Are you looking for an excellent jeep hardtop hoist DIY guide? Then your journey has come to an end.
In this DIY guide, we’ll cover everything you need to build a hardtop hoist.
Not only are we going to teach you how to build a hardtop hoist, but we are also going to go over the three best hardtops you can buy for the Jeep.
By the time you get through all the steps, you should have a beautiful hardtop hoist to make the lifting process a lot easier.
That said, let’s take a look to find out more about the best hardtop hoists for the Jeep and how you can build one.
- 1 Step-by-Step: How to Build a Hardtop Hoist for Jeep
- 2 Best Brands For Hardtop Hoists
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 4 Conclusion
Step-by-Step: How to Build a Hardtop Hoist for Jeep
If you’re trying to find a great project on how you can build your own hardtop hoist for your Jeep, then you’re in the right place.
Taking off the hardtop on your own is not so efficient, to say the least.
Most hardtops are quite heavy, and trying to remove one of those by yourself might hurt your back in the long run.
And even if you manage to take it off, it raises the question: where should I put it?
And that is when a hardtop hoist comes in handy. The hardtop hoist will allow us to lift up the hardtop through a simple mechanism.
And in this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to build your very own hardtop hoist for your precious Jeep.
Now that we’re on the same page, here are all the steps required for the installation process:
What You’ll Need
As you know, hardtop hoists are super expensive, and if you’re on a budget, getting a hardtop hoist does not sound right.
Don’t worry, though. The parts you will need for the installation are not as expensive as getting a hardtop hoist!
Here is what you need:
- Six screw eyes—we need something that holds onto the studs, and the piece of wood, which is why you need the screw eyes. Screw eyes can be found for about $1,28 each, and for this process, you only need six
- Straps—you need to buy straps as they will hold the hardtop. We suggest getting straps from Smart Straps; there is a set of 4, which is the one you want to get. It costs about $16
- A 2×4 piece of wood—you need the wood to hold the hardtop, which costs about $3.40
- A stud finder—if you don’t know where in the ceiling you can hang up the hoister, we suggest using a stud finder to find all the ceiling joists
- Measuring tape—you need a tape measure as you’ll need to measure the ceiling where you want to hang up the homemade hoister
- A drill bit—you need to create a pilot hole, so you need the drill bit
- Safety glasses—flying particles could get into your eyes when drilling a hole, so you want to protect yourself by wearing safety glasses
- Screwdriver—you will need some tool to tighten the screw eyes when you’ve placed them inside the studs, which is why you want the screwdriver
- A jigsaw or a chain saw—once you’ve measured the piece of wood, there is one part you need to cut depending on the width of your hoister
In total, this adds up to $27.08, which a lot cheaper than buying a hardtop hoist.
The prices are subject to change depending on where you live and where you get them from.
1. Find The Studs
To build a jeep hardtop hoist, you first need to find the studs of your wall. Studs are somewhat hard to find without the right tools.
Don’t worry, though. As long as you have a stud finder, you’re good to go. If you don’t know how to use one. We’re here to help you find the studs to hold up your ceiling.
- Hold the stud finder against the wall. Please do not press the button before you put it against the wall. Otherwise, you’ll get an error code.
- Once the stud finder is against the wall, proceed to hold the button down. Now keep the stud finder upright and move it to the left and right.
- You know you’ve found the stud when the red light comes on. We suggest making two marks to know precisely where the center of the stud is.
- The marking points will allow you to know precisely where you’re going to be drilling the holes for the hardtop hoist.
Keep this in mind: all the ceiling joists are 16 inches to 24 inches apart on center. It is either 16 inches or 24 inches.
For more information on how you can use a stud finder, watch this video:
Here, you’ll need to figure out the width of your hardtop. You will also have to figure out the distance between the screw eyes. For more on this, follow these steps:
- First and foremost, you want to measure the width of your hardtop. In our case, the width of the Jl hardtop is roughly 64 inches.
- Our ceiling joists are 24 inches apart on center. So, we’ll need to place the screw eyes at 72 inches apart.
- The screw eyes need to be 72 inches apart as they need to be wider than the hardtop itself. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to hang the hardtop if you get the wrong measurements.
Once you’ve determined the exact distance, you’re ready to take on the next part of the project.
