fiance does the same thing......I'm curious as to how you lower your top, back down onto the JK. My fiance has to put his jack under his, and lift the rear end till the top sits right down on the jk......

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post #13 of 70 Old 07-15-2011, 07:48 AM
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I have this exact set up.. Works like a charm. Don't know why people insist on buying $200 + lift's when two tie down strap's and 4 overhead tie in's work perfectly!

The reason for tie down's and not ratchet strap's is simple. Ever try to release a ratchet strap with load on it? With tie down's, you'd simply lift up on your canopy and pull on the tie down loop at the same time...cinches the top up real quick. And with a push of tab it drops down. Such a simple set up.

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post #14 of 70 Old 07-15-2011, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mangotango1975 View Post
My fiance does the same thing......I'm curious as to how you lower your top, back down onto the JK. My fiance has to put his jack under his, and lift the rear end till the top sits right down on the jk......
I just press the release on the strap, while holding the slack so it doesn't fall down too hard. This is another reason why I use non-ratcheting type straps.

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post #15 of 70 Old 07-15-2011, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fourplyn View Post
I have this exact set up.. Works like a charm. Don't know why people insist on buying $200 + lift's when two tie down strap's and 4 overhead tie in's work perfectly!

The reason for tie down's and not ratchet strap's is simple. Ever try to release a ratchet strap with load on it? With tie down's, you'd simply lift up on your canopy and pull on the tie down loop at the same time...cinches the top up real quick. And with a push of tab it drops down. Such a simple set up.

Yep. What he said.

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post #16 of 70 Old 08-11-2011, 09:42 AM
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This... I will be doing this soon. Fantastic idea!

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post #17 of 70 Old 08-18-2011, 05:50 PM
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Thank you ..... Ive been racking my brain for three days now trying to get something to work. I initially went the pulley method however it must require a little engineering as I think my plan made the top heavier.
The tie down straps are perfect. I added four more eye bolts in the rafters, 8 in total, and crisscross two rachet straps as well, just for peace of mind. I can now remove it myself and drive under it in order to park.


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post #18 of 70 Old 08-18-2011, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Good Job. Glad I could help!

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post #19 of 70 Old 08-24-2011, 07:13 PM
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Any worries about the top bending over time stored in this manner? (I'd be storing mine for about 9 months out of the year) Thanks!
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post #20 of 70 Old 08-24-2011, 08:25 PM
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Your my hero; I've been beating myself up trying to this without spending 2 bills.
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post #21 of 70 Old 08-28-2011, 06:54 PM
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First my tires, now my hoist, you are my personal mod consultant!
I put off doing this all winter (and summer) because I was over thinking it. 4 eyebolts + 2 straps = problem solved.
What size eyebolts did you use? I'm guessing something with 2" of threads would be more than enough, considering my 2-door top is even lighter.

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post #22 of 70 Old 08-30-2011, 05:36 AM
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Do you have any issues with the strap chaffing on the weather stripping around the top of the rear window? I'm guessing that you just raise/lower slowly, or do you put something in betweeen to allow it to slide easier?

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post #23 of 70 Old 08-30-2011, 08:51 AM
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Will you explain what is necessary to lower the top? It looks like you'd have to use a ladder to reach the part of the strap that releases it. Thanks! And it looks great!

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post #24 of 70 Old 09-02-2011, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Stopher View Post
First my tires, now my hoist, you are my personal mod consultant!
I put off doing this all winter (and summer) because I was over thinking it. 4 eyebolts + 2 straps = problem solved.
What size eyebolts did you use? I'm guessing something with 2" of threads would be more than enough, considering my 2-door top is even lighter.
Hey man, any time you have a question give me a shout. I have a plethora of information (mostly useless), I'll give you some good/bad advice on any subject. lol.

The eyebolts are the largest ones that Lowes sells in the hardware section. Maybe an inch and a half thread 3/8" dia.


Quote:
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Do you have any issues with the strap chaffing on the weather stripping around the top of the rear window? I'm guessing that you just raise/lower slowly, or do you put something in betweeen to allow it to slide easier?
No issues. It's pretty tough rubber and the strap's material isn't really abrasive. I do raise and lower slowly and a little at a time between each side (~6" per side until at the level I want).

Quote:
Originally Posted by VADERJKU View Post
Any worries about the top bending over time stored in this manner? (I'd be storing mine for about 9 months out of the year) Thanks!
My top is only off between rainy days (week at the most), but I can't imagine any deformation storing it this way for extended amounts of time. The top really is light, and strong, so there's not enough stress on the contact points to cause any damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Water Terp View Post
Will you explain what is necessary to lower the top? It looks like you'd have to use a ladder to reach the part of the strap that releases it. Thanks! And it looks great!
Lowering is just a matter of pressing the release on the strap while holding the strap's slack to control the speed. I just stand on the back bumper. I'm 6'3" so I might have a little longer reach than most though.

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Last edited by MSUJeep; 09-02-2011 at 08:28 AM.
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post #25 of 70 Old 09-03-2011, 01:00 PM
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3 days stuck indoors, seems like as good of a time as any.
Useless advice?? is there any other type?

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