November 14, 2018

So, back in April, I bought a 2013 JK Sport. Nothing special, 2-door, hard top.

I’m really enjoying owning it, I drive it daily 80 miles a day to/from work. Its a great balance of fun vehicle, and commuter. Anyway, I was really excited when i got it, and didnt spend as much time shopping around as i probably should have. I was on the fence on the hard top. It has its benefits, but once I brought it home, I started itching to get the top and doors off, and its almost impossible to take that hard top off alone. My wife and I tried one day, and it just wasnt working out. So I resigend myself to the fact that I was going to need a hoist.

So I started shopping around. HOLY FREAKING EXPENSIVE! I was looking for a simple rope system that would attach to the hard top, and include a block and tackle to lift it with. What i found were combination hoist/storage systems, that practically take the top off for you. I dont mind some manual labor in the interest of saving money. No one seemed to sell a simple system though. Some of them even had electric hoists, or crank systems that you permanently mount to the wall of your garage. I just couldn’t justify that much expense. So, I started thinking about doing it myself. How hard can it be?

I thought up something simple, build a brace out of wood, that lays on top of the roof, and then use something simple and inexpensive to attach the brace to the top, then lift the brace witha block and tackle. I found a guy on WranglerForum that had done something similar, using those rubberized metal utility hooks that you can hang bikes from the celing with. It looked like it worked well for him, but I didnt love the end result. So I thought up something similar. Ratchet Straps!

I took a 2×4, and cut it into two 39″ sections. Then i took a piece of 3/4″ plywood, and cut it to 28″. Then I used 1 5/8″ drywall screws to attach the plywood to the 2×4 sections. Then i chiseled out little grooves at the end of the 2×4’s so the ratchet straps would have something to rest in, to keep them from slipping off. I attached an eye-bolt to the center (well, not center exactly..) of the plywood, and then used some spring loaded clevis hooks to attach the block and tackle the eye-bolt. Then i put an eye-bolt in the floor joists that make up the celing of my garage, and viola! Hard top hoist! I was able to take the top off alone this afternoon, and then put it back on alone tonight! I’m so happy to be able to get the top off alone now. Loving my new JK even more now. 😀

Here’s some pictures.

Right after I got the jeep out from under the hard top.



And here it is on the floor, with a better shot of the brace itself.



One thing I do need to change. Apparently they make hard top paint out of the most fragile material on the planet. So wood was able to scratch the paint. I’m going to wrap it in felt or something, that should keep it from further scratching up my hard top.

Tech

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