The Top Jeep Hardtop Hoists
Tired of straining your back every time you remove the hardtop from your Jeep? Check out this list of hoists that will keep you from damaging your body and your hardtop.
Let’s face it, taking the top off of a Jeep is a pain. They are heavy and impossible to remove with just one person. On top of this, it can be easy to damage. Also, it is annoying to have to devote a huge amount of space in your garage to storing the hardtop once it is off of the car.
The solution to both of these problems is very simple: a hoist made specifically for Jeep hardtops. Not only do they make it incredibly easy for a single person to remove the top, they also provide a convenient place to store it – in the air.
We put together a list of hoists that we think are worthwhile solutions to your Jeep problems. We looked at a number of different models, and narrowed it down to three that we think stand out from the rest. Our top choice in this roundup is the Harken Jeep Hoister.
The Harken unit had the right combination of versatility, ease of use, and price to get our top pick. But our other choices are solid contenders for various reasons, and some may meet your particular requirements better than the Harken, so they are worth a look.
Here’s a comparison chart of our top picks:
Click the buttons above for detailed information about each unit, or read on for our review of each of the top 3 Jeep Hard Top lifts.
Our top choice for the best product in this review is the Harken Jeep Hoister . This product is designed not only for Jeep hartops, but also for bikes, boats, sports equipment, and more. This is not only the best jeep hardtop lift, it is also the most affordable. Designed with safety and functionality in mind, this tool can be operated by a single person.
Among the features that make this a great option for removing a car top is the 6:1 mechanical advantage that makes lifting any hardtop a breeze, and the even weight load lifting design. The Harken Hoister also has plenty of safety features as well, including the double-braided rope and steel hardware, and the safety mechanism that locks the rope if you accidentally let go.
The Harken Jeep Hoister has received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews from actual buyers. 90 percent of the people who bought this hoist gave it either a 4 or 5 star review. Product testers said great things about it such as “this lift is amazing”, “top notch product” and “it makes taking the Jeep top off much easier.” Not only is the Harken Hoister the best lift out there, it can also can be purchased at a great price.
- ONE-PERSON OPERATION: Designed for one-person operation. Made in USA! 10' ceiling height, 145lbs. max load.
- EASY TO INSTALL: Four point hoist kit comes with all installation instructions.
- SIMPLE USE: Patented design lifts and lowers loads evenly, regardless of weight distribution.
- SAFE DESIGN: Self-locking safety cleat grips instantly if the rope is accidentally released.
- QUALITY MANUFACTURING: Stainless steel hardware, double-braid rope for strength, durability, long life. Everything is included for easy installation
The 2nd best option in our roundup of Jeep hardtop hoists is the Lange Originals Power Hoist. This is an exceptional product that is great for removing the top from a Jeep, but that is all it does. This lift is operated by an electric winch, which is designed to help a single person remove and install the hardtop, which it does well. The Power hoist is the most expensive product to make our list, but it requires the least work.
As mentioned earlier, this unit is powered by an electrical winch, which helps remove the top in about 3 minutes. hooks that lift the hardtop are rubber coated and the other pieces that touch it are foam covered, as to protect the paint from damage. No drilling is necessary as it is a “turnkey system”.
Similar to the Harken Hoister, the Power Hoist is a well rated product. If you have plenty of money to spend or you would like the option of an electric lifting system, this is the choice for you. Overall, the Lange Originals Power Hoist is an excellent product, all though it is more expensive than the other options.
- Remove & store your Jeep JK Wrangler's hard top with the push of a button.
- Nothing to drill or attach to your top.
- The rear Smart HookTM allows you to lift and store your hardtop with the rear window closed.
- No more pulled muscles, strained backs, dropped or damaged tops, or pinched fingers.
The final item in our review of lifts for Jeep hardtops is the Smittybilt 510001 Hard Top Hoist. Similar to the Lange Originals Power Hoist, this product is operated by an electrical winch. It makes lifting the hardtop a breeze, although it will cost you more than the Harken Hoister.
