DIY Hardtop hoist ideas - brainstorming

jeremyjeep

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I'm looking to build a hardtop hoist and trying to come up with some ideas. Concerns:

1. I could bolt into the rafters, but that could jeopardize the structure of the trusses if I don't get the exact centers, even when using 2x4s cross-ways to distribute the weight - I could mess up several cross beams that way too. I've heard of a few disasters online (not necessarily Jeep hard top specific). It would be a major project getting up into the attic (I have a very low attic, crawl only).

2. I've seen the stand on wheels that they make, but it looks kind of wobbly.

3. I watched several YouTube videos of DIY hardtop hoists and the kind you buy and it looks like the straps, hooks, etc. are creasing the edges and in some cases chipping or marking up the paint. That can't be good.

Brainstorming ideas:

A. How about a lesser expensive engine lift (or used), modify it with a flat tray on the top, attach several thick mover's blankets or thick padding of some kind, then jack it up so only the mover's blankets / padding touches the underside? That way it won't crush the edges. Just need to make the flat tray wide enough so it isn't tipsy.

B. Four pulleys, but instead of straps crushing the edges, put two metal bars front to back but with a tray in he middle with thick padding so it only touches the underside?

C. Other ideas? I've been searching Google, YouTube, Google Images, etc. but there has to be a better mouse trap.

Thanks.





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yeoman18

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This is what I am going to build when my JL arrives. Very simple. I would not worry too much about your trusses As long as you span 2 trusses with the 2x4 cross members you should be fine. I don't think the hard top weights that much.
 

cobra

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I'm looking to build a hardtop hoist and trying to come up with some ideas. Concerns:

1. I could bolt into the rafters, but that could jeopardize the structure of the trusses if I don't get the exact centers, even when using 2x4s cross-ways to distribute the weight - I could mess up several cross beams that way too. I've heard of a few disasters online (not necessarily Jeep hard top specific). It would be a major project getting up into the attic (I have a very low attic, crawl only).

2. I've seen the stand on wheels that they make, but it looks kind of wobbly.

3. I watched several YouTube videos of DIY hardtop hoists and the kind you buy and it looks like the straps, hooks, etc. are creasing the edges and in some cases chipping or marking up the paint. That can't be good.

Brainstorming ideas:

A. How about a lesser expensive engine lift (or used), modify it with a flat tray on the top, attach several thick mover's blankets or thick padding of some kind, then jack it up so only the mover's blankets / padding touches the underside? That way it won't crush the edges. Just need to make the flat tray wide enough so it isn't tipsy.

B. Four pulleys, but instead of straps crushing the edges, put two metal bars front to back but with a tray in he middle with thick padding so it only touches the underside?

C. Other ideas? I've been searching Google, YouTube, Google Images, etc. but there has to be a better mouse trap.

Thanks.
I have the Langley hoist. Works well and where the straps go through the back i used pool noodles to cushion where the strap is against the window seal.
 

Skippy

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I'm looking to build a hardtop hoist and trying to come up with some ideas. Concerns:

1. I could bolt into the rafters, but that could jeopardize the structure of the trusses if I don't get the exact centers, even when using 2x4s cross-ways to distribute the weight - I could mess up several cross beams that way too. I've heard of a few disasters online (not necessarily Jeep hard top specific). It would be a major project getting up into the attic (I have a very low attic, crawl only).

2. I've seen the stand on wheels that they make, but it looks kind of wobbly.

3. I watched several YouTube videos of DIY hardtop hoists and the kind you buy and it looks like the straps, hooks, etc. are creasing the edges and in some cases chipping or marking up the paint. That can't be good.

Brainstorming ideas:

A. How about a lesser expensive engine lift (or used), modify it with a flat tray on the top, attach several thick mover's blankets or thick padding of some kind, then jack it up so only the mover's blankets / padding touches the underside? That way it won't crush the edges. Just need to make the flat tray wide enough so it isn't tipsy.

B. Four pulleys, but instead of straps crushing the edges, put two metal bars front to back but with a tray in he middle with thick padding so it only touches the underside?

C. Other ideas? I've been searching Google, YouTube, Google Images, etc. but there has to be a better mouse trap.

Thanks.
You could still go with option 3. However when using the straps just hook 2 of them together in the middle of the top so it is only the straps that are touching the painted areas versus the plastic lined hooks. I still have my 4 straps hanging from my rafters that I used for my jk top, my '96 bronco top and will also use for my JL top.
EDIT: I found the video I used for ideas when looking at doing my own.
 
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jeremyjeep

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This is what I am going to build when my JL arrives. Very simple. I would not worry too much about your trusses As long as you span 2 trusses with the 2x4 cross members you should be fine. I don't think the hard top weights that much.
I really like how he has it configured to store the hardtop on a solid surface so it doesn't hang the hole time. Brilliant. Thanks for sharing this video.
 
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Does anyone have concerns that hanging the hardtop for any period of time could warp, bend, etc. making it harder to fit back on and/or cause a leak?
 

Skippy

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I never had any issues with mine. Everything bolts back on and latches in place so I would think if there was even the slightest bit of warping it would be corrected with putting it all back on. Like I said I didn't have any issues with my straps and am going to still use them on the JLUR once the weather is nice enough here to take the top off. I think the biggest thing when letting it hang is to keep it as even as possible but it does hang on 4 corners so is fine.
 
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jeremyjeep

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I found this drawing while doing a Google images search... looks like it plugs into the hitch and can swing away so you can place it on a flat table or something.

crane.jpg
 

YFD_322

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This is what I am going to build when my JL arrives. Very simple. I would not worry too much about your trusses As long as you span 2 trusses with the 2x4 cross members you should be fine. I don't think the hard top weights that much.
Guy is scratching his sh** up
 

ZeeCutt

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BostonBilly

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I hung a hoist in my garage, I used unistrut to span joists. I also made a cradle for hoist so I could put it where I wanted on the unistrut tracks. I have used it on my 15 JKU every summer.

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20180302_184457.jpg
 

Matt829

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The hardtop doesn't weigh very much at all when the weight is distributed evenly.
 
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jeremyjeep

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