3. Install The Screw Eyes
Now that you’ve measured both the hardtop and the studs. You need to install the screw eyes into the ceiling joists. This process takes time if you’ve never done it before. Take your time if needed.
- Before getting started, make sure you have the screw eyes and the drill on hand. Also, you need a drill bit to create the pilot hole required for the screw eyes
- Put on your safety glasses—you never know when something could get into your eyes while drilling the holes
- Drill a hole just where you left the mark to identify the stud you found. Once you’ve drilled a hole, you want to fit the screw eye inside.
- Twist the screw eye around by hand until you can get it half-way. From there, you’ll need to put the screwdriver inside the screw eye and twist it around.
- Without the screwdriver, you’ll have a hard time getting the screw eye inside the hole
And that’s it for the back ones. Next, we’ll figure out just how much further the front ones need to be.
4. Measure The Hardtop
We’ve made a lot of progress so far. But there are still quite a few steps to be done. In this section, you’ll have to measure the hardtop. Here is how to measure the hardtop:
- Grab your tape measure. Measure the hardtop of your vehicle. In our case, the hardtop measures about 40 inches.
- We’ll take that number, and we’ll use it to determine just how further away they need to be from the other screw eyes, which is, of course, 40 inches in total
Now we’re done with the measurement for the hardtop. You want to be careful here, though.
You don’t want to mess up while measuring the width of your hardtop.
If you did mess up, you’d have to remove the screw eyes, drill new holes, and that’s a lot of unnecessary work.
5. Install The Front Screw Eyes
Here, the section is pretty much the same as the previous one for the screw eyes. However, this time around, we’ll be working on the front screw eyes. Without any further ado, here are the steps required for this section:
- If you took your safety glasses off, you want to put them on again. Then climb the ladder.
- Use the tape measure and mark 40 inches starting from the other screw eye we previously installed into the ceiling joist. Do the same for the other screw eye.
- Once you’ve determined the perfect point, go ahead and drill holes for the screw eyes to be installed. Next, you want to put the screw eyes inside the holes you just created
- Once again, you want to twist them around using the screwdriver. Keep doing this until the screw eyes are all the way inside the holes.
And now we’re almost done with installation for the screw eyes. We can’t stretch this enough, but installing the screw eyes is one of the most important steps—so take your time to get this done just right.
6. Cut Down The 2X4 Piece Of Wood
Next, we’ll be working on cutting the piece of wood we previously bought.
Cutting wood is somewhat hard as you need to get an accurate cut.
But before cutting the wood, we need to do a little bit of work. Follow the steps down below to cut down the wood:
- Remember, our JL hardtop is roughly 64 inches. And the distance between the screw eyes is about 72 inches. So, this time, you want to make a mark at 72 inches on the 2×4 wood.
- And now, you want to grab your jigsaw or chainsaw and cut the wood down just where you made the mark earlier.
- Also, we recommend placing the 2×4 between the ladders. This way, you’ll have more control over the piece of wood.
And now you should have a perfectly cut 2×4 piece of wood. Be careful when cutting the wood.
You don’t want to apply too much pressure on the wood when cutting it as it might hit you right on the face.
7. Install The Screw Eyes Into The 2×4
We’re back with screw eyes! Don’t worry; this will be the last time we’ll be using them.
So, in this section, all you need to do is install the two left screw eyes into the piece of wood.
To accurately install the screw eyes into the piece of wood, follow these steps:
- First and foremost, you’re going to need your tape measure. Then you need to measure about an inch and make a mark around that number.
- You need to measure an inch on both sides. That’s where you’ll install the screw eyes. From there, you want to drill a hole just where you left the mark.
- Next, put the screw eyes right into the holes. Use the screwdriver to twist all the screw eyes. This way, you’ll be able to tighten the screw eyes.
Once you’ve secured the screw eyes into the piece of wood, you’re done with this section. We’re now getting closer to the end. However, there are some steps we must complete.
8. Set Up The Straps
For the Jeep hardtop hoist installation, the hardtop is going to be held by the straps.
With them, you will be able to take off and on the hardtop any time you want.
To safely install the straps on the hoister, follow the steps down below:
- Get on the ladder to reach the screw eyes we previously installed. Then you want to get the hook of the strap right into the screw eyes.
