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Old 05-12-2011, 09:51 AM   #1
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Mounting to Garage Ceiling


Hi all, I am new here and planning a project for the weekend that I'm a bit stumped on. Forgive me if I'm posting in the wrong category or if I commit a chat room faux pas.

Below is a link to the jeep hard top hoist that I am looking to build this weekend.
http://www.jk-forum.com/showthread.p...orage-write-up

After pricing out the materials, I found that the hand breaking winch, rope, block and tackle set, and pulley were actually about the same as purchasing an 800lb electric hoist that came with most of the needed lift parts. I don't intend to ever lift 800lb with this lift, perhaps more like 200? I also intend to put a sticker on the lift for any future home buyers that the lift isn't installed to actually lift 800lbs.

The problem I have is that I don't have an exposed ceiling. I can access the rafters above via an attic space if necessary but I'd like to avoid cutting a hole and mounting the hoist up in the rafters. The mounting directions for the hoist indicate that it should be mounted to an overhead pipe. So, is it necessary to first install a pipe to the ceiling spreading the weight across several joists through the drywall? And what is the most secure way to do that?

Are there any other mounting options?

Any detailed assistance you can provide would be appreciated.

Attached are the instructions for mounting the hoist purchased.
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/man...4999/44006.pdf

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Old 05-12-2011, 06:03 PM   #2
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Mounting to Garage Ceiling


Interesting problem. If the Jeep top really weighs 200lbs, I'd think you'd want to bridge several (4+) ceiling joists, to avoid cracking the sheetrock ceiling. Anything you put across the ceiling joists is going to be at least 8 inches from the ceiling, so you'll need really long bolts, or threaded rod, to reach the mounting holes on the hoist below the ceiling. It may be easier to cut a hole in the ceiling for the cable (rather than 4 for the bolts), use the height of the joists to your advantage (if the hoist motor is < 7.5" tall), and have the motor between the joists. This will also give you some additional height to get the top closer to the ceiling.

I suppose you could, working from the top, install some 2x8 blocking between the ceiling joists, using joist hangers, in place of the pipe. Then use threaded rod to the top of the blocking on both sides thru a metal plate with lock nuts. Maybe long lag bolts into the joists or blocking. I'm not sure about the tensile strength of lags. But that wouldn't spread the load much, and if the joist sags, the ceiling may crack.


Last edited by ratherbefishing; 05-12-2011 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for the response!

To clarify, I think the jeep top only weighs about 100-110# so I am being quite conservative on planning around 200#.

My husbandís co-worker had a suggestion of rather than using a pipe, mount the hoist on a channel strut and then attach the strut through the drywall across several joists. With a 6 foot piece of channel strut, I could hit 4 joists and I donít think that the fixing rings would be a problem with the channel strut. Any thoughts on this alternative?

I may resort to cutting a hole in the ceiling and mounting between the joists. It may not be pretty but it will be effective and safe.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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Mounting to Garage Ceiling


If you are most comfortable removing some drywall then I'd say go that route. Drywall is easily patchable when the project is complete!
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
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Mounting to Garage Ceiling


stacyjkcmo, I've put a lot of thought into this project too for my JK's top.

I'm thinking to hang the hoist, use some heavy lag screws to attach pipe hangars (they've got some real heavy ones at HD) into 4 (or more) joists. Hang steel pipe between them, and there you have it. The top does indeed weigh a little under 100lbs, and even with the weight of the hoist and other equipment (~30lbs?), it's relatively light to heavy gauge steel hardware.

If your attic ceiling can support your weight without flexing, it can support the Jeep top without a problem. (I have the same situation as you, and I think my garage attic floor is framed with 2x6s. It's only a little springy).

I like that write-up that you linked to, but the one thing I'd do differently is use some wider hardware to grab the top. Especially where HG07JKRubi has one hook in the back -- that's the heaviest end (extra weight of the back glass too), and so there could be something like 40-50lbs of pressure on that extremely small surface area. The top material can crack easier than you think, as I discovered trying to manhandle it off by myself for the first time.

That's just my 2c, anyways..
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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ScottR, thanks so much for the post! I love finding someone with a goal in common.

