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One person top removal

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by lectric80, May 1, 2007.

  1. lectric80

    lectric80 3/4 ton status

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    Has anyone found a way to remove the top with a single person?

    I am thinking about attaching some small eyes at the four corners that I can then attach to some cables and leave it hanging in my carport. I rarely have someone around to help, and I really bought this K5 for removing the top. (Ok, yes I like saying that I am topless...:haha: ) I am wondering if anyone has done this, how they did it, and how well it worked. I know the top isn't nearly as heavy as the top for my dad's 04 Dog long bed (high top shell with carpet lining), but we need three people to take that one off, and I am lucky if I will be able to find one person to help take it off, let alone if I need to put it back on in a hurry.

    I also plan on ordering new seals for the top, has anyone ordered any from LMC? If so, was the quality good, and did they fit right?

    I have an 80 K5, and the top off would help keep the kids quiet, or at least I won't hear them over the roar of the engine and wind.:haha:
     
  2. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    If you can actually fit under your carport that is the perfect way to remove it by yourself. 4 eye bolts in the rafters then get a set of 4 ratchet straps (about $10 from Wal-mart etc) and you're good to go.

    If you want to be easier on the top you can also get a couple of 2x4"'s with eye bolts to slide under the top and hook to instead of the top itself.
     
  3. MarcS

    MarcS 1/2 ton status

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  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    If you've got rafters, as mentioned, the straps would be easy by yourself. With it unbolted, it doesn't take much effort to lift it enough to get straps under it. It's getting it down to the ground by yourself that sucks. :)

    I wouldn't want to screw anything into the top sides, externally, for fear of ripping it off in the woods. And it not looking so good.

    Seals from LMC sucked that I got, (both topper to bed rail and the rear window to topper seal) it seems to be spotty if you get good or bad. Others have had good luck, others have had experiences like mine. Buy what you can from GM (regardless of cost, it's worth it) but I know the rear window to topper seal can not be had from GM anymore. I don't recall on the other ones, I think one of the two topper to cab seals was still available last I checked. My LMC rear window piece is still in there, but it is a cheaply made, poorly engineered piece that was nowhere near correct in terms of materials used or design. I'd replace it, if I was confident someone was making one that would actually stay in place with the window down, like it's supposed to.
     
  5. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    fiberglass doesn't like that much stress on small areas. eye-bolts would probably cause it to crack and fall. when i hang mine, i do use 2 of the bolt holes, but they are the horizontal reinforced ones that go to the cab, not the thinner ones that go to the bedrails. i run rope through them, and one rope underneath the back of the top and drive out from under. i mounted ropes to the attic rafters and dropped them down into the garage (through the sheetrock). hardest part is backing the beast into the garage in the right spot.

    my way is a little crude because it's pretty easy for me to just lift the top, pivoting on one side or the other, with one hand while i run the rope with the other. i've also lifted the whole thing and just walked it off, before. so, if you are unable/uncomfortable with lifting lifting and controlling the weight and bulk, you might need to modify the tactic a bit.
     
  6. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    The first time I took mine off (last summer) I just unbolted it, got inside, stood up with it on my back and slid it onto my trailer.
    Took about 10 minutes or so.
    Probably would have taken longer if it had more than six bolts in it. :rolleyes:

    That's the best idea. You can use a couple lag bolts and attach the top right to the 2x4s, so it not only provides a lift point, it will also keep the top from spreading if you leave it off for extended periods.
     
  7. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    yo quiero soft top!
     
  8. Craig Artzner

    Craig Artzner 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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  9. LEEREED123

    LEEREED123 1/2 ton status

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    I just tell my 2 sons, " If you want to be able to go out this weekend, go take the top off the blazer!"
    :D

    works like a charm!
     
  10. bp71k5

    bp71k5 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Craig,

    Do those winches you have hooked up allow controlled hoisting and lowering? I found one at Lowes like that but it only would only hoist and had no provision for slowly lowering it back down. Where'd you get yours?
     
  11. Craig Artzner

    Craig Artzner 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I got mine at Harbor Freight. I can lower and raise them easily. The have a spring loaded cam that ratchets on the spindle as it's raised, you just hold it back with your finger when lowering. It's probably the same one you saw at Lowe's. I have one for each side the of top so it splits the weight and is easy to control.
     
  12. AZ79K5Project

    AZ79K5Project 1/2 ton status

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    That's what I've been trying to come up with for a few months. Very nice set-up.:bow::bow::bow:
     
  13. lectric80

    lectric80 3/4 ton status

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    That is a good idea there. I don't plan on dropping it down once disconnected. I am just going to hoist as close to the top of the carport as possible and my wife can still park the lumina under there. The lifting boards underneath would work great, and the idea I had will allow me to do it with just one winch but similiar to what you have.
     
  14. AZ79K5Project

    AZ79K5Project 1/2 ton status

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    What's your idea with one winch?
     
  15. lectric80

    lectric80 3/4 ton status

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    Basically I would link the two lift points with a single rope. Since I can only lift about a foot and a half the winch will pull the rope to the side lifting them both at the same time. It may not work, but if it does will really simplify the process, and not allow the top to tip at all. Basically there will be two hook at the end where it connects to the winch.
     
  16. Craig Artzner

    Craig Artzner 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I started out thinking I was going to tie my system into one winch but my garage space just didn't allow much room for that to happen. If I would have done it at all it would have been unsafe with the way my rafters and studs were laid out. Since R&R'ing the top is something I'll do maybe 5 times total in a year it didn't have to be perfect. The 2 winch system splits the weight and is safer and just as easy to use. Like I said if I had more garage space and better, stronger mounting options I'd have used just one winch. Post pictures of your setup when you get it done.
     
  17. lectric80

    lectric80 3/4 ton status

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    I will, as I plan on starting it this weekend, but who knows with the weather. On Monday it was supposed to be really nice all week, so I was going to pull the top today, and now it looks like four days of storms, so maybe I will just go get stuck in the mud instead.
     
  18. kp texan

    kp texan 1/2 ton status

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    I've designed a system to raise and lower my top with one winch that should also allow me to raise it from the floor to the ceiling. Hopefully, I'll get to start working on it this week. It will require some minor framing to be added to my garage rafters. I'm looking at using this winch from Harbor Freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=5798

    It'll cost about $10 more than a normal winch but the worm gear drive will be good piece of mind, especially since my top is worth a whole lot more than $10 and it would not be good if I accidentally dropped it 8 feet to the concrete floor. Worm gear drive winches are generally better suited for lifting since there is no way for them to freewheel. The only thing I worry about is the 40:1 gear ratio taking forever to raise or lower but I was thinking I could maybe put my cordless drill on low speed and hook it up to the drive somehow. Another thing I like about that winch design is that since the crank is on the top rather than the side, you dont have to worry about mounting it where a conventional winch crank would end up hitting. I'll keep you guys updated on my lift project as the work progresses.

    -Wes
     
  19. Craig Artzner

    Craig Artzner 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Yeah that's the same exact Central Forge winch I use for my dual-winch setup except that mine isn't the worm-gear style.

    My top hangs up in my rafters when not in use. I also hang 4 tie straps to the eylets for extra safety while it hangs there (which is all summer long :D ).
     
  20. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    You could get this one for only a little more money and a lot more security (and a lot less work).
     

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