DIY Hardtop hoist ideas - brainstorming

GATORB8

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I'm keeping my eye on the same Fleximount unit. Amazon is still at 199.
Just need another penny to get $30 off, I got it on a 15% off on their site during the fathers day sale.
 

actionplus

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Just need another penny to get $30 off, I got it on a 15% off on their site during the fathers day sale.
I know. I just realized what you meant. Buy a candy from them? :)
The lowest item I saw as some brackets which I have no use for. :(
 

Sam_Ca

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I know. I just realized what you meant. Buy a candy from them? :)
The lowest item I saw as some brackets which I have no use for. :(
Building powered hoist will come about the same and I feel it is more secure from reading reviews about Fleximount.
 

actionplus

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Building powered hoist will come about the same and I feel it is more secure from reading reviews about Fleximount.
I was looking at the powered hoist too. I am trying to stay away from single point mount where all the weight of the hardtop are tied to a single point and them lifted up, which is also a single point location on the ceiling. I think this is what you are mentioning right?

I like the part where there are 4 diff points of mount on the ceiling, Kinda gives me a feeling that the weights are distributed 4 ways. All 4 points needs to fail I guess compared to single point failure.

Even with the four points. I am still planning to add 2 static straps which will be connected to different location on the ceiling, just to make sure it's safe.

I might be overthinking here and might be all wrong. Yikes.
Just my thoughts, without any proof. :) I might be wrong.
 

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Hi All, I'm exploring a slightly offbeat idea and wanted your thoughts on whether this would work or only be a source of entertainment to this community and my wife and daughter.

It's going to use a motorcycle lift to lift up the hardtop and a table to hold/store the hardtop, mainly because I intend to get the motorcycle lift anyway and I cannot drill into the garage roof for a hoist.

This is the motorcycle lift: https://www.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-Motorcycle-Scissor-Hydraulic-Operated/dp/B00CKY3J3Y

I would place the lift on a table that's level with the bottom of the trunk, roll it in (rear tailgate and windshield open), lock the wheels, lift the hardtop, unlock the wheels and carefully roll it out onto the table.

Thoughts on things that could go wrong? would this work?
I love this idea.

Here are some thoughts:

First, cut a large piece of plywood or some such, that fits the cargo area, for the motorcycle jack (henceforth: trolly) to roll on. Four swivel casters on carpet, with a top-heavy 180lb. load sounds like a disaster. No need to be contoured and fancy, just large enough that it doesn't slide around too much. Maybe put some no-skid stuff on the bottom.

Second: attach four strips of trim, or 1x3s, or angle steel, to create two channels for the casters to roll in, without being able to turn or jump out.

Third: add some stops to prevent spectacular failure. You could additionally add a pulley from the inside of the jeep somewhere for you or someone else to hold as you ease the roof out.

Bonus would be to have the trolley platform extend out directly over the table, so you can properly balance it.

Fourth: Add me to the patent.


I don't think a standard 2x6-or-8 foot folding table would be able to balance the top, if that's what you were thinking. Many people here are using a small scaffold from Harbor Freight or similar, but they are also getting them moved without an awesome dual-use pneumatic-lifter-trolly. Mostly with shoving, as I understand.

Start a new thread on this if you're more than 70% serious.
 

rav1

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I love this idea.

Here are some thoughts:

First, cut a large piece of plywood or some such, that fits the cargo area, for the motorcycle jack (henceforth: trolly) to roll on. Four swivel casters on carpet, with a top-heavy 180lb. load sounds like a disaster. No need to be contoured and fancy, just large enough that it doesn't slide around too much. Maybe put some no-skid stuff on the bottom.

Second: attach four strips of trim, or 1x3s, or angle steel, to create two channels for the casters to roll in, without being able to turn or jump out.

Third: add some stops to prevent spectacular failure. You could additionally add a pulley from the inside of the jeep somewhere for you or someone else to hold as you ease the roof out.

Bonus would be to have the trolley platform extend out directly over the table, so you can properly balance it.

Fourth: Add me to the patent.


I don't think a standard 2x6-or-8 foot folding table would be able to balance the top, if that's what you were thinking. Many people here are using a small scaffold from Harbor Freight or similar, but they are also getting them moved without an awesome dual-use pneumatic-lifter-trolly. Mostly with shoving, as I understand.

Start a new thread on this if you're more than 70% serious.
@LittleDog thanks for the ideas! These make a lot of sense - you're absolutely right about the challenges with rolling it back out with the hardtop on it.

So far, the 'trolley' can handle the weight of the top easily however, with the trolley in the boot, the overhang of the hardtop beyond the 'point of support' required a support structure (essentially a couple of 2x4's) to avoid tipping it.

>> Fourth: Add me to the patent.
It would be creative commons or what ever applies to community generated ideas :)

Now I need to decide if I really want to go through the rest of it...
 

GATORB8

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I know. I just realized what you meant. Buy a candy from them? :)
The lowest item I saw as some brackets which I have no use for. :(
I’m actually thinking of getting a couple more for overhead storage. I have 24” on center joists so it’s perfect with no additional support, and it works great, build is better than I expected for $200
 

Sam_Ca

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I was looking at the powered hoist too. I am trying to stay away from a single point mount where all the hardtop weight is tied to a single point and lifted, which is also a single point location on the ceiling. I think this is what you are mentioning, right?

I like the part where there are 4 diff points of mount on the ceiling, Kinda gives me a feeling that the weights are distributed 4 ways. All 4 points need to fail. I guess compared to single point failure.

Even with the four points. I am still planning to add 2 static straps which will be connected to different location on the ceiling, just to make sure it's safe.

I might be overthinking here and might be all wrong. Yikes.
Just my thoughts, without any proof. :) I might be wrong.
No my friend you are not wrong and we have the same thought process. Not sure if you built yours already or still waiting.

However, Electric Hoist attached to celling can be signal point however single failure can be avoided by having strut attached to two beams on your ceiling that way the weight divided among multiple beams see this install video


Build your base from strut bar(see below)

https://topsyproducts.com/collections/hoist-systems

attach to Topsy hinge

https://topsyproducts.com/collectio...s/products/hinge-hoist-bracket-kit-jlu-4-door

I wanted to go with flexmount or Racor( discontinued) but reviews on Amazon didn’t motivate me to proceed saw some bad pictures . The above setup will cost you are 180$-200$ For fully electric hoist can carry double the weight of flexmount.
 

LittleDog

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the 'trolley' can handle the weight of the top easily however, with the trolley in the boot, the overhang of the hardtop beyond the 'point of support' required a support structure (essentially a couple of 2x4's) to avoid tipping it.
Yes, that's why the 'bonus' would be a trolley platform that extends out onto the 'table'. What 'table' are you planning on?

The support riser/structure for the "trolley" to hard top ought to be simple. Brace, then throw a blanket on top. But the hardtop's centre of gravity is biased a towards the rear. Plus, the windshield pops up. Tape it down.

I like this idea because you get the dual usage of a thing to single-handedly move your hardtop, and a jack for working on your motorbike.
 

actionplus

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Here is something I found on facebook. Pretty much the idea some of you were talking about. A jack was used, which I have seen on pinterest for adjustable workbench ideas.

jacklift.jpg


jacklift3.jpg


jacklift2.jpg
 

digirati

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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.
Consider using steel C channel bars to mount to your ceiling and connect to several spots along the bar, that way no one lag bolt is mission critical. Then mount your hoist to the c channel bar. I have an AuxxLift hoist (awesome) and that’s how the installer did it.
 
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