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Unread 08-06-2015, 10:28 AM   #1
esad_b
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LJ Hardtop lift in garage

I moved into a house that actually has a garage - 20x20. Which is great cause now the Jeep gets to be parked inside and I have room to work on it.

However, the LJ's hardtop has never been removed from factory. Now I wanted to mount a lift to lift the top as I can imagine the LJ top being slightly heavier than my previous TJ and also probably more awkward to handle due to the length.

I hate to ask for help in removing it and once its removed those things take up some serious space.. and I don't want to leave it outside in the backyard. Hence why I want to raise it up. The ceilings for the garage are 12 feet high so I have more than enough room there.

My issue is, the garage is 20x20 so when I back the LJ in with the rear window openI have about 6-8" space between the window and the wall this is due to having to clear the garage door from the top.

At this point is where the top would get lifted up but my question is do I need to have a certain angle & space between the lift (raising point on the ceiling) and my pulling point (crank winch etc on wall)? Every thread/idea I've seen it appears that people leave a fair bit of space between the pulling point rear wall and center of the hoist.. see the image.


Im no structural engineer, that's why I ask this and if it's necessary? I've looked at a few options and there is the ratcheting straps idea but I don't see how someone can control lowering of the top slowly? If you guys have a better idea for me, please let me know!



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Unread 08-06-2015, 11:05 AM   #2
jay-h
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If I understand your question correctly, it's not all that critical (my first pully based top lift used a tree branch).

You can run two straps one side to side through the window openings, and one front to back (through windshield opening and rear window opening). They should cross at about the center of gravity of the top. Outfits like Harbor freight have ratcheting drum manual hoists and pulleys you can adapt.
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Unread 08-06-2015, 04:50 PM   #3
OJack
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I have the system in your picture, and very little room between the lift and the pulling point. I'll snap a pic when I get back to town this weekend if you like.
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Unread 08-06-2015, 05:40 PM   #4
esad_b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay-h View Post
If I understand your question correctly, it's not all that critical (my first pully based top lift used a tree branch).

You can run two straps one side to side through the window openings, and one front to back (through windshield opening and rear window opening). They should cross at about the center of gravity of the top. Outfits like Harbor freight have ratcheting drum manual hoists and pulleys you can adapt.
Yah I've already looked around a bit and I can certainly find the parts but I am hesitant due to the space I think.. If the rear glass didn't have to stay open I'd be fine but with it open it really comes close.. no room for error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OJack View Post
I have the system in your picture, and very little room between the lift and the pulling point. I'll snap a pic when I get back to town this weekend if you like.
Yes please do, any difficulty with the lower and raising of the top?
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Unread 08-06-2015, 06:32 PM   #5
RubiDee
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Here is my setup. Do yourself a favor and get a cheap electric hoist from HF or fleabay, best $80 I ever spent. I welded up a "tee" out of unistrut and used 3 rubber dipped hooks from Depot for door openings and rear window gap between window and top when open. Built the 2 wood stands for top to tighten against and allow door to still open/close. Sorry for the crowded pic, lots of stuff in garage!!
img_0277.jpg  
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Unread 08-06-2015, 06:36 PM   #6
1orangews6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiDee View Post
Here is my setup. Do yourself a favor and get a cheap electric hoist from HF or fleabay, best $80 I ever spent. I welded up a "tee" out of unistrut and used 3 rubber dipped hooks from Depot for door openings and rear window gap between window and top when open. Built the 2 wood stands for top to tighten against and allow door to still open/close. Sorry for the crowded pic, lots of stuff in garage!!
Who makes the storage box on the fender well?
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Unread 08-06-2015, 06:42 PM   #7
RubiDee
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Custom made by me. 3/4" plywood covered in nonmatching vinyl..Lol. Couldn't find ones I liked...
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Unread 08-07-2015, 07:06 AM   #8
irnmadn88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8PEPL View Post
Im jealous of you guys with tall garage ceilings.
Me too.

I have basically an 8' ceiling with 2x4 trusses spanning 24'.

My LJ's hard top just fits standing on its rear on a homemade rolling cart on the floor.

What's worse, is that the house in foreclosure next door is known as the Garagemahall. Virtually the entire ground floor is garage. One end is TWO full RV sized garages, the other end is one double and one single garage. Living spaces are above. I have seen auto shops with less garage space...
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Unread 08-07-2015, 07:17 AM   #9
Tonellin
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My garage doesn;t have very tall ceilings either. I also didn't want to take up much space so I made sure to put it as far back as possible, the glass is closed and there is maybe 12-14 inches between the glass and the hand winch

I used the TJ hoist frame from my old jeep, got a new piece of tube stock from home depot to accomodate the extra LJ length and bolted it back together. Having the eye bolt be on an adjustable sleeved piece of tube is hugely important to getting the top to hang evenly.