This hoist is created by SmittyBilt, a company known for their reliable hoists and winches. The winch itself is a very powerful tool, as it is powered by a 200 amp 1/3 horsepower AC motor. This tool is capable of lifting up to a half ton. Like the Power Hoist, this lift is designed only for operation with Jeep hardtops. Although, if set up differently you could probably use the winch to lift and store other things.
This Jeep lift was not as highly rated as the other two mentioned in this list. People who bought the product mentioned that although it works, it raises and lowers too quickly. Overall, this is a decent tool that will get the job done, and the price is reasonable.
Hardware To Make Removing Your Wrangler Top Easier
A good hardtop hoist will allow you to go topless in your Jeep Wrangler without needing a second person to help you lift. But even with a good lift there are still a number of steps you have to perform to take the top off or put it back on, and some of them are both time consuming and annoying.
One way that you can greatly simplify the job is by replacing the stock fasteners with some good Jeep hardtop thumb screw and nut kit. These handy fasteners take the place of the stock hardware, and allow you to quickly remove and reattach your roof without needing tools. If you do the job a few times over the course of the summer it will be $10 well spent.
- Improve interior appearance with heavy duty Hurricane styled thumb screws
- No loose parts. Fasteners store in the body holes when top is off (rubber laminated washer protects paint)
- Simplify hard top removal (NO TOOLS REQUIRED). Installs in seconds, no modifications required
- Fitment: Jeep Wrangler YJ TJ JK JKU Sports Sahara Freedom Rubicon X & Unlimited X 2/4 door 1995-2016
- Package Included: 8pcs Thumb Screws, Washers, and Nut Plates
What Makes A Good Jeep Hardtop Hoist?
There are a few things to look for when purchasing a hard top hoist for a jeep. First, you want to make sure that it is compatible with your exact model. There are slight variations in the size and design of hardtops, so you want to make sure that it will fit well, and furthermore, not damage the top. Check the product specifications to see which years and models the product is compatible with.
Second, you want to make sure it will work for the space in which you keep your car. Whether you are storing the top in a garage or barn, you want to make sure the lift will operate correctly within the space. The biggest factor is going to be the ceiling height. In general, a 10-foot ceiling will work best with most hoists. However, double check with the product specifications to make sure it works with that height. Sometimes rope can be added if you have a higher than recommended roof, but if it is too low then you will be out of luck. Another thing to look for is the installation process. Some products will take several hours to set up.
Although it may still be worth it and save time in the long run, it is something that should be considered. Last, check to see how the lift is powered. Most of the time the lifts are only powered by one of two methods. They can be powered by hand or by an electric winch. The hand powered units will cost less, but they will require more effort.
Jeep Hardtop Hoist Video
Here is a YouTube video showing how the Harken hoist works:
Jeep Hardtop Removal
Removing the hard top from a Jeep is a relatively simple process. It usually takes two people, but one person can get it done if they have a hoist to help them out. Whether you have a Jeep YK, TJ, JK, or JL, the process is just about the same. Although, there is extra steps if you have a 4-door model.
Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Removal
The steps in removing a hardtop from most wrangler models are very simple. Here is the list of steps to help walk you through the process:
- For 4-door models, the freedom panels need to be removed before the hardtop can come off. To do this, disengage all 6 black clips that secure the panels to the frame. Remove one panel at a time, and start with the driver’s side first.
- Unscrew the two bolts on the sounder, located on each side of the light.
- Unplug the two wires that control the rear wipers and washer fluid.
- Unscrew the 6 bolts securing the hardtop to the body of the vehicle. There are three of these on each side.
- Carefully remove the top from the Jeep. This will require two people, unless a hoist is used.
To put the hardtop back on, just reverse these steps.
Hardtop Removal Video
Here is a video showing how to remove the hardtop off of the latest model Jeep Wrangler. They remove the top without a hoist, but the process is still the same.