View Full Version : Hard top hoist

08-09-2016, 10:27 AM
So I finally have a shop with room for a top hoist. The walls are 14 feet tall and the ceiling of course is angled. What is the best bang for the buck when it comes to top lifts? I can get a small electric winch for about 100 bucks if that is the way to go. I am totally willing to cobble something together. It will only be used once or twice a year so I don't necessarily need a super duty lifting system but it will definitely need to be powered.

Kinda looking for something I can use by myself if possible. Right now I have it sitting on a shelf in the back and ceiling hooks in the front but it takes 2-3 men-folk to get it up there. This is in a small storage shed.

08-09-2016, 05:56 PM
Don't have a hard top for mine...yet. Curious to see what you come up with. One of my friends got a great deal at a harbor freight tent sale on a winch but not sure what size you would need for something like that. He wasn't pulling anything too heave with it either.

1 Long TJ
09-11-2016, 11:13 AM
Originally, I ordered the new Smittybuilt one, but it was on backorder forever. The price was way lower than the Lange. Eventually, I cancelled the order. I was going to make one from scratch, but then I found one (a Lange) for sale on Craigslist. If you found one for a TJ, I'm sure you could modify the length. It came with the manual pulley setup, which I did not want. Bought a winch from Harbor Freight and mounted it up in the attic of my 10ft garage. I had to cut a small hole in the drywall for the cable. It lifts, and stores, the top all the way up to the ceiling which allows me to park or even walk under it. I think I bought the 880 lb. (440 single line). I know that's way overkill, but doubling the line also slows down the speed. I wasn't too concerned about the weight when I noticed the actual lift assy. (T bracket) basically uses the threads from one nut to hold all the weight of the top. I also noticed a little flex in the square tubing of the lift assy., so I slid a 5 ft piece of black pipe (1/2 ID I think) inside the bracket to help strengthen it. It works very well, even for one person. I suggest marking the floor with tape or something so you know you're parked in the right spot each time.
There are some pictures in this other thread.

1 Long TJ
09-11-2016, 11:28 AM
When the bracket is unloaded, it is front heavy. I use to use a stick (you can see it in picture #3) to help pull down the back end. I have now added a small wheel to allow that end to roll along the ceiling till the front comes down far enough to rest on the hardtop.