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Discussion Starter #1
I jus received an e-mail from harbor freight and they have a 440 lb, single line pull, electric winch that would lift the hard top to the ceiling in the garage. Below are the specifications:

Single line capacity: 440 lbs.
Double line capacity: 880 lbs.
Single cable length: 38 ft.
Line speed: 33 ft. per minute
1-1/8 HP motor, 800 watts, 8 amps
Power up/power down

Have any of you guys made an attachment device for your hard top, and if so, what did you use to conect between the top and cable and how does it work.

I have a few ideas, but I would really hate to reinvent the wheel if someone has already accomplished this task.

The link to the winch is,

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... mber=44006

and it is on sale for $74.99 so it seems like a good option.

TIA

Ken
 

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Hard Top Hoist

This is the one I'm planning on getting with the winch you posted. Should work pretty good. I would make my own but i have absoletly no metal fab skills. I made a frame for my old blazer out of wood but it didn't work perfectly and won't work for the Jeep.
 
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Ken,

I purchased a lift thru Quadratec (manual). The attachment device is made out of 1" square tube fashioned into a 'T'. There are 'J' hooks at the end of each leg of the 'T'. These 'J' hooks (3/8" rod) are 8"-9" long with the j-hook bent at one end w/ 2" diameter. The other end is threaded and with a nut on the end that holds the hook to the frame. The hook of the winch line is attached to an eye-bolt that is fastened to a slightly larger size square tube that can be slid along the leg of the 'T'. The eye-bolt clamps it in place. Mine is positioned so that the top balances horizontally when lifted. The crossbar of the 'T' is just long enough for the 'J' hooks to pass outside the sides of the top. They hook to the top at the rear end of the top of the window opening. The leg of the 'T' is just long enough for its hook to pass thru the gap between the window glass and the top when the window is open (it must be left open while the top is on the lift).

If I were at home, I would get pix and measurements (which I can do on Saturday).

The come-along that came with it is too cheaply made. I think I'll get the winch you are looking at. However, in my garage, the total travel is only 2' at the most. With a line speed of 33' / minute, will it be controllable or will the movement be too fast? I lift and lower pretty slowly mostly because the lifting device is so crappy, but I haven't really wanted to go too fast.

I don't like the fact that the rear window has to be open, but it hasn't been a problem. I also don't like the fact that the 'T' does not balance horizontally when the top is not on it. I use a gallon jug of water in the rear hook to keep it level.

I have noticed that the headliner at the rear of my hard top extends lower across the top of the rear window the the one in the hard top on my 2001 Sport. The 'J' hook for the rear actually pushes up on the headlinder in this area, so I am planning to relax its bend a bit to relieve this problem.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks James and Dan.

Dan I agree that the lift may move a little too fast when taking the top off if you only have 2' to go at a rate of 0.55'/sec, but if the cable is doubled, it only travels at 0.275'/sec which should be OK (roughly 7.3 seconds for 2').

Thanks for the great detail on your purchased attachment device and I also did not like the looks of the rear part of the hard top being hooked through the rear window. That is why I am hoping we have some other corporate knowledge that can give us some ideas. If not, I will modify the design you have and have it connect at the bottom corner some how.

Have a great day!

Ken
 

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i have that Harbor Frieght winch....
here is a link to my YJ
it has some hard top lift pics..

http://community.webshots.com/user/nvmrm
the overhead crane system i built is a tad over kill....
but fun as heck to amuse my kids and neighbors!
the motor is fast add a heavy duty fan switch to slow it down.

:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the help everyone. The pictures Mac shows and his comments are enough for me to buy the winch. Now I just need to figure out the best attaching/holding scheme.

Ken
 

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I use the cheapest method possable....call a buddy...take off the top and set it in my backyard untill winter comes along......and best of all its free...lol..besides having my hard top suspending from the celing kinda makes me nervous.
Pete M
 

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petesjeeprubi said:
I use the cheapest method possable....call a buddy...take off the top and set it in my backyard untill winter comes along......and best of all its free...lol..besides having my hard top suspending from the celing kinda makes me nervous.
Pete M

I have that same set up....Cost me a Beer though.. :beercheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's what I'm doing now and it is getting beat up. I am hoping to have the future scratches come from off-road, not storage. :D

Ken
 

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Ken White said:
Thanks for all the help everyone. The pictures Mac shows and his comments are enough for me to buy the winch. Now I just need to figure out the best attaching/holding scheme.

Ken
for my lifting T-bar,
i used some elec uni-strut some grade5 bolts and some cheap hooks
light chain and pipe insulation to keep scratches off i shall provide a pic later today.
:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Mac. I can't wait to see your set-up! :D

Ken
 

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just rem i had some pics on my puter...
enjoy
its primative and does the job well
total cost was 6 bucks for T-bar
79bucks for elec winch
track system was spendy...90 bucks the garage door rails not cheap.
can mount winch on wall and avoid cost of overhead crane system.
:wink:
 

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I hid my winch above the ceiling and mounted it to the studs. Ran the cable up to the roof attached to a pully and dropped straight through the ceiling of the garage.

 
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Ken,

The last time I read this thread, we were agreeing that we didn't like the fact that the rear window has to remain open using the type of lift that I have. I neglected to mention one thing about that that is important: with this type of connection between the top and the lifting bar, there is no need to lift the top to insert a hook. The hooks can be inserted and removed with the top resting on the Jeep. I haven't come up with a better hook, but, perhaps, one made from flat strap would allow the window to be closed.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bbusch and Dan, 2 great ideas! If you don't mind, I think I will investigate both and see if I can implement them. Thanks!!

Ken
 
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boat trailer hand winches work real well and have a nice reduction ratio so you don't crank forever. Mine cost 25 buck and a set of ratchet straps and those screw links for attaching chains together bring the total to 55 dollars. And it works great..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, another great idea.

Ken
 
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