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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Going topless

After scouring the internet for Jeep top hoists, I realized that Commando owners
are on their own pretty much.
The top is 125+ lbs ?? I'm guessing, but the darn thing is like trying to pick up a
bowl of jello.  CJ tops are pretty rigid, the sides on this flex and sway.

I was going to build one of these:
But the size of the top and the single lift point would let it sway if a breeze hit the garage.
So I built this:
After fabbing this up with the top off, I had some "help"( not much of it) getting the top 
back on the Jeep. 
The pulley system is a 3:1 system,  that means the end of the rope is tied to the tops frame,
goes through the ceiling pulley, back through the frame pulley, and back through a second ceiling pulley.
With this system, if the top weighs 150# pulling on the working end of the rope only takes
50# of effort to lift it.  This also means you have to pull 3x the rope to move the top up.

The lag eye bolts for the pulley are #0 and are long enough to screw into the 2x4 and the floor joists
There are also 4 other lag bolts holding each one. I tested these before hoisting the top by pulling
myself up from them.  No broken bones to report.
The rope is 230# safe working load, the pulleys are 440# safe working load,
I have a carbiner with a knotted pull rope going
through the knot where the front and rear ropes come together.
While on the interweb I saw these frames made of angle iron, rectangular tubing, to just plain
straps and rope thrown around the top. Mines made from 1" emt tubing.  It can be as simple or complicated as you want it.

The clamps are a 6" long piece of angle with a hole in it that
goes over the frame spacers bolt.
The frame sits in the rain gutter, and the angle clamps under the rain gutter.
So there's 12" of surface area per side lifting it.  So far- so good.
Best I can tell the CG of the behemoth is right around the very back rib on
the top due to the glass.

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