- You want to do this for all the straps. Now that the screw eyes are holding the straps, you also want to get the bottom hooks right into the screw eyes on the piece of wood.
That’s it! You’ve successfully built your own hardtop hoist by yourself.
And you also saved quite a lot of money just by taking a few hours out of your day.
It might have taken some time, but it is definitely worth the effort and time you put into this project.
If you made it this far, we suggest watching this excellent video that covers all the steps you need to build a DIY hardtop hoist:
Best Brands For Hardtop Hoists
Unfortunately, as more and more companies pop up out of nowhere, it is harder to choose a hardtop hoist for the Jeep.
However, after extensive research, we’ve come across the best three brands if you plan on getting a hardtop hoist for your Jeep.
To get things rolling, we have Harken. Harken is an international company that mainly focuses on making high-quality and reliable industrial software.
But this time, all we care about is their excellent hardtop hoists.
If you want the best Jeep hardtop hoist, we strongly suggest the HARKEN Hardtop Hoist T&HI-B074DCJYVK.
This model is a far cry from other hardtop hoists on the market.
But why is this hardtop hoist so good? This hardtop hoist comes with screws made of sturdy nylon.
This is an excellent choice as nylon screws are known for their high wear resistance compared to aluminum screws.
What’s even better, they offer more strength than regular screws.
The installation process is relatively simple, as Harken provides everything you need for the setup process.
Also, its reliable ball-bearing system makes this product form Harken an excellent choice.
In conclusion: Harken is an excellent company that won’t let you down anytime soon.
2. Lange Originals
If there is one brand that has been around for over a decade serving the Jeep community, then that has to be Lange Originals.
Lange Originals is a company that has been on the market for 20 years. One of their most popular products is their excellent and reliable hardtop hoists for the Jeep.
If we were to pick one from them, we’d choose the Lange Originals Hardtop Hoist 014-SIMJL.
It is, without a single doubt, one of your best choices in you’re on the market for a sturdy, reliable, and accessible hardtop hoist.
That said, Lange Originals is always one of our best options for hardtop hoists. They’re just too good to pass up.
Now moving onto the final brand for the hardtop hoists, we have Hoist-A-Top.
However, the people that actually make the hardtop hoists are those from Lange Originals.
So, in terms of quality, it’s pretty much the same.
So, what is so good about Hoist-A-Top, and why should I bother?
Well, the Hoist-A-Top Hardtop Hoist 014-210 is an excellent option if you want a semi-automatic process.
As we said before, having a semi-automatic hardtop hoist is super helpful as it requires little to no input from the user.
Once you’ve pressed the button, the winch will automatically pull the cables and lift up your hardtop.
Whether you want to take it off or hold it in the air, this hoister has you covered.
Another thing we love about Hoist-A-Top is that their hardtop hoist includes two circle-shaped material covered in foam, which protects your beloved hardtop without any effort.
Overall, if you were to buy anything from them, you just wouldn’t regret your choice.
They are loved by thousands of customers worldwide, and they just seem to get better each passing day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have any questions regarding the Jeep’s hardtop hoist, this section is a great way to get started. Here, you’ll find three standard questions about the hardtop hoist for Jeep.
How do you make a Jeep hardtop hoist?
You’ll need straps, screw eyes, a 2×4 piece of wood, and a stud finder.
The rest just comes down to measuring the vehicle’s hardtop and then installing the screw eyes into the stud to make the Jeep hardtop hoist.
Can one person remove a jeep hardtop?
Yes, one single person can remove a Jeep hardtop. To take off the hardtop, you need to remove all the bolts holding the hardtop together.
How heavy is a jeep hardtop?
Most hardtop hoists weigh about 215 pounds; they are quite heavy, and you’ll have a hard time removing one on your own. If done wrong, you might hurt your back.
Can you buy hardtops for Jeep Wranglers?
Yes, there are plenty of options available for the Jeep Wrangler.
Did you enjoy this Jeep hardtop hoist DIY project? We hope you had as much fun as we did building this fantastic DIY hardtop hoist.
As you know, at this point, building a hardtop hoist does take some time, but it is super cheap compared to buying a hoist from a well-known brand.
But you’re not missing out on much if you actually decide to build one on your own.
But if you don’t feel like building your own hardtop hoist, you have three excellent choices you can buy if you’re in the market for a hoister.