Hoisting the hard top- solution to the window - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-17-2018, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Norwich
Posts: 21
Hoisting the hard top- solution to the window

Ok, so I finally decided to rig up straps in my garage and lift my hardtop off to store this year. Previously, I had to get help, figure out where to put it and hope it didn't warp. Now, I can do it myself! And the soft top is on, and I can still park in my garage!!

A couple of large screw eyes in the rafters and a couple of cam buckle straps, and voila! She's up! It's not as easy as the forums make it sound, but next year will be the time for improvements. Like a block and tackle, I'm thinking. Being a girl, I'm always looking to do things I can do myself, and while this worked just fine, my shoulders are still sore!

HOWEVER, there is one thing that nobody mentions- I don't have room in the back of my garage because of a storage shelf in order to leave the back window UP while backing it in or to store it. And putting it down doesn't let the straps slide when pulling on them to lift it. Besides, the last time I took the hard top off with my brother, the stupid window kept opening and I had to use tape to keep it closed in storage. Tape leaves residue. I know there are devices with bungees and such to hold it closed, but why?

SOLUTION- remove the window lift supports so the window isn't on constant spring-open mode! I put some foam pipe insulation in the middle of the top of the window so it didn't close all the way on the straps, and some more on the sides in case that piece came off. (I'm all about the back up plan!) Then after lifting and securing the top, I used some duct tape to affix them to the inside lip for storage so I don't lose them. I also took off the plastic covering to the rear window defroster stuff so the strap didn't crack it.

Taking them off is simple. Just a tiny screw driver to undo the hold spring. I replaced mine when I got the Jeep because they were worn out and the window sat at eye level when open. Not good. Trust me.

So, if leaving the window open in storage isn't an option for you either, just undo the lift supports and be prepared--- the window is HEAVY when it comes down, so hold on! Then go ahead and lift the top off. I suppose this would be helpful even if you're just taking it off by hand, too.

Happy Jeeping, people. Hopefully we'll get some Spring weather soon! I had one good day and used it to detail my engine compartment and take the hard top off... then all hell broke loose in the weather department the next day! I'm beginning to get a little testy....

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post #2 of 4 Old 04-17-2018, 01:04 PM
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2000 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Clyde
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Looks good and nice write up.

I might suggest using a 2x4 at either end between the top and straps to help alleviate any warping concerns and to help protect the edge of the top where the straps currently come in contact. Likewise, a 1x2 or 2x4 bolted across the bottom at the stock holes should keep the bottom from warping if you feel that may be a problem.

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post #3 of 4 Old 04-17-2018, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Norwich
Posts: 21
The straps aren't bothering anything like this.
I'm not worried about warpage here, but last year, I stored it at my brother's place and we stood it up. I was worried! But alas, fiberglass has plenty of give and nary a warp was found.
Thanks for the input!

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-17-2018, 09:44 PM
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
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Good idea on removing the gas supports.

I picked up a Harken Hoister 200lb and made some brackets that wrap the bottom edge of my hard top while its on the jeep. The front I go over the roll bar and under the top linking side-to-side. I don't have to worry about the back window at all. One person lift and I can have the top off by myself in about five minutes starting with it bolted down. I do run ratchet straps after its up in the air for additional peace of mind, I plan on making board with dowels that interface with the mounting holes in top and some eyebolts for outside the top area so I can use straps for added safety and I may make two of them and lay a board down the middle so I have a place to set my soft top windows when I don't feel like bringing them with me.

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