Iím a 130# woman, the attic doesnít flex a bit when Iím up there. My brother in law was up there with me and, still, we noted no concern over the ability to take the weight.

I like your suggestion of using pipe hangars. That is the simple solution I was hoping for. I just wasnít sure if the pipe hangers lagged to the bottom of the joists would be enough. My instincts tell me that two lag screws on each hangar spread across 4-5 joists will be sufficient.

Regarding the T-bar, Iíd love to know your suggestion there! I had considered the same on the back hook; certainly, when you physically lift the top, you can feel that so much of the weight is in the rear. What wider hardware would you consider?
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
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Heh, I should point out that I weigh 2x as much as you, so my general attitude is that if it can support me, it can support most anything.

This was the type of pipe hanger I had in mind:



They're real heavy. Only 1 mounting hole, but IMO a good-sized lag screw in each one should be enough (so long as you get a good bite into the joists).

My plans are still in the "hmmm" stage, but I was considering building a rectangular frame instead of a T, just a little larger than the roof, then hanging 6 straps hang from that to grab the roof from wherever I could get the best purchase.

Many years ago, my parents had a roof rack (S-Cargo or something) that came with an assortment of rubber-coated clips to latch onto a variety of cars' door frames. I was thinking clips like that (because they're wide and coated), but I can't for the life of me find something like them on Google.

I'm completely open to ideas too though.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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Mounting to Garage Ceiling


I wouldn't get too crazy about it. For the last eight years I have been hanging my jeep hardtop from four eyebolts, lag style that just thread into the trusses through the drywall. I use four motorcycle tiedowns with a couple of 2 x 4's with eyebolts through them to hang the top. I loosen the top and slip the 2x's under the back and front and then hook the tiedowns on. I push up on one corner at a time and pull on the tiedown. Works fine.
Mike Hawkins
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:55 PM   #9
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I would get you hardware at a fastener store and not a box store though. Big difference in quality and if you need four? The box store will only have three and will not be able to tell you when they will have more. And you will have to draw pictures and use sign languages to explain what it is you want to the people on the box store floor.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
I would get you hardware at a fastener store and not a box store though. Big difference in quality and if you need four? The box store will only have three and will not be able to tell you when they will have more. And you will have to draw pictures and use sign languages to explain what it is you want to the people on the box store floor.
I don't know that I agree with that. While they do stock a lot of items that are inferior to what you can get elsewhere (plumbing fixtures particularly come to mind), what they carry in the way of pipe hangers, rope/chain, bolts, etc are going to be more than adequate to the task at hand.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
more than adequate to the task at hand.
But if not, from my experience? Why not start at your real hardware or fastener store. If you break a Chinese fastener from HD, and the one from Lowe's didn't quite match in the first place either? I guess you could try Menard's.

Your going to need something to get the broken threads out with. I know you did everything by the book and piloted the holes. As you were twisting the things in place, they just broke on you.

Remember, HD only had 3 of 4 you needed in the first place. Lowe's had something close.

Now, you have the last of the perfectly placed fastener scheme, with part of it in your hand and the rest stuck up in a ceiling joist somewhere.

Buy fasteners from real places please. Some are even still made in America. Show me that on any piece of box store packaging.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Too often, we donít get an opportunity to see an outcome to a question so I thought I would share my finished product. Yes, it is over-engineered and it most definitely cost more than the alternative of a pulley or a ratchet system BUT, it is simple for one person to operate when the rain comes in and the Jeep needs its top off. Also, a section of the garage is under my 12 year-oldís room and Iíve got a younger one who loves to play in the garage, so the safety is worth the money and, who am I kidding, anything with a remote control is an added bonus.

Thanks to all who make recommendations. I went with the pipe hangers recommended by ScottR and they work well and were very easy to install for this purpose.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:14 PM   #13
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Mounting to Garage Ceiling


Looks good Stacy. I didn't see the lift arms at first and was wondering what the winch pulled on. For the first time since 04, I left my soft top on over the winter. Worked out ok, about ready to take it down. It's supposed to stop raining here in Ohio friday and get nice for the next week.
Mike Hawkins

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