Looking to remove your Wrangler hardtop without any cursing or new scratches? Read on as we cover the 3 best hardtop hoists for your Jeep Wrangler JK or JKU.
One of the biggest perks to owning a Wrangler is the ability to go topless without getting in trouble. Feeling the wind in your hair, taking in all the smells and sounds with nature’s aircon blasting full bore is a difficult experience to top. The problem is getting the top off. If you’re running a soft top you’ve got nothing to worry about as the challenges are minimal. The hardtop however is another story.
Often requiring 2 people and a fair bit of coordination, it’s enough of a headache that some days it’s just easier to jump in and drive it. That way you avoid all the farting around carefully removing the top and finding somewhere out of harm’s way to store it. Well the good news is, today that all changes.
You are not the first person to face this challenge nor will you be the last. Thankfully there are a number of great products available now to make Wrangler hard top removal a simple task. So simple in fact that you will soon be able to handle this frustrating task all by yourself.
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1. Harken Hoister Jeep Hoister
Harken has a great line of rope-on-pulley setups for bikes, canoes, general storage, and yes – car or Jeep hard tops. These complete kits come ready to go with all the brackets, lines and hardware you will need.
The Harken Hoister also incorporates a great fail-safe feature that will automatically lock if the user accidentally lets go of the line or slips, catching the suspended load immediately without injuring anyone or damaging anything below.
This setup provides the best value for money in this comparison and is a proven and very effective setup with countless happy users. When you’re not using the hoist to store your Wrangler hardtop you can use it to store just about anything in your garage.
It’s a great low cost solution that we’d especially recommend to a first time “Jeeper” that may not want to invest a ton of cash in the ability to pull the top, but who does need a reliable yet easy to use solution for the time being. This little rig is just what the doctor ordered. Highly recommended.
2. Jeep Hard Top Quick Removal Kit
Now before we go any further, we need to let you in on somewhat of a Jeeper secret. Do not continue wasting time unbolting and rebolting your hard top every time. Removal is enough work as it is so go ahead and make it that much easier with a quick removal kit.
These incredibly handy little kits fit the entire JK Jeep line, and replace your existing OEM bolts with wing bolts. The bolts are rubber coated to protect the top from scratches, and to help you grip them when removing them on the fly.
They also look better and really make quick work of unhooking everything, or hooking it back up. For the time savings they provide and considering how little they cost, it just doesn’t make sense to do without them.
3. Top Lift Pros Removal and Storage Device
Not everyone has a lot of empty ceiling space in their garage and not everyone has a garage for that matter. That is no longer a problem. Top Lift Pros have designed a roller lift that scoots right up against your Jeep Wrangler’s rear bumper, and has a simple hand lift mechanism to lift the hardtop straight off your truck.
It lifts the top evenly so it also doesn’t create stress points or damage the window gaskets with straps which other types of hardtop lifts sometimes do.
Once removed, you can then roll the entire lift and hardtop off and out of the way like a shopping cart. The best thing about it is that you don’t need a heap of storage space either. While we personally prefer to store our parts inside, you can literally use the lift as the storage and just leave it sitting there until you are ready to reinstall it.
If you imagine a giant sticking his hand through the back window and lifting the top straight up from the inside, this is the closest thing to it you can get. While it’s not exactly cheap it does make for a very simple hardtop installation and removal for 1 person. If you’re looking for the best of the best, this is the one.
4. Racor Pro HeavyLift Storage Rack
The Racor lift may not help you actually remove the top from your Jeep, but it does make for an excellent way to store it while taking up no floor space. Compared to the Harken Hoist covered earlier which is designed to only lift Jeep hardtops, the Racor setup allows you to store practically anything on it. This means if the hard top isn’t up there, you can use it to store all kinds of stuff that would otherwise be cluttering up your precious garage space.
As the Racor Pro HeavyLift uses a gear reduction type setup, it will also actually make it far easier to lift heavier loads with ease, so it definitely has its place. Whether you combine it with the Top Lift Pros rolling device as a combo, or just buy it to store garage bits, tools or your Wrangler hardtop, it will pay for itself in usefulness pretty quickly.
Regardless of your specific needs, there are quite a wide range of solutions available for you. Don’t let the hassle keep you from fully enjoying the perks of being a proud Jeep owner. Jeeps are like bikes. Once you have it setup for your needs with the right gear, and the right prep, the hassles fade away like the late sunset over a Western desert sky, and the adventures really begin.
Get out there, take your top off, and get yourself a tan. It’s only indecent exposure if you get burnt!