Commercial hard top hoists are available online for those who frequently remove their hard tops to enjoy driving their Jeeps in that fashion. However, an inexpensive DIY Jeep Hard Top Hoist would fit the bill for those Jeep Wrangler owners who only on occasion remove their hard tops, and do not feel it’s worth the investment of the more expensive commercial varieties. Such a hoist can be seen on this video, as described below. Many commercial examples for review online, and other DIY ideas can be found on Amazon, and online forums.
Materials Required for an Inexpensive Jeep Hard Top Hoist
Some DIY Hoist ideas involve the use of ratchet straps, which can be purchased inexpensively online, or at your local box stores. The issue that some find with these types of straps is the difficulty involved in releasing the strap to lower the hard top in a controlled fashion.
An equally inexpensive strap solution is the use of cam straps. Similarly, these straps can be purchased inexpensively online, or at your local box stores. However, these straps have the advantage of allowing one to lower the hard top in a controlled fashion, by depressing the button on the strap when pulling on it to lift the top, or releasing the strap when lowering the top.
Installation of an Inexpensive Jeep Hard Top Hoist
If using either of the above straps, they must be secured to the joists in your garage ceiling. The installation in the first image below, shows how a bar was used to connect to the joists, then the straps were placed in the optimum location on the bar to hook into the hard top. Another option would be to secure a 2×6 to the joists, and then secure the straps in their optimum location by screwing into the 2×6, as in the second image below.
Connecting the Inexpensive Hard Top Hoist to the Hard Top
With this set up, one merely needs to back into their garage, then on each side hook the straps in the rear corner, and near the front of the hard top, as shown in the image below. Care should be taken when hooking into the hard top, by using some cloth or foam. At this point one can just lift each corner of the top by pulling on the strap. Each strap can be lifted a little at a time until you are satisfied with the height. Conversely, when lowering the hard top back onto the jeep, one simply needs to press the cam button while holding tension on the strap, and gently lower each corner a little at a time, until it rests back onto the tub of the Jeep.
Other Subscriber Examples of an Inexpensive DIY Hard Top Hoist
Below are other examples of inexpensive DIY Hard Top Hoists.
The one below has the top resting on 2×4 lumber, and rope ratchets are used to raise and lower the hart top.
This one is using inexpensive bicycle hoists to lift the top.
Door Removal Tips
Most Jeep owners will also remove the doors when removing the hard top to get the full open air experience. Instructions for door removal are available online, but there are some tips that you may want to be aware of in the discussion below, and you will also find more tips online in some forums.
When removing or installing door hinge bolts, you may want to use some masking tape in key spots to protect the paint from possible scratches by the tools.
Although some are aware that there is a storage tray at the rear of the cargo area in which one can store the door hinge bolts, it’s interesting to note that should you wish to store the door detent bolts, the spaces meant for the windshield bolts, can be used for the detent bolts if you were inclined to use them.
There are many options available for storage of the doors when they get removed. The most inexpensive option that offers your doors protection is to purchase two pool noodles, cut each of them in half and then up the middle. With each piece, slip them under the bottom door edge, and then lay them up against the wall.
Some may prefer to make a DIY door cart to carry the 4 doors and two freedom top panels. The cart can be constructed on wheels in order to move it around where needed.
As was evident in this article, there are many ways to have an inexpensive hard top hoist. Also, there are low cost solutions to protect your Jeep, and doors from damage in the process. If you’re only going to remove the hard top once in a while, considering inexpensive solutions as addressed in this article and this video, will leave you more money left over, to possibly get more other things for your Jeep.