While I'm sure the HF electric winch is a great buy, I picked up the HF hand winch for very cheap and for the 2x a year I move the hardtop it works well.

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Unread 08-07-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
esad_b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiDee View Post
Here is my setup. Do yourself a favor and get a cheap electric hoist from HF or fleabay, best $80 I ever spent. I welded up a "tee" out of unistrut and used 3 rubber dipped hooks from Depot for door openings and rear window gap between window and top when open. Built the 2 wood stands for top to tighten against and allow door to still open/close. Sorry for the crowded pic, lots of stuff in garage!!
That looks pretty tight for space.. no room for error. Wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonellin View Post
My garage doesn;t have very tall ceilings either. I also didn't want to take up much space so I made sure to put it as far back as possible, the glass is closed and there is maybe 12-14 inches between the glass and the hand winch

I used the TJ hoist frame from my old jeep, got a new piece of tube stock from home depot to accomodate the extra LJ length and bolted it back together. Having the eye bolt be on an adjustable sleeved piece of tube is hugely important to getting the top to hang evenly.


While I'm sure the HF electric winch is a great buy, I picked up the HF hand winch for very cheap and for the 2x a year I move the hardtop it works well.
Well I've seen this type of idea and I was considering it, now you actually managed to close the rear window and still get that hook on? How is that possible
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Unread 08-07-2015, 05:10 PM   #11
irnmadn88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8PEPL
Tell the bank you would like to trade even
An interesting thought...

However, it does not have quite the view ours does.
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Unread 08-07-2015, 05:46 PM   #12
Tonellin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esad_b View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiDee View Post
Here is my setup. Do yourself a favor and get a cheap electric hoist from HF or fleabay, best $80 I ever spent. I welded up a "tee" out of unistrut and used 3 rubber dipped hooks from Depot for door openings and rear window gap between window and top when open. Built the 2 wood stands for top to tighten against and allow door to still open/close. Sorry for the crowded pic, lots of stuff in garage!!
That looks pretty tight for space.. no room for error. Wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonellin View Post
My garage doesn;t have very tall ceilings either. I also didn't want to take up much space so I made sure to put it as far back as possible, the glass is closed and there is maybe 12-14 inches between the glass and the hand winch

I used the TJ hoist frame from my old jeep, got a new piece of tube stock from home depot to accomodate the extra LJ length and bolted it back together. Having the eye bolt be on an adjustable sleeved piece of tube is hugely important to getting the top to hang evenly.


While I'm sure the HF electric winch is a great buy, I picked up the HF hand winch for very cheap and for the 2x a year I move the hardtop it works well.
Well I've seen this type of idea and I was considering it, now you actually managed to close the rear window and still get that hook on? How is that possible
If you slam the glass realllllly fast it won't have a chance to shatter

By seriously I actually just removed the rear hook and used a tie down strap with a bolt on each side so it can't slide. Works pretty well for getting close to wall


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Unread 08-07-2015, 10:36 PM   #13
speed-racer
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The picture you posted is a harken hoister. I use the same. What is important is to leave enough space between the wall and the lifting point to get the vertical travel you need. I wanted my hard top tight to the wall so my eye bolt at the wall is off to the side to give me a longer distance. Harken instructions explain that there is a maximum angle for this to work well.
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Unread 08-08-2015, 09:06 AM   #14
srfnfly227
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I've never measured how tall the ceiling height is, but I'd look in to whether you have room to do this. It isn't the easiest process to take the top on and off, but it is worth it for the fact that it takes up nothing but wasted space.

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Unread 08-08-2015, 01:42 PM   #15
1 Long CJ
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I second the Harbor Freight winch. I put mine up above the 10ft. ceiling and cut a hole for the cable. I can lift the T-frame all the way to the ceiling allowing me to walk under the top.
I'm guessing you back in with the window up because you can't open the rear gate far enough to lift the window. Do you also remove the bolts before you back in?
The problem I have is the location of my CB antennae. Once I lift the glass, I still can't shut the rear gate until I lift the top off so I need plenty of room behind the vehicle to walk around the back of the jeep. Putting some marks on the floor or tape can help get it lined up.
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