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My new hard-top removal system (long)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blue85, May 11, 2001.

  1. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Well, I've been cruising around topless lately...

    I wanted to be able to remove and replace the hardtop by myself without too much trouble, so here's what I did:

    1) attached 4 eye bolts to the ceiling joists in my garage. The ones behind the truck are closer together than the width of the topper and the ones in front of the truck are about the same width as the topper. The distance between the front and rear bolts is at least a couple of feet more than the length of the top so that the lifting system clears the top of the roof better.

    2) lifted each corner of the roof, one at a time, from the inside of the truck and placed a small piece of 2x4 under it.

    3) Attached an eye bolt to the 4 top-to-truck bolt holes that are closest to the outside. I put two big washers on top and two on bottom to keep the nut from pulling through. I didn't use any of the top-to-cab bolt holes because I was afraid that the side load on the bolts would chew into the fiberglass. At this point it is very easy to slide the whole top backwards about 6 inches so that there is a gap between the cab and the roof.

    4) Got a 4-pack of ratchet tie-down nylon straps from Home Depot. This was only $15 and each one is rated to 600lbs. These simplified my design a lot because the nylon won't scratch any paint and I didn't have to buy a bunch of clamps, hooks, pulleys and wire rope stuff. They come with a rubber coated steel hook on each end. Obviously, one hook goes to the ceiling and one to the topper in each corner.

    5) Now I just ratchet a little bit at a time at each corner unitl the whole roof is hanging a few inches above the bed rails. Very little effort required.

    6) Drive away

    Obviously, the truck is backed into the garage and driven out frontwards without the roof. Replacement is just the opposite of removal.

    The one drawback to this design is that I can only ratchet the straps up so far (maybe a foot) and then the strap is wrapped around the core enough times that it is too thick. This means that I will have to make some changes so that if (no let's say WHEN) I get my soft top, I will still be able to park in the garage with the hardtop hanging high enough that it clears. Or, I can just take it down somehow and store it somewhere and run soft top only at least for the summer.

    But still, I'm pretty happy. There was almost zero fabrication and only about $20 invested and now one person (i.e. me) can easily get that thing on or off in about 15 minutes. Putting it on actually takes longer than getting it off because those nuts in the bed rails move around as you drive topless.

    <font color=green>"Do not replace belt while engine is running" --Warning on a Kelly Srpingfield package</font color=green>
     
  2. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    Cool! I'll have to rig something like that up too. Do you have any pics?

    [​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://k5chevyblazer.homestead.com/home.html>http://k5chevyblazer.homestead.com/home.html</A>
     
  3. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    Thats a good idea .Now if I could only get my truck in my garage.Its too tall to fit .

    Proving once again that man CAN live on beer alone
     
  4. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    Did a deep hole in your garage and then put concrete on that [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://k5chevyblazer.homestead.com/home.html>http://k5chevyblazer.homestead.com/home.html</A>
     
  5. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like alot of thought and time went into that one. Usually I get my neighbor and some beer. Takes about 3 minutes to remove top and the rest of the day to drink the beer!

    "My blazer may be slow, but it goes faster at higher speeds"

    Jim
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Or you could just drink all the beer in 3 minutes and spend the rest of the day trying to take the top off...[​IMG]

    Rene

    [​IMG]<A target="_blank" HREF=http://jules.coloradok5.com>http://jules.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  7. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    BAHAHAHAHA! Like that idea better!
     
  8. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    I put a little thought into it, but really not much time. I must have had the top off in an hour as I was building the thing. I find that getting your design for something too precise only tends to make it more expensive. It's better sometimes, like I did here, to just go look around and see what kind of products are available that you could apply to meet your needs, rather than get all of the details set in stone and then kill yourself trying to find everything or spend more time or money than you really had to.

    <font color=green>"Do not replace belt while engine is running" --Warning on a Kelly Srpingfield package</font color=green>
     
  9. Chaz88K5

    Chaz88K5 1/2 ton status

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    i like my way of doin it alot better....go to work and rob a fork lift!...undo the bolts and lift and done [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

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    I'm in the same boat as FRIZZLEFRY... Truck is too tall for the garage [​IMG][​IMG]

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it. <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.rocko.coloradok5.com>http://www.rocko.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  11. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Rene, you don't get to be a "carpal tunnel" by being a dummy do you!!! I'll get around to your way thinking this afternoon. There was a time I could drink that much in 3 minutes. Need to get to work on that peak condition again!

    "My blazer may be slow, but it goes faster at higher speeds"

    Jim
     
  12. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Well pick up the roof and find the approximate center of balance. Then drill a hole there and put a big eye bolt in the middle of the top of the roof. [​IMG] Then swing a pulley over a high tree branch and put another pulley at the base of another tree. Finally attach the end of your rope to your receiver hitch without any slack. Then as you drive away, the roof will be lifted up and away.[​IMG] When it is way up in the air, clamp a pair of vice grips on the rope just in front of the lower pulley and disconnect the rope from your receiver hitch and drive away. [​IMG] [​IMG] I'm sure it would work for Red Green!

    <font color=green>"I don't have the brains for business. I want to go into politics" -Mao Xinyu </font color=green>
     

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