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Hard Top removal - ALONE!

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Old 10-07-2007, 09:29 AM
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Default Hard Top removal - ALONE!

Here's an easy way to get the Hard Top off by yourself. This is for those of us without garages or carports for hoists and pulleys...

A couple of assumptions:
1. You don't have a bad back.
2. You can lift 100 lbs over your head.
3. Doing this wrong can lead to bad things (dropped top, scratched paint, bad back or knees, etc.)

With that out of the way...

First I built a table the same height as the top of the tailgate using 4x4 legs, 2x12 tabletops, and 2x4 cross braces.

I went 6" longer/wider than the top in any direction. Also the U-shape allows plenty of room to manipulate the top:







I added a caster to the rear of the back leg, about an inch off the ground.
This makes it easy to tilt the table back and roll around.



I painted the top and edges with a Plastic Coating paint. Weather protection and a little protection against rubbing...

Backed up the Jeep to the table:





I got in the back of the Jeep and facing the rear. I get on my knees and find the balance point of the top with my hands spread as far as possible without losing lifting strength.
Practice the lift, this is where the scratches or dropping could happen.
I lift and move the top toward the table a few inches at a time:







Watch the "posts" as you move to the rear. That part of the top is wider than the rear, so scratching and/or losing the balance of the top is possible.





When more of the Hardtop is on the table than on the Jeep, I "climb" into the middle of the U-shaped table and lift to the final resting spot. Climbing in is easy due to the wide areas between cross braces.







When done the top should have 6" on all sides.


This will also make it easy to clean the interior of the top, etc...

Wood logic: 2x4's are not 2"x4", now for some measurements...
The U-Shaped "table top" is 2x12's (1.5"x 11.25") :
(2) sides - 48" long
(1) back - 48.5" long (probably could have done another 48", but that's how it worked out)
back measurement = 71" across the "bottom of the U" (11.25" + 48.5" + 11.25")
(4) legs - 44.5" tall (this dependes on your tailgate height!) 44.5+1.5"top=46"tall
The legs are "centered" on the top. Approx 4" (3.87"exact) from the edges.
The 2x4 braces lengths are dependant on your leg placement. And the angled pieces can be just about any length as long as they are cut to a 45 degree...

Most importantly, Gunner approves!

Last edited by Sgt P; 10-09-2007 at 04:38 PM. Reason: added measurements
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:00 AM
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very nice....

seems a bit overbuilt but it looks very good.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:12 AM
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I would agree with it being a little over built but at least its going to last a long time and be very stable... good work!!
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:13 AM
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GREAT WORK I need to build that, can you upload the plans for this?
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:34 AM
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id say dont upload it but send it over pm to people that request. Doing it over a public forum could lead to somebody else stealing your design and making money off of it, as has already happened with other DIY Jeep things.
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by forumonlooker View Post
id say dont upload it but send it over pm to people that request. Doing it over a public forum could lead to somebody else stealing your design and making money off of it, as has already happened with other DIY Jeep things.
That's true. You might see Norm Abrams building it next week on Yankee Workshop. Good design and thought into it. This is what I love about good forums, people are only too ready to share info that makes it easier on the rest of us.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:02 PM
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btw this is one of my all time favorites on the show. The work table. Always wanted to build something with this collapsible wheel setup. If/When i ever get a hardtop i will have to build one of these

h ttp://www.newyankee.com/getproduct3.cgi?0207


edit If you havent seen that table in person, when you pick up on it the wheels drop down and a board on each side falls and locks the wheels down. To raise the wheels you pull up on a string attached to the blocks and the wheels collapse up thus leaving a sturdy table
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:12 PM
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Thats looks like a great design. I Don't own a hard top or know how they work but looking at your invention has me thinking, would it work if you made it wider, wide enough to surround your top maybe 1 inch clearance on each side then as you lift each side have a type of hinge come down and rest the top on then drive your jeep out . For those who can't lift the whole top above their head. I am very bad at explaining things so if this makes no sense just ignore me.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:36 PM
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Great set up, two additional ideas:
some type of carpeting to keep from damaging the underside of the lower rails, so in turn the roughness created doesn't scratch your paint when you put it back on.

and

two screw in heavy duty eye hooks to the underside of the top rails left and right to use a tie down strap so a gust of wind doesn't blow it off.

ok ignore mine now, got interupted at work, and someone else posted basically the same thing
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:13 PM
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Great job, it looks like it turned out well.
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