Hard Top Removal System

Kata

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I have all the bad luck. First off in May I ordered the Smitty Bilt JL Wrangler Power Hoist Kit from Extreme Terrain to remove my Hard Top from JL Wrangler. It turned out that they don’t make a JL version. So I promptly shipped it back to ExtremeTerrain. Next I ordered the JL Power Hoist from LangeOriginals in early June and after sending part of my weekend (6/23) having it installed the rear top attachment is missing for my JL. SMH. So now I have to wait until Monday to see if they will ship out a replacement rear top attachment. The issue is their website has the entire kit out stock. Is it just me or is this how all after martlet vendors are when it comes to supplying compatible Wrangler parts? Anyways here are a few photos of the install of the LangeOrignals Power Hoist install.

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Xphyle

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Should have bought a Top Lift Pro.
 
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Kata

Kata

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Should have bought a Top Lift Pro.
They are sold out and plus I have no room for storage for the Top Lift Pro and they priced themselves out of the market.
 

Sgt Beavis

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They are sold out and plus I have no room for storage for the Top Lift Pro and they priced themselves out of the market.
Emphasis added for truth!
 

Shooting or Jeeping

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They are sold out and plus I have no room for storage for the Top Lift Pro and they priced themselves out of the market.
I agree on this one. $1100 is obnoxious (to me) for something like that. Think of the accessories that you could knock out!

But that’s just my opinion. Based on the fact that they are sold out- my opinion might be in the minority. But if I asked my neighbor “ hey, I’ll pay you $1000 to come over when i want help with the top”, he’d not only accept it without question- but I’d save $100 in the process. . .
 

sbmitch2000

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I agree on this one. $1100 is obnoxious (to me) for something like that. Think of the accessories that you could knock out!

But that’s just my opinion. Based on the fact that they are sold out- my opinion might be in the minority. But if I asked my neighbor “ hey, I’ll pay you $1000 to come over when i want help with the top”, he’d not only accept it without question- but I’d save $100 in the process. . .
I’ll help anytime for $1k. The house next to me just went up for sale,
 
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Kata

Kata

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I agree on this one. $1100 is obnoxious (to me) for something like that. Think of the accessories that you could knock out!

But that’s just my opinion. Based on the fact that they are sold out- my opinion might be in the minority. But if I asked my neighbor “ hey, I’ll pay you $1000 to come over when i want help with the top”, he’d not only accept it without question- but I’d save $100 in the process. . .
Top Pro is $1,381 with shipping and if you live in Florida you have to pay tax. For $1,381 minus the $450 I spent for my Power Hoist I save $931 which could go towards a purchase of 3 35” tires. No Thanks I’ll keep my Power Hoist.
 

Shooting or Jeeping

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Top Pro is $1,381 with shipping and if you live in Florida you have to pay tax. For $1,381 minus the $450 I spent for my Power Hoist I save $931 which could go towards a purchase of 3 35” tires. No Thanks I’ll keep my Power Hoist.
Or that. Damn- now I really question the cost. $1400? I’m all for capitalism, and clearly they aren’t hurting for business- but I’ll find a better solution
 

Steveo

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Yeah, you can't say a business "priced themselves out of the market" when they're clearly selling every one they make. Having said that, I won't be buying one when there are far cheaper ways to get the job done. Someone call Harbor Freight and get them to develop a $200 model!
 

NavyVet1959

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The hardtops are not *extremely* heavy from what I've gathered, but just a bit too large and awkward to handle without another person helping you, thus the market for the hardtop lifts. They are light enough that an electric winch / hoist is a probably a bit of overkill unless you really need to be controlling the vertical position of the top while also standing by the top guiding it into the appropriate longitudinal and horizontal position. If that is not a concern, a $25-30 hand winch like you see for boat trailers would be more than enough to lift the top. Maybe a couple of carpet or foam covered 2x4s for the front and the back of the lift system with straps and hooks to attach to the corners of the top. Tie it all together with some more longitudinal supports to keep everything in place and then attach it to the winch's cable either through the balance point or going from 1 cable to 4 cables that go to the corners of the 2x4s that have the straps attached to them.

It might also be possible to create a lever system that reaches inside the cargo area. It could be tilted forward such that when you pulled back on it, it would tilt up and thus raise the top. I suspect this would probably work best if it was on rollers that could slide under the rear of the jeep so that you did not need to position the vehicle as accurately when you were backing into the garage to add the top back onto the vehicle.
 

#HERJL18

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We bought the Racor after reading great reviews of it in other threads. Works great and a very reasonable price. We attached the hard top to the bottom of it and put the freedoms panels and other items on top of it.

Racor PHL-1R Pro HeavyLift 4-by-4-Foot Cable-Lifted Storage Rack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009I8AO6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_nAgmBbTNE7YCP
 

NavyVet1959

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Yeah, you can't say a business "priced themselves out of the market" when they're clearly selling every one they make. Having said that, I won't be buying one when there are far cheaper ways to get the job done. Someone call Harbor Freight and get them to develop a $200 model!
Harbor Freight already has a $100 120V electric hoist with wired remote control that is good for 440 lbs. Knock that down to $70-80 with the easily available 20-30% coupons that they send out in via email periodically. From there, it's just a matter of creating a frame structure that will provide lifting points via straps at the corners of the hardtop and maybe a pulley for the winch's cable to go through. There is not that much weight being put on the design, so just common building lumber would be strong enough.

And the main advantage of designing and building it yourself is that if you ever have a problem with it, you know how to fix it.:)
 

stangken

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Is it just me or is this how all after martlet vendors are when it comes to supplying compatible Wrangler parts?
Give it time. The JL is new and so are the aftermarket products. To not expect teething issues from both FCA and the aftermarket is silly. Pop in your Justin Timberlake CD, turn up the volume and “Cry me a River.”
 

NavyVet1959

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Another thing to consider is that you *could* design a lift that does not even need a winch. Instead of having a winch lift all the weight of the top, you could put counterweights on the ends of cables attached to the 4 lift points on the frame that lifts the top. Something like how some of the old wooden windows had casement weights in the walls to make it easier to open the windows. If you balance it right, it's not going to take much effort on your part to raise or lower the top, but you'll need a way to secure the top when it gets to the ceiling so that it can't easily be dropped back down. Maybe another 20 lb weight that you add the counterbalance system after you get it off your vehicle?
 

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They are sold out and plus I have no room for storage for the Top Lift Pro and they priced themselves out of the market.

Kata, curious, not challenging, why no room for the Top Lift Pro cost and availability notwithstanding? Does it tie into the idea that it works best as a space saver with a rig parked nose first in a garage and that you, as per the pictures, are a "back it in" kind of guy?